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

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

Downloadable PDFs

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

Issue 1 - February 2019


poem by Sophie Masson, illustrated by Jenny Tan


Outcomes:


EN3-2A
Understand and appreciate the way texts are shaped through exploring a range of
language forms and features and ideas
Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and
experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources
appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704, ACELY1714)
EN 3-3A
Understand, interpret and experiment with sound devices and imagery, include
simile, metaphor and personification, in narratives, shape poetry, songs, anthems
and odes (ACELT1611)
EN3-7C
Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experience
in innovative ways (ACELT1612, ACELT1618)

English Textual Concept: Connotation, Imagery and Symbol



Learning Activities

Connecting to the text


Ask the students to close their eyes. Play them the a short audio piece of relaxing
river sounds: youtube.com/watch?v=IvjMgVS6kng
Encourage students to picture the river; the flow of the water; the plants and trees
along the riverbank. Ask them to write down five words that come to mind as they
listen to the soothing sounds. Make a class word-bank with these words.


Imagery


Read the poem ‘Long Neck’ aloud to students, asking them to listen carefully to the
words. What images does the poem conjure up? How has the author used language
to appeal to our senses? What phrases has the author used to describe the look and
feel of the river? From whose point of view is the poem written?


Figurative language


The author compares the turtle to a rock; a submarine; an excavator; and a crawler
looking for gold. In small groups, ask students to think of a different animal and
come up with three things that it could be compared to—e.g. a shark could be
compared to a silent predator; a shadow waiting in the dark; a garbage disposal.


Poetic structure


Ask the students to look closely at the structure of the poem. Does it contain
stanzas? Are there any rhyming patterns? Discuss the concept of ‘free verse’ poetry
and the fact that there are no real rhythms or patterns. Explain to the students that
this structure allows authors to put words together in all sorts of ways. View other
examples of Australian free verse poetry:


Interview with Neridah McMullin

Poem of the Day

Joint construction of a free verse poem


Write the word ‘River’ on the whiteboard and ask students what thoughts come to
mind when they hear that word. Answers may include: free-flowing; peaceful; a
source of food; a winding snake; a powerful beast etc.
Begin the poem by combining the word ‘river’ with one of the brainstormed
suggestions—e.g. The river is a winding snake that coils around itself.
Discuss the term metaphor (the river is being likened to a winding snake). Choose
another one of the class suggestions to use in the next line. This time, include the
word ‘as’ or ‘like’ to reinforce the use of simile—e.g.
It roars angrily, as mighty as a powerful beast.
Continue to draw on the students’ suggestions to jointly construct another three or
four lines.


Changing it up


‘Long Neck’ is about a turtle in a river. Tell students that they are going to work in
pairs to create their own free verse poem about a different animal in a different
habitat. They may choose a giraffe from a savannah, a hippo from a river/lake, a
whale from the ocean etc. Using a graphic organiser (or word web), have students
come up with words or phrases that describe their animal. Encourage them to think
of two or three objects to which their animal could be compared—e.g. a whale could
be compared to a semitrailer or a submarine.
Provide each pair of students with two dice. Students start by rolling the two dice;
this will determine the number of lines in their free verse poem. Once the line length
is established, students roll the dice again to determine how many words will be in
the first line. They roll the dice for each new line of the poem. The number on the
dice will equal the number of words in that line. Remind students to incorporate
metaphors and similes where possible. Students can read their poems aloud, if they
feel comfortable.


Publishing


Now it’s time to publish! Ask students to find a digital image of their chosen animal.
There’s a wide variety at Pics4Learning

Students can place their image in PowerPoint, Google Docs, Paint or another similar
program and add their poem to the image. You may like to combine all of the poems
to create a digital book of poetry.

Further reading


* Rivertime by Trace Balla
* Rockhopping by Trace Balla

.

article by Jenny Robson

Outcomes:


EN3-1A
Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1700, ACELY1710)

Discuss and experiment with ways to strengthen and refine spoken texts in order to entertain, inform, persuade or inspire the audience

EN3-3A
Analyse how text structures and language features work together to meet the purpose of a text (ACELY1711)

EN3-5B
Identify and use a variety of strategies to present information and opinions across a range of texts

English Textual Concept: Authority


Learning Activities

Connect to text


Before looking at the article, play the opening of Beethoven’s fifth symphony: youtube.com/watch?v=_4IRMYuE1hI
Turn the volume up for maximum effect. Ask the students if they’ve heard this piece of music before. How did it make them feel? Can they guess who wrote the piece? Discuss the term ‘symphony’— a musical composition for a full orchestra.


KWL Chart

Tell students that they are going to read an article about Beethoven. In small groups, guide students through the process of setting up a KWL Chart: K–What we know: W – What we want to find out: L – what we learned
Have the groups fill out the first two columns before reading the text.

