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Subscribe now to access a library of digital resources and teaching strategies developed specifically to complement the print magazine.

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 6 | Issue 7

Issue 1 - February 2019


Birthday Bob

story by Geoffrey McSkimming | illustrated by Douglas Holgate

worksheet: Comprehension - Facts


Outcomes

EN2-8B (ACELY1690)

EN2-11D

EN2-10C

EN2-4A (ACELT1604)

EN2-8B (ACELT1600)


Literary value–text connection

Before reading the story, have students look at ‘Meet the Countdown Crew’ on the previous page. Discuss the visual similarities/differences between the characters. Brainstorm briefly what may have brought these three unlikely characters together.

Discuss the idea of a ‘back story’ with the class; this can be linked to the idea of an ‘origin story’ in superhero comics and movies (like the recent Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, which has a back story for each of the seven Spider-characters). Read Bob’s ‘back story’ from p 9.

As a whole class or group activity, come up with a ‘back story’ for how Ahab and Shasta came to be part of the same crew before discovering Bob together.
Support:

For students having difficulty getting started in comparing and contrasting the characters, you could scaffold the activity by providing categories they can compare and contrast—for example: type of animal, physical characteristics (size, colour, shape), gender, interests and personality traits.

Relationships/friendships/quest journey

This story would fit nicely when exploring a theme of friendship or exploration or in a genre study of adventure fiction or journey stories. Some suggestions for related texts can be found in the ’Further reading’ section.

Dialogue

After reading the story, discuss how the author used differences in how the characters spoke to give us information about the characters. Draw attention to the descriptions of Ahab speaking in a ‘deep voice’, ‘bellowing’ and ‘booming’; Shasta talking to herself about different ideas as she prepares for her cooking on pages 7 and 8; and Bob using homely and invented words like ’indeedy’ and ’otter-acious’ and leaving off the final sound of some words.

Ask for volunteers to dramatise reading some of the dialogue from the text, representing each character with multiple readers. Then ask students to form small groups and write a dialogue among the three characters that the students think might happen as the characters are setting off to explore the island. Encourage students to use the individual speech characteristics noted in their analysis section. Have each group perform their dialogue for the rest of the class.

Cliffhangers: analyse, then write your own

The first part of this serial story ends with a cliffhanger—some hungry lizards who have a taste for one of the main characters are spotted in the foliage. Have students identify the cliffhanger situation. Discuss what purpose it serves and whether they think it is effective. Brainstorm other cliffhangers the class has encountered in their reading and viewing. The episodes of both comic serials in this issue also have cliffhanger endings—students can compare and contrast these, providing arguments for which they think is more effective and why.

Demonstrate how a story could be turned into a serial with a cliffhanger ending by editing ’Lots of Latkes’ to end the first instalment when the family has finished the latkes and the doorbell rings with the guests arriving. Have students, individually or in groups, create a two-part story with a cliffhanger from the story ‘Stripe’.

Onomatopoeia

Use the Onomatopoeia song video to introduce or review the definition of onomatopoeia. Have students brainstorm categories of types of sounds for which onomatopoeia can be created, using the song as a starting point. Another good source text is Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.

Have students go on a word hunt in the story to find examples of onomatopoeia and record (manually or digitally) the words or phrases they find together with the category of sound. Some great examples include ‘BOB-OTTER, BOB-OTTER, BOB-OTTER’ and ‘chugged’ to describe the engine noise, ‘clacked’ to represent the sound of Shasta’s beak opening and shutting and ‘squawked’ to portray the sound of Shasta speaking to herself.

Ask students to consider what effect the use of onomatopoeia has on the intended audience and how it serves the purpose of each text, including the comparison between the onomatopoeia and the actual sound that it represents.

Extension: Assemble some clips or live-action demonstrations of sound effects related to the story. For instance, otters and boats make splashing sounds as in the ‘Water Splashing Sound Effects’ clip, or ‘Brolga trumpeting’ from the Auckland Zoo. Ask students to come up with their own onomatopoeic words and phrases to describe the sounds they hear. Compare results and discuss how different people (and different cultures) represent the same sounds in different ways.


Resources

Auckland Zoo (2015, August 9) Brolga Trumpeting [Video file]

Cronin, D & Lewin, B (2003) Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. New York: Simon & Schuster

Bauer, Mindy (2012, March 26) Onomatopoeia [Video file]

Sound Effects (2014, December 18) Water Splashing Sound Effects [Video file]

Further reading

Barrows, A & Blackall, S (2007) Ivy and Bean San Francisco: Chronicle Books

White, EB (2012, 1952) Charlotte’s Web New York: HarperCollins

A Pile of Pancakes

article by Karen Jameyson | illustrated by Andrew Joyner and photos from Dreamstime

worksheet: Vocabulary/Grammar - contractions


Outcomes

EN2-11D (ACELT196)

EN2-8B (ACELA1483)

EN2-4A (ACELY1680)

EN2-6B

EN2-8B (ACELT1600)


Connect to text

Before reading, have students look at the various photos and discuss their personal connection to pancakes. Has everyone eaten some kind of pancake before? Make a class list of different pancake types class members have eaten.

After reading, update the list and discuss any new types of pancakes students learned about through reading the article.

Extension: Using ‘Shasta’s Sensational Pancakes’ as an example, have students create recipes for other types of pancakes they personally have eaten. Gather recipes into a class recipe book.


Visual modality of illustrations

Discuss the illustrations that accompany the article. Have students consider the contrast between the high modality (degree of realism) of the photos compared with the lower modality of the pancake flipping cartoon. What sections do the different types of illustrations relate to? How does the modality of the image influence viewer reactions? Do students agree or disagree with the illustration choices made for this article?

Ask students to come up with a proposal for an additional image to include with the article to illustrate the section ’How old?’ Students need to describe, source or create the image they recommend using and provide an argument for why they chose the level of modality they proposed.


Connections to other texts

Discuss connections between this text and other pancake-related texts in the magazine, ‘Lots of Latkes‘ and ’Shasta’s Sensational Pancakes‘. Creating a Venn diagram would be a great way to record similarities and differences between these texts.

