My Little Story Corner

For the love of picture books


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Christmas Favourites for all your Festive Needs

YoU woN’T BE poOr fOR CHoIcE tHiS CHriStMAs!

The Festive Season is here! With the holidays upon us, your little jolly jumpers will certainly need some inspiration and a touch of magic to enjoy this special time with loved ones. Below are some beautiful picture books you might like to share together, and plenty of craft activities to reinforce these magical traditions. Enjoy!

Click

on the book

for details. 

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🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁

Click on the image to find an assortment of craft goodies for Christmas and Chanukah!

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Have yourself a booktacular Christmas, Chanukah and New Year!

Look forward to sharing more bookish fun and new ideas in 2016!

love Romi

x 🎅🎄🎁 x

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Puddles are for Jumping: Teaching Notes

puddles-are-for-jumpingPuddles are for Jumping, Kylie Dunstan (author, illus.), Windy Hollow Books, 2015.  
2015 Speech Pathology Australia Shortlisted Book of the Year (0-3 years)

Review. 

The first thing you’ll notice upon picking up this book are the awesome illustrations. Each spread is entirely created with bright, cut and pasted paper characters and scenes in primary colours, suiting its wet weather theme and straightforward storyline. Kylie Dunstan cleverly takes her early primary-aged audience on this rainy adventure through the park, market, the neighbourhood and back home again to bed, simply by stating the actions in the words and demonstrating them in the pictures. Written in present tense, the short sentences are relatable and encourage readers to focus on how different objects can be utilised in the most enjoyable way possible.

“Bottoms are for wriggling, Sisters are for laughing!”
“Beds are for BOUNCING, Books are for sharing”.

‘Puddles are for Jumping’ is both visually and actively entertaining. This truly playful and joyous book is perfect for promoting experiences in the creative arts and movement areas, as well as supporting themes of friendship and citizenship.  

This review appeared first on the Boomerang Books Blog.  

Discussion.  

Before Reading:

Look at the cover. Ask, Do you like to jump in puddles? What words can you use to describe different puddles? (small, big, shallow, deep, watery, muddy, etc).
Stand up and pretend to jump in puddles. Don’t forget to put your boots on!
What other things do you like to do in rainy weather? What else would you wear and take with you?  

During Reading:

Can you tell where the mum has taken the sisters? What can you see in the pictures?  

After Reading:

What were the places the characters in the story visited? How did they get there? Have you been to any of those places?
Do you remember some of the words used to describe the way they walked? Ate? Greeted people?
What did you notice about the illustrations?  

Literacy.  

Reading.
Identifying nouns and verbs.
Write the nouns (things, places, names) and verbs (doing words) found in the book in two separate columns.
Complete the Puddles are for Jumping Match Up sheet.
Puddles are for jumping match up

Play Puddle Jumping Game.
Use high frequency words, such as ‘are’, ‘for’, or a list of Magic Words.
For extension, make up your own verbs to follow on ‘Puddles are for…’, and have child jump on the word they say (eg. jumping, splashing, kicking, flicking, tapping, etc).
IMG_7819
See the Bridie’s Boots Teaching Notes for these instructions and more weather-themed activities.

Read other books by Kylie Dunstan.
What are the similarities and differences between her writing style and illustrations?
image  

Writing.

Comprehension: Finish the sentence.
Use your own ‘verbs’ to complete, ‘Puddles are for…’, ‘Shops are for…’, ‘Skirts / Boots are for…’, ‘Beds are for…’, and so on.
Illustrate your sentence/s. (see Art / Craft Paper Collage activity).

Creative Writing.
Write your own story or class book about going on an outing. Using similar language and short sentences, what are the things you see on the way and how can it be used.
For example, going to school might include; “Bikes are for peddling, bags are for unpacking, friends are for giggling, teachers are for admiring ;), pencils are for sharpening, paths are for racing, books are for loving, and beds are for snoozing.”  

Numeracy.

Graphs and Data. Outdoor Tallies.
Make a list of things you will see on your outing, things that can be counted. For example, number of puddles jumped in, number of trees climbed, number of dogs spotted, number of apples bought, etc.
Record the tally as you encounter each item on the list.
Formulate the results by graphing them as a picture graph. Item against number.
Discuss the results. Which had the most, least, same, how many more…, etc.  
Puddles are for Jumping Graph

Science.

