My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books

Hello From Nowhere: Teaching Notes

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Hello From Nowhere, Raewyn Caisley (author), Karen Blair (illus.), Viking, 2014.

HelloFromNowhere_CVR_800Review.

Eve lives in an incredible place; in the middle of the Nullarbor. She has a visceral connection with the wildlife and the fascinating people that come to visit. The sandy world is her oyster, she just loves being at one with nature. But since leaving the city there is one thing she misses – her Nan. She sends her a postcode from Nowhere to come and visit, with all the love and hope in her heart. But with no sound from Nan, Eve’s hope begins to fade as the days roll by. Then the bus pulls in, and Eve gives Nan the most wonderful, memorable and magical adventure around the outback she could never have imagined.
I love the moment shared between the two as they hold hands and look out in to the twinkling night sky. Certainly an impressive scene.

With Karen Blair’s gentle, serene, whimsical and expressive watercolour illustrations, ‘Hello From Nowhere’ is a beautiful story about connections; home, culture and the special bond between a girl and her grandmother.

Children from four years old will relish this heartwarming tale of an endearing and creative character, gain an appreciation for the Australian outback, and all its unique and loveable creatures and features.

CBCA 2015 Notable Picture Book of the Year.

Discussion.

Before Reading:
Look at the cover. Where do you think ‘Nowhere’ is? Do you live in the city, suburbs or rural place? What’s special about where you live? What would it be like to live somewhere with not many people? What do you know about the outback? What might you find there?

During Reading:
Why do you think the wildlife need to stay inside? Why do you think Nan doesn’t want to visit? What does the sign show us about this place? What kinds of things do the visitors like to do there? Have you ever written a postcard?

After Reading:
What does Eve like about her new home? Why did Nan change her mind about the middle of Nowhere? What did Nan like about Eve’s new home?
What have you learned about the Nullarbor? How do the illustrations help to understand the vastness / type of environment in the outback?
How do the illustrations show us the bond between Eve and her Nan? What special things to you do with your grandparents?
If you moved far away, what would you miss about home?
How are the endpapers different in the start and end of the book?

Thinking Activity.
Complete a Venn Diagram comparing Eve’s home with yours.
What are the similarities and differences? Think about dress, wildlife, activities, weather, buildings, transport, landmarks, and so on.
Hello From Nowhere Venn Diagram

Curriculum Activities.

Literacy.

Letter Writing
Create and write your own postcard to a special person in your life. Be sure to include a stamp, address, and message about what makes your home / that person special, or invite them to visit.
Find a postcard template here:
http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/english/pdfs/postcard_template.pdf
Postcard template
Creative Writing
Write your own story about living in the Middle of Nowhere.
Set the scene, character/s, plot with beginning, middle and end. Brainstorm different activities that Eve might do in the outback. Example, cartwheels, sleep in a tent, kayak, dig for fossils / gems, play with the wildlife, collect river pebbles.
Use story stones to inspire storytelling and encourage writing (see Arts / Crafts).
Alternatively, create stick puppets and use as props for retelling the story. Download , print and cut out the Hello From Nowhere Character Cut Outs
Hello From Nowhere Character Cut Outs

Word Study
Make your own or download and complete our Hello From Nowhere Wordsearch.
Hello from nowhere wordsearch
Phonics
Nn is for Nowhere, Nullarbor, Nan, neighbours, night, native.
Write a list or create a chart with Nn words relating to the story.

Numeracy.

Measurement: Distance / Length.
Using a map of Australia, draw different landmarks in each state. Research actual distances or measure between landmarks with a ruler or other concrete materials.
Alternatively, use an oversized map of Australia with a group of students.
Record in a table. Eg. The distance from the MCG to the Sydney Opera House is actually 884.7km, but students can record this as their own measurement in centimetres or blocks, etc.
Measurement: Time / Number.
Eve enjoyed doing cartwheels in the sandy desert. With a partner, time each other to record how many cartwheels, hops, skips, ball bounces, etc you can do in a row without stopping.
Then, for a one minute duration, record how many times you can do the above or other activities. Eg. Write ‘Dear Nan’, or draw stars or kangaroos, etc.
– Graphing and Data.
Research different towns and their populations. List the findings, then record them visually as a chart or graph, or other kind of display.
For example, Melbourne = 4.4 million, Nullarbor Plain = 4, Gold Coast = 527,000.
Hello from nowhere map

Arts / Crafts.

Watercolour Landscapes
Using watercolours, paint your favourite scene from the book as a landscape painting. Eg. Red-dirt outback, starry night sky, 200 foraging kangaroos.
Hello from nowhere outback pic

Dot Paintings
Create a beautiful dot painting using natural earthy tones. I like this kangaroo painting from:
http://www.familyholiday.net/australia-crafts-for-kids
Australia-Crafts-for-Kids_13

Story Stones
Paint your own story stones with images relating to the book.
See Literacy for storytelling ideas. Instructions and writing ideas can be found here:
http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/story-stones-encouraging-writing-storytelling/
Camping-Themed-Story-Stones.jpg-977x1024

Nature Play
Use natural materials to create native Australian animals, play games, construction, and more.
Red Ted Art has a great list of nature play activities to try:
http://www.redtedart.com/tag/nature-play/
12-Nature-Play-Ideas-having-fun-with-nature-items-outdoors

Science.

Australian animal study
Select and study a native Australian animal found in the outback. Eg. Blue-Tongue Lizards, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, and so on.
Present information as a visual display or Powerpoint show.
Astronomy
Find some amazing astonomy activities for kids on Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/ticiam/astronomy-for-kids/

Find some fantastic Earth and Space Science lessons from the CSIRO website:
http://www.csiro.au/en/Education/DIY-science/Earth-and-Space-sciences
For example, a geology lesson on ‘Thirsty Rocks’.
dry-soil

Lessons by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip. Ed (Primary)
© My Little Story Corner 2015
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only, and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.

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Author: Romi Sharp

Qualified teacher, reviewer, writer and avid picture book fanatic, constantly immersed in the world of children's literature. Founder of My Little Story Corner and Just Write For Kids.

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