View a video about Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, or about pancakes from around the world with the class and discuss similarities and differences between the relevant article section and the video text.

Support: For students experiencing difficulty with Venn diagrams, colour code the areas. For instance blue for unique items in one text, yellow for the other and green for similarities.


Using questions to engage interest

One technique used to engage interest in nonfiction writing is asking (and answering) questions. Ask students to locate instances of this technique in this text. Discuss whether they find it an effective technique and if any instances are more effective than others. Are all the questions answered? How close to the question is the answer found? Are they more interested in reading sections with question headers or statement headers?

Students could look at the other nonfiction article ‘Captain Ahab’s Weird Wide World: Lunar Calendars and Celebrations’ and try adding a question to engage interest in that text. This could be done by expanding the article by adding a paragraph on another lunar calendar holiday in which students incorporate the questioning technique.


Alliteration

Investigate the use of alliteration in this text. Discuss other places students have seen or used alliteration (poetry, advertisements) and how it influences a reader’s or viewer’s engagement with or interest in the text.

Challenge students (or groups) to come up with alliterative phrases, both in title or heading format, like ‘Piles of Pancakes’ or within a sentence, as in ‘You don’t have to do any fancy flips.’


Resources

Anchor Creative Education (2017, August 18) The Alliteration Song [Video file]

Bon Appetit (2018, June 19) Kids try 10 kinds of pancakes from around the world [Video file].

Learn English with EnglishClass101.com. (2014, September 25) British holidays: Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday [Video file]

Further reading

Carle, E (1992) Pancakes, Pancakes! New York: Simon and Schuster.

Issue 2 - March 2019

The Secret Seed Vault

article by John Lockyer | photos by Alamy

worksheet: Comprehension - Ranking the importance of facts


Connecting to the text EN2-1A

How do the ideas in this text relate to the larger world—past, present and future?

Watch Inside the doomsday vault on YouTube to prompt further discussion and questions. What is Doomsday?

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 …
  • What I just read makes me wonder about the future because …

Comprehension EN2-4A/ACELY1680/ACELY1692

Quiz student comprehension using ready-made Kahoot. Search title ‘Secret Seed Vault’ #School Magazine.


Author's purpose EN2-7B

Watch Author's Purpose PIE YouTube and discuss what John Lockyer’s intention/purpose is?

Identify evidence in the text using PIE pdf to support student thinking and analysis of the text.

Discuss: Style refers to the characteristic ways in which composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How has John Lockyer 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? Why did he call it a secret vault?

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Create another Kahoot or True/False quiz


Finding evidence EN2-7B

Conduct a class debate about the importance of diversity. Use a KWHL Google Slide to help organise and locate factual information from a variety of digital sources including:


Power of persuasion EN2-2A

Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic using Canva for the importance of Seed Vaults. Scaffold arguments using persuasion scaffold to organise thinking and slogan generation. For example, save our seeds, diversity rules, diversity sustains life.

Adapting structure and styles of texts draws on the English Textual Concept ‘Intertextuality’, where texts can be appropriated for audience, purpose, mode or media.


Wonderful words EN2-9B/ACELA1484/ACELA1498

Research and create a crossword using facts and new vocabulary from ‘The Secret Seed Vault’. Use the crossword on page 34 of Countdown as a guide for suitable questions. Remember: answers can only be letters or words, not numbers. Use Crossword generator or puzzle maker to compose.

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Create a Kahoot


Get creative EN 2-10C

Create a film strip from the point of view of the ‘top three grains’—rice, maize or corn. How do they feel about their friends disappearing? Who will be saved by the Vault?

Extension: Adapt the cartoon into a narrative. Create a podcast of the film strip above using Audacity.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Food4Ever

Crop Trust

CSIRO

SEED

Resources

Kahoot

Play Kahoot

How to create a podcast

Debating and Public Speaking Resource

The Birthday Party

story by Jane Buxton | illustrated by Anna Bron

worksheet: Comprehension - Facts


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

After reading ‘The Birthday Party’ ask students to put forward their thoughts, feelings and intuitions regarding the story. Students share immediate, instinctive thoughts on the story. Discuss using a PMI chart as a partner activity or as a whole class.

OR

Text-to-Self: How do the ideas in this text relate to your own life, ideas, and experiences? Discuss the following statements or use a graphic organiser:

  • 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 …

Narrative structure EN2-2A/ACELY1680/ACELY1692

Organise the information in the story using one of these three graphic story organisers. What events take place? Students identify the structure as a narrative and discuss conventions used by the author.

Watch Author's Purpose PIE YouTube and discuss the intention/purpose of the author. Identify evidence in the text using PIE pdf to support student thinking and analysis of the text.

Extension: Define the TSM word of the month, ‘offbeat’, and use in creative writing appropriately for the month of March.


Point of view EN2-7B

Thinking Routine True for Who?: The True for Who routine helps students cast a wide net for facts and arguments by imagining how an issue looks from different points of view. Begin the discussion by clarifying a claim and imagining various perspectives on the topic—for example, ‘Liam shouldn’t invite Andy to his party’. Use True for Who.pdf to scaffold discussion.


The value of friends EN2-6B/ACELY1676

What are the values and benefits of friendship? Who benefits in ‘The Birthday Party’? How did the benefits come about? How do we value our friends? What do we expect from a friendship? What do our friends teach us about ourselves? Use a tree chart to illustrate thoughts and ideas about friendship from the text.

Identify Liam’s character traits based on evidence from the text. Illustrate students’ understanding of the text using character traits pdf


Get creative EN2-2A/ACELT1601/ACELT1794

Write a thank you letter to a friend.

Adapt the story using animals or different characters entirely.

Create a cartoon/storyboard using Storyboarder

Perform the story as a three-minute mime.

Create a friendship poem using the structure in ‘Waiting’ on pages 20-21. Model six stanza ideas to mimic the structure and provide a scaffold for ideas and planning.

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose and perform the friendship poem.


Hot seat

Perform a Hot Seat (how to play) activity where students can explore the points of view of each character. Perform in groups of three, or as a class.

Support: List suitable/creative questions on cards.


