Dads' Day

story by Teena Raffa-Mulligan , illustrated by Vivienne To

Learning Intention:

I am learning how to recognise my own perspective on events in a text so that I can convey them when reading a text aloud with fluency and expression.

Success Criteria:

  • I can understand the factors that influence my own perspective on the world of a story.
  • I can use contextual clues to identify key words and phrases in extracts of text.
  • I can read sections of the text aloud fluently and with the appropriate expression.

Essential Knowledge:

More information on factors that can shape a reader’s perspective can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Perspective.

Guiding Question:

How can texts be used to connect with an audience and expand their understanding of the world?

NB: This story deals with the death of a student’s father. Knowledge of students’ family circumstances should inform teaching of this text.

Read the text as a class. At specified points (see below) pause the reading of the text and ask students to summarise the perspective of the main characters in that scene. This information can be collated into a table. For example:

Section Main Characters Character Perspectives Personal Perspective
Read until: “I wasn’t really” Ben He is feeling distraught because his dad is unable to come to ‘Dad’s Day’ unlike his friends’ fathers.
Read until: “Some dads will have to stay at work.” Ben


Ben remains very upset that his dad can’t come and does not think there is a solution.

Mum is worried about her son but is keen to find a solution.

Read until:” But wishes don’t come true. I already knew that.”  


Read until: “…but I could.”  


Read until the story’s end.



After reading, ask students to consider their own perspective on the events in the story. Students may connect events and factors in their own life with Ben’s circumstances, such as a dad that would be unavailable to attend an event during school hours, or a student being raised by a single mother or two mothers. Some students might have a critical perspective on the teacher’s actions as they believe that the event ‘Dad’s Day’ excludes some children.

Ask the class to identify the part of the story that they found most powerful. This section (it should be 5 – 7 lines) should contain some dialogue. Explain that students will practice delivering this extract. Their delivery of the dialogue should reflect the perspective of the characters while Ben’s narration may correspond with their own perspective. Ask students to locate the key words that they would emphasise while reading the text. Explain that these are the words which indicate the characters’ mood and attitude to the subject. The mood and attitude reveal their perspective on events.

An example extract is included below. Words that indicate other characters’ perspectives are in bold. Words that indicate their perspective / Ben’s perspective are underlined. These are the words to emphasise during reading.

She thought some more. ‘You could invite Grandad or Uncle Steve. They’re both dads.’ (These words indicate a problem-solving attitude and that her perspective is that there may be ways to improve the situation.)

‘But not mine.’ I scuffed my sneakers in the dirt. ‘It’s not fair.’ (The repetition of ‘not’ indicates Ben’s negative mood and his perspective of being excluded from the event.)

I know.’ Mum squeezed my hand. ‘I miss him too, Ben.’ (Mum’s gentle words and gestures show her perspective of the need to support her son.)

We went to the park to kick the football. It made us feel better. (This indicates that both characters share a similar mood of sadness and perspective on how they can work through these feelings.)

As a challenging task, students may find their own extract and select the words they will emphasise independently, after seeing a teacher annotate a model text.

Students should also rehearse a number of times to ensure they can deliver their extract fluently. Students can deliver their extract to the class, or in small groups of their peers.