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 1 - February 2019


by Janeen Brian , illustrated by Greg Holfeld

Worksheet for Jack and the Pelican

Outcomes

EN3-7C Understand and apply knowledge of language forms and features
understand how authors often innovate on text structures and play with language features to achieve particular aesthetic, humorous and persuasive purposes and effects (ACELA1518)

EN3-5B Respond to and compose texts recognise the techniques used by writers to position a reader and influence their point of view

EN3-8D Engage personally with texts recognise that ideas in literary texts can be conveyed from different viewpoints, which can lead to different kinds of interpretations and responses (ACELT1610)

English Textual Concepts – Perspective and Point of View

Learning Activities

Connecting to the text

Think about a time when you have seen a hurt animal. How was the animal hurt? Was this caused by something a person or organisation had done? How did you respond? Use these questions as a class discussion and ask the students how they could represent this response.

Thought experiment

This is an activity where a scenario is provided that connects the listener and then asks a question for the students to respond to and discuss. The idea is that there is no single right answer as students should be able to use their argument skills to explain their reasoning.

Start this activity by creating an advantage and disadvantage table on the possible responses before you ask the question after the scenario.

Scenario - Ask students to close their eyes and visualise themselves in this scenario:

You are on holidays at the beach, walking along the sand looking at shells and seaweed that have washed up with the pounding waves. You smell the salt and seaweed and look out at the sea where you can see some rocks that have seaweed clinging to them. As you focus on the writhing seaweed, you see a small black-and-white penguin moving awkwardly. The penguin lifts its head and looks towards you. It starts to move, but with one of its wings kept away from his body. It slowly makes its way towards you, but not smoothly. It seems that for every move forward, it also moves sideways. You can hear its cries and feel the rain start. As it gets closer you can see an object in its wing.

Ask students to open their eyes and read the question on the board/screen. What is in the wing? How did it get there? What will happen to the penguin?

Put students into small groups and ask each group to discuss a resolution to this: is it our responsibility to look after wildlife? Propose a for and against argument—on a wiki or on paper.

Perspective

Present the two perspectives of the pelican in the story: Jack’s and Crocker’s. How does Jack feel about pelicans? How would a fisherman feel about pelicans?

Art activity: Students use an A3 sheet folded in half to represent the feelings of Jack on one side and the feelings of Crocker on the other.

Related text

Storm Boy by Colin Thiele is a story about a boy and a pelican. Watch the trailer for the 1976 film of the book and then compare this to the current trailer for the 2019 version. What points of view do both films use? [Teacher info: the 2019 film uses the boy’s perspective from his POV as an old man]. Do you think the author of ‘Jack and the Pelican’ used any ideas from Storm Boy?

Activity: Students write the story of ‘Jack and the Pelican’ from the point of view of the pelican.

Colloquialisms

Some of the colloquialisms used tend to be generational—e.g. ‘You’ll be too tall for those britches of yours!’ What other colloquialisms are used? Brainstorm a list using mind map software (such as bubbl us) with the class. Ask students to develop their own mind map of sayings or colloquialisms that they could use in their writing. For each entry they need to add a descriptive image.

Resources

Storm Boy by Colin Thiele
Storm Boy trailers of the 1976 and 2019 versions
Lesson plans for Storm Boy
Home by Jeannie Baker

Further reading (where relevant)

English Textual Concepts

a play by Sue Murray based on a Greek Myth, illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Outcomes

EN3-1A Respond to and compose texts 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)

EN3-7C Engage personally with texts recognise and explain creative language features in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that contribute to engagement and meaning

Learning Activities

Greek Myths

Introduce Greek myths to the students as stories told about the ancient Greek gods to help the ancient people understand their world. As the origins of the stories are shrouded in time, there are multiple versions of the stories. Select another version of the myth (listed in Resources) and read it or show it to the students. After a class reading of the play, discuss how the play has used specific techniques from drama to tell the story. What is different among the various versions?

Activity In groups, students select a different Greek myth and create a short script based on the myth. Scripts are shared and the teacher decides which group should perform which script. An extension to this could be including stage directions for the actors or background visuals to the scene, shown on an image projected onto the whiteboard.

