Finding a Home

story by Amanda Beckett , illustrated by Aśka

Learning intention:

I am learning to adapt my knowledge and understanding into a visual information text so that I can inform and persuade an audience.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify misconceptions that people may have about rats
  • I can communicate positive information about rats that I have learned
  • I can create an informative and visually appealing persuasive poster.


Essential knowledge:

For information on using persuasive techniques to convince an audience, watch The School Magazine’s video for the English Textual Concept of Argument. The rubric in our resource section for Comprehending and Creating Persuasive Texts may also be used to help guide students through their task.


Prior to reading, show students the illustration on the first page of the story and ask them to analyse what is happening. They should conclude that the three girls pictured have been presented with baby animals but have different feelings about them. Ask students which character they feel they would relate to most based on their facial expressions and speculate on what type of animals they may be (guesses may include mice, rats or guinea pigs). Have students consider if the type of animal would make a difference to how they felt.

Begin reading the story and stop on page 6 after the sentence:

“By the look of them, I’d say they’re baby rats,” said Dad.

Ask students what they think their initial reaction would be in Imogen’s situation and have a brief discussion about students’ reasons for their answers.

Continue reading and stop towards the bottom of page 7 after the sentence ‘But she was not prepared to give up yet’. Discuss the different reactions of people about the rats, including Imogen’s sisters, teacher and classmates and whether students feel the reactions are justified.

Continue reading until the end of the story and discuss the outcome of Alex responding to the ad and taking the rats to their new home. Ask students to consider how difficult they feel it may be to find someone to take two baby rats considering the negative feelings some people have towards rats.

Inform students that they will be designing posters to convince people that rats are worth considering as pets. Watch the video Why Rats Make Good Pets and reiterate the points made, including:

  • They’re friendly
  • They’re social
  • They’re interactive and love to play with people and each other
  • They’re fairly clean and groom themselves and each other
  • They love to snuggle with each other.

Explain to students that their job is not to trick people into taking pets that they won’t really want, but to communicate with people the positives of keeping pet rats so that they may think differently about their preconceived ideas about rats.

Students should be creative with how they design their posters, but they should ensure it is eye-catching, clear and communicates positive reasons that rats make good pets. Posters should be completed on A4 paper or using design software such as Canva.