Delving into nonfiction

Before reading, ask students what the purpose of a nonfiction text is (to explain, inform and persuade). At a glance, how does the reader know that it’s a nonfiction text (subheadings, caption, photographs). The authority of a text can be determined by looking at the appropriateness of its style; the language, spelling and punctuation; and whether or not the information is clearly explained. Ask students to read the article (individually or in small groups), highlighting any unfamiliar words as they go. Ensure students research these words after reading. Discuss the authority of the text. Did the students feel as though the information was clearly explained? Did the subheadings make it easier to read? Were the images suitable for the text? Did students feel that it was a reliable source of information? Have students return to their groups to complete the final column of their KWL chart.

Hot seat

Ask for volunteers to take on the role of Beethoven. In turn, each child has a go at sitting in the ‘hot seat’ at the front of the class, pretending to be Beethoven. The rest of the class ask questions that they would like to know the answers to. Encourage them to steer away from ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses. Ask them to think of questions that would really help them to know more about Ludwig van Beethoven.


Think Pair Share


Pose the question: If Beethoven were alive today, what advice do you think he would give to his younger self? In pairs or small groups, ask students to come up with an answer to this question. When finished, students share their answers with the rest of the class.


Conducting an interview


Discuss the role that resilience and commitment played in Beethoven’s success. Brainstorm other people who have had to overcome adversity to achieve great things e.g. Kurt Fearnley, Turia Pitt, Stephen Hawking. In pairs, ask students to choose and research a person who inspires them. When students have had time to look closely at their chosen person, tell them that they are going to conduct a ‘mock’ interview. One member of the pair will take on the role of their chosen person, and the other member will take on the role of interviewer. Together, the pair are to write a script for the interview. Students may like to watch the short video on How to make News to help them


Once the video is scripted, students conduct the interview. Students may like to partner up with another pair to film each other’s interviews. The videos can be shared with the rest of the class.


Further reading


Wonder by RJ Palacio
Ugly by Robert Hoge

.

Issue 2 - March 2019


story by Jane Jolly

illustrated by Anna Bron


Connecting to the text EN3-8D/ACELT1613

Do the ideas in the text remind you of another text (a book, song, movie, story, etc)?

Discuss 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 …

Complete a making connections document to help students analyse and explain the ways in which particular texts relate to their cultural experiences and the culture of others.

Extension: Create a Venn diagram to compare the two texts.


Evocative Imagery EN3-5B

Evocative Imagery is used throughout this story, creating a unique sensory experience. Rosie (Jane Jolly) shares her experiences from her point of view (POV), placing the reader in her shoes, amplifying empathy. Ask children to highlight all the images, senses, similes and metaphors Jane Jolly uses to make the reader/audience feel like they are in Saigon. Discuss how this influences an audience. Why is imagery so important? What purposes does imagery serve?

Create a sensory poem/riddle that takes the reader to another destination.

Support: Scaffold with the senses: I see; I feel; I hear; I smell: I touch. Where am I?

Extension: Include the TSM word of the month, ‘redoubtable’, in the poem.


Building a narrative EN3-2A/ACELY1704/ACELY1714

Create a narrative titled ‘Daughter/Son of War’ exploring POV as a concept. Explore how Jane Jolly has positioned students to respond in a particular way. How did she create a more personal or empathetic response from her audience? Ask students to consider who will narrate their stories. Consider character voice as the focal point. Use a story arc to plan the conventions of a narrative. Identify characters, events, places, skillful plot development, perceptible mood, narrative voice and evocative images that complement the story.

Support: Narrative Idea Pyramid

Extension: Present the narrative using Storybird or Book Creator


Personal journeys EN3-1A/ACELY1700/ACELY1710

Interview family members or neighbours about their ‘journey to Australia’. Present the information as a Harmony Day Talk like Mai did in ‘She Came in a Shoebox’.

Support: Liaise with the EALD teacher to support and assist students in their resource collection.


Harmony Day EN3-2A/ACELY1701/ACELY1714

Create a wordle or a poster to illustrate where all the students’ families come from. Discuss the Harmony Day slogan ‘Everyone Belongs’. What does belong mean? What does belong feel like? How can we help Australians live in harmony?

Create a Mind Map with harmony as the key. Link suggestions to make Australia a place where we all belong.

Create invitations for parents to join in Harmony Day celebrations.

Adapt the article ‘Harmony Day’ from p.29 into an infographic or poster marking the 20-year anniversary of Harmony Day, using Canva.com.


Letter writing EN3-2A/ACELY1701/ACELY1714

Write a letter from Mai to Rosie. Use your imagination. How did Mai find Rosie? What would Rosie want to know about Mai? Brainstorm ideas as a class to support a diverse range of responses and creative life stories.

Support: Model letter writing and display question ideas.

Extension: Write a reply from Rosie to Mai.


