Say Hello to Peter Rabbit!

article by Cheryl Bullow , photo by Alamy

Learning intention:

I am learning to share my own responses to texts with others so that I can reflect on my personal connections with texts.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify how a story came to existence.
  • I can identify texts I personally connect with.
  • I can express my personal connections to a text.
  • I can write an extract to add to an article.


Display an image of Peter Rabbit or read one of the books with the class. Discuss students’ previous experiences with books and whether they have previously read the stories or watched the movies.

Read Say Hello to Peter Rabbit. Discuss the topic of the article (how the stories about Peter Rabbit and his friends developed into a worldwide success).

Focus students’ attention on the section under the heading Treasured letters (pages 12 and 13). Discuss how Beatrix Potter’s stories of Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter first came into existence (she composed the stories when writing to her friend’s unwell son).

Provide personal examples of times when stories have helped you, such as reading a favourite book when you were unwell in bed or becoming lost in a story during a long journey.

Inform students that they will be writing an extract for an article, outlining their own relationship with their chosen story. Tell them that first you will be composing an example collaboratively. To support ideas, display the following questions for students to consider in relation to their chosen story. Discuss responses to the questions with the class, providing examples, such as:

  • When did you first hear/read the story? (When I was sick in bed)
  • How many times have you heard/read it? (I read it at least once a month)
  • How does it make you feel? (It cheered me up and distracted me from my tummy ache)
  • How does the story help you? (It makes me feel happy and it reminds me of being cozy in bed with my dad reading to me)
  • Would you recommend the story to others? Why? (I would recommend this story to others when they need a feel-good story to cheer them up)

Collaboratively compose an extract featuring the responses to the questions. For example:

A book that holds a special place in my heart is The13-Storey Treehouse. My dad read it to me when I was sick in bed. It distracted me from my tummy ache by transporting me to a magical world, with plenty of laughs along the way. I now read this story at least once a month. I pick it up and read a page or two when I need a feel-good story to cheer me up. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good joke.

Tell students that they will be working independently to write their own extract for an article about a story they cherish. Instruct them to use their responses to the questions displayed to compose their own extract. Once complete, tell students to share their extracts with a partner. Students’ work can be compiled into a class collection about the students’ most treasured stories.