Themes

Is this myth about good vs evil? Or is to about love conquering all? Who are the goodies in this play? Who are the baddies? Each student develops a one-slide presentation using PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides that shows what they think the main theme of the play is, without using any text.
Once these are finished, they can be presented for students to guess the theme.

Language affects the tone

In this play, the narrators provide the links and some humour in the presentation. Experiment with changing the language the narrators use. Can you make it more formal? Very Australian? Give it an evil tone? Try it as a class. How does this change the readers' responses to the play?

Groups of students can perform the play for the class based on different language forms and styles used by the narrators. The class could vote for the best play and award The Persephone Prize to the winner.

Resources

The Myth of Four Seasons
Demeter and her Daughter Persephone. Note: you will need Flash
The Reason for Seasons – Demeter & Persephone

Poem by Barbara Bufi

View the presentation of the poem on The School Magazine's YouTube channel, and then:

  • Discuss how the language in this poem brings the bush to life. How does it do this? What do you think when you hear the words:

First dawn calls sound

Dry branches speak

Thirsty drought

Raucous feathered clouds

Squabbling rainbows?

Use these words or phrases in a word cloud with an image behind each phrase representing the phrase. You may do this using any digital tool.

.

Issue 2 - March 2019


story by Alys Jackson

illustrated by Jenny Tan

Connecting to the text EN3-8D/ACELT1610

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

OR

Text to Self—How do the ideas in this text relate to your own life, ideas, and experiences? Complete one or more of the following statements:

  • 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 …

Delving deeper EN3-8D/ACELT160

Have students use a KWL Chart to organise the information in the story. What do you know about the story? What would you like to know about the story? What do you need to know? What is The Big Issue?

What are the dangers and difficulties portrayed in Finding George? Which character pointed out the risks and dangers? Discuss the role of risks in our lives. Is it important to take risks in our lives? Define risk in relation to the story. What is a calculated risk? Are risks the same as chances?

Have the students construct a Venn diagram to compare their lives to George’s. Label as advantaged and disadvantaged or haves and have-nots. Find phrases used in the text that influence the reader’s point of view.

Get creative EN3-7C/ACELT1612/ACELT1618

Thinking creatively about the story, suggest changes and modifications:

Write another character into the story for a fun plot twist.

Adapt the story using animal characters instead of humans (anthropomorphism) using a narrative planner

Create a cartoon/storyboard using Storyboarder

Create a script, as a news reporter interviewing someone who works for The Big Issue. Use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker

Createa 3-minute trailer persuading an audience to donate to your ‘new’ class charity or pay it forward by being kind. Here is an example from payitforwardday.com/

Connect to text EN3-2A

Using the scaffold in the poem Mermaids in Hiding (page 9), write about the plight of the homeless in Australia. Resources for students can be found here: The Big Issue for students

Support: Students can follow the structure of a diamante poem.

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose

In the news EN3-1A/ACELY1700/ACElY1710

Presenta 3-minute news report on homelessness in Australia. Use information from The Big Issue for students site to support your news story.

Thinking outside the square EN3-8D

In groups, brainstorm ways to help the homeless or disadvantaged. As a class, discuss these ideas and come up with one ‘real’ solutions to help disadvantaged groups in Australia. Encourage the school SRC to get involved. What is the meaning of charity? If charity begins at home, where does it end? With you!

Further reading

Homelessness as a real Australian Issue The Big Issue

Pay it forward day 28.04.2019

Pay it forward card

article by Lauri Kubuitsile

Connecting to the text      EN3-8D/ACELT1610

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

Students complete the following statements using

Think Pair Share OR Making Connections PDF

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

Discuss how sport ‘connects’ Australians, by bringing diverse (Touchdown word of the month) cultures together and apart.

Answer this        EN3-3A

Quizstudents using ready-made Kahoot. Search title ‘Don’t Play Ball with the Mayas!’

Encourage students to create their own quiz questions using the text.

Creating texts        EN3-2A/ACELY1704/ACELY1714

Create an infographic using canva.com to persuade people to play Pok-A-Tok. Have students organise their arguments using persuasion scaffold to support their thinking. Adapting structure and styles of texts draws on the intertextuality concept, where texts can be appropriated for audience, purpose, mode or media.