Getting into character EN3-8D/ACELT1613

Perform a hot seat activity where students can explore the points of views of Mai and Rosie. Perform as a class. Students can pose questions to Mai or Rosie. How to play Hot Seat


Further reading

The Little Refugee by Anh Do and Suzanne Do

May Tang: A New Australian by Katrina Beikoff (part of ‘A New Australian’ series by various authors)

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela

Resources

Harmony Day

Twinkl

Harmony Day Resources

POV by Anthony Browne YouTube

story by Kathryn England

Illustrated by Douglas Holgate


Connecting to the text EN3-8D/ACELT1613

Students share immediate, instinctive thoughts on the story. Discuss using a PMI chart as a partner activity or as a whole class.

OR

Making Connections: Show students how their informed understanding may have changed or influenced their response to the text.

Complete making connections document to help students analyse and explain the ways in which particular texts relate to their cultural experiences and the culture of others.


Story arc EN3-2A

Create a story arc to demonstrate the conventions of a narrative. Identify characters, events, places, skilful plot development, perceptible mood, narrative voice and evocative images that complement the story.

Narrative Concept: English Textual Concepts

Support: Narrative Idea Pyramid


The power of persuasion EN3-2A/ACELY1704/ACELY1714

Write a persuasive argument about why we should or shouldn’t have homework. Consider research to support arguments with statistics and real-world evidence. Organise thinking using persuasive map and other downloads to support students.

Organise students into small groups, assigning half the students the ‘for homework’ position and the other half the ‘against homework’ position. Encourage students to come up with three points to justify their side of the argument.

Support: Some students may like to work in pairs to come up with their three points.


Joking around EN3-1A

Compose Knock-Knock jokes and explore puns reminiscent of Mr Kirk.

Knock, Knock. Who’s there?

Canoe. Canoe who?

Canoe help me with my homework?

Find the funniest jokes and record students’ voices using Audacity. Find jokes at Funology


Greetings EN3-2A

Make a poster to illustrate greetings from languages other than English spoken in the classroom or known by the students.

Is your classroom as multicultural as Mr Kirk’s?


Popular or not? EN3-3A

Create a mind map describing what characteristics or attributes make a great teacher, using Mr Kirk as a springboard for ideas. Can a teacher give lots of homework and still be popular? Why? Try and rank the attributes as a class


Making connections EN3-3A/ACELT1611

Using the structure of the poem ‘The Birdbath’ on page 24, ask students to write an ode about another inanimate object found in a school. An ode is a poem that admires something ordinary or shows the importance of something that is usually overlooked. An ode does not have to rhyme but includes detailed descriptions and observations. Ode Scaffold


Further reading

Visible Thinking Routines

Scan Vol. 35 Peer Reviewed Article

Resources

Narrative PowerPoint

How to write an ode

Narrative Template

Funny Puns

Persuasive Rubrics

Narrative Idea Pyramid

Issue 3 - April 2019


Aircraftwoman 104916

article by Kaye Baillie | illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall


Connecting to the text EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

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


Create EN3-7C

Create a script for a news reporter interviewing Dulcie before she leaves, or upon her return. Use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker

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

Use the SCAMPER technique to come up with a new advertisement to join the Australian Airforce. Students could refer to an example from the RAAF’s ‘Airforce: Accomplished’ recruitment campaign.

Create a three-minute speech persuading an audience to donate to Legacy.

Create a six-word memoir or other poem about the death of an Australian soldier using Google Slides.

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

Research Morse code. Present findings to the class, SOS!


Author purpose EN3-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose, 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 Style, which refers to the characteristic ways that composers choose to express ideas in a variety of modes.

How has Kaye Baillie used semantics, structure, form, design and point of view to influence the audience? What language choices and images (note they were her own photos) have been chosen and how do they impact our interpretation?


Finding evidence EN3-8D

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

Connect to text Use the scaffold in the poem ‘The Outlaw’ (page 33), to write about the plight of returned servicemen and servicewomen, Anzac Day or war.

Write a biography poem titled ‘Lest we Forget’

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

See, think, wonder thinking routine using the image of Dulcie on page 14.

Support: Write poem without rhyme or brainstorm rhyming words prior to writing.

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose.


Wonderful words EN3-1A & EN3-6B

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

Create a True/False quiz from the text.

Write a diary entry for Dulcie on the night of 3 September 1939, when she heard PM Menzies announce Australia is at war.

Support: Question Creation Chart.

Extension: Students compose question cards for the class or create a Kahoot.


Map it out EN3-5B

Story map the main events of Dulcie’s day, starting at 6.00 am, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

Create a character map or attribute web of the text.


Reflecting EN3-9E

I used to think ... But now I thinkAsk students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. A useful routine is I used to think ... But now I think … 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 Airforce: Our mission

Australian War Memorial

Debating and Public Speaking Resource

Thinking Routines

Bones the Rescue Dog

story by Alison Ferguson | illustrated by Douglas Holgate


Connecting to the text  EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

Students complete a Text-to-World worksheet activity.

