Sock Stars

article by Debra Tidball , illustrated by Fifi Colston

Learning intention:

I am learning to experiment with using language choice to build engagement with the subject matter.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify examples of vocabulary in an article that relate to the subject matter.
  • I can consider the impact using subject specific vocabulary has on reader engagement.
  • I can experiment with using language to build engagement with the subject matter when composing texts.

Read page 8 of Sock Stars or listen to the audio recording. Discuss the focus of the article ensuring students note that it features vocabulary relating to feet, including homophones and puns. Draw students’ attention to examples of vocabulary that relates to feet, for example:

  • Homophones such as hole instead of whole and sensitive soles instead of souls
  • Puns relating to feet such as hot on its heels

Place students with a partner. Instruct them to read the remainder of the article and identify further examples of vocabulary that relates to feet.

Once students have had time to read the article, discuss the examples students identified such as:

  • That’s so foot-warming, instead of heart-warming
  • Holey-sock, instead of holy-sock

Sock sayings, such as:

  • Now that will knock your socks off! That will surprise you.
  • Pull your socks up. Smarten up, do better.
  • Bless your cotton socks. Expression of fondness or appreciation for another person.
  • Sock it to them. Let them have it—either a physical blow or forceful comment.
  • Put a sock in it. Be quiet!

Display the following questions for students to discuss:

  • What impact does including vocabulary that relates to feet have on reader experience? (It provides entertainment/humour)
  • Why might the writer choose to include vocabulary relating to feet in the article? (It creates engagement and humour, it reinforces the subject matter)

Inform students that they will be composing an excerpt from an article about chickens. Discuss well known sayings relating to chickens, for example:

  • Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched.
  • To ruffle someone’s feathers.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Refer back to the article, Sock Stars, and discuss the homophone used (sensitive soles, rather than souls). Discuss homophones for chickens, for example, foul and fowl, coop as in chicken coop and coop as in being closed in.

Read Chicken on Kids Britannica and discuss the information. Collaboratively compose a brief paragraph about chickens, using the information from Kids Britannica or students own knowledge. Tell students that they should include homophones and puns. Inform students that the subject matter can relate to anything to do with chickens. Sample ideas include, which came first, the chicken or the egg, where eggs come from, how chickens are kept at farms. A sample response has been provided:

You may have wondered which came first, the chicken, or the egg, but in fact no one is quite sure. To find out more, we ruffled a few feathers and looked deeper into this age old question. Now it’s true, chickens’ homes can be a little fowl. But wherever there are chickens, there are sure to be eggs (just remember not to put them all in one basket!). So it appears chickens and eggs go hand-in-hand (or claw-in-claw as the case may be). Who can say which came first. A more important question might be whether we should be counting them before they’ve hatched.

Place students in pairs or small groups. They can also work independently on this task if they prefer. Instruct students to compose a brief exert of an article about chickens. Remind students to include vocabulary relating to chickens.