AdaptDon’t Play Ball with the Mayas!’ from an informative text to a narrative text. You can choose to write from the point of view of a player, the ball or a spectator. For example, ‘The day I lost my head’ or ‘Heads-up has a whole new meaning!’

Changing it up        EN3-6B

Adapt the features and structure of this text to create an informative text about another sport. Use ‘Don’t Play Ball with the Mayas!’ as a scaffold for student writing—using sub-headings, accurate information and interesting facts.

Extension: Research Mayas

Get creative          EN3-2A/ACELY1707/ACELY1717

Create a six-word memoir about the death of an honourable friend and Pok-A-Tok player using Google Slides.

Createa 3-minute podcast as a sports commentator watching Pok-A-Tok, using How to create a podcast.

Resources

Create Kahoot

Play Kahoot

Creating Found Poems

Mayan Civilisation

.

Issue 3 - April 2019


Children of Yesterday

story by John O’Brien | illustrated by Craig Phillips


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 a connection stem or making connections activity.

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


Get creative EN3-7C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing a time traveller. Record the interview, using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Create an advertisement to encourage time travellers to visit the year 2019.

Design a time machine using the SCAMPER technique.

Create a three-minute speech about cosmology or Stephen Hawking.

Create a diamante poem: Tomorrow to Yesterday, Now and Then, Past and Present as antonyms.

Write a different ending to the story or write the next chapter.

Write a summary of the story, using one of these summary worksheets.

Adapt the story ‘Children of Yesterday’ into a script for a play and create a podcast of the play using Audacity.


That’s interesting EN3-7B

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.

Author letter EN3-7B

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

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

Support: Write a postcard


Finding evidence EN3-8D

Connect to text using the structure of the poem ‘It Is What It Is’ as a scaffold to write about a ‘river of time’ as described in the story.

Step Inside visible thinking routine using PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of narrative textual features, characters, feelings and beliefs.

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

Compare Jacques, from part one of the story (Orbit 1, February 2019), and Charlotte, from part two of the story, using this Venn diagram worksheet.

Write a narrative titled ‘One Day’, based on the line from the story: ‘Some people are just so nice that one day with them is enough.’ (page 8). If one day was enough to spend with someone: Who would you spend it with? What would you do? Where would you go?

Support: Simplified KWFL table.


Hot Seat EN3-2A

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—Matthew (Dad/narrator), Charlotte and Lisa—or as a class. Students can pose questions to each character.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.


Map it out EN3-5B

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

Create a character map or attribute web using one of these character map/attribute web worksheets.

Create a film strip of ‘Children of Yesterday’ using this story board worksheet.

Create a cartoon/storyboard using Storyboarder or animatethe story using Comic Life app.


Reflecting EN3-9E

I used to think ... But now I think ... Ask 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

Creating Podcasts With Your Students

Thinking Routines

My Mother is an Alien

story by Melinda Szymanik | illustrated by Peter Sheehan


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 …

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


Power of persuasion EN3-2A

Create a persuasive flow chart or infographic using Canva for the importance of finding aliens. Scaffold arguments using a Persuasion Map 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.


Get creative EN3-7C

Create a film strip of the story and adapt it into a play or podcast using Audacity.

Create an infographic using Canva, encouraging aliens to visit Earth.

Create a new alien language and use it in an example. What will we say when we meet an alien?

Create an alien using the alien species generator and write a narrative or descriptive paragraph.

Conduct an interview or write an article about people who claim to have seen real aliens.

Write about your feelings in relation to aliens using the title ‘Why I want to meet/don’t want to meet an alien’. Do you think they would like humans? Why/why not?


That’s interesting EN3-7B

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

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

Support: Write a postcard

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.

Map it out EN3-5B

Story map the main events of ‘My Mother Is an Alien’, with one of these Story Map worksheets, or by using a Story Arc.

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


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

How to Create a 3D-Printed Alien

Treasure Box Tin

story by Annmarie Scott | 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 do the ideas in this text relate to their own lives, ideas and experiences? Ask students to consider:

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

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

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


Create EN3-7C

Adapt the story using animal characters (war pigeons, service horses, Simpson’s donkey) instead of humans (anthropomorphism) using a narrative planner .