Further reading

Visible Thinking

Scan Special Issue

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Flocabulary PIE

Issue 3 - April 2019

Chrissie and a Queen

story by Kaye Baillie | illustrated by Aśka

worksheet: Grammar - Strong versus gentle commands


Prior to reading

See, think, wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘Chrissie and a Queen’.

  • 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-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.


Author purpose EN2-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Kaye Baillie’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 ‘Narrative’ as the fundamental way in which humans think. It is innately human to tell stories. Stories shape the way we see our world and make sense of our experiences.

How has Kaye Baillie portrayed characters to influence her audience? What language choices, for example names and descriptive language, and images have been chosen? How do they impact our interpretation? How did Kaye Baillie create a connection between the reader and her story? Why is this important?

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

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


Get creative EN2-10C

Draw what Chrissie saw from the detailed description given on page 16, beginning where ‘Chrissie couldn’t believe her eyes’. Animate using Vyond.

Create a film strip of ‘Chrissie and a Queen’ 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 poem about chickens. Use the poem ‘Coo-ee’ (page 9), as a writing scaffold and utilise animal sounds instead of coo-ee.

Create a crossword with this free crossword maker, using unfamiliar words from the story.

Adapt ‘Chrissie and a Queen’ into a play and perform as a mime.


Map it out EN2-2A

Create a bubble.us mind map for ‘Chrissie and a Queen’ that shows Thirteen’s point of view as an unwanted pet. What emotions did he feel? How did Thirteen’s actions change how Chrissie felt? How do you think Thirteen would feel knowing he would have a real home? Would you want a pet chicken?

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

Using this Venn diagram worksheet, compare Thirteen to the other ‘prized’ chickens, or to another pet.

Use this ‘Label a chicken’ worksheet to identify the various parts of Thirteen, using information from the text.


Persuade EN2-9B

Design an infographic, using Canva, on how to look after a pet of your choice.

Create an advertisement for a new chicken product to rival KFC.

Write a persuasive speech to convince your school principal to buy chickens for your school.

Write a persuasive letter to convince your parents to buy chickens or another pet.


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, including Chrissie, her father, Thirteen and Mrs Pompy.

Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.


That’s interesting 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.

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

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines

Jamie's Experiment

story by Janeen Samuel | illustrated by Andrew Joyner

worksheet: Writing - Composing a letter


Prior to reading

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘Jamie’s Experiment’.

  • 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: How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc.)? Complete the following statements using one of these Making Connections worksheets.

  • 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 …

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


That’s interesting 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.

Author letter EN2-7B

Write a letter to author Janeen Samuel, 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


Get creative EN2-10C

Animate ‘Jamie’s Experiment’ using Vyond.

Create a film strip of ‘Jamie’s Experiment’ using this Story Board worksheet.

Write a creative story that asks: What did the Tooth Fairy leave under children’s pillows before money was invented? Or: What will the Tooth Fairy leave in the future?

Write a thank you letter to the Tooth Fairy for all her/his hard work and money.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘Jamie’s Experiment’. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.

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


Map it out EN2-2A

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

Create a Venn diagram to compare the Tooth Fairy to the Easter Bunny, using this Venn diagram worksheet.


Persuade EN2-9B

Design an infographic, using Canva, on how to look after your teeth.

Write a persuasive argument about who has the toughest job: the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.


Cube a thought EN2-7B

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


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

Kangaroos Under the Pyramids

article by Philippa Werry | illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

worksheet: Comprehension - Facts


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.


Author letter EN2-7B

Write a letter to author Philippa Werry, 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:

  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…

Support: Write a postcard


Get Creative EN2-10C

Design a war memorial to ‘commemorate’ (Countdown word of the month) Australian soldiers. Students may find interesting the unusual Sphinx memorial found in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in NSW.

Create a script for a news reporter interviewing a war veteran about the mascots. Students might use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Creator..

Research Australian war mascots and write a biography about one of the many mascots that went to war. For reference, the Australian War Memorial has a collection of manuscripts, portraits and audio and visual recordings.

Write a poem from a mascot’s point of view. Use the poem ‘Coo-ee’ (page 9), as a writing scaffold and utilise animal sounds instead of coo-ee.

Create a crossword about Anzac Day, using this free crossword maker, using unfamiliar words from the story, or these Anzac Day resources.

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


Persuade EN2-9B

Design an infographic, using Canva, to entice people to join the armed forces.

Create an advertisement to encourage tourists to visit The Australian War Memorial.

Write a persuasive speech arguing we should bring our native mascots back to Australia.


Soldier letters EN2-6B

Write a letter from a soldier’s point of view to his/her parents back home. For inspiration, students could research actual letters written by Australian and New Zealand ANZAC troops. A lesson scaffold can be found at The Anzacs of Gallipoli: writing home.


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 Department of Defence—Army: Anzac Day

Australian Geographic: Aussie animal war mascots gallery

Australian War Memorial: ‘A is for Animals’ education kit with worksheets

Australian War Memorial: ‘A is for Animals’ photographic exhibition

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines

The Smallest Kangaroo

article by Philippa Werry | illustrated by Greg Holfeld

worksheet: Thinking imaginatively - Designing a mascot


Prior to reading

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘The Smallest Kangaroo’.

  • 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 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 can complete a Connection Stem worksheet or making connections activity.

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


Author purpose EN2-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss: What is Philippa Werry’s intention/purpose?

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 Philippa Werry used semantics, structure, form, design and point of view to influence her 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 children that connection is also important in their writing endeavours. Choosing ideas that will connect with their audience as well as appropriate language choices, directly influences student writing style and development.


Get creative EN2-10C

Design a medal honouring the war mascots for their service to the troops using Canva.

Create a film strip of ‘The Smallest Kangaroo’ using this Story Board worksheet and adapt it into a play or podcast using the Audacity multi-track audio recorder and editor.

Research Australian war mascots and using one of the biography worksheets, write about one of the many mascots that went to war. The Australian War Memorial’s ‘A is for Animals’ offers some useful resources.

Write a persuasive speech that argues to bring the mascots back to Australia.

Write a poem from a mascot’s point of view. Use the poem ‘Coo-ee’ (page 9), as a writing scaffold and utilise animal sounds instead of coo-ee.

