Learning Resources for each school magazine include strategies for up to four of the stories, poems, plays and articles within each issue. Teachers can utilise these texts and strategies from each magazine in the classroom. The Learning Resources are designed to connect your students to the text and to provide higher order thinking strategies as well as other literacy ideas.

The strategies for each text can be used as a whole lesson or as small group or individual work in your classrooms.

Downloadable PDFs

Learning Resources AND accompanying worksheets can also be downloaded in PDF format for your convenience:
Issue 1 - Issue 2 - Issue 3 - Issue 4 - Issue 5

Issue 1 - February 2019

article by Katie Furze

Outcomes:

EN2-2A

  • plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language
  • experiment with visual, multimodal and digital processes to represent ideas encountered in texts

EN2-4A

  • Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (ACELY1680, ACELY1692)Critical and creative thinking
  • recognise how aspects of personal perspective influence responses to texts

EN2-7B

  • identifies and uses language forms and features in their own writing appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • express a point of view for a particular purpose in writing, with supporting arguments

EN2-8B

  • respond to a wide range of literature and analyse purpose and audience

English Textual Concept: Representation


Learning Activities
Connecting to the text

Prior to reading the article show the image (p. 18) and discuss the concept of representation. What is representation? How is the olinguito being represented? How are we influenced by this image? How are we responding to this image? Why do you think the author chose this image to represent the olinguito?

Reading ‘Hello, Olinguito!’

Discuss: How is the audience affected by the representation of the olinguito?

Students share how the representation of the olinguito made them feel.

Encourage students to move beyond making meaningless statements (such as, good, bad) by providing a list of words depicting positive and negative emotions.

Students justify their responses by using a stem such as:

The representation of the olinguito made me feel _______ because _______.

Katie Furze has used _______________ to represent __________________.

(Positive: interested, satisfied, pleased, surprised, reassured, comforted, optimistic, curious)

(Negative: irritated, incensed, disappointed, discouraged, upset, perplexed, unsure, frustrated)

Composer’s context

Investigate author Katie Furze and her creation of ‘Hello, Olinguito!’.

Identify any elements of the author's context that may have influenced the way she represented the olinguito in the text. Is the author a conservationist, animal lover or scientist? What audience has the author targeted? Find evidence in the text to support your answers. (Allow time for students to analyse the text).

Engage in a whole class discussion, sharing ideas and opinions using Think Pair Share.

Going further

Research and present an informative iMovie, slideshow or similar on the other ‘New Discoveries’ listed on page 20 or Create your own new discovery.

Design

Design a ‘Lost’ poster for an olinguito using the descriptive language from the article. Locate an image to represent an olinguito.

Create

Create an animation, using Vyond, of an interview or argument between an olinguito and the author Katie Furze. Olinguito feels he/she has been misrepresented in some way, or he/she never wanted to be discovered.

Extension:
Thinker's Keys PDF

Question Key:

The answer is ‘Olinguito’; Write/ask five questions.

Pretend you are an olinguito and write a paragraph about what is going through your mind after you are finally discovered.

story by Annette Gulati, illustrated by Anna Bron

Outcomes:

EN2-2A

EN2-4A

EN2-7B

EN2-8B

English Textual Concept: Point of View

Learning Activities
Connecting to the text
  1. Prior to reading the story show the image (p. 21) and discuss the concept of point of view. How does the position of the girl affect how we view this story? Whose POV will this story be from? What could happen in the story if the POV were from the socks? Or the boy?
  2. Read the story and discuss the various POVs the story could be told from. Annette Gulati has written from Hayley’s POV. Why do you think she choose this POV? How does POV influence how we ‘see’ the text? Students can role-play different POVs to demonstrate their understanding of the POV concept.
  3. Discuss: Have you received a present you did not like? How did you react? What did you say? How did you feel? What did you do? Try to imagine what the giver was thinking or feeling when they gave you the present. Discuss cultural aspects of gift giving, family traditions and celebrations that involve gift giving.

Write a thankyou letter to the person who gave you the ‘unwanted’ present.Write a response from the perspective or POV of the person who gave you the present.

  1. Create a mind map for Mrs Couture that shows her point of view regarding the rainbow socks. What thought bubbles can you imagine she is thinking? How could you include the brown and grey socks in the mind map? How does receiving gifts affect people’s feelings? What emotions would Mrs Couture be feeling? How do Hayley's gifts change each character? Is it better to give than to receive?
  2. Write a script and create a digital project (iMovie, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Sway or eBook) that shows the story from a different point of view. Ask the children to present their digital projects to the class. Watch Voices in the park, a short film to further clarify POV.
  3. Create a Character Arc or Story Arc for the struggles in ‘Hayley’s Birthday Socks’. Watch Story Arc YouTube to explain how to write a story arc. Who is the character? What are the obstacles she faces? What is the outcome?
  4. Create an infographic using canva.com to create a slogan for socks. Socks are considered the worst present ever; persuade people to think otherwise.
  5. Research the origin of gift-giving among different counties. Choose a culturally relevant celebration—for example 18th birthdays, NYE, 21st birthdays and compare and contrast how different countries/cultures commemorate these occasions using a Venn diagram.
Further Reading

Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne (see link)

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume

Resources

canva.com

Storybird

Book Creator

Mind Map

Extension

Thinker’s Keys:

The Question Key—The answer is ‘socks’,come up with five different questions?

