I am learning to innovate on texts read, viewed and listened to by creating a sequel so that I can develop my skills of composing fiction texts.
- I can discuss a character’s interpretations of what they encounter in the Australian desert.
- I can make inferences based on the actions of a character.
- I can imagine I am viewing my classroom through the eyes of the character Mo.
- I can compose narration in character for a sequel to the story.
Read Help! Those with a digital subscription can also listen to the audio file while examining the illustrations that accompany the story. Discuss the character Mo and ensure students are aware that he comes from a different planet.
Discuss some of the unique ways Mo tries to interact with each of the elements he encounters as he explores the Australian desert, for example:
- Trying the talk with the trees and boulders, evident in extracts such as:
He couldn’t see anyone, only a clump of spiky trees. Friendly trees, he hoped. ‘Excuse me,’ he asked them. ‘Where am I?’
‘Hello,’ he said to a nearby boulder. ‘I’m Mo.’
- Trying to talk to the snake and the bird.
- Calling ‘help’ up to the sky and noting that no one answered.
- Being surprised that animals are nocturnal, evident in extracts such as:
At night this place is full of life, Mo realised. How strange.
Discuss what can be inferred about where Mo comes from, based on his actions. Remind students that Mo talks to inanimate objects and animals in the story Help! which allows readers to infer that where Mo comes from both inanimate objects and animals talk and that as he was surprised by the amount of activity at night it is unlikely the animals from Mo’s planet are nocturnal.
Draw students’ attention to the fact that the animals marked out the letters ‘SOS’ in the story, Help! Discuss what can be inferred from this, ensuring students conclude that the animals did understand that Mo needed help.
Inform students that they will be imagining that Mo is visiting their classroom for the first time to compose a sequel to Help! Tell students to imagine that Mo has paid Earth another visit to find out more about humans and how they live.
Inform students that they will be composing a broadcast from Mo for him to send back to his home planet to share what he has learnt about them through their classroom.
Inform students that they will be using what they have inferred about where Mo comes from to help them construct the narration from Mo’s point of view.
Discuss elements that are familiar to students but that Mo find interesting/unusual. Suggest ideas such as:
- completing work at a table
- reading books
- using a pencil to write with
Jot the ideas on the board. Invite students to add their own thoughts to the list.
Remind students of what they inferred about where Mo comes from, the fact he usually speaks to inanimate objects and animals. Discuss what Mo may try to speak to in the classroom. Provide examples such as, the whiteboard, a pen or a class pet.
Collaboratively compose a script featuring narration from Mo, that might be recorded for him to transmit back to his home planet as an audio file. For example:
This is such a strange place. The room is filled with unusual objects that stand on legs. On the shelves are huge rectangles that are hard on the outside but soft in the middle. The soft parts have been written all over with words. So disrespectful! Everything here is incredibly rude. I tried talking to this huge white rectangle and a feathered brown blob but they both ignored me. I sat on the floor and sobbed. I just cannot wait to come home.
Place students in pairs or small groups. Students can also work independently for this task. Instruct them to construct their own script for a broadcast for Mo to transmit home about visiting their classroom for the first time.
Allow time for students to discuss their ideas and to make brief notes. Once they have decided on ideas, instruct them to record their broadcast using voice recording software such as Voice Memos for IOS or Rev Voice Recorder for android. Students can add sound effects to their recordings using audio search engines such as FindSounds.