Dolls Around the World

article by Mina , illustrated by Sylvia Morris

Learning Intention:

I am learning to extract key information from a non-fiction text so that I can use this information to compose a creative piece of writing.

Success Criteria:

  • I can identify key information in a non-fiction text
  • I can use an object from the real world as stimulus for creative writing
  • I can write a short story using either first or third person narrative and following the structure of a narrative


Essential knowledge:

Further resources for teaching narratives can be found in the Narrative learning sequence Stage 3 resource on the NSW Department of Education website.


Oral language and communication:

Prior to reading the article, ask student to name the different types of dolls they have at home or have seen in real life. Ask a volunteer student to be the scribe on the board. Students are likely to suggest things like cabbage patch dolls, Barbie dolls, rag doll.

Next talk about the dolls on the list and discuss the following:

  • Where do these dolls come from? (Most will probably be toys purchased from department stores or toy shops. Some may be traditional dolls from around the world.)
  • Are these dolls modern or traditional? (Instead of this question you could ask ‘Did any of your Grandparents have dolls like this growing up?’)
  • Does anyone’s family have some special dolls in their house that are not for playing with?
  • Does anyone know of any traditional dolls from their own or another cultural background?


Understanding text:

Read the article as a class or listen to the recording if you have a digital subscription.

Discuss the following with the class:

  • How many of these dolls had you heard of before?
  • Which of the dolls from the article did you learn about for the first time in today’s lesson?
  • Which doll do you think you would like to have?
  • Why do you think so many cultures from around the world have all made dolls?


Ask students to choose one type of doll from the article. Students are to complete the following tasks:

  • Choose one doll from the article
  • Use a highlighter to highlight the key information about the doll. Remind students that this does not mean highlight the whole paragraph, but just the most important words or phrases.
  • Use an stlas or the internet to locate the country of origin of the chosen doll.


Creating text:

Have students plan and compose a short story in which the chosen doll from the previous activity is central to the story. Students can use the following list to help them plan their story:

  • Who will be the main character in your story?
  • Will the main character be the narrator, or will the story be written in 3rd person narrative style?
  • How will the doll be connected to the main character?
  • What problem associated with the doll will happen in the story?
  • How will the main character solve the problem?
  • How will you reveal the information you know about the doll and its origins in your story? (eg. through dialogue or through the character reading about the doll).


Assessment for/as learning:


Organise students into pairs. Each student in the pair should have written about a different doll from the article. Ask students to read their partner’s story and then complete the checklist below:

  • My partner has written a story using either first or third person narrative style
  • My partner’s story includes information about the doll, without starting to read like a non-fiction text
  • My partner has created a character who is connected with the doll
  • My partner’s story includes an orientation, complication and resolution