Q: What do you wear on your feet that rhymes with docks?

A: Socks!

.

Issue 2 - March 2019


story by Christine Sutton

illustrated by David Legge

Shape

Connecting to the text EN2-4A/ACELY1680/ACELY1692

After reading Across the River ask students to put forward their thoughts, feelings and intuitions regarding the story. Students share immediate, instinctive thoughts on the story. Discuss using Think Pair Share as a partner activity or as a whole class.

Use a PMI chart to organise the information in the story. What do you know about the story? What would you like to know about the story? What do you need to know? Identify narrative structure and story elements used by the author.


Narrative structure EN2-2A/ACELY1682/ACELY16924

Pass on a story—Write a 45-minute narrative using a similar theme. Focus on narrative structure: introduction (15 mins), complication (15 mins) and resolution (15 mins). Have each student write a solid introduction in 15 mins. They must include all the elements necessary for the next writer to be able to continue. Then they pass their story on. Next, students write someone else’s complication and lastly, write the conclusion of another story. Return stories to the introduction writers so they can read and discuss where their story went.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘Across the River’.

Support: Provide students with extra scaffolding as needed. Extra time may be required for Pass on a story.

Extension: Students edit and refine their text.


Delving into character EN2-7B

What are the dangers and difficulties portrayed in ‘Across the River’? Who pointed out the risks and dangers? Discuss the role of risks in our lives. Is a life without risk worth living? Define risk in relation to the story; what is a calculated risk? Are risks the same as chances?

Construct a Venn diagram to compare Robbie the squirrel and Barney the badger. Introduce the terms ‘pessimist’ and ‘optimist’ to describe the characters. Find adjectives or phrases used in the text that influence the reader’s point of view.


Get creative EN2-2A/ACELT1601/ACELT1794

Thinking creatively about the story, suggest changes and modifications:

Write an alternative ending.

Adapt the story using different animals or different characters entirely.

Create a cartoon/storyboard using Storyboarder.

Rewrite the story into a script for a podcast. How to create a podcast or an animation using Storyboarder.


Explore analogy EN2-10C

The river represents a divide, a chasm, an obstacle and the unknown. When we ‘try something new are we exploring the unknown?

Write an ode to the unknown. Brainstorm ideas and allow students to write either an ode (Ode scaffold) or free verse poems to express this connection with the story.


Get descriptive EN2-10C

Create a river artwork using the story ideas and events as the flow. Divide the paper into three parts (orientation, complication and resolution) and have students illustrate the events using only blue and green lines. For each line add an adjective and an adverb to describe the way in which the story flows and how the river moves.


Further reading

A River by Marc Martin

Scan Special Issue

Resources

Narrative PowerPoint

The Willow Pattern YouTube

article by Caroline Arnold

illustrated by David Legge


Connecting to the text EN2-11D/ACELT1596

How do the ideas in this text relate to the larger world—past, present and future? Students complete the following statements using Think Pair Share or Making Connections PDF

  • What I just read makes me think about (event from the past) because …
  • What I just read makes me think about (event from today related to my own community, nation or world) because …

Discuss how food ‘connects’ people and brings cultures together, especially in Australia.


Answer this EN2-4A/ACELY1680/ACELY1692

Quiz students using ready-made Kahoot. Search title ‘Making Mochi’. Encourage students to create their own quiz questions using the text.

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Students can create another Kahoot.


Get writing EN2-7B

Rewrite ‘Making Mochi’ as a script for a cooking show following a simple format YouTube Making Mochi. Notice in the clip that they use mocha flour, not rice. Ask students why they think this is.


Point of view EN2-11D/ACELY1675

Draw a cartoon strip from the point of view of the grain of rice being beaten into mocha, then eaten by a human being.

Extension: Adapt the cartoon into a narrative.


Lights, camera, action EN2-6B/ACELY1689

Create a film strip illustrating the steps involved in making mochi. Students can also choose to adapt their own favourite recipe into this format.

Extension: Adapt the film strip into a procedural text.

Create a podcast of the filmstrip (or steps to make mochi), or another recipe


Advertisement EN2-2A/ACELY1682/ACELY1694

Create an advertisement for mochi. Scaffold arguments using persuasion scaffold to organise the thinking. Adapting structure and styles of texts draws on the intertextuality concept, where texts can be appropriated for audience, purpose, mode or media.


Further reading

http://www.englishtextualconcepts.nsw.edu.au/

Scan Vol.32 2014 Australia’s engagement with Asia

Resources

Japan Nat Geo

Investigating Procedural Texts

Create Kahoot

Play Kahoot

Issue 3 - April 2019



The Christmas Cat

story by Jacqui Halpin | illustrated by Douglas Holgate


Prior to reading

See, think, wonder thinking routine, to explore the title and make predictions about ‘The Christmas Cat’.

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-self: Have a class discussion on how do the ideas in this text relate to their own lives, ideas and experiences? Ask students to consider:

  • What does this text remind you of?
  • Can you relate to the characters in the text?
  • Does anything in this text remind you of anything in your own life?
  • I understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete this double entry journal worksheet or connections document to record connections during the reading.

Discuss as a class or use a worksheet from Think, Pair, Share.