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


Get creative EN3-8C

Adapt ‘Bones the Rescue Dog’ into a poem using Anzac Ted YouTube as an example.

Create a podcast of the story using Audacity. How to create a podcast

Write about your feelings in relation to Australian animal war heroes. Watch AWAMO YouTube to inspire writing.

Design a memorial to commemorate an animal war hero of your choice.

Write or retell an interesting war animal story using real life heroes like ‘Bones’ or read 10 animal war stories to generate more ideas. Use one of these narrative graphic story organisers .

Write a biography poem about your animal war hero.

Present a 2 minute news report on Anzac Day in Australia. Use YouTube news clip from https://anzacday.org.au/ to support your news story.


Cube a thought EN3-7B

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


Step Inside

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

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

The story evokes feelings of kindness, patriotism, loyalty, bravery and several morals: one good turn deserves another, you give what you get, what goes around comes around, do unto others. Brainstorm perceptions from the story and use them as story titles.


Map it out EN3-5B

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

Adapt your story map and perform as a mime.


Find out EN3-7C

Design an itinerary for an Australian wanting to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day. Remember they need to arrive by dawn on 25 April.

Research Gallipoli. Where is it? What happened? Why? When? How? Who? A useful summary is the piece ‘Gallipoli today’, by Ross Bastiaan, OAM.

Write and research a biography of an Australian animal war hero, using one of the biography worksheets.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website

Anzac Day: What does it mean to you today?

Australian War Memorial

Books on War Australia

Harvard Thinking Routines

Nobody’s Perfect

story by Jenny Robson | illustrated by Anna Bron


Connecting to the text EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

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

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


Get creative EN3-8C

Adapt ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ into a play. The story can be easily appropriated as it has a lot of dialogue. Children can simply highlight their roles straight from their Orbit magazine.

Create a podcast of the play using audacity. How to create a podcast

Write about your feelings in relation to your family. Do you have an annoying sibling? Have your parents told lies in the past? Retell an interesting family tale or make one up using one of these graphic story organisers.


Map it out EN3-5B

Story map the main events of ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

Adapt story map and perform as a mime.


That’s interesting EN3-7B

Write a letter to author Jenny Robson, 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

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.

Find out EN3-2A

Design a procedural text on how to make a catapult or ‘catty’ as described in the story, ‘Nobody’s Perfect’.

Research interesting facts about Botswana and present to the class as either of the story characters Nanvula or Kgosi.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Expert Africa: Botswana Information

The Travelling Chilli: 13 Interesting Facts About Botswana

K’Shoo

poem by CJ Dennis | illustrated by Kerry Millard


Connecting to the text EN3-8D

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 …

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


Create EN3-7C

Decipher K’Shoo in small groups.

Create a short poem in the style of CJ Dennis’s ‘K’Shoo’.

Create a three-minute speech about CJ Dennis or other famous Australian poets.

Create a limerick.

Adapt ‘K’Shoo’ and other CJ Dennis poems into a podcast using Audacity. How to create a podcast.

Explore poetry: Read, write and perform poetry, multiple ideas here.

Write a bio poem using this Bio Poem Generator.

Explore poetic devices. Identify poetic devices in poems in each Touchdown issue of the year so far.

Choose an idea to celebrate poetry here.


Let’s find out EN3-8D

Google Slide Knowledge Chart to organise information about Poetry. What do you know about poetry? What would you like to know? What do you need to know?

Compare CJ Dennis to AB Patterson using a using this Venn diagram worksheet.

Write a biography of a famous Australian poet, using one of the biography worksheets.

Support: Simplified KWFL


Reflecting EN3-9E

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

All Poetry: CJ Dennis

How to create a podcast

Resources for World Poetry Day (31 March)

Shel Silverstein Resources

Thinking Routines

Issue 4 - May 2019


Almost Impossible: Crossing the Blue Mountains

article by Kate Walker | illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Biography Plan worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Conduct a Here Now / There Then thinking 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.

Create a timeline of the attempts to cross the Blue Mountains using evidence from the text, beginning in December 1789 and ending in May 1813. Use from this selection of printable Timeline templates.

Create a True/False quiz from information found in the text, using one of these True False Quiz worksheet templates. Students can generate many questions from the factual text to demonstrate their understanding. Support: Graphic organiser: Question Creation Chart Extension: Students create a Kahoot

Story map the main events of ‘Almost Impossible’, with one of these Story Map worksheets. Highlight the multiple problems faced by the explorers over the 25-year period.

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


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Point of view: Write a diary entry from an explorer’s point of view. Highlight the vivid descriptions in the text as a class and encourage students to use these textual elements to enhance their writing endeavours. Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.