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing a war veteran or war widow. Use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

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

Design an ‘Operation Ration’ for a modern Australian soldier that would fit into a small tin, as described in the text, page 18: ‘… about the size of a set of playing cards …’

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

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


Author letter EN3-7B

Write a letter to the author Annmarie Scott using 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


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 using the scaffold in the poem ‘Forgotten’ (page 17), to write about the plight of returned servicemen and women, Anzac Day or war.

Step Inside visible thinking routine using PowerPoint or Google slide to illustrate understanding of narrative textual features, characters, feelings and beliefs.

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.

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

Present a two minute news report on Anzac Day in Australia. Use this Anzac Day Commemoration Committee news clip to support your news story.

Support: Write a diamante poem and simplified KWFL.

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose.


Wonderful words EN3-6B

Research and create a crossword about Anzac Day, using this free crossword maker or crossword puzzle creator using unfamiliar words from the article, or these Anzac Day resources.. Use the crossword on page 34 of Touchdown as a guide for suitable questions.

Support: Question Creation Chart.

Extension: Create a Kahoot.


Applying EN3-2A

Adapt the story ‘Treasure Box Tin’ into a script for a play and perform as a podcast.

Write a different ending to the story or continue the story.

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 (Grandpa Jim, Mum and Gran), or as a class. Students can pose questions to each character.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.


Understanding EN3-1A

Create a True/False quiz from the text.

Write a summary of the story using one of these sample summary worksheets.

Identify a personal treasure and write a paragraph to describe it, or create a topic talk about the treasure.

Support: Question Creation Chart.

Extension: Students compose question cards for the class


Map it out EN3-2A

Story map the main events in ‘Treasure Box Tin’, with one of these Story Map worksheets.

Create a character map or attribute web.

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


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

‘The Treasure Box’ by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood

Resources

Debating and Public Speaking Resource

How to create a podcast

Harvard Thinking Routines

The Meaning of Anzac Day

https://anzacday.org.au/

army.gov.au

The Australian War Memorial

Feathered Heroes

article by Beverly McWilliams


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 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.


Create EN3-7C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing the heroic pigeons and their trainers. Mary Exeter, Royal Blue, Winkie, White Vision and Blue Boy were all honoured with The Dickin Medal, along with twenty-seven other pigeons. Use iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker.

Write about your feelings in relation to how animals were used in the war, after watching this Behind the News: War Animals report.

Design a modern medal that commemorates war animals for their bravery.

Use the SCAMPER technique to design a new communication system based on the heroic pigeons.


Author purpose  EN3-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Beverly McWilliams’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 Beverly McWilliams 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?


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.

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

Support: Simplified KWFL


Applying EN3-2A

Write a diary entry from a soldier at war to his parents or friends back home in Australia. Find a collection of one soldier’s letters home to his parents at A Soldier’s Letters Home. Note the formal language, how writing styles have changed since the 1940s and the insights historical letters give us to the past.

Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.


Understanding EN3-1A

Create a True/False quiz from the text.

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

Support: Question Creation Chart

Extension: Students compose question cards for the class


Map it out EN3-5B

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

Create a character map or attribute web.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website

Anzac Day: What does it mean to you today?

Australian War Memorial

Thinking Routines

Issue 4 - May 2019


The Cupboard

story by Mark Konik | illustrated by Anna Bron

How to Show Emotion Through Writing worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Story Arc the main events in ‘The Cupboard’, to highlight the conventions of a narrative used by the author, Mark Konik. To find out how to use a story arc, read Using a Story Arc or watch this Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip . How does Mark Konik create suspense? (waiting in the cupboard). What role do sympathy and empathy play in the story, to carry the plot? How did the author engage them in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept Narrative.

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: Question Creation Chart.

Extension: Students create a Kahoot.


Engaging personally 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 Mark Konik 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, helping to deepen student understandings about how texts work.

Write a suspenseful narrative using a similar plot to the one in ‘The Cupboard’. 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 (siblings), situations (family life) and themes (death of pets) 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.

Point of view: Write a diary entry from the older or younger brother’s point of view. Encourage students to use the tragedy in the story, and the feelings portrayed, to enhance their writing endeavours. 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: 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 this double entry journal worksheet to record connections during the reading.