Create a crossword about Anzac Day, with this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator using unfamiliar words from the article, or these Anzac Day resources.

Adapt ‘The Littlest Kangaroo’ into a script for a play, and perform as a mime.


Map it out EN2-2A

Create a mind map  for ‘The Smallest Kangaroo’ that shows Joey’s point of view regarding going to war. What emotions would a living mascot feel? How did Joey’s actions change how the diggers felt? What emotions were evident at the training camp? How do you think Joey would feel, knowing he would never return home? Would you want to live in a zoo?

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


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, especially Joey the smallest kangaroo, to generate empathy.

Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.


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

Additional resources

Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website

Anzac Day: What does it mean to you today?

Australian Department of Defence—Army: Anzac Day

Australian Geographic: Aussie animal war mascots gallery

Australian War Memorial: ‘A is for Animals’ education kit with worksheets

Australian War Memorial: ‘A is for Animals’ photographic exhibition

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Thinking Routines

Issue 4 - May 2019

A Picnic for the Tortoise family

English folktale retold by Karen Jameyson | illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

worksheet: Thinking imaginatively - Designing a character


Understanding EN2-4A

Story map the events in ‘A Picnic for the Tortoise Family’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

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

Mini book review: Using the scaffolded ‘Mini Book Review’ worksheet students can complete and share a review of the story, ‘A Picnic for the Tortoise Family’.


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.

For an animated version of the story, see The Tortoises’ Picnic YouTube clip.


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

Create a bubble.us mind map for ‘A Picnic for the Tortoise family’ that shows each character’s point of view regarding the picnic. What emotions was Mother Tortoise feeling? How was father Tortoise feeling? How did the feel once they finally arrived? How did the parents feel when they found out Baby Tortoise never left?

Examples of change: Retell the story to adapt it for a modern audience. With each retelling, the characters and the moral remain the same and the food never goes rotten, which is possibly why the earlier versions had tinned food. Have students appropriate the story to appeal to younger audience’s understanding and tastes.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘A Picnic for the Tortoise Family’ using this story board worksheet. Option to adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using the Audacity multi-track audio recorder and editor.

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

Compare and contrast the two versions of the parable/folktale. Highlight the similarities and differences using this Venn diagram worksheet. Another version of the story can be found in the Parable of the Turtle Picnic.

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


Reflecting EN2-12E

Journal: Why are folktales/parables/fables still relevant today? What is their purpose?

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

The Swimming Lions

article by Lauri Kubuitsile | illustrated by Andrew Joyner

worksheet: Comprehension - Facts


Understanding EN2-4A

Find three interesting words from the story, ‘The Swimming Lions’. Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary.

Create a True/False quiz from information found in the text, using this True False Quiz Sheet template. Students can generate many questions from the factual text to demonstrate their understanding. Support: Student complete this Question Creation chart. Extension: Students create a Kahoot.

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine using the image on page 14.

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

This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry. Students can use one of these See Think Wonder worksheet templates to record their responses.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of view: Write a diary entry from an adventurer’s point of view. Highlight the avid descriptions of the swimming lions and the Botswana landscape in the text. Encourage students to use these textual elements to enhance their writing endeavours. Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.

Intertextuality: Use the scaffold in the poem ‘Watching Through the Windows’ page 9, to write about an aspect from the story ‘The Swimming Lions’, be it landscape, the animals, hunting or anything else that the story that resonates with students. Appropriate the poem using the structure, imagery and even the title if it works, to write another poem. Explore further the English Textual Concept Intertextuality


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 …

Students complete a Text-to-World worksheet activity.

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


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Watch the two-minute YouTube clip: Lauri Kubuitsile: On being an author. What words of wisdom does she impart for would be writers? Have students take notes and discuss, for example, what does it mean to have a thick skin? Does success also include rejection? What strengths as a person does a writer need, apart from great writing skills?

Write a letter to author Lauri Kubuitsile, 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 a scientist who has studied the swimming lions. The text makes specific reference to the adaptations these lions have made to survive. Highlight the parts of the text that lend themselves to questions. Use a Question Creation Chart to support students. Option to use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create an advertisement to encourage tourists to visit Africa and witness the majestic swimming lions.

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.

Research and Create a crossword about Africa, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator using unfamiliar words from the article, or these Africa Facts 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

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: How has reading ‘The Swimming Lions’ changed how students respond to texts? Did watching the author talk about writing influence their response? What difference does knowing about an author’s personal context make, when we connect with texts?


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Thinking Routines

Top of the World

story by Simon Cooke | illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith

worksheet: Grammar - Verb choices


Understanding EN2-4A

Create a detailed story map of ‘Top of the World’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

Complete a Character Report Card worksheet by listing three traits Luca possesses. List examples from the story of Luca 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, ‘Top of the World.’


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write a biography poem to commemorate a hero that has inspired students personally. Luca’s hero was Sir Edmund Hilary. This scaffolded Write a Biography Poem worksheet can be used to create their poems.

Write about a challenge that students have faced in their personal lives and the steps taken to overcome the challenge and succeed. It can be fictional or based on real life. Brainstorm narrative titles, to allow the students to generate ideas and share common experiences. For example, ‘Against All Odds’ or ‘My Greatest Challenge so far …’.

Point of View: 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 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 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 Stems worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Write an ‘I am’ poem to connect with the theme in the story ‘Top of the Hill’. Use either this online I Am Poem generator or one of these I Am Poem worksheets. Both have writing prompts for each line, which most students can complete independently.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Write an opinion/review about ‘Top of the World’ and give reasons to support, using examples from the text as evidence. All opinions based on facts from the story and personal inferences are welcome. Use the Opinion With Reasons worksheet to support students.

Compare Simon Cooke’s ‘Top of the World’ to ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ by Banjo Patterson using this Venn diagram worksheet. Find Mulga Bill’s Bicycle in the school library or listen to this Mulga Bill’s Bicycle recitation on YouTube.