Write a summary of ‘Almost Impossible’ highlighting the main events and struggles that finally led to the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. Refer to the article for the use of subheadings and other structural elements to organise student writing. You could choose from this selection of Summary worksheets.

Write a letter to congratulate Blaxland, Wentworth or Lawson on their miraculous feat.

Intertextuality: Use the scaffold in the poem ‘When’ (page 29), to write about the plight of an explorer. Appropriate the poem using its structure, imagery and the words when, when, when and then to write another poem about explorers. Explore further the English Textual Concept Intertextuality

Connecting EN3-8D

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 can answer these statements using a Read, Write, Think: Making Connections worksheet.

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


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Write a letter to author Kate Walker, 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

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 EN3-6B, EN3-8D & EN3-7C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing the explorers. Choose either the successful trio (Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth) or the first attempt by Lieutenant William Dawes. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker .

Write a biography poem about an explorer from ‘Almost Impossible’, using a Writing a Biography Poem worksheet.

Character: Create a character map or attribute web of a successful explorer, using one of these Character Map and Attribute Web worksheets. Explore how the author constructed the article in such a way as to invite an emotional response; to invoke empathy (or antipathy) and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept Character.

Research and Create a crossword about the crossing of the Blue Mountains, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator. 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.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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

An Artificial Life

story by John O’Brien | illustrated by Craig Phillips

Characterisation worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine, based on the image on page 18. 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?

Story map the main events of ‘An Artificial Life’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, to highlight either the conventions of a narrative or the stylistic devices used by the author. Depending on the conceptual lens chosen (narrative, character, genre or style) the story map takes on a varied purpose. Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.

Adapt the narrative story map (above) into a script for a play and perform as a mime.

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. Use androids as the stimulus for the cube.


Engaging personally EN3-2A, EN3-5B & EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

Survey the class about ‘An Artificial Life’, using this Survey worksheet, to explore appreciation, effectiveness of different features, modes, etc. Students can use the survey results to reflect on their choices, for organising their thoughts about their audience, or for finding out the effect of textual choices to help inform students’ ideas prior to their experimentation.


Connecting EN3-8D

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 the statements using this Read Write Think Making Connections worksheet.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic, using Canva, for the importance of developing artificial intelligence (AI). Scaffold arguments using this Persuasion Map worksheet to organise thinking and slogan generation. Adapting structure and styles of texts draws on the intertextuality concept, where texts can be appropriated for audience, purpose, mode or media. Explore further the English Textual Concept Intertextuality

Write a letter to author John O’Brien 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

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.

Cycle of Events graphic organisers may help students to recognise the way texts build an image of a certain group of people or event. Students can write what each section reveals in one colour and then choose another colour to list techniques used and another colour to explain the impact.


Experimenting EN3-2A & EN3-8C

Create a film strip of ‘An Artificial Life’, using this Story Board worksheet. Adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using Audacity.

Create an infographic, using Canva, encouraging humans to use AI. Use the Persuasion Map worksheet to help students see the development of logical arguments in texts, build their own arguments or determine the merit of arguments. This map/scaffold could be used twice—once for content and once to list the techniques used at each stage to enhance the arguments.

Create/Design a new AI application. What will it do? Who will use it? What problem will it solve?

Conduct an interview or write an article about an aged person who claims to have been tricked by androids.

Write the next chapter using the final illustration as stimulus.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.


Reflecting EN3-9E

Conduct an I used to think ... But now I think … routine to help students 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.

Character: Create a character map or attribute web about the type of character you think James has been portrayed as in the story, using one of these Character Map and Attribute Web worksheets. Explore how the author constructed the narrative in such a way, to invite and emotional response to invoke empathy (or antipathy) and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept Character.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Homecoming

story by Rebecca Fung | illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Comprehension worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Google Slide Knowledge Chart to organise information about bats. What do you know about bats? What would you like to know? What do you need to know?

Support: Simplified KWFL worksheet.

Draw a bat’s eye view of ‘Kasanka’, their new home, using evidence from the text.

Story map the main events in ‘Homecoming’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, to highlight either the conventions of a narrative or the stylistic devices used by the author. Depending on the conceptual lens chosen (narrative, character, genre or style) the story map takes on a varied purpose. Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.

Compare Felix and Howard using a Venn diagram worksheet. Use evidence from the text to support students and illustrate how the author’s language choice influences the reader’s opinion as well as character and plot development.


Engaging personally EN3-2A, EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Character: Create a character map or attribute web about the type of character you think Howard has been portrayed as in the story, using one of these Character Map and Attribute web worksheets. Explore how the author constructed the narrative in such a way, to invite and emotional response to invoke empathy (or antipathy) and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept Character.

