Finding El Dogado?

part two of a two-part story by Duncan Richardson , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning Intention:

I am learning to use comprehension strategies such as visualising and summarising so that I can design an information text on an invented world.

Success Criteria:

  • I can use information in a text to create images of the setting.
  • I can use information in a text to summarise the setting.
  • I can consider the audience’s perspective and context when designing a travel brochure.
  • I can create a travel brochure using the correct structural features.

Essential knowledge:

For more information on context, view The School Magazine’s video on Context.

For more information about lenses in which we view the world, view The School Magazine’s video on Perspective.

Oral language and communication

Pose the following questions to the class:

  • What is a travel brochure? (A short text, including images, giving information about a holiday destination, usually on a single folded piece of paper)
  • What is the purpose of a travel brochure? (To give information about a place and make the destination seem appealing to the reader)
  • What types of features might you expect to find on a travel brochure? (A map, images of the place, information about the culture/food/activities, contact information etc)

View examples online of travel brochures, such as Canva’s travel brochure templates.

Understanding text:

Explain that students will be creating a travel brochure of the setting in the story, so while they’re reading, they should take note of things that they could include for their brochure. They can also use the illustrations for guidance.

Read the story as a class, or, if you have a digital subscription, listen to the audio recording. After reading, discuss with students what details they noted from the text about the setting.

Some points:

  • a moon is mentioned rising over distant hills
  • a variety of animals live there
  • mention of a clearing suggests they are in a forest
  • rabbits are food.

Review part one of El Dogado in Orbit issue 5 2024 to find extra information.


  • looks like Earth from space (green and blue)
  • the clouds make signs
  • grassy plain with small clumps of trees
  • oxygen and climate similar to Earth
  • smells like Earth
  • no humans.

Creating text:

Ask students the following questions:

  1. Now that you’ve read the story, who do you think your target audience will be for your travel brochure? (Dogs who want to be free from humans)
  2. How do you think you can make your travel brochure enticing to your target audience? (Phrases like: “Human-free!”, “Countless trees to sniff!”, “A paradise for dogs!”; images of wide grassy fields, short bushes and forests; rhetorical questions like “Have you ever wanted to escape your dreary, human-filled existence?”)
  3. What sort of things from the story might you omit from your travel brochure? (The curse, the Hounds)

Give each student an A4 sheet of paper. They can fold it into thirds or in a different creative way. Ensure they identify the front cover for display. Ask students what they could put on the front cover (sample answer could be “Come to El Dogado, where the friends are plentiful and the humans are gone!” with a picture of open fields). Inside, discuss what else students could add, such as:

  • more images
  • brief textual information about the landscape
  • a map of either the planetary system or of the landing place from the narrative
  • the cuisine (rabbits)
  • the friendly locals
  • the nice weather/hospitable atmospheric conditions
  • contact information (email, phone number, website) for a travel agent.

Remind students that the purpose of a travel brochure is to entice readers to visit, so they should use lots of persuasive words and phrases, such as “wonderful”, “absolutely” and “there’s no place like it”. Ensure students also consider the context of their audience – a bored or sad dog that’s looking to get away, either for a holiday or to move – when creating their brochure.

If you have digital options, students can create their brochure using a program such as Canva.

Assessment for/as learning:

When complete, students swap travel brochures with a peer, who checks that the brochure includes information from the narrative, enticing images and text that considers the target audience’s perspective and context.

A generic marking rubric can be found on Read Write Think’s website. Students can use this for guidance during the task or self-assessment.