Adapt either the story, ‘Top of The World’, or the poem, ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’, into a short clip using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker. For inspiration students could view this sample Mulga Bill’s Bicycle video clip on YouTube


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing Luca, who has finally conquered Gum Tree Hill. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create an advertisement to encourage tourists to visit Gum Tree Hill.

Create a six-word memoir or other poem about Luca’s success or a recent personal success of the students. For multiple poetry resources go to On Butterfly Wings English: Stage 2 Poetry Unit of Work Google Slides.


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.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

The Zorthan Episode

story by Peter Friend | illustrated by Peter Sheehan

worksheet: Comprehension - Inferring information


Understanding EN2-4A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘The Zorthan Episode’, using the image on page 4. 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?

Complete a fact or opinion chart to explain what actually happened (facts) and what Will and Mia imagined (opinions) happened to their mum. Use this Fact and Opinion worksheet and evidence from the text to support what happened to their mum, if she was a Zorthan princess.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Describe a Zorthan. The text gives little or no indication as to what Zorthans are, except that they are on TV and they have royalty, namely princes and princesses. Write a pensée poem to describe an imaginary Zorthan using this Pensee Poem Pattern worksheet.

Write a narrative about a time when, similar to Mia and Will, imagination got the better of the students. Use a Mapping Your Story worksheet to help students scaffold their 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-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 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 RWT making connections 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 either Will or Mia. Students locate evidence of character traits in the text and complete the Character Report Card worksheet.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint report or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘The Zorthan Episode’ using the Step Inside Thinking Routine prompts, embedded in the PowerPoint slideshow.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Create a film strip of ‘The Zorthan Episode’ using this story board worksheet and adapt it into a play or podcast using Audacity.

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

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


Reflecting EN2-12E

Journal: Write a journal entry titled ‘What if’ (their mum was a Zorthan princess). Write from the point of view of either Will or Mia. What would change? How? What then? Have students share their responses to the text.

Complete: What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a Zorthan mum? List these creative ideas in a T-chart.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking Routines

Issue 5 - June 2019

Connecting the Dots

story by Bill Condon | illustrated by Aska

worksheet: Writing - Creating a diary


Understanding EN2-4A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and predictions about ‘Connecting the Dots’, using the image on page 9 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 do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Complete a tree chart to show student understanding of the title, ‘Connecting the Dots.’ List all the attempts Chris made to try and get his job done, until he finally ‘connected’ with Dot and Dottie, in the branches of this tree chart worksheet.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Connotation, imagery and symbol:

Brainstorm idioms using ‘connecting the dots’ as an example. Discuss figurative language, illustrating how ‘connecting the dots’ is also a metaphor.

Write an idiom story. Option to publish using Storybird or Book Creator. Ideas can be found at 8 Fun Things to do with Idioms and students can complete one of these eight Idiom Stories worksheets. Challenge students to use as many idioms as possible including the title.

Illustrate an idiom.

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

Write a pensée poem to describe a real or imaginary postal delivery person using one of these three Pensee Poem worksheets.


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 this Connections Stem worksheet. 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 Chris the postman. Students locate evidence of character traits in the text and complete this Character Report Card worksheet.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Write questions for these five words from the text: inventor, letterbox, Mrs Finnegan, beard and caterpillar. For example, what is Aunt Daisy’s job? An inventor.

Create a film strip of ‘Connecting the Dots’ 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 briefly retell the story.

Journal: write a journal entry titled, ‘When I grow up …’. Lots of jobs face challenges and require real problem-solving strategies. The postman and the mean dog is a common hurdle, which required communication skills more than problem solving. Ask students to communicate their ideas about what kind of jobs they see themselves doing in the future, the skills they have, or will need to have, and the hurdles they may encounter.


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.

Complete: What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a job? List these creative ideas on a T-chart worksheet.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking Routines

Dad Likes to Cook

story by Dale Harcombe | illustrated by Peter Cheong

worksheet: Writing - Creating a recipe


Understanding EN2-4A

Create a Story Arc of the main events in ‘Dad Likes to Cook’, to highlight the narrative conventions used by the author, Dale Harcombe. For background information on story arcs, you can read Using a Story Arc to Find and Summarise a Theme or watch this Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip. How does Dale create suspense? (What will Dad cook next?) What role do humour and imagination play in the story to carry the plot? How does the author engage the audience? Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.

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

Find three interesting words from the story, ‘Dad Likes to Cook’. For example, shimmied, scampered, emperor, jousted, riotous and TSM word of the month, placid. Research their meanings and use them to increase student vocabulary using this Vocabulary Graphic Organiser worksheet.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write about something else that ‘Dad likes to cook …’. Brainstorm recipes as a class to generate and bounce ideas off one another. For example, ‘Dad likes to cook pigs in blankets.’

Write an invitation to a birthday party that would suit Dad. Students can access templates in Word, or could select from this selection of Free Personalised Greeting Cards.

Write a menu for a birthday party that Dad would, ‘like to cook’. Design an entrée, main and dessert with suitable ingredients.


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 one of 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

Describe Dad 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 Dad’s characteristics and support their inferences and ideas using evidence from the text.

Style: Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Dale Harcombe’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 in which composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How does Dale Harcombe use 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 ‘Dad Likes to Cook’ using this story board worksheet. Option to adapt into a podcast using Audacity.

Design a book cover for the story, ‘Dad Likes to Cook’ using/creating a different title, for example, ‘What on Earth?’ Illustrate appropriately.

Write questions for these five words from the text: toga, armour, shepherd, emperor and butterflies. For example, what was Julius Caesar wearing? A toga.

Create a True/False quiz from the text, using this True False Quiz Sheet worksheet.

Journal a brief recount about a similar real life or imagined experience about cooking.


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.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Visible Thinking Routines

Duck for Dinner

story by Sheryl Gwyther | illustrated by Althea Aseoche

worksheet: Grammar - Digraphs


Understanding EN2-4A

Character: Complete a character development worksheet to illustrate how Sheryl Gwyther reveals clues to help students get to know the characters in ‘Duck for Dinner’. This Character Development worksheet helps students focus and analyse four ways in which an author develops characters. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.