That’s interesting EN2-7B

Complete a PMI chart Encouragestudents to use their PMI chart to highlight three elements (in three different colours or use coloured post-it notes) within the narrative that are positive, negative and interesting:

  1. Plus/Positive: Good/Positive experiences, themes, messages, events and happenings in the text.
  2. Minus/Negative: Events in the text that are negative/bad experiences in the text, things that go wrong etc.
  3. Interesting: Anything that appeals to the student; questions, feelings and emotions that arise, morals, messages and connections that resonate with the students.

Get creative EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘The Christmas Cat’ using this story board worksheet.

Adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using the Audacity multi-track audio recorder and editor.

Animate ‘The Christmas Cat’ using Vyond.

Write the next chapter using the final illustration as stimulus. Who else is home for Christmas?

Write a poem about a returned soldier from a child’s point of view, titled ‘Daddy’s Home’ or ‘Mummy’s Home’. Inspiration can be found at Family Friend Poems

Write a sensory poem about the war. A useful resource is Five Senses in Poetry, which includes a number of sample poems.


Map it out EN2-1A

Story map the main events of ‘The Christmas Cat’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

Adapt your story map into a script for a play, and perform as a mime.


Reflecting EN2-12E

I used to think ... But now I think … This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines


A Gift for Grandma Holly

story by Nola Hosking | illustrated by Anna Bron


Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-self: Have a class discussion on how the ideas in this text relate to their own lives, ideas and experiences? Ask students to consider:

  • What does this text remind you of?
  • Can you relate to the characters in the text?
  • Does anything in this text remind you of anything in your own life?
  • I understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete this double entry journal worksheet or connections document to record connections during the reading.

Discuss as a class or use a worksheet from Think, Pair, Share.


Author’s purpose EN2-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Nola Hosking’s intention/purpose is.

Identify evidence in the text using the Author’s Purpose worksheet to support student thinking and analysis of the text.

Discuss the English Textual Concept Style, which refers to the characteristic ways that composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How has Nola Hosking used semantics, structure, form, design and point of view to influence the audience? What language choices and images have been chosen and how do they impact our interpretation? How did she create a connection between the reader and her story? Why is this important?

Remind students that this connection is also important in their writing endeavours. Choosing which ideas will connect with their audience and language choice, directly influences student writing style and development.


Get creative EN2-10C

Design a book cover for the story and give it a different title, for example ‘Practise makes Presents’.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘A Gift for Grandma Holly’.

Research the origin of gift giving among different counties. Choose a culturally relevant celebration, for example 16th and 21st birthdays or New Year’s Eve, and compare and contrast how different countries/cultures commemorate these occasions using this Venn diagram worksheet.

Write a letter to your 70-year-old self. Include important events that have happened in your life, your hopes, dreams and secrets that you will probably forget in 60 years. Tell yourself what you think the future will be like and see if you make any accurate predictions.

Write a paragraph about the secret behind the perfect gift, as portrayed in the story. Use the title, ‘The best things in life a free’. Brainstorm ways students can give these gifts to people each day. It could be as simple as a smile. A smile costs nothing, yet it is the best look any face can wear. 😊

Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.


Map it out EN2-2A

Story map the main events of ‘A Gift for Grandma Holly’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

Adapt your story map into a script for a play and perform as a mime.

Create a bubble.us mind map for ‘A Gift for Grandma Holly’ that shows each character’s point of view regarding Grandma Holly. What emotions was Matilda feeling? How did Tilly’s actions change each character? What emotions were evident at the party? What did Matilda prove to everyone, including herself?


Hot Seat EN2-6B

Perform a Hot Seating activity where students can explore the point of view (sometimes written as POV) of each character. Perform in groups of three, or as a class. Students can pose questions to each character.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines


The Headhunter

story by Rose Lilian | illustrated by David Legge


Prior to reading

See, think, wonder thinking routine, to explore the title and make predictions about ‘The Headhunter’.

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-Text: How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc.)? Complete the following statements:

  • What I just read reminds me of (story/book/movie/song) because …
  • The ideas in this text are similar to the ideas in …  because …
  • The ideas in this text are different than the ideas in … because …

Students can complete a connection stem or connection web to clarify their responses.

Discuss as a class or use a worksheet from Think, Pair, Share.


Figurative language EN2-2A

Brainstorm idioms and discuss how they confuse people.

Write an idiom story using Storybird or Book Creator. Some idiom ideas can be found at 8 Fun Things to do With Idioms and there are more fun resources at Idiom Stories Worksheets. Challenge students to use as many idioms as possible including the title. Some ‘headlines’ could include, Head in the Clouds’, ‘The Day I Lost My Head’, ‘Head in the Sand’, ‘Head Over Heels’ and ‘Head and Shoulders Above the Rest’ … But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! 😉

Illustrate an idiom.

Explore further the English Textual Concepts Connotation, Imagery and Symbol.


Author letter EN2-7B

Write a letter to author Rose Lilian, using the writing a letter to the author guidelines and worksheets and the Praise Question Polish scaffold.Encouragestudents to highlight three elements within the narrative that they would Praise, Question and Polish:

  • Praise: What I like about the author’s writing style or ideas.
  • Questions: For the author to remove any confusion.
  • Polish: Things to improve, I would change, I wish that …, I wonder if …, I couldn’t believe …

Support: Write a postcard


That’s interesting EN2-7B

A PMI chart summarises the Plusses, Minuses and Interesting things (or sometimes Implications) of something.