Write a descriptive narrative titled, ‘There’s No Place Like Home.’ Option to publish using Storybird or Book Creator


Connecting EN3-8D

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 …

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

Identify the ways in which language is used in ‘Homecoming’ to portray emotions and empathy as a vehicle for character development, events and setting. Use one of these Feelings Wheel worksheets to link descriptive words from the text, to the emotions they evoke in the reader.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, and discuss what Rebecca Fung’s intention/purpose is. Identify evidence in the text using this Identifying 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.

Examine how Rebecca Fung has 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?

Research and present information about the various bats found in your local area. For example, microbats and fruit bats. Students can find information at Bat Facts for Kids.

Describe echolocation and how bats use it. Refer to this Echolocation YouTube clip or this short BBC Earth Unplugged: What is Echolocation? video clip.

Present information to the class as a speech or short descriptive passage.


Experimenting EN3-6B, EN3-8D & EN3-7C

Create a script for a news reporter interviewing the bats after their homecoming. Option to use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Design a ‘preparation ritual’ for when you go on a flight or travel somewhere. How do you prepare for each day? What rituals do we perform daily?

Write a limerick called ‘Fraidy Bat’ or similar, using the migration theme in ‘Homecoming’. Refer to this Background information on the limerick form, sample limericks and limerick worksheets.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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

Bat Facts for Kids

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Night Life

story by Jenny Robson | illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Point of View Comprehension worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Story Arc the main events in ‘Night Life’, to highlight the conventions of a narrative used by the author, Jenny Robson. As a guideline, refer to Using a Story Arc to Summarise and Find Theme. You could also watch this Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip. How does Jenny Robson create suspense? (the mysterious noise) What role do fear and imagination play in the story to carry the plot? How does Robson engage the audience? Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.

Compare Tefo and Hendrick using a Venn diagram worksheet. Use evidence from the text to support students and illustrate how the author’s language choice influences the reader’s opinion as well as character and plot development.

See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to explore the title and make predictions about ‘Night Life’. This routine encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations. Use student See Think Wonder worksheet to record responses.

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

Engaging personally EN3-2A, EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Cause and Effect Chain allows students to take notes on text structure / language features / visual features / context, etc., to highlight how a text works: How did Jenny Robson build a character? Where/what is the story line? Deconstructing written texts allows students to develop better writing skills, by identifying key elements or conventions and helping to deepen student understanding about how texts work.

Write a suspenseful narrative using a similar plot to the one in ‘Night Life’. Use Narrative Planners to help scaffold writing. Option to publish using Storybird or Book Creator.

Remind students that in order to engage their audience, they need to consider character identification (students/bullies), situations (boarding school) and themes (fears) to warrant reader interest and build a decent plot. Choosing which ideas will connect with their audience and their language choice, directly influences student writing development.


Connecting EN3-8D

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 Text to Self worksheet to record connections.

Discuss as a class.

Create a Wordle to outline the various traits or characteristics of a true friend. Both Tefo and Hendrick shared a frightening experience and ended up friends with the so-called bully, Jackson. What do they all share in common and will this ‘Night Life’ experience be the basis of lasting friendships?

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

Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Complete a fact or opinion chart to help students identify the information contained in ‘Night Life’. Ask students to consider how objective/subjective Tefo and Hendrick’s ideas about ‘the sound’ are. Nuances in language and cultural differences are obvious, highlight these differences about what was fact or opinion, for both boys. Use this Fact and Opinion worksheet and evidence from the text to help students understand the different positions represented in texts and look more closely at cultural factors.

Research and Create a crossword about the various phobias, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator. ‘Did you know phobia is a Greek word meaning fear? Fact. For example: ‘What is a fear of reptiles? Herpetophobia’. 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.

Think, Pair, Share routine encourages students to think about something, such as a problem, question or topic, and then articulate their thoughts. The Think Pair Share routine promotes understanding through active reasoning and explanation. As students are listening to and sharing ideas, Think Pair Share encourages students to understand multiple perspectives.

  • What is fear? What is a common fear?
  • How many different ‘things’ can you imagine the noise to be?
  • How would you have reacted in the same situation?

Record student responses on one of these Think Pair Share worksheets


Experimenting EN3-6B, EN3-8D & EN3-7C

Create a found poem from ‘Night Life’ using interesting words from page 26. Refer to this Creating a Found Poem video clip

Design an infographic using Canva to advertise friendship. Brainstorm skills of good friends to support student ideas.

Adapt and retell the story, ‘Night Life’ using suitable animal characters instead of humans (anthropomorphism).

Animate ‘Night Life’ using Comic Life app or draw a simple film strip, using this story board worksheet.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.com.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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.