Create a detailed story map of ‘Duck for Dinner’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

Mini review: Using the scaffolded Mini Book Review worksheet students can complete and share a review of the story, ‘Duck for Dinner’.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write a poem about a favourite pet or other animal. Imagine being like Nina and having lots of dangerous experiences living a farming life. A variety of poetic styles/resources can be accessed at On Butterfly Wings English: Term 3 Stage 2 Poetry Unit of Work.

Complete this Reading Response worksheet, which prompts student answers to the text.

Perform 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’.


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 this Text to Self Connections worksheet and discuss as a class.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Intertextuality: Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic, using Canva, about the importance of safety and first aid, especially in Australia, where five of the world’s ten deadliest snakes live. Scaffold arguments using this 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.

Create a mind map for ‘Duck for Dinner’, using Bubbl.us, that shows each character’s point of view regarding Fluffy Duck. What emotions were Nina, Marco, Mama and Gino feeling? How did their feelings change? How did they feel when Fluffy was in danger? How did each character’s feelings change?


Experimenting EN2-10C

Adapt ‘Duck for Dinner’ into a pensée poem using these explanatory Pensée Poem worksheets. Option to record using Audacity.

Write a paragraph about what students think the moral of ‘Duck for Dinner’ is.

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

Outline themain events in ‘Duck for Dinner’ as explained in Using a Story Arc to Find and Summarise a Theme.

Journal: Write about how a near-death experience can change a life forever. Have students write about a near-death, or other life changing, experience they may have had.

Create a first aid poster (procedure) about how to treat/help a snake bite victim.


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.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Jack Flash

story by Elizabeth Williams | illustrated by Douglas Holgate

worksheet: Writing - Creating a ‘Wanted’ poster


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.

Find three interesting words from the story, ‘Jack Flash’. For example: Sari, jalebi, twine, gnome, snitch/es and TSM word of the month, placid. Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary in this Vocabulary Graphic Organiser worksheet.

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. 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?

Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write a suspenseful narrative using a similar plot to the one in ‘Jack Flash’. Use one of these Graphic Organisers 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 (families/neighbours), situations (moving to a new house) and themes (mysteriously missing items) to warrant reader interest and build a decent plot. Language choice, and choosing which ideas will connect with their audience, directly influences student writing choices, and helps in their writing development.

Point of view: Write a diary entry from Jack Flash’s point of view about his new treasures or his new neighbours on Wattle Street. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

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:

  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. Choose from this selection of Step Inside worksheets to record responses.


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.

Students explore the following statements using a Text-to-World Connections worksheet.

  • 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 responses.


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:

  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 …

Support: Write a postcard


Experimenting EN2-10C

Write a persuasive letter to the school principal to request an incursion by ‘Birds in Schools’. Organise arguments using this Persuasion Map worksheet. For information, facts and ideas to support student writing, see this outline of the Birds in Schools environmental education project.

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing people who have lost blue items due to bowerbirds like Jack Flash. Highlight the parts of the text that lend themselves to questions. Use a Question Creation Chart (Q-Chart) to support students. Option to use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create an advertisement to encourage people to become ornithologists (people who study birds). For more information, visit Birdwatch Australia and Birdlife Australia.

Journal a descriptive/creative passage about a day in the life an Australian bird, titled ‘Bird’s-eye view’.

Animate ‘Jack Flash’ using Comic Life or draw a simple film strip using this story board worksheet.


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

Issue 6 - July 2019

Collarenebri Cowboy

story by Marian McGuinness | illustrated by Aśka

worksheet: Comprehension - Using a KWL chart to organise your knowledge


Understanding EN2-4A

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.

Create a story arc to find and summarise the main events in ‘Collarenebri Cowboy’, highlighting Tilly’s character as portrayed by Marian McGuinness. 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 Marian McGuinness portray Tilly? Why is Tilly unhappy about being in Collarenebri? How does the audience perceive Tilly? How does the author engage students in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Perspective’.

Complete a Character Traits Graphic Organiser worksheet by listing three traits Tilly possesses. List examples from the story of Tilly demonstrating each of the three traits.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Complete the Think about it personal response worksheet to elicit student responses to the text.

Write a diary entry from Tilly about her rodeo experience. Use a Retell Summary worksheet to help students scaffold their writing.


Connecting EN2-11D

Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.

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

  • 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 RWT Making Connections worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Complete one of these Pros and Cons worksheets to illustrate student understanding of why they would or wouldn’t participate in a rodeo. Consider not only the personal safety aspects but also in relation to the animal safety and cruelty.

Create a Narrative PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of the textual features, structure and the messages conveyed in ‘Collarenebri Cowboy’ using the ‘Step Inside Thinking Routine’ prompts embedded in the PowerPoint slideshow. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Write a paragraph in response to Maayirr’s words, ‘You’ve gotta try new things.’ What new things could students try? Explain why.

Create an adventure story about a different eight-seconds experience. Brainstorm titles and settings to support creative writing ideas. Scaffold student ideas using a Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet.

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

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think from The Middle: Strategy Tool Box

Hair Trouble

story by Richard Brookton | illustrated by Tohby Riddle

worksheet: Comprehension - Facts


Understanding EN2-4A

Find three interesting words from the story. For example, cowlick, mention, teased and resident (Countdown word of the month) Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary using this Interesting Words worksheet.

Character: Complete a character development worksheet to illustrate how Richard Brookton revealed clues to help students get to know the characters in ‘Hair Trouble’. This Characterisation 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’.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of view: Write a diary entry from Richard’s point of view. Choose any part of the story to explore what Richard was thinking. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

List five reasons students are grateful for their unique looks and abilities. Students could try keeping a journal using this free printable 52-Week Gratitude Journal or alternatively watch this 10 Reasons Why Gratitude is Healthy slide presentation.

Write about how Richard’s attitude changed about himself after Adam (the new boy) came to school. Use a Beehive Flow Chart worksheet to demonstrate how the change affected Richard and his friends. Brainstorm ideas to support students.

Design a list of rules to make friends, based on how Adam’s behaviour influenced the other boys in the class. Re-read pages 24–25 to see Richard’s thinking and assist students’ understanding. Why did everyone like Adam? What was different about him?


