The Treasure Hunt

story by Kathryn England , illustrated by Amy Golbach

Learning intention:

I am learning to draw on aspects of stories and change key details so that I can become more comfortable with experimenting with ideas.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify and discuss key details of the story
  • I can consider what my choices would be if I were in the situation of the characters
  • I can create a conceptual plan for a treasure box.


After reading the story, ask students the following questions:

  • Where did Zoe and Arlo locate the first note from Lavinia? (Behind a loose brick in the wall of the den)
  • How did they discover it? (A brick moved when Arlo hung the dart board on a nail attached to it)
  • Where did they search for Lavinia’s treasures? (The fireplace in the living room and the bricks outside it, a pile of bricks under the bench in the work shed, the four columns holding up the verandah, the base of the gazebo)
  • Where did they finally locate it? (The last brick of the base of the gazebo)
  • What was contained in the metal box Lavinia had hidden? (A coin, a medal, a tiny clay doll and a note on a piece of black velvet)

Further discuss these items and what was written in the note and how this gave Zoe and Arlo a sense of who Lavinia was. Ask students to pause and think about what they may leave in a treasure box that represents the person they are now and what they might write in a note to the person who would find their treasure box in the future. Ask students to then think about where they might hide the treasure box so that it could be found in the future.

Inform students that they will now come up with their own plan for their treasure box and create it in their book. Each plan should contain the following:

  • A rough sketch of a map of their home (or the place they’d like to leave it, such as a relatives’ home or their school) with an ‘X’ to indicate the location they would hide it as well as a brief description of where that is (e.g., underneath a paver in the backyard).
  • A list of items that they would include in their treasure box, with a description of each one and a reason that they would choose them.
  • An illustration of the treasure box with all items inside.
  • What they would write on their note to the person who would find their treasure box in the future. Using Lavinia’s note as inspiration, ask students to consider what they would tell the person about themselves and their life as it is now.

Once students have completed their treasure box plan, have willing students present theirs to the class if time allows.