  • Plus/Positive: The good or positive experiences, themes, messages, events and happenings in the text.
  • Minus/Negative: Events in the text that are negative or bad experiences; things that go wrong, etc.
  • Interesting: Anything that appeals to the student; questions, feelings and emotions that arise; morals, messages and connections that resonate with the student.

Encouragestudents to use a PMI chart to highlight three elements (in three different colours or use coloured post-it notes) within the narrative that are positive, negative and interesting


Get creative EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘The Headhunter’ using this story board worksheet.

Adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using the Audacity multi-track audio recorder and editor.

Write a summary of the story, using these Summary Worksheets as reference.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘The Headhunter’.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.


Map it out EN2-1A

Story map the main events of ‘The Headhunter’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

Adapt the story map into a script for a play and perform as a mime.


Further reading:

English Textual Concepts

Resources:

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines


Hidden in the Attic

article by Susan Letts


Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-World: How do the ideas in this text relate to the larger world—past, present and future.

  • What I just read makes me think about (event from the past) because …
  • What I just read makes me think about (event from today related to my own community, nation or world) because …
  • What I just read makes me wonder about the future because …

Students complete a Text-to-World worksheet activity.

Discuss as a class or use a worksheet from Think, Pair, Share.


Get creative EN2-10C

Create a script for a news reporter interviewing a soldier’s descendant who has seen/discovered a photo of a lost family member in the Thuillier collection. Use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker

Create an advertisement to encourage tourists to visit the Australian War Memorial

Use the SCAMPER technique to come up with a new advertisement to join the Australian Army. Students could refer to an example from the army’s ‘This is Us’ campaign.

Create a six-word memoir or other poem about the death of an Australian soldier, using Google Slides. Students could use photos from the Australian War Memorial’s ‘Remember Me’ exhibition to inspire writing.

Write an ode to commemorate an Australian soldier or war mascot. Students could refer to this Writing an Ode worksheet.

Research Anzac Day symbols and traditions and present findings to the class as an article. Follow the format used by Sue Murray, on page 33, about slouch hats.

Support: Brainstorm prompts and sentence starters to motivate writers

Extension: Record For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon. An example for students can be seen on this YouTube clip.


Author purpose EN2-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Susan Letts’s intention/purpose is.

Identify evidence in the text using the Author’s Purpose worksheet to support student thinking and analysis of the text.

Discuss the English Textual Concept Style, which refers to the characteristic ways that composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How has Susan Letts used semantics, structure, form, design and point of view to influence the audience? What language choices and images have been chosen and how do they impact our interpretation? A picture is worth a thousand words, what are the pictures saying?


Finding evidence EN2-1A, EN2-2A

Conduct a Here Now / There Then Routine to consider present attitudes and judgments. This thinking routine encourages students to consider past perspectives and develop a better understanding of how thinking changes over time and across cultures.

Connect to text Use the scaffold in the poem ‘In Captivity’ (page 13), to write about the plight of returned servicemen and servicewomen, Anzac Day or war.

Write a biography of an Australian war veteran or war widow, using one of the biography worksheets.

See, think, wonder thinking routine, to look carefully at the central image ‘We want our mumie’ (pages 22–23).

  • Are any of the men related?
  • Who is the oldest?
  • Who is in charge?

Wonderful words EN2-2A

Research and create a crossword about Anzac Day, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator using unfamiliar words from the article, or these Anzac Day resources. Use the crossword on page 34 of Orbit as a guide for suitable questions. Remember answers can only be letters or words, not numbers.

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Create a Kahoot.


Reflecting EN2-12E

I used to think ... But now I think … This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs.


Further reading:

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website

Anzac Day: What does it mean to you today?

Australian War Memorial

Harvard Thinking Routines

Issue 4 - May 2019


Miss Octopus

story by Don Long and Johnny Frisbie | illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith

Homophones worksheet


Understanding EN2-4A

Complete this Tracking Character Traits worksheet by listing three traits Taria possesses. List examples from the story of Taria demonstrating each of the three traits.

Mini book review: Using the scaffolded ‘Mini Book Review’ worksheet students can complete and share a review of the story, ‘Miss Octopus’.

Create a detailed story map of ‘Miss Octopus’ using this ‘Mapping Your Story’ worksheet.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write poem about holidays students have been on. Imagine being like Taria and having a magical experience with sea life. A variety of poetic styles/resources can be accessed here: poetry ideas.

Point of View: a Hot Seating activity where students can explore the point of view (sometimes written as POV) of each character. Perform in groups or as a class. Students can pose questions to each character.
Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View .

Think about it is a personal response worksheet, with written prompts to elicit student answers to the text.


Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-self: Have a class discussion on how the ideas in this text relate to students’ own lives, ideas and experiences? Ask students to consider:

  • What does this text remind you of?
  • Can you relate to the characters in the text?
  • Does anything in this text remind you of anything in your own life?
  • I understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete this ‘Making Connections’ Text-to-Self worksheet and discuss as a class.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Watch this amazing camouflaging octopus YouTube clip. Ask students to explain in their own words, how the octopus can camouflage so well.

Write an opinion piece about the text, and give reasons to support, using examples from ‘Miss Octopus’ as evidence. All opinions based on facts from the story and personal inferences are welcome. Use this Opinion with Reasons worksheet to support students.