Connecting EN2-11D

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? Students complete the following statements using a Text-to-World Connections worksheet activity:

  • 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 responses.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Conduct a True for Who? Visible Thinking Routine, which asks students to examine a claim from different points of view. Students look at various viewpoints people can claim from, then look at a stance behind a viewpoint and the reasons behind this 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. Use this Fact vs. Opinion worksheet, and evidence from the text, to support the student’s position on whether information statements are fact or opinion.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Design a television commercial for a new hair product to style unruly hair, especially cowlicks. Students can create their advertisements using free software at Biteable.

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 list of behaviours Richard noticed about Adam, that made him, ‘such a nice guy.’ These are mentioned in the story, beginning at the top of page 26. Have students practice these as mini skits or roleplays modelling positive friendly behaviour.

Journal: ‘No-one cares what Adam looks like because he’s such a nice guy.’ Have students explain how this sentence from the story changes Richard’s life. What has Richard realised?


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think from The Middle: Strategy Tool Box

How Volcanoes Work

article by Grace Tree | illustrated by Matt Ottley

worksheet: Writing - Rewriting an article as a newspaper report


Understanding EN2-4A

Complete a Three Facts and a Fib thinking routine to ascertain student understanding. This thinking routine gives students the chance to develop their skills in narrowing choices.

Complete an article analysis to demonstrate student understanding of the text using this Article Analysis worksheet.

Find three interesting words from the article. Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary in this Interesting Words worksheet. For example: geologists, dormant, extinct, fissure, magma, lava and fateful.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of View: Write a journal entry from the point of view of an excited geologist who was lucky enough to witness the birth of Mount Paricutin. Re-read ‘A Mountain is born’ to familiarise students with the events. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

Adapt Dionisio Pulido’s recount of what happened that fateful day in Mexico, into a short-animated film using Looking Glass or a write dramatic play script about Paricutin, the town that became submerged in lava (see picture p.10). Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.


Connecting EN2-11D

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? Students complete the following statements using a Text-to-World Connections worksheet activity:

  • 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 responses.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Style: Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Grace Tree’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 in which composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes. How does Grace Tree use 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?

Write a letter to author Grace Tree 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 article 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 …

Support: Write a postcard


Experimenting EN2-10C

Intertextuality: Use the poem ‘Fire’ by Jackie Hosking, (page 10 of Countdown issue 6) as a scaffold to write a poem about volcanoes. Appropriate the structure, imagery and some of the words from the poem. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Intertextuality‘.

Support: Use ‘Hark’ by Jackie Hosking, (page 28 of Countdown issue 6).

Design a warning poster for tourists visiting Hawaii’s active hotspots. Option to use Canva.

Write a song about volcanoes. For fun inspiration see this YouTube clip of the song ‘Lava’.

Research one of the 500 active volcanoes on Earth. Watch this National Geographic YouTube clip, ‘Volcanoes 101’ for research ideas. Students could complete this Did You Know? Volcanoes worksheet to record their knowledge.

Research and create a crossword about volcanoes using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator. Use the crossword on page 34 of Countdown as a guide for suitable questions. Remember answers can only be letters or words, not numbers. Suitable facts and information about volcanoes can be found at Easy Science For Kids: Volcanoes – Why They Erupt.

Support: Question Creation Chart.

Extension: Create a Kahoot.


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think from the Middle: Strategy Tool Box

The Sirens of Sigsbee Deep

story by Geoffrey McSkimming | illustrated by Douglas Holgate

worksheet: Grammar - Choosing verbs wisely


Understanding EN2-4A

Create a detailed story map of ‘The Sirens of Sigsbee Deep’ using this scaffolded Mapping Your Story worksheet.

Create a True/False quiz from information found in the text, using this True False Quiz worksheet. Students can generate many questions from the 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 one of the ship’s crew who has gone in search of the sirens. Students may utilise a Creating a Lost or Found Pet Flyer template or one of these downloadable/editable Missing!/Lost! Pet Writing frames.

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


Connecting EN2-11D

Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.

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

  • 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 can complete a Connection Stem worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Write an opinion/review about the text and give reasons to support, using examples from ‘The Sirens of Sigsbee Deep’ as evidence. For example, Captain Ahab is irresponsible, or possibly mad. All opinions based on facts from the story and personal inferences are welcome. Students could use an Opinion with Reasons worksheet to record their responses.

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

Create five questions where the answer is ‘spider’. For example, What is another word for arachnid? Spider.

Adapt the story, ‘The Sirens of Sigsbee Deep’ into a short clip using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create the next adventurous chapter in the series, when the Webweaver crew arrive at Sigsbee Deep. Brainstorm ideas as a class to support students. Use a detailed Planning Chart worksheet 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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think from The Middle: Strategy Tool Box

Issue 7 - August 2019

Kid-ventions

article by Nicole Kelly | illustrated Sylvia Morris


Understanding EN2-4A

Complete an article analysis to demonstrate student understanding of the text using this Article Analysis worksheet.

Complete a Google Slide Knowledge Chart to organise information about inventions. What do students know about them? What would they like to know? What do they need to know?

Support: Simplified KWFL grid


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Write about the most important invention that students believe they cannot live without. Brainstorm ideas and suggestions to ascertain what constitutes a necessary or important invention. Option to publish using Storybird or Book Creator.

Discuss: ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. What does this mean? How does it relate to the article? Ask students to give examples from their own personal experience. Students can share their ideas using these Think, Pair, Share worksheets.

Write a thank you letter to the inventor of student’s most valued invention.


Connecting EN2-11D

Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.

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

  • 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 Connection Stems worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Complete a Pros and Cons ‘T’ table to illustrate student understanding of both the benefits and costs of certain inventions. Choose any screen device (mobile phone, TV or computers) and outline the pros and cons of these seemingly necessary and often addictive devices.

Conduct a debate about the activity above. If necessity is the mother of invention, is the … necessary? Why or why not? Students can access Interactive Persuasive Maps to organise their ideas and assist in speech writing or this Read Write Think Persuasive Map. Teachers may like to use a RWT Debating Rubric for marking criteria or to assist students.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Complete a Venn diagram about one of the inventions in the article. Students could use this Venn Diagram worksheet to illustrate their thinking. Label each side before and after, with the overlap indicating what has remained the same.

