Zoodee's Earth Landing

story by Katie Aaron , illustrated by Aśka

Learning intention: 

I am learning to observe my surroundings more closely so that I can effectively incorporate settings into my stories. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can identify parts of a text that create setting. 
  • I can describe different aspects of my own surroundings. 
  • I can use my imagination to write about what it would be like to visit my area for the first time.  


Essential knowledge: 

More information about expressing ideas through storytelling can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Narrative. 


After reading the story, discuss the descriptions the author used to give readers a sense of where Zoodee and his dad had landed. Ask students to find examples in the text. These should include: 


‘Above them, the sky was clear and blue.’ 

‘The air was warm.’ 

‘As Zoodee clambered out, his feet sank into soft sand. It felt squishy under his webbed purple feet.’ 

‘Frothy water lapped the shore.’ 

‘Groups of young humans were playing football in one part, cricket in another. They leapt and ran, reaching up with their strange hands to catch the balls.’ 

‘Between the grass and the beach, tall gum trees lined a path. Gumnuts were scattered all over the ground. White cockatoos screeched from the branches.’ 

‘He noticed barbecues here and there. There were some sausages sizzling on one, close to the path. So that was the smell!’ 

‘His dad had joined a group of people on the beach. They were all in orderly lines, facing the ocean, doing tai chi.’ 

Highlight the use of touch, sight and smell the author has used in her descriptions. Ask students to think about what Zoodee would feel, see and smell if he landed in their area. Tell them to consider: 

  • Their surroundings – What kind of nature is around them? Are there a lot of buildings?  
  • The climate – Are they in a tropical region? Is it a cold, mountainous area? Is it dry and dusty?  
  • The local flora and fauna – What are the smells of the plants and the sounds of the animals? 
  • The people – Is it a densely-populated or quiet area? What do people eat? What kind of things do they do for enjoyment and exercise? 

Inform students they are to write a short story about Zoodee and his dad landing in their area, beginning with the hatch door opening. They should focus on their descriptive writing and think about what interesting things Zoodee would take photos of. 

If time allows, stories can be shared with the class to enable comparisons of what observations students have made about the local area.