The Unicorn's New Job

story by Katie Aaron , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Learning intention

I am learning to identify the reasons for feelings and motivation of a character, so that I can better understand and empathise with others.


Success criteria

  • I can identify the reasons for Aldo’s feelings and behaviours in the story
  • I can discuss how this relates to my understanding and experiences in the real world
  • I can create an award for Aldo based on my understanding of what he likes to do in his new job.


Essential knowledge

Information about the understanding characterisation can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Character.


After reading the story, reread the line ‘Paul tried to keep Aldo content because when he wasn’t content, he could be quite naughty’. Ask students to identify how this was shown to happen through the story. Answers may include:

  • It didn’t take long for Aldo to become bored
  • Albo started badgering Paul to pass the time
  • Even though Paul described the positive aspects of Aldo’s job, Aldo responded that it wasn’t much of a job
  • Aldo stole the cap from the pilot, causing her to spill coffee on herself
  • Aldo became cross that everyone else had a job and he had to just stand around.

Discuss the change in Aldo’s behaviour when he was able to do a job he enjoyed. Ask students if they can think of times that they have lashed out or done something they know they shouldn’t because they were feeling bored or frustrated. Discuss the importance of being challenged in our work and feeling valued and heard by those around us. Further emphasise how that impacts the way we feel about ourselves and our environment.

Discuss the way Aldo thrived when he was able to use his ability for sensing when somebody needed help. Ask students for suggestions of situations that may occur at an airport that would require Aldo’s help. Encourage them to be creative with their answers, reminding them of the two following situations from the story:

  • A baby had crawled onto the baggage carousel and was heading towards the exit
  • A large parrot had found its way into the airport and was causing havoc.

Watch the video Hotel Transylvania - Employee of the Month to familiarise students with the concept of an Employee of the Month award. Discuss the purpose of these awards being for recognising employees for excellence in their jobs.

Explain that students will be creating their own Employee of the Month awards for Aldo. To do this, they should create a brainstorm in their books to write ideas of something that Aldo should be awarded for (e.g., being helpful, service to others, completing rescues) and what situations he faces in his job.

They should then create an award for Aldo on a blank piece of paper. This should include:

  • A picture of Aldo
  • His job title.
  • What he is being awarded for
  • 2 or 3 particular situations that he has been helpful in

Once the awards have been completed, students may wish to share them with the class.