Jack's Bike

story by Philippa Kaye , illustrated by Sylvia Morris

Discusses opinions about character’s behaviour, considering personal responses to similar situations. 

Prior to reading the story, display the following list of scenarios: 

  • You are upset as your bike is old, and even the sight of it makes you feel frustrated. Out of frustration, you kick your bike and it falls over.  
  • A teacher informs you that year 5 students will be allowed to bring their bikes to school. You feel embarrassed about your bike as it is very old, and you don’t want to bring it to school.  
  • Someone offers to help you repair your bike, but you long for a new bike and are unsure whether to accept the help. 

Select one of the examples to work through collaboratively with the students. Discuss the following:  

  • How might the character be feeling?  
  • What advice could you give the character?  
  • How could they have acted differently? 

After discussing the questions, model role-playing one of these scenarios. Invite a student to join you for the role play. Instruct them to mime kicking their bike in frustration. Role-play acting as a guide, offering advice on how the character might act. Sample responses include:  

  • Maybe take a break, do another activity and give yourself time to calm down.  
  • Rather than focusing on the things you don’t like about your bike, consider how fortunate you are to have a bike.  

Instruct students to reflect on the advice and decide which advice they would choose to follow. Discuss alternative choices the character could make when faced with a bike they dislike. Again provide examples, such as:  

  • Showing respect for their property 
  • Deciding to save up for a new bike 

Discuss which of the reactions students relate to and which reaction most aligns with how they might personally act. Instruct the student taking part in the role-play to decide how they might act and to act out their decision. Follow the steps below, to consider the scenarios:  

  • Place students in small groups.  
  • Allocate one student the role of advisor and the other the role of acting as the character featured in the scenario.  
  • Instruct them to role-play one of the scenarios, with one student providing advice while the other decides which course of action they might take.  
  • Allow time for each student to have a turn in both roles.  
  • Once students have had time to work through a few role-plays, match groups together and instruct them to discuss the advice they gave and the choices they made for each scenario.  

Read the story. Reflect on which of the choices Jack made that were similar to students ideas on how they would react. For each of the choices, instruct students to stand on one side of the room if they would have acted in the same way as Jack and the other side of the room if they would have acted differently.  

Conduct a quick poll, instructing students to orally rate the story out of 5, based on how much they enjoyed it, with 5 being that they loved it, and 1 being that they didn’t enjoy the story. Compare responses, commenting on any correlation between students relating to Jack’s choices and their personal enjoyment of the story.  

Complete an exit slip, answering the following:  

I think Jack acted appropriately when…  

If I was Jack I would have acted differently when…