The Dragon

story by Ian Nichols , illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Learning intention:

We are learning to identify and interpret setting descriptions in texts.

Success criteria:

Students identify descriptive words and phrases used in the story

Students research unfamiliar terms to build their vocabulary

Students apply their understanding by illustrating a setting based on the descriptors in the story

Create an illustration of the setting described in the story that reflects its events and mood.

After reading The Dragon, discuss the setting and its importance in the story. Ask for suggestions of how the description of the setting affected the mood (fun, calm, relaxed, warm) and led to the events of the story (swimming, snorkelling, exploring, discovering the leafy sea dragon). Point out that the only illustrations we have for the story are underwater, but thanks to the writing, we can also visualise what it looks like above the water and come up with our own illustrations. Students should then reread the story and identify keywords and phrases that describe the setting. These may include:

There is a stretch of white sand below the parking lot

It is located at the end of a point

It has an enclosed rock pool about 20m long

There is a rocky outcrop that forms the tall southern end of the pool

There is a little cave on the edge under the big rock.

There is a little overhang at the edge of the cave

Based on these descriptors, students should plan and draw an illustration of the beach setting and rockpool area. They should use self-directed research, such as context clues, looking up meanings or searching on Google images to build understanding of unfamiliar terms (e.g. rocky outcrop, enclosed rock pool, overhang).

Students can add the characters to their illustration, based on their descriptions in the story, as well as the items they have (e.g stripy beach umbrella, mask, snorkel).