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Mr Chicken Lands on London: Teaching Notes

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Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs (author, illustrator), Allen&Unwin, 2014.

imageWHO:

Leigh Hobbs is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for children. Some of his iconic characters include Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. Leigh has always had a passion for art, history and culture, and his books certainly reflect these with his own distinctive flair and rousing sense of humour. On February 8th 2016 it was announced that Leigh is to follow on Jackie French’s position of Australian Children’s Laureate; a well-deserved, prestigious role to “promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.”(www.childrenslaureate.org.au)

Mr Chicken Lands on London REVIEW:

Following on from Mr Chicken’s grand adventures in Paris, in flies this zippy character once again. This time he’s visiting his (and Leigh’s) favourite city in the world – London.
imageWithout hesitation, Mr Chicken grabs his camera and his parachute and makes a splashing entrance into the River Thames. His extremely busy schedule waits for no chicken as the yellow bird escapades gallantly around the city. From the fancy Savoy Hotel and dining on a full English breakfast, Mr Chicken makes good use of his time in London. His first port of call is to visit the Queen (well, excuse me!) before exploring attractions like St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. He also takes charge by driving double-decker buses, topping a tall column at Trafalgar Square, circling the London Eye and becoming one with the beating heart of London – Big Ben. His stay is only short-lived, but my guess is, this traveling chook will be back again soon!

Humorous, entertaining, and a delightful kind of sensory overload, Mr Chicken Lands on London will tickle the fancy of all readers, big and small. Leigh Hobbs’ intricate and distinctive style of art in this wonderful array of events is sure to create plenty of memorable, shared experiences for readers and viewers, alike.

POP-UP QUIZ:

1. Name three (3) other (not mentioned above) London attractions that Mr Chicken visited.

2. What is the name of the building where the Queen lives?

3. What game does Mr Chicken play on the London Eye?

4. Which city will Mr Chicken be heading to next?

DISCUSSION / ACTIVITIES:

HISTORY / GEOGRAPHY / TECHNOLOGY.

Look at the map of London on the endpapers. Name and discuss the different attractions and landmarks. Have you been there before? What do you know about them? What is the significance of each of them?

RICH ASSESSMENT TASK:

Look at and discuss a real map of London. Pick one attraction or landmark for research and create a poster or Slideshow presentation to explain your findings.

image Image: http://www.inlondonguide.co.uk

SOCIAL STUDIES / LITERACY.

What can you tell about Mr Chicken’s personality? What are some behaviours that showed his kindness? What are some cheeky things that Mr Chicken did? How do you think Mr Chicken felt about London? How do you know?

TASK:

Name and list some adjectives to describe Mr Chicken, or write a personality profile listing his likes, dislikes, traits, quirks, etc.

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VISUAL ART / CULTURE.

Choose a page spread to explore. What do you notice in these illustrations? What clues can you see that tell you more about the location? How has Leigh Hobbs depicted the atmosphere of the city and the nature of the people? What kinds of visual media has he used and how does it suit its purpose?

Where does Mr Chicken visit to see art? What famous works and artists might you find there? Have a look at and discuss some of these and their history.

TASK:

Create your own line, watercolour and collage picture showcasing your favourite part of London (or your own favourite place).

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NUMERACY.

See if you can spot the clock on Big Ben at several points in the book (towards the end). What do you notice about the different times? Mr Chicken wanted to be inside Big Ben (the beating heart of London) at a quarter past nine. Why do you think he chose that time? Did he achieve what he set out to do?

TASK 1:

Create a timeline showing Mr Chicken at several locations throughout the day, from morning til midnight. Be sure to include standing inside Big Ben at 9.15pm.

TASK 2:

Make your own Mr Chicken clock with yellow paper for the face, cardstock and a split pin for the hands. Practise understanding of quarter past, quarter to, half past and o’clock. For more advanced students extend their knowledge to five minute intervals (eg. 9.05pm), then one minute intervals (eg. 9.16pm).

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SCIENCE.

How does Mr Chicken enter and exit London? Why does he choose these modes of transport? Looking at the way he enters – what does ‘air resistance’ mean? How does it work?

TASK:

Test air resistance and make your own parachute using a bag, paper plate and string. Find an explanation and instructions at Kids Activities Blog.

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IT’S YOUR STORY CALENDAR 2016 by Leigh HOBBS

FREE download can be found at the Australian Children’s Laureate website.

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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).

© My Little Story Corner 2016.

www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner

www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner

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.

This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.

This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Mr Chicken Lands on London.

Information about the author illustrator, Leigh Hobbs can be found here.


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Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

Adelaide’s Secret World, Elise Hurst (author, illus.), Allen&Unwin, 2015.  

