Funky Junk

play by Sue Murray , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Learning Intention:

I am learning to draw connections between personal connections and text so that I can write a recount with a similar theme.


Success Criteria:

  • I can connect personal experience to the text and characters’ feelings
  • I can create a recount using an orientation, ordered events and conclusion
  • I can include feelings of the event


After reading the play as a class, ask students to think of a time they also entered a competition. It could be anything from spelling to horse riding to the school athletics carnival. Ask students:

- was anyone cheering them on? Friends, family, class members?

- did they win?

- did they come close to winning?

- did they bomb out?

- how did the experience make them feel?


For the students who won, ask them how they imagined Jake felt in the play. Happy, excited, proud, ecstatic? For the students who lost, ask them how they think Emily and Tai felt, or one of the adults. Embarrassed? Sad? Disappointed? Ashamed?


Explain that students will recount their experience in any creative way they choose. For example, they can do a written recount, a play like Funky Junk, a comic strip, a series of pictures with captions or an oral retelling.


Before beginning on their creative project, students make notes of the events in chronological order, the feelings they experienced and specific details they can remember. For example:


- I entered the fifty-metre freestyle in last year’s school swimming carnival

- It was raining that day

- I’d had cereal for breakfast and could feel it churning in my tummy

- We lined up on the blocks

- My mum waved at me from the crowd

- I did a good dive when the whistle blew

- I swam the best I could

- At the end, the parent helper gave me card that said FIRST and I realised I’d won

- I was so happy because I’d never won anything before

- I got to stand on the top of the winner’s block

- My faction cheered when they called my name

- It was one of the best days of my life


From these notes, students can start preparing for their recount. Regardless of what format they’re doing, students need to have an orientation (who, where, what, when why), the events in order and a conclusion (how they felt about the event). Encourage them to use the notes they had made before starting.


Remind students that recounts use first person past tense (I was, I did, I felt) and to include transitional terms (first, next, then, during, finally). This will apply to most types of recounts except the comic strip and the play. For the comic strip, find templates on Printable Paper’s Comic Pages.


Once complete, students can present their recount in small groups, either by showing their work or performing.