The Bike Race

story by Kathryn England , Illlustrated by Amy Goldbach

Learning intention:

I am learning to relate to characters through shared experiences so that I can understand how to incorporate my own life into my creative writing.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify narrative elements in the story
  • I can link the characters’ experience to my own life
  • I can compose a narrative using myself as the protagonist.


Essential knowledge:

To learn more about identifying the theme of a story through its characters’ experiences, watch the English Textual Concepts video Theme.


After reading the story, ask students to identify the following:

  • The goal of the main characters (to win the Sunshine Farm bike race)
  • The complication (Prem’s bike had a wobbly front wheel and a loose pedal, Tarah’s had a wonky back wheel and a rusty chain)
  • The solution (Taking parts from both bikes to build a new bike)
  • The tension (Having to race against a dozen other riders and manage to get into the lead by overtaking Grant)
  • The outcome (Winning the race along with two new bikes)


Discuss what the theme of the story may be (working together to overcome challenges, finding creative solutions can be more effective than the easy way out). Ask students to discuss how this might relate to their own experiences. This may involve having to find a creative solution to overcome an obstacle or coming up with strategies to succeed in a situation where they may be the underdog.

Students should write a short story about themselves rising to meet a challenge just like Prem and Tarah did. Explain that it doesn’t need to be a situation that has happened to them in real life (although it may be based on one), but they should come up with an imaginative story that presents a challenge to them in being able to achieve their goal. They should come up with a solution in their story, ideally a collaborative one, that helps them reach their goal in the end.


Assessment as/of learning:

Imaginative text rubrics can be found on The School Magazine website and can be used to deconstruct imaginative texts as part of the teaching and learning cycle as well as providing Assessment as/of Learning for children’s compositions. Children can use these rubrics as success criteria in the crafting of their imaginative text via anchor charts. The rubrics can also be used to provide structure for peer or teacher assessment.