Adapt the story, ‘Miss Octopus’ into a pensée poem. Option to record using Audacity.

Intertextuality: Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic, using Canva, about the importance of protecting sea life. Scaffold arguments using Persuasion Map worksheet to organise thinking and slogan generation. Adapting structure and styles of texts draws on the English Textual Concept Intertextuality, where texts can be appropriated for audience, purpose, mode or media.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create an advertisement to encourage tourists to visit Rarotonga. For information, students could refer to this Cook Islands Family Holiday Guide.

Write a summary of the story using a scaffolded worksheet to briefly retell the story.

Outline the main events in ‘Miss Octopus’ using a Story Arc worksheet.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine to help students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.

Journal: Write about how having a rare and unique experience can change a life forever. Octopus is a delicacy in many seafaring islands. Imagine how profound Mama Ru’au’s experience has been, that she no longer eats her dear friends. Have students write about a life changing experience they may have had.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Introduction to the Story Arc: YouTube clip

Think From the Middle: Rochester Community Schools Strategy Toolbox

Mr Greywood’s Haunted Shed

story by Marion Lucy | illustrated by Peter Sheehan

Similes worksheet


Understanding EN2-4A

Complete this Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet to show understanding of the text and narrative conventions.

Create a cartoon/storyboard using Storyboarder or animate the story using Comic Life app or draw a simple film strip storyboard worksheet.

Mini book review: Using the scaffolded ‘Mini Book Review’ worksheet students can complete and share a review of the story, ‘My Greywood’s Haunted Shed’.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Adapt the story into a short animated film using Looking Glass or write a dramatic script of the story. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Write a suspenseful narrative using a similar plot to the one in ‘Mr Greywood’s Haunted Shed’. Use Narrative Planners to help scaffold writing. Option to publish using Storybird or Book Creator .

Remind students that in order to engage their audience they need to consider character identification (young audience), situations (family life/obligations) and themes (haunted/scary) to warrant reader interest and to build a decent plot. Choosing which ideas will connect with their audience and their language choice, directly influences their writing development.


Connecting EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-Text: How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc.)? Complete the following statements:

  • What I just read reminds me of (story/book/movie/song) because …
  • The ideas in this text are similar to the ideas in …  because …
  • The ideas in this text are different than the ideas in … because …

Students complete this ‘Making Connections’ Text-to-Text worksheet and discuss as a class.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Clarify and demonstrate understanding using the cube template.Supported by their peers, students practise articulating their views and deepen their understanding of the text or themes depending on teacher direction. Use the haunted shed as the stimulus.

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Marion Lucy’s intention/purpose is? Identify evidence in the text using the Author’s Purpose worksheet to support student thinking and analysis of the text.

Discuss the English Textual Concept Style, which refers to the characteristic ways that composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How has Marion Lucy used semantics, structure, form, design and point of view to influence the audience? What language choices and images have been chosen and how do they impact our interpretation?


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘Mr Greywood’s Haunted Shed’. Option to adapt it into a podcast using Audacity.

Design a book cover for the story and create a different title, for example ‘Why me?’.

Write a paragraph about what students think the message in the story is, for example, things are not always what they seem.

Create a True/False quiz from information found in the text, using this True False Quiz worksheet.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Journal: Students write a brief recount about a similar real life or imagined experience about a haunted location.

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine to help students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Think From the Middle: Rochester Community Schools Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking: Thinking Routines

A Train in Africa

article by Elizabeth Williams | illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Emotions Revealed by Actions worksheet


Understanding EN2-4A

Use this sensory chart graphic organiser to help students organise sensory details they notice in the text, or to brainstorm details they can include in their own writing.

Find three interesting words from the story, ‘A Train in Africa’. Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary by completing this Interesting Words worksheet.

Conduct a See, think, wonder thinking routine using this YouTube clip about the Phelophepa ‘Train of Hope’ which is featured in the story, ‘A Train in Africa’. Record student responses.

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps to stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of view: Write a diary entry from Bongani’s point of view about his birthday and the day the train finally came. Highlight the vivid descriptions of the African landscape in the text. Encourage students to use these textual elements to enhance their own writing endeavours. Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.

Intertextuality: Use as a scaffold the poem ‘Where the Wild Geese Fly’ (page 11) to write about the train’s impending arrival. Appropriate the poem’s structure, imagery, rhyme and repetition to write another poem. Explore further the English Textual Concept Intertextuality

Write a letter or birthday card to Bogani, to wish him a happy birthday and ask about his visit on the Train of Hope. Students might like to explain how they receive healthcare in Australia and how we use trains.

Step inside is a visible thinking routine designed to get inside viewpoints. Three core questions guide students in this routine:

  1. What can the person or thing perceive?
  2. What might the person or thing know about or believe?
  3. What might the person or thing care about?

Brainstorm perceptions from the story and use themes and ideas generated by the class as story titles, for their own narratives.


Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-World: How do the ideas in this text relate to the larger world—past, present and future.