Write a letter to something or someone students were afraid of in the past. Brainstorm a list of fears as a class, to help generate ideas. It could be as silly as: Dear monster under my bed / in my cupboard, darkness, dogs, toilet, etc. Encourage students to generate imaginative responses and interesting self-assessments. Have students write to their ‘fearful thing’ and explain why they are no longer afraid of it. Share responses to instil empathy and encourage multiple perspectives on a fear that may now seem trivial, yet at the time, so very real.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Issue 5 - June 2019

Mr Gum's Secret

story by Simon Cooke | illustrated by Anna Bron

worksheet: Conducting and Interview


Understanding EN3-3A

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 kindness, friendship, ignorance/arrogance, insight, judgement, and courage to name a few. Brainstorm perceptions from the story. Option to use as story titles. Students can record their responses on one of these Step Inside worksheets.

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 the story, ‘Mr Gum’s Secret’, highlighting Mr Gum’s transformation as portrayed by the author, Simon Cooke. 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 Simon Cooke portray Mr Gum? What role does Mr Vincent play? Why was Mr Gum always glaring and not talking? How does the audience perceive Mr Gum? How does the author engage students in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Perspective’.

Find three interesting words from the story. For example: ventriloquist, phantom and impersonation. TSM word of the month could also be included: fastidious. Research their meaning and use them to increase student vocabulary in this Vocabulary Graphic Organiser worksheet.


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Write a list of idioms, metaphors or phrases that also mean, ‘lost your marbles’.

Write a diamante poem about Mr Gum’s transformation from ‘Mute to Animated’. Use this Diamante Poem worksheet to scaffold and prompt writing.

Write a personal of ‘Mr Gum’s Secret’ using one of these Summary worksheets. Discuss whether the secret was predictable or an interesting plot twist. Encourage students to use their own opinion (point of view) to allow for personal interpretations of the text.


Connecting EN3-8D

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?

  • 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 Text to Self Connections worksheet to record connections. Discuss as a class.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Discuss the last sentence in the story, ‘Mr Gum’s Secret’: “For once there was no trace of a glare on Mr Gum’s face, just a broad smile from ear to ear.”

  • How has Simon Cooke made us feel toward Mr Gum?
  • Why did Simon Cooke include a character like Mr Vincent?
  • How do we know what happens next?
  • How has the story changed the way students think about old people? What is the message within the story?

Conduct a Think, Pair, Share routine to promote understanding through active reasoning and explanation. This routine encourages students to think about something, such as a problem, question or topic, and then articulate their thoughts. Ask students to consider the questions above, asking them to take a few minutes of thinking time and then turn to a nearby student to share their thoughts. Think Pair Share encourages students to understand multiple perspectives.

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

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

Support: Write a postcard


Experimenting EN3-7C

Write a letter of praise giving thanks to Max from Mr Gum’s point of view. Experimenting with point of view allows students to explore other ways of seeing and invites certain attitudes and responses to the text. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.

Design a poster/advertisement for the ‘Skipper and Murray’ performance at Peaceful Meadows Nursing Home.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.

Write a narrative ending with the words: “… just a broad smile reaching from ear to ear.” Use this Narrative Idea Pyramid worksheet to organise ideas and plan writing.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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 Toolbox

Shirt Tales

story by Christine Sutton | illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith

worksheet: Questioning a Character


Understanding EN3-3A

Complete the Reading Response Graphic Organiser: ‘Power of Speech’ worksheet to demonstrate student understanding of three important things that characters have said and respond to questions.

Create a story arc to find and summarise the main events in ‘Shirt Tales’, to highlight the conventions of a narrative used by the author, Christine Sutton. 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 Christine create empathy? (Most people love their family) What role do sympathy and empathy play in the story to carry the plot? How did the author engage students in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Narrative’.

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


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Character: Create a character map or attribute web about the type of character you think Kieran has been portrayed as in the story, using one of these Character Map and Attribute Web worksheets. Explore how the author constructed the narrative in such a way, to invite and emotional response, to invoke empathy, sympathy and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Character’.

View the ABC Splash Creating Characters with Sally Rippin video clip, where author Sally Rippin discusses the process of character development and the role of imagination.

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

Point of view: Write a review of Kieran’s presentation from a class member’s point of view—either Michael O’Sullivan or Josie. Have students re-read page 27 to orientate themselves with their character. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Point of View’.


Connecting EN3-8D

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 Double-Entry Journal worksheet to record connections during the reading.

Discuss as a class.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Conduct a Think, Pair, Share routine to promote understanding through active reasoning and explanation. This Thinking Routine encourages students to think about something, such as a problem, question or topic, and then articulate their thoughts. As students are listening to and sharing ideas, Think Pair Share encourages students to understand multiple perspectives. Record student responses on one of these Think Pair Share worksheets.

  • What is a hero?
  • Is Kieran’s dad a hero?
  • What is not heroic?
  • What is the difference between being brave and being a hero?

Write a persuasive speech to convince students that their mum or dad is a hero. Scaffold arguments using this Persuasion Map worksheet to organise thinking.


Experimenting EN3-7C

Create an infographic using Canva about fire safety.