Discuss as a class.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

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 grief?
  • Why isn’t the younger brother affected by the death of the family pets? Is this realistic?
  • What would you do to cheer someone up?

Suggest a different ending. Record student responses on a Think, Pair, Share worksheet.

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

Create an advertisement for a new healthy pet food.

Write a persuasive speech to convince your school principal to buy pets for your school. Scaffold arguments using this Persuasion Map worksheet as a scaffold to organise thinking.

Write a persuasive letter to convince your parents to buy you another pet, since all you other pets have recently died. Scaffold arguments the Persuasion Map worksheet to organise thinking.


Experimenting EN3-7C

Create a tombstone with a suitable funny epitaph for Mr Fluffy the guinea pig or Goldy the goldfish RIP. Refer to How to Write a Funny Epitaph Poem. Students might like to use an image from these numerous printable drawn tombstones.

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

Write an ode to Mr Fluffy or Goldy. This two-page Writing an Ode worksheet has been designed to introduce students to the purpose, structure and language features of odes. It also includes a writing scaffold for students to use independently.


Reflecting EN3-9E

Character: Create a character map or attribute web about the type of character students think the older or younger brother 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), sympathy and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept Character.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

The Fishing Trip

story by Terry Lavelle | illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Create a Graphic Story worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Conduct a Visible Thinking Questions Starts 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 questions they would like to know the answers to:

  • 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 can use this Thinking Routines Question Starts worksheet.

Story map the main events of ‘The Fishing Trip’, 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. For more information about the concepts refer to the English Textual Concepts.


Engaging personally 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 students to create their own narratives. Use this Step Inside Thinking Routine worksheet to record responses.

Write a brief recount about a time students have been ‘interrogated’ for information by their friends or family, like the main character in ‘The Fishing Trip’. This could also be performed as a short funny skit.

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.


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 can complete the statements using a Think, Pair, Share worksheet.


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 finding aliens. 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

Cycle of events routine 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 tells in one colour and then choose another colour to list techniques used and another colour to explain the impact. They could choose from this selection of Cycle of Events Graphic Organiser worksheets.


Experimenting EN3-2A & EN3-8C

Create a film strip of ‘The Fishing Trip’ using this story board worksheet. Adapt the film strip into a play or podcast using Audacity.

Create an alien using this online Alien Species Generator and write a brief narrative or descriptive paragraph.

Conduct an interview with local people who claim to have seen the ‘twin aliens’ as mentioned in ‘The Fishing Trip’.

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.

Write a journal entry about feelings in relation to aliens, using the title ‘Are we really alone?’ Questions that might be asked include: If aliens exist, would they would like humans? Why/why not? Are aliens already living among us, as suggested in the story? Where? Who would know?


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

How to Create an Alien Using 3D Printing

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox

Nora

story by Sue Walker | illustrated by Kim Gamble

Exploring Connotations worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

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, friendship, ignorance/arrogance, self-perception, insight, judgement, to name a few. Brainstorm perceptions from the story and use them as story titles. Students can record their responses on this Step Inside Thinking Routine worksheet.

Perspective: provides a lens through which we see the world. The lens can clarify, distort, magnify or blur what we see. In this way perspective offers a dynamic basis for the relationship between the composer, text and the responder.

Story Arc the main events in ‘Nora’, highlighting Nora’s transformation as portrayed by Sue Walker. To find out how to use a story arc, read Using a Story Arc or watch this Introduction to the Story Arc YouTube clip. How does Sue Walker portray Nora? Is the ‘artist’ character ignorant or arrogant? How did Nora become luminous? Wasn’t she always Nora? How does the author engage students in the story? Explore further the English Textual Concept Perspective.


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Write a diamante poem about Nora’s transformation from ‘Unattractive to Luminous’. Use the Diamante Poem worksheet to scaffold and prompt writing.

Research the meaning of student names. There are multiple meanings for every name. Students can find the meaning they like most and compare it to the meaning of Nora using this Venn diagram worksheet.

Write a personal summary of ‘Nora’ and her transformation from unattractive to luminous. Encourage students to use their own opinion (point of view) and allow for personal interpretations of the text. Choose from this selection of Summary worksheets.