  • What I just read makes me think about (event from the past) because …
  • What I just read makes me think about (event from today related to my own community, nation or world) because …
  • What I just read makes me wonder about the future because …

Discuss as a class and record student responses on a Think, Pair, Share worksheet.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Write a letter to author Elizabeth Williams, using the writing a letter to the author guidelines and worksheets and the Praise Question Polish scaffold. Encourage students to highlight three elements within the narrative that they would Praise, Question and Polish:

  • Praise: What I like about the author’s writing style or ideas.
  • Questions: For the author to remove any confusion.
  • Polish: Things to improve, I would change, I wish that …, I wonder if …, I couldn’t believe …

Support: Write a postcard


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing patients who have received care from the Train of Hope. Watch the YouTube clip about the Phelophepa ‘Train of Hope’ as an exemplar. Highlight the parts of the text that lend themselves to questions. Use this Question Creation Chart to support students. Option to use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create an advertisement to encourage professionals to visit South Africa and volunteer to help on the Train of Hope.

Adapt the story, ‘A Train in Africa’ into a short clip using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Research and create a crossword about the Train of Hope, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator. Use the crossword on page 34 of Blast Off as a guide for suitable questions. Remember answers can only be letters or words, not numbers.

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Create a Kahoot.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine to help students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs.

Journal: Has reading ‘A Train in Africa’ changed how students appreciate access to healthcare? What influenced their response more: reading the text or watching the news story? What difference does knowing about a character’s personal context make when we connect with texts?


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

The Train of Hope: South Africa’s Phelophepa

Think From the Middle: Rochester Community Schools Strategy Toolbox

You Can Have Mine

story by Alison McLennan | illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

Punctuation worksheet


Understanding EN2-4A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘You Can Have Mine’, using the image on page 22 as stimulus. This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry. Use student See Think Wonder worksheet to record responses.

  • What do you see?
  • What does it make you wonder?
  • What do you think about that?

Complete a tree chart to show student understanding of friendship. What kind of friend was Hazel? List attributes of good friends in the branches of this Tree chart worksheet.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write a narrative about friendship. Use this Mapping Your Story template to help students scaffold their writing.

Many ‘problems/complications’ can be easily identified every day, on the school playground. Use ‘You Can Have Mine’ as an exemplar and brainstorm other ideas from the text, to support student writing.

Describe a friend. Write a pensée poem to describe a real or imaginary friend using this Pensee Poem Pattern worksheet.


Connecting EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-self: Have a class discussion on how do the ideas in this text relate to their own lives, ideas and experiences? Ask students to consider:

  • What does this text remind you of?
  • Can you relate to the characters in the text?
  • Does anything in this text remind you of anything in your own life?
  • I understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete this Connection Stems worksheet activity. Discuss as a class.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Complete a PMI chart. Encourage students to use their PMI chart to highlight three elements (in three different colours or use coloured post-it notes) within the narrative that are positive, negative and interesting:

  1. Plus/Positive: Good/Positive experiences, themes, messages, events and happenings in the text.
  2. Minus/Negative: Events in the text that are negative/bad experiences in the text, things that go wrong etc.
  3. Interesting: Anything that appeals to the student; questions, feelings and emotions that arise, morals, messages and connections that resonate with the students.

Complete a character report card on Hazel. Students should locate evidence of Hazel’s character traits in the text.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘You Can Have Mine’ using this story board worksheet. Adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using Audacity.

Write a summary of the story using this scaffolded Retell Summary worksheet to retell the story briefly.

Story map the main events of ‘You Can Have Mine’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Journal: Write a journal entry titled ‘What if everyone was able to share selflessly?’ How would the world change? How would students change? What would be better or worse? Would rich and poor still exist? Would crime still occur? Have students share their responses.

Complete: What are the advantages and disadvantages to having friends? List these creative ideas in a Two column ‘T-Chart’ worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Think From the Middle: Rochester Community Schools Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking: Thinking Routines

Issue 5 - June 2019

Grandpa's Zoo

story by Mike Craig | illustrated by Tohby Riddle

worksheet: Punctuating Quoted Speech


Understanding EN2-4A

Find three interesting words from the story. For example, curator, quid and dormant (TSM word of the month) Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary using this Vocabulary Graphic Organiser worksheet.

Create a detailed story map of ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

Perspective provides a lens through which we see the world. The lens can clarify, distort, magnify or blur what we see. In this way perspective offers a dynamic basis for the relationship between the composer, text and the responder. Use a story arc to find and summarise the main events in ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’, highlighting Grandpa’s character as portrayed by Mike Craig. For information on how to use a story arc, read Using a Story Arc or watch this Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip. How does Mike Craig portray Grandpa? What role does humour play? Why does Grandpa enjoy telling stories? How does the audience perceive Grandpa? How does the author engage students in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Perspective’


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Complete the Think About It Personal Response worksheet, with written prompts, to elicit student responses to the text.

Retell a story a grandparent or parent has told the students, similar to ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’. Use this scaffolded Retell Summary worksheet to briefly retell the story.

Brainstorm another title for ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’. Design an illustration to go with the new title to captivate readers.


Connecting EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-Self: How do the ideas in this text relate to your own life, ideas, and experiences?

  • What I just read reminds me of the time when I …
  • I agree with/understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete this Read WriteThink Making Connections worksheet. Discuss as a class.


Engaging Critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Describe Grandpa using this Show Your Thinking® Character Traits worksheet. Show Your Thinking® is a framework developed to guide students as they develop and practice their critical thinking skills when writing short constructed responses. Students list Grandpa’s characteristics and support their inferences and ideas using evidence from the text.