Review. 

imageShe lives a solitary existence. A life once full of delight and wonders, now, a world confined in glass jars, hidden within a cloak and a red curtain. The town in which Adelaide lives is bustling with movement, but it seems the townsfolk are simply, and privately, just passing through each day. Longing for a connection, a serendipitous moment finds Adelaide at the door that opens her heart and soul to a whole new world full of possibilities. As she finds her inner calm, it is that very red curtain that once blocked her vision that she courageously uses as the missing link. By connecting the torn thread amongst the townsfolk, those who were once lonely and silent, including Adelaide, have now found a voice, and each other.

imageWith her stunning collection of dreamy oil paintings and evocative words, Elise Hurst takes her readers on a soul-searching journey that touches a little piece of all of us. Feeling lost and isolated is not uncommon, particularly in a world of chaos. But Adelaide reminds us that friendship, humanity and self expression can always be celebrated with a little bit of courage and an open heart. The exquisite mixture of colour, movement, emotion, and poetic softness in both text and illustrations work flawlessly together to evoke feelings of angst, peace, turmoil and calm. Pale yellows and greens in the beginning and end shed light on a world that is safe and comfortable, and becomes brighter even more so as Adelaide’s world is suddenly flooded with energy and an inner peace. The mid-section carries deep greens, blues and greys, signifying this spinning, chaotic whirlwind inside her mind. And throughout the book, pops of red burst with visual warmth, power and imagination.

Adelaide’s Secret World’ is undeniably uplifting and visually rousing, a perfect choice for early primary children to revisit over and over again. This book has potential to win awards and would make a gorgeous film. Highly recommended.  

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before Reading:

Look at the cover. What do you think this story is about? Why do you think Adelaide lives in a ‘secret world’? What is a secret world?
Read the blurb. What does it tell you about Adelaide’s life? How do you think it changes?
Look at the colours of the endpapers. What do you think the red represents? What might the blue represent?  

During Reading:

Do you think she likes the quiet?
What do you notice in the illustrations?
How might she be feeling at this moment? (Ask over several pages).
Why do you think Adelaide couldn’t talk to the Fox at the door?  

After Reading:

What aspects did Adelaide like and dislike about the quiet stillness?
In the beginning, why do you think Adelaide enjoyed watching the still and quiet ones? What thoughts might she have been telling herself?
What discovery did she make when she peered in to Fox’s world? How did this change her view on herself?
What did she use to connect the creatures? How is this item significant?
What did Adelaide learn about herself and the other creatures? Do you ever feel the same way? What ways can you ‘reach out’ to others you don’t know so well?  

Literacy.

Writing.

Creative Writing.
Choose an image from the book and describe what’s happening using carefully chosen verbs and adjectives.
For example, “Every night she listened to the hum of the setting sun and the soft pure song of the evening star.”  

Reading.

Comprehension.
Discuss and write your interpretation of the following sentences.
“…the quiet stillness crept into her heart and stayed.”
“…taking a little bit of the world and making it her own.”
“…though her heart called out she could make no sound.”
“…found their voices.”

Vocabulary: Word Study.
Use a dictionary to find and write the meanings of the following words:
‘brooding’,
‘unravelled’,
‘bustling’,
‘scurried’.

Synonyms.
These are a few carefully chosen verbs from the story. Find words with similar meanings:
‘scattered’,
‘scooped’,
‘restless’,
‘burst’,
‘tumbled’.

Analogies.
“The rain soaked windows glittered like a jewellery box.”
Discuss and write your own analogy of a wet window / the setting sun / a brooding sky and rising buildings, and so on.
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Book Study
Read and discuss the similarities and differences between other books by Elise Hurst.  
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Numeracy.

Number: Subtraction.
“But there was always something missing.”
Play ‘What’s Missing?’ Number Games and Stories.
Depending on your focus number, write equations and stories with a missing addend.
For example, ‘Adelaide once had 20 paintbrushes, but after 8 of them broke, how many did she have left?’

8 and ___ makes 20 / 8 + ___ = 20.

Use materials to solve the equations.
Download What’s Missing in Adelaide’s World. Draw and write the equations on the red string.
Make your own red string with beads to add and subtract number equations.
Adelaide What's Missing 1 Adelaide What's Missing 2

Number: Doubles.
“Ones became twos. Twos became fours.”
Play the Bunny Doubles Spinner Game.
Spin the spinner and find the double. Cover or mark the double with a counter or pencil on the bunny’s jacket. The first player to cover all their doubles wins!
Doubles include two sets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.    
Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 1 Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 2

Science / Technology.

– The townsfolk connected via a piece of string. Make your own String Telephone to talk to your friends.
Activity from Scientific American.
7F609B9E-9D9F-4D47-B2ED3C2911B3E0FD_article  

Art / Craft.
– Adelaide took a little bit of the world and made it her own. Make your own little Terrarium World (Botany).
Materials:
Glass or plastic jar / container, top quality soil, gravel / pebbles, small plant (succulents work well), figurines, water.
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Directions:
1. Make sure your jar is clean. Fill the bottom with gravel about a third of the way up.
2. Add a thin layer of soil, then place your plants in position.
3. Fill in more soil surrounding the plants, holding them in place. Sprinkle water to moisten the soil.
4. Place your figurines in the terrarium to finish off. We also added a few flowers and a ladybird to pretty it up!
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Idea adapted from Babble Dabble Do and Make and Takes.  

Play Dough / Clay Sculptures.
Make your own sculptures to put in your Terrarium World. Use Play Dough or Air Drying Clay.
Clay art ideas from Wonderful DIY.

Design and make other kinds of sculptures.
Terrific ideas at Artful Parent.
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Oil Paintings.
Recreate your favourite scene from the book, experimenting with oil paints or oil pastels. Try different techniques such as blending and bold strokes.
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
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.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.  

Purchase Adelaide’s Secret World.

Information about the author illustrator, Elise Hurst can be found here.