Putting the Mountain Back Together

story by Bill Nagelkerke , illustrated by Aska

Learning intention:

I am learning to make connections between fictional narratives and stories from my own life so that I can better understand the importance of storytelling.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify Pa’s story that is told within the text
  • I can relate Pa’s story to stories I have heard from my own family or community
  • I can create a storybook retelling Pa’s story


Essential knowledge:

More information about what makes a text meaningful to us can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Literary value


Read the text all the way through, then discuss the fact that there was a story within the story, with Pa telling the family about the time he put the mountain back together. Highlight the importance of stories being passed down through generations of cultures and families and why they have personal value and meaning to us. This may include stories about the history of our local area or our ancestors. Ask students to share examples of stories that may have been told to them by members of their community or family.

Ask them to imagine Pa was reading his story out of a book and they need to identify which parts of the text show him ‘reading the story’. Read the entire text aloud again, this time asking the whole class to put their hands on their heads whenever Pa is telling his story about the mountain, and their hands back down when he is not.

Following this activity, instruct students that they are to use Pa’s story from the text to create a storybook for the Bigger family so that it can be passed on to future generations in book form. Remind students that any parts of the text that are not Pa’s story should not be included. For example, their story should begin with something like:

When I was a youngster, I worked for a while as a mountain guide. In those days, we monsters and humans saw a lot more of one another that we do today. Because we monsters were large and the humans were small, climbing big mountains was easy for us and hard for them.

Students should work in groups to create their storybooks, using pieces of paper stapled or folded together for their pages. They should make joint decisions with their group about aspects of the project, such as how much text they want to put on each page and what the illustration for each one should be. Groups should then present their storybooks to the class.