Complete a PMI chart. Encourage students to use their PMI chart to highlight three elements (in three different colours or use coloured post-it notes) within the narrative that are positive, negative and interesting:

  1. Plus/Positive: Good/Positive experiences, themes, messages, events and happenings in the text.
  2. Minus/Negative: Events in the text that are negative/bad experiences in the text, things that go wrong etc.
  3. Interesting: Anything that appeals to the student; questions, feelings and emotions that arise, morals, messages and connections that resonate with the students.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’ using the ‘Step Inside Thinking Routine’ prompts, embedded in the PowerPoint slideshow.

Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create another ‘grandpa story’. Brainstorm titles and settings to support creative writing ideas. Scaffold student ideas using this Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet.

Create a film strip of ‘Grandpa’s Zoo Story’, using this story board worksheet.

Write a summary of the story using this scaffolded Retell Summary worksheet to briefly retell the story.

Write a journal entry or letter to a grandparent, thanking them for their special characteristics. ‘I am grateful for …’ could be used to focus student thinking and inspire writing ideas.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine. This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.

Complete: List the advantages and disadvantages of having a funny grandpa. List these creative ideas on a T-chart worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking Routines

The Great Chicken Giveaway

story by Marian McGuinness | illustrated by David Legge

worksheet: Adding details to settings


Understanding EN2-4A

Complete a Character Trait worksheet by listing three traits either Betty or Babs possess. List examples from the story of the characters demonstrating each of the three traits.

Create a detailed story map of ‘The Great Chicken Getaway’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

Create a True/False quiz from information found in the text, using this True False Quiz Sheet worksheet. Students can generate many questions from the factual text to demonstrate their understanding.

Support: Students can complete this Question Creation Chart (Q-Chart).

Extension: Students create a Kahoot


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Create a LOST poster/flyer for Babs and Betty. Utilise a Create a Lost or Found Pet Flyer template or choose from one of these downloadable/editable Missing! / Lost! Writing Frames worksheets.

Write an ‘I Wish’ poem about a pet that students wish they owned. Prompts and scaffolding are provided in this I Wish Poetry worksheet.

Perform a Hot Seating activity where students can explore the point of view (sometimes written as POV) of each character. Perform in groups of four, or as a class. Students can pose questions to each character. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.


Connecting to the text EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-Self: How do the ideas in this text relate to your own life, ideas, and experiences?

  • What I just read reminds me of the time when I …
  • I agree with/understand what I just read because in my own life …
  • I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life …

Students complete a Connection Stem worksheet. Discuss as a class.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Write an opinion/review about the text and give reasons to support, using examples from ‘The Great Chicken Getaway’ as evidence. For example, chickens are great pets. All opinions based on facts from the story and personal inferences are welcome. Use the Opinion with Reasons Worksheet to support students.

Compare chickens and another pet using a Venn diagram worksheet. Which animals makes the better pet? Why? Use the framework to write a persuasive argument about ‘The Best Pet’.

Complete a PMI chart. Encourage students to use their PMI chart to highlight three elements (in three different colours or use coloured post-it notes) within the narrative that are positive, negative and interesting:

  1. Plus/Positive: Good/Positive experiences, themes, messages, events and happenings in the text.
  2. Minus/Negative: Events in the text that are negative/bad experiences in the text, things that go wrong etc.
  3. Interesting: Anything that appeals to the student; questions, feelings and emotions that arise, morals, messages and connections that resonate with the students.

Experimenting EN2-10C

Adapt the story, ‘The Great Chicken Getaway’ into a short clip using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create a script for a news reporter about the chicken pandemonium. Watch Chinese Chickens Make Daring Motorway Escape Bid YouTube clip for amusing inspiration. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create five questions where the answer is chicken. For example, What type of bird was Babs?

Create a story about another ‘Great Escape’. Brainstorm ideas as a class to support students. Use a detailed Purpose and Audience Planning Chart to organise student ideas and guide writing.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine. This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Little Guy

story by Lyn Priestley | illustrated by Peter Sheehan

worksheet: Homophones


Understanding EN2-4A

Character: Complete a character development worksheet to illustrate how Lyn Priestley revealed clues to help students get to know the characters in ‘Little Guy’. This Character Development worksheet helps students focus and analyse four ways in which an author develops characters: physical description of the character, character’s words and actions, what others say about the character, direct commentary by the narrator. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Character’.

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine based on the image on page 14. This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry. Use student See Think Wonder worksheet to record responses.

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of view: Write a diary entry from Samyan’s point of view. “He did not say a word all day.” Have students write what Samyan was thinking when he arrived at the airport to meet his new family/strangers. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

List five reasons students are grateful for their families. Students could try keeping a journal, using this Free Printable Gratitude Journal or, alternatively, could complete this Ten Reasons Why Gratitude is Healthy worksheet.

Write about a big family change or occasion that has occurred in students’ lives. Use a Beehive Pyramid Flowchart to demonstrate how the change affected their life or family. Brainstorm ideas to support students. Allow students to invent an occasion to encourage writing.


Connecting EN2-11D

Background reading: Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-World: How do the ideas in this text relate to the larger world—past, present and future.