Create an invention. Students could use this scaffolded Young Inventors worksheet to record and develop their ideas. See other student inventions at Bored Panda.

Create a short advertisement about their favourite invention from the article. Students can utilise free software at Biteable.

Research an Australian invention using ideas from Australian Geographic.

See other tips to hone invention skills as listed in the article on page 25.


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


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The Smell of Success

story by David Hill | illustrated by Peter Cheong


Understanding EN2-4A

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:

  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?

The story evokes feelings of reverence, insight, judgement, intelligence, understanding, friendship and courage. Brainstorm perceptions from the story. Option to use as story titles. Students could record their responses on one of these Step Inside worksheets.

Write a short report about what happened in the beginning, middle and end of The Smell of Success using this Book Report worksheet.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Theme: At its most basic level a theme may be regarded as a message or even the moral of a text. Ask students to write a paragraph about what they think the moral of the story is. Students could use a Thinking about Themes worksheet to record their ideas. Further explore the English Textual Concept ‘Theme’.

Create a mind map of smells that denote success using bubbl.us. For example, a successful athlete could smell like sweat. A successful pastry chef could smell like profiteroles. Brainstorm as jobs, people and ideas that can be linked to smells.


Connecting EN2-11D

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? Students complete the following statements using a Text-to-World Connections worksheet activity:

  • 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 responses.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Complete a Fact and Opinion worksheet to help students identify the information contained in ‘The Smell of Success’. Ask students to consider how the boy and mum felt about Great Granddad. Locate and list the factual statements about Great Grandad and the similar opinions, as portrayed in the story. Fact and opinion charts can also be used to help students understand the different positions represented in texts and look more closely at author purpose and whether facts are fairly presented or if opinions are more prominent and why.

Describe Great Grandad 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 Great Grandad’s characteristics and support their inferences and ideas using evidence from the text.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Conduct an interview with James about how he outsmarted the restaurant owner. To assist students with writing interview questions and transcripts, download ABC’s Helpful Student Tip Sheet.

Write an amazing diamante poem about Great Grandad. Students could use this Diamante Poem worksheet to write their poems.

Animate ‘The Smell of Success’ using Comic Life, or draw a simple film strip using this Story Board worksheet.


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


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Tiddalik the Frog

play by Sue Murray | illustrated by Anna Bron


Understanding EN2-4A

Create a detailed story map of ‘Tiddalik the Frog’ using this scaffolded Mapping your Story worksheet.

Complete a Three Facts and a Fib thinking routine to ascertain student understanding. This thinking routine gives students the chance to develop their skills in narrowing choices.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Writeabout how students would make Tiddalik laugh. In other retellings a platypus makes Tiddalik laugh, because he has never seen one before. Is Nabunum (the eel) a funny choice? Ask students to justify their choice and how it is funnier than an eel.

Complete a Responding to Literature worksheet to encourage students’ personal responses to the play.


Connecting EN2-11D

Text-to-Text connections occur when we make connections between other texts in relation to the text we are reading.

Text-to-Text: How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc.)? Complete one of 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 a Text-to-Self Connections worksheet and can discuss as a class.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & 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.

Experimenting EN2-10C

Write another version or retelling of ‘Tiddalik the Frog’ as a narrative or a reader’s theatre script. Students could use a Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet to organise their ideas before writing. Option to perform in front of the class. A sample narrative can be found at Early Learning Services.

Create a film strip of ‘Tiddalik the Frog’ using this Story Board worksheet. Option to adapt into a podcast using Audacity.

Write a procedure to help make Tiddalik laugh. Have students think of jokes, pranks and other ways to make Tiddalik laugh. Students could outline the steps using one of these Flowcharts for Sequencing graphic organisers.

Perform the play using puppets.

Adapt the play into a limerick about a frog named Tiddalik. Students could use this limerick graphic organiser to write their poems.


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.

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Tree Frog

Poem by Mark Scrivener


Understanding EN2-4A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonderthinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘Tree Frog’, using the image on page 15 as a stimulus. This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry. Students could use this See, Think, Wonder worksheet to record responses.

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

Present a Poetic Devices and Figurative Language PowerPoint to teach or refresh student knowledge about poetic devices and figurative language. Option to use a variety of ereading worksheets and a quiz at the end of the slideshow.


Engaging personally EN2-2A

Point of view: Writeparagraph from the frog’s point of view, looking into the person’s bedroom on a rainy night. Option to write a poem titled ‘Window’. Encourage students to use these textual elements in the poem to enhance their creative writing endeavours. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

Complete a Personal Response worksheet about ‘what they have been thinking about lately’ in relation to the poem ‘Tree frog’ to elicit student responses to the text.


Connecting EN2-11D

Text-to-self connections occur when we make connections between personal experiences and the text.

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 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 Connection Stems worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Teaching Strategy explained: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World Rationale.


Engaging critically EN2-2A & EN2-7B

Complete a Poetry Analysis worksheet to guide and ascertain student understanding.


Experimenting EN2-10C

Write the next stanza in the poem Tree Frog. Note the repetition of the first lines and how swapping green and tree adds interest and appeal the text. Discuss poetic techniques and devices evident in the poem, for example rhyme, tone and repetition etc. and how and why these are used.

Intertextuality: Use the poem ‘Tree Frog’ as a scaffold to write a poem about a different animal. Appropriate the structure, imagery and some words of the poem. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Intertextuality’.

Research poetic devices using an online Kids Poetry dictionary. Identify how many different poetic devices or techniques are evident in Tree Frog.

Animate ‘Tree Frog’ using Comic Life.


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.

Exit Slips are a formative assessment that can be used to quickly check for understanding. The teacher poses one or two questions in the last couple minutes of class and asks student to fill out an ‘exit slip’ (e.g. on an index card) to ascertain student thinking and understanding. Here are Instructions on filling out an Exit Slip and two Exit Slip worksheets.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

ABC Media Literacy Resources

Bored Panda

Harvard Thinking Routines

Poetry Dictionary

Think from The Middle: Strategy Tool Box

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