Write a paragraph about a talent that you have, hidden or obvious, to share with the class. If students believe they do not possess a talent, ask them to imagine or create a talent they desire. Refer to the first paragraph of ‘Nora’ as a writing prompt: ‘We all have a talent. Mine is …’ Remind students to write using first person and try not to begin every sentence with ‘I’.


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 sheet to record connections. Discuss as a class.


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.

Discuss: Paragraph three: ‘It was an unattractive name, but it suited Nora perfectly.’ How can an unattractive name ever be suitable? What is the author trying to say? Use the following thinking routine to get students to articulate their thoughts.

Think, Pair, Share routine involves posing a question to students, asking them to take a few minutes of thinking time and then turning to a nearby student to share their thoughts. This 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 because students are listening to and sharing ideas, Think Pair Share encourages students to understand multiple perspectives.


Experimenting EN3-7C

Point of View: Write a letter of complaint or praise, to the artist, from Nora’s mother’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 an infographic, using Canva, to advertise your ‘talent’ school (Diana’s Dancing Disco), job or service. For example: A masseuse who knows how to ‘Knead the Knots’. Explore puns and have fun with words. As resources, you could refer to this collection of funny puns at jokesclean.com or this collection of funny puns at FunEnglishGames.com.

Create an animation of the story using Vyond.

Write a narrative ending with the final words: ‘With a smile that I’ll remember forever.’ Use this Narrative Ideas Pyramid worksheet to organise ideas and plan writing.


Reflecting EN3-9E

Journal: Ask students to write a journal entry about who they think goes unnoticed in their classroom. Have they got a Nora in their class? These people are often called wallflowers or shy, but how do we really know how they feel? How can we make people feel luminous?

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

Travelling from England to France the Hard Way

article by Julie Nickerson | illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Research An Inspirational Young Australian worksheet


Understanding EN3-3A

Conduct a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine, using the image of Brianna on page 5. 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 to such questions as.

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

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

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

Extension: Use rhyme, rap or prose.


Engaging personally EN3-5B & EN3-8D

Point of view: Use the poem ‘Sailing Quilted Seas’, by Elizabeth Klein (page 11) as a scaffold to write about the plight of a Channel swimmer. ‘Sailing Quilted Seas’ is written from the point of view (POV) of a sailor and their journey across the sea. Appropriate the poem’s ideas and imagery, but change the POV to that of a swimmer attempting to cross the English Channel. Explore further the English Textual Concept Point of View.

Create a poem about a dream you may have. Imagine being like Brianna: ‘She dreams big and follows through’. A variety of poetic styles/resources can be accessed at On Butterfly Wings: Stage 2 Poetry Unit of Work.


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?

Students complete the following statements using Making Connections Text to World 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.


Engaging critically        EN3-7B

Watch Finding Author’s Purpose YouTube clip, which explains the ‘PIE’ model: was it to Persuade, Inform or Entertain? Discuss what Julie Nickerson’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 Julie Nickerson 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?

Create a three-minute speech persuading an audience learn how to swim. Use this 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.


Experimenting EN3-7C

Create a script, for a news reporter interviewing Brianna Thompson before she leaves, or upon her return. Option to film using iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker

Create an advertisement to encourage people to swim the channel.

Write an ode to a famous Australian swimmer. Students could refer to this Writing an Ode worksheet. Another helpful resource is Famous Australian Swimmers: A History of Swimming in Australia.

Research other Australian swimmers who have crossed the English Channel. Refer to Channel Swimming Association: List of Successful Swims.

Write a narrative titled ‘The Hard Way’ or ‘Epic Journey’ using personal examples of triumph over adversity from students’ own lives. Brainstorm as a class to generate ideas. Use story writing helpers to organise student writing.

Write a biography of a different famous Australian swimmer, using one of these Biography worksheets. Students can again refer to Famous Australian Swimmers: A History of Swimming in Australia.


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.

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 evoke empathy (or antipathy) and identification. Explore further the English Textual Concept Character.

View the ABC Education video clip: Creating Characters With Sally Rippin , where author Sally Rippin talks about the process of character development and the role of imagination.


Further reading

English Textual Concepts

‘Poets in the making: confirming identity in English’ J Dutton and K Rushton, Scan Vol 37 2018

Resources

Harvard Thinking Routines

Think From the Middle: Strategy Toolbox