Miss Octopus

story by Don Long and Johnny Frisbie , illustrated by Noela Young

Learning intention:

I am learning to identify key points and interactions in a story so that I can consider how stories may be told by different characters’ points of view.


Success criteria:

  • I can locate the interactions between Māmā Rū‘au and Miss Octopus
  • I can consider how these interactions might be perceived from Miss Octopus’ point of view
  • I can write a story from Miss Octopus’ point of view.


Essential knowledge:

To learn more about identifying the point of view in a story, watch the English Textual Concepts video Point of View.


After reading the story, ask students to recall the interactions between Māmā Rū‘au and Miss Octopus. These should include:

  • Māmā Rū‘au gently poked the hole with a stick
  • Māmā Rū‘au says “So there you are, little playful one,” when Miss Octopus was at her feet
  • Māmā Rū‘au and Miss Octopus stared at each other, not blinking
  • Māmā Rū‘au knelt down and smiled at Miss Octopus
  • Māmā Rū‘au touched Miss Octopus’ head with the tip of her forefinger
  • Māmā Rū‘au began tickling Miss Octopus for such a long time that she closed her eyes and Māmā Rū‘au thought she was asleep until she shivered and changed colours
  • Miss Octopus walked slowly backwards over the coral to deeper water when the tide began to fill the lagoon and kept stretching her head to see what Māmā Rū‘au was doing.

Discuss what Miss Octopus may be thinking or feeling during these interactions. Watch the video Wild Octopus is Always Excited to See His Human Best Friend and discuss the way the octopus reacted to the human and what it seemed curious about and interested in.

Inform students that they are going to write the story about Māmā Rū‘au and Miss Octopus but this time from the point of view of Miss Octopus. Explain that they do not need to write the whole story but should include the key interactions listed above and demonstrate what this experience would be like from Miss Octopus’ perspective in their writing.

Books such as 'Diary of a Wombat’ and ‘Hello, Little One’ may help students get into the mindset of writing a narrative from an animal’s point of view.