My Dad Said He Played Cricket

story by Mark Konik , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning intention:  

I am learning to justify my opinion and listen to the opinion of others so that I can make well-reasoned arguments in a respectful debate. 

Success criteria: 

  • I can consider different sides of an argument using information from a text 
  • I can respectfully listen to the opinions and reasoning of others 
  • I can explain the reasoning for my own opinion 

Essential knowledge: 

More information about the different ways we view information can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Perspective. 

After reading the story, ask students to think about whether they believe the dad in the story was telling the truth about playing cricket. Have students stand on one side of the room if they think he did play, and the other side of the room if they think he didn’t. 

Randomly select students to give one reason for the choice they have made, informing them that they need to use opinion-based language to introduce their argument (e.g. I think, I believe, I feel). They should include one piece information from the text and explain why this influenced their opinion.  

Draw ‘For’ and ‘Against’ columns on the board and add the arguments in simple point form as they are shared by students. These points may include: 

  • The narrator has never seen him play 
  • The dad said he would have played for Australia if it wasn’t for some injuries 
  • He has useful tips for playing 
  • He is clearly a passionate fan of cricket as he watched it a lot and attended a game 
  • He said a dog took two catches in one of his games and won player of the match 
  • He was clearly embarrassed when his child asked the Australian captain about him 
  • The captain winked and suggested that the dad was familiar 
  • The captain knew the dad was a good batter 

Once students have shared their points, ask if anyone would like to swap sides based on the arguments they have heard. Ask any students who swapped to explain their reasoning and whether it was a specific person’s point that convinced them to change their opinion. 

Explain to students that sometimes we can find evidence in things that are not explicitly written in a text. Ask them to consider the following points: 

The story does not tell us: 

  • How old the dad was when he played cricket 
  • How long he played for 
  • What level he played at 

Put forward the suggestion that it is possible the dad may have played a little but exaggerated his ability, or conversely, he may have played at a high level, but does not say too much about it.  

Ask students if this makes them reconsider their opinion and give them one last chance to change sides of the room. 

Students should then write their opinion in their books, beginning with a sentence that clearly expresses their opinion (e.g. the dad played cricket when he was younger, but not at a professional level / I do not believe the dad played cricket, but instead made it up to impress his child). They should then add the reasons for their opinion based on the text and the class debate.