worksheet: Identifying cultural information
Complete a predict and review form to gauge students’ ability to make guesses and predictions about the text. The second part of the worksheet requires students to review the events in the story, Missuk’s Snow Geese, based on their initial predictions about the narrative elements of setting, character and background.
Complete a fishbone story analysis form to assist student’s understanding of the story. Students will identify the who, what, where, when, why and how of the story, Missuk’s Snow Geese, using the fishbone graphic organiser.
Representation is the depiction of a thing, person or idea in written, visual, digital, performed or spoken language and conventions.
Discuss: How has Missuk been represented? How are students influenced by the images? How are students responding to the language used to describe Missuk? How does the representation of Missuk make students feel? Ask for examples from the text to support student understanding. For example, ‘And at that moment, Missuk knew she too was a great carver, for she could make snow geese just like her father.’ What does this tell us about Missuk? What role does Missuk’s father play? How is the father portrayed by Anne Renaud? What message is Renaud delivering to her audience? Encourage students to move beyond making meaningless statements (such as, good or bad) by providing a list of words depicting positive and negative emotions.
Students justify their responses by using a stem such as:
- The representation of Missuk/mother/father made me feel … because …
- Anne Renaud has used … (the geese, her father) to represent …
Positive: interested, satisfied, pleased, surprised, reassured, comforted, optimistic, curious
Negative: irritated, incensed, disappointed, discouraged, upset, perplexed, unsure, frustrated. Explore further the English Textual Concept 'Representation'.
Conduct a peer discussion about Missuk’s Snow Geese. Peer discussions or conferences allow students to utilise a text to defend their opinions or challenge the positions taken by others. Students share, discuss and build on the outputs of their peers or collaborative partners through a range of discussion strategies harnessed and modelled by the teacher. You may like to base these discussions on:
- Missuk’s father would have been aware of the danger of hunting in the snow and cold. How responsible do you think he was? Justify your responses
- Missuk preferred to do what her father had been teaching her. What do you think she should do and why?
Each learner practices explaining connections between the discussion and its learning objectives. This peer discussion activity can be found at the NSW Department of Education’s Digital Learning Selector.
Identify powerful descriptive language in the text, for example: ‘… Missuk closed her eyes and imagined she was one of the beautiful snow geese her father carved from stone.’ What is the purpose and significance of this quote? The Close Reading: Developing New Understandings worksheet has been designed for students to make logical inferences and develop new understandings based on their ability to look ‘closely’ at what they are reading. Teachers and or students may select quotes that they feel depict an understanding about the text, illustrate their reasoning and explain the significance.
Create an animation of the story, Missuk’s Snow Geese using Vyond.
Write an Australian version of ‘Missuk’s Snow Geese’ as a reader’s theatre script. Change the character’s names, setting, title, animals and accents (use Australian slang), only keeping the complication and resolution similar. Students could use a Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet to organise their ideas before writing. A useful resource is this Into The Book: Creating a Play worksheet.
Write an interesting narrative chapter titled ‘The Hunt’ using the characters in Missuk’s Snow Geese.
Brainstorm ideas as a class to ensure creativity and multiple story lines about hunting in the snow. Will Missuk be a worthy hunter? Will she need to be saved this time? Brainstorm narrative complications that could take place. Students could use a Story Map Graphic Organiser worksheet to help scaffold writing.
Remind students that in order to engage their audience, they need to consider character identification, situations (family life) and themes (life choices) to warrant reader interest and build a decent plot. Choosing which ideas will connect with their audience and their language choice, directly influences student writing development.