Create five questions where the answer is fire. For example, what did Prometheus give to man? Fire.

Intertextuality: Appropriate the the structure, imagery and some words of the poem ‘Connection’ by Diana Smith (page 24) as a scaffold to write a poem about heroes or fire. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Intertextuality

Animate ‘Shirt Tales’ using Comic Life or draw a simple film strip, using this Story Board worksheet.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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 Toolbox

Steps to the Gorge

story by Kristin Martin | illustrated by Greg Holfeld

worksheet: Planning a story


Understanding EN3-3A

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.

Complete a tree chart to show student understanding of ‘family’ in relation to the text. List all the events that finally led to the safe escape from the crocodile, in the branches of the Tree Chart worksheet.


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Write a brief recount about a family holiday that did go, or could have gone, wrong. Students can create an imaginary narrative if they prefer.

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, for example, Kara perceiving the worst (imaginary worst possible-case scenarios), Sam wanting to see crocodiles and her false bravery, Dad being funny/brave/calm, Tricia being supportive, and the general struggles of a blended family holiday. Use one of these Step Inside Thinking Routine worksheets to record responses.

Conduct a ‘What Makes You Say That?’ thinking routine to encourage students to share their ideas and look at the thinking behind their responses. For example, who was brave in the story? Why did Kara keep imagining the worst? What was the main difficulty in the story? This routine promotes evidence-based reasoning and encourages students to consider different viewpoints and perspectives on a topic.


Connecting EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

Students complete the statements using one of these Think Pair Share worksheets.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

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.

Intertextuality: Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic, using Canva, regarding the importance of safety, especially in the Australian bush. 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.

Cycle of Events graphic organisers may help students to recognise the way texts build an image of a certain group of people, or events. Students can write what each section tells in one colour and then choose another colour to list techniques used and another colour to explain the impact.


Experimenting EN3-2A & EN3-8C

Create a film strip of ‘Steps to the Gorge’, using this Story Board worksheet. Option to adapt it into a play or podcast using Audacity.

Design a warning sign to alert tourists about crocodiles when visiting Australian gorges.

Conduct an interview with local people who claim to have seen the killer crocodile.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.

Write a suspenseful narrative using a similar plot to the one in ‘Steps to the Gorge’. Use one of these Story Map graphic organiser worksheets 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 (step-siblings), situations (family life) and themes (danger and holidays) to warrant reader interest and build a decent plot. Choosing which ideas will connect with their audience, and their language choices, directly influences student writing development.


Reflecting EN3-9E

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 Toolbox

The Cat and the Boy Who Lit Up the World

article by Kate Walker | illustrated by Sylvia Morris

worksheet: Language features of an historical article


Understanding EN3-3A

Write a biography poem about Nikola Tesla, using the information in the article and this Write a Biography Poem worksheet.

Support: Brainstorm words and ideas prior to writing and scaffold sheets/links above.

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose.

Complete an article analysis to demonstrate student understanding of the text using this Article Analysis 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 EN3-5B & EN3-8D

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

Create a poem about a dream. Ask students to imagine being a genius like Nikola. Ask what ‘fires their imagination?’

‘Of all things I liked books best.’ For a man with so many ideas of his own, what does this quote reveal about Nikola Tesla? Discuss or write a paragraph response.


Connecting EN3-8D

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

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

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

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

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


Engaging critically       EN3-7B

Create a three-minute speech persuading an audience that Nikola Tesla was indeed a genius. This Persuasion Map worksheet is a useful tool to help students see the development of logical arguments in texts, build their own arguments or determine the merit of arguments. This map/scaffold could be used twice; once for content and once to list the techniques used at each stage to enhance the arguments.

Complete a fact or opinion chart to help students identify the information contained in ‘The Cat and the Boy Who Lit Up the World’. Ask students to consider how objective/subjective is the author’s portrayal of Tesla. Students should support the statement/topic ‘Tesla was clearly a genius’ using this Fact and Opinion worksheet and evidence from the text. Fact and opinion charts can also be used to help students understand the different positions represented in texts and look more closely at cultural factors.

Character: Create a character map or attribute web about the type of character you think Howard has been portrayed as in the story, using one of these Character Map and Attribute Web worksheets. Explore how the author constructed the article in such a way as to invite an emotional response, to invoke awe and empathy, and to inspire the reader. Explore further the English Textual Concept ‘Character’.


Experimenting EN3-7C

Create a biography of Tesla’s life using information from the article and informative websites, such as Kiddle: Nikola Tesla Facts for Kids or Easy Science for Kids’ Nikola Tesla Fun Facts for Kids Video. Option to create a PowerPoint or Google Slide or film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker

Create an infographic, using Canva, about one of Tesla’s many inventions.

Write an ode to Nikola Tesla, using this Writing an Ode worksheet.

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


Reflecting EN3-9E

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 Toolbox