  • What I just read makes me think about (event from the past) because …
  • What I just read makes me think about (event from today related to my own community, nation or world) because …
  • What I just read makes me wonder about the future because …

Discuss as a class or use a Think, Pair, Share worksheet to record student responses.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Conduct a ‘True for Who?’ thinking routine, which asks students to examine a claim from different points of view. Students look at various viewpoints people can form of a claim, then look at the stance behind a viewpoint and the reasons behind that stance. Students can also identify how various situations might influence the stances people are likely to take. This routine can be used at any point when exploring truths once the truth-claim has been clarified. Students could use this True for Who? Viewpoints Circle worksheet.

Complete a fact or opinion chart to analyse student understanding and ability to review information statements presented in the text, as either fact or opinion.

Complete a fact or opinion chart to analyse student understanding and ability to review information statements presented in the text, as either fact or opinion. Use this Fact and Opinion worksheet and evidence from the text to support the student’s position on whether information statements are fact or opinion.

Use from this selection of SCAMPER worksheets to help students think about the ways they could alter a text or ideas in new and inventive ways. Fill in the chart with as many ideas as possible and then make choices based on other factors such as audience or style preferences. For more information on this technique, read SCAMPER: Questions to Ponder.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Write an ‘I Am’ poem, using this I Am a Person Who … worksheet to reveal students’ personal characteristics. Compare and contrast poems/personalities as a class using one of these Think Pair Share worksheets.

Create a limerick titled ‘Little Guy’ that begins with the line, “I once knew a little guy from …” Experiment with other words in the text, such as ‘tsunami’ and character names, to create interesting limericks. Kidzone offers an Introduction to Limericks, numerous examples of limericks and printable worksheets.

Create a list of important belongings students would have sent to their new overseas family. The items need to fit into a regular sized suitcase.

Journal: “…like he was trying to be happy but didn’t know how.” Have students explain what this sentence from the story means to them.


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine. This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

An Introduction to Creative Thinking Tools

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Thinking Routines

Sooty and the Octopus

story by Tony Strachan | illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith

worksheet: Comprehension


Understanding EN2-4A

Conduct a Question Starts Visible Thinking Routine to generate creative questions about what the story could be about. Brainstorm a list of at least twelve questions about the story. Use these question-starts to help students think of interesting questions:

  • Why ...?
  • How would it be different if ...?
  • What are the reasons ...?
  • Suppose that ...?
  • What if ...?
  • What if we knew ...?
  • What is the purpose of ...?
  • What would change if ...?

Review the brainstormed list and highlight the questions that seem most interesting. Then, select one or more of the highlighted questions to discuss. Students could use this Question Starts Thinking Routine worksheet.

Mini book review: Using the scaffolded ‘Mini Book Review’ worksheet students can complete and share a review of the story, ‘Sooty and the Octopus’.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Read ‘Underwater Einstein’ on page 8 and write a paragraph explaining why or why not the octopus was a believable choice for the tangled character in the story. Give at least three reasons why or why not, Octavius should have been an octopus. Ask students to suggest another creature and give it an alliterative name, as seen throughout the story, ‘Sooty and the Octopus’. For example, Silly Squid.

Adapt the story into a short animated film using Looking glass, or a write dramatic play script. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Conduct a Step Inside visible thinking routine. This routine is designed to help students look at characters and events differently by exploring different viewpoints. Three core questions guide students in this routine:

  • What can the person or thing perceive?
  • What might the person or thing know about or believe?
  • What might the person or thing care about?

Brainstorm perceptions from the story. Option to use the themes and ideas generated by the class as story titles, for their own narratives. Students can record their responses on one of these Step Inside worksheets.


Connecting EN2-11D

Background reading: Teaching Strategy explained: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world

  • Text-to-text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.
  • Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.
  • Text-to-world connections occur when we relate the text with what we already know about the world.

Text-to-Text: How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc.)? Complete the following statements:

  • What I just read reminds me of (story/book/movie/song) because …
  • The ideas in this text are similar to the ideas in …  because …
  • The ideas in this text are different than the ideas in … because …

Students complete the statements using this Text to Text Connections worksheet.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Write a letter to author, Tony Strachan, using the writing a letter to the author guidelines and worksheets and the Narrative Praise Question Polish Peer-Review worksheet as a scaffold. Encourage students to highlight three elements within the narrative that they would Praise, Question and Polish:

  1. Praise: What I like about the author’s writing style or ideas.
  2. Questions: For the author to remove any confusion.
  3. Polish: Things to improve, I would change, I wish that …, I wonder if …, I couldn’t believe …

Encourage students to read ‘Underwater Einstein’ on page 8, to raise factual questions about the inclusion of an octopus.

Support: Write a postcard


Experimenting EN2-10C

Intertextuality: Use the poem ‘Feeding the Chickens’, by Jules Leigh Koch (page 17), as a scaffold to write a poem about octopuses. Appropriate the poem using the structure, imagery and some words. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Intertextuality

Support: Use ‘A Snail’s Pace’ by Cindy Breedlove, on page 29.

Design a list of useful characters who could have tried to help Octavius Octopus. Make sure the names use alliteration, as seen in the story.

Write a paragraph about what students think the moral of the story is.

Journal: Write a journal entry from Sooty’s point of view. Describe what it would feel like to be Sooty at the beginning of the story. Why are children often overlooked by adults? How did Sooty feel at the end of the story?


Reflecting EN2-12E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine. This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. Record responses on this I Used to Think … Now I Think … worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking Routines