Make a Fizzy Puddle.
Watch the puddle react with baking soda for an awesome fizzy effect!
From Simple Fun For Kids
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The Water Cycle.
Choose from a cool selection of water cycle experiments, including evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, condensation!
From E is for Explore  
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Art / Craft.

Rainbow Puddle Splash.
Use sidewalk chalk and puddle water to create a work of art!
From Lemon Lime Adventures
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Winter Rain Watercolour Resist Painting.
Using white crayon and watercolours, create a stunning rainy day piece of art!
From Elementary Art Fun
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Paper Collage Cut and Paste.
Choose different-coloured papers to create your own collage picture. Choose a scene from the book or make your own rainy day fun!  
Puddles are for jumping collage pic

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 Puddles are for Jumping.
Information about the author / illustrator of ‘Puddles are for Jumping’, Kylie Dunstan can be found here.


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Foxtrot: Teaching Notes

Foxtrot, Becka Moor (author, illus.), The Five Mile Press, 2015.  

Review.

imageFoxtrot is a born dancer. He simply can’t get enough of the sport. But when his trotting and tripping feet cause pandemonium in the town, his friends step in to bring Foxtrot’s chaos to a screeching halt. Tying his shoelaces and sticking his feet to the floor make Foxtrot unhappy, as do his own attempts to expand his creative repertoire. In a satisfying finale, Foxtrot and his friends band together to refurnish and re-open his former dance teacher, Mrs Flamenco’s dance school. Of course, it is a huge success!

imageI love the endearing language that so defines this naive but gentle and considerate soul who only has the best of intentions. There are some terrific dancing terms thrown in, too, like ‘boogied’, ‘jived’, ‘tangoed’ and ‘mamboed’ that arouse interest and charm. Together with this humorous, fun-loving and charismatic storyline are the equally vibrant and animated cartoon illustrations that allow for plenty of discussion.

‘Foxtrot’ is a book that undeniably brings a pop of energy and a burst of spirit in this tale of rhythm, blues, teamwork and friendship. Tango-rrific for preschoolers.  

Available for purchase here.

Discussion.

Before Reading:
Put on some music and enjoy a boogie and a jive! Teach children the ‘foxtrot’ dance.
Make a list of words that mean ‘dance’. Eg. Dance names such as Mambo, Tango, Tap, Ballet, etc, and dance moves such as jive, prance, wiggle, spin, twirl, etc.
Look at the cover. What or who do you think ‘Foxtrot’ is? What do you think might happen in the story? Do you think everyone likes to dance?  

During Reading:
Why do you think Foxtrot likes to dance so much? Why didn’t Foxtrot realise that he was causing all these calamities? Do you think his friends are being nice by stopping him from dancing? Do you think Foxtrot should try not to dance? Why or why not?  

After Reading:
What kinds of things did Foxtrot’s friends do to help him? What were unhelpful gestures? Why didn’t his friends think that his plan to open a dance school would work? What made them change their minds? Do you think that Foxtrot will always be the best dancer?
What new dance words did you learn from the book? Add these to your previous list.  
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Literacy.

Reading:

Verbs and Nouns.
Find and make word cards with terms from the book. Sort them into ‘verbs’ (doing words) and ‘nouns’ (name of things).
Verbs include: danced, boogied, twirled, brushed, combed, jumped, jived, swung, swayed, and so on.
Nouns include: mayhem, calamities, customers, chaos, pandemonium, shoelaces, honey, and so on.
Use of alliteration / phonics.
Find and write sentences with alliterations. Illustrate.
For example, ‘He danced as he dressed and did splits as he put on socks.’,
‘He jumped and jived and swung and swayed,
‘He tangoed with his toast and mamboed with his marmalade.  

Writing.

Innovate a story.
Here are some sentence starters to begin.
‘Foxtrot’s dancing feet caused…’
‘Foxtrot tried rock climbing, and…’
‘Foxtrot held a huge opening ceremony for his new dance school, but…’
Persuasive Text. Advertisements.
Write an advert and create a poster inviting people to join your new dance school.
What is the title? Catch phrase? Price? Other details? Pictures? Colours used? Is it effective? What’s different about your dance school as opposed to others?  

Numeracy.

Measurement / Number. Time your Rhythm.
Make up a dance routine for you and your friends. Count how many repeats for each move. How many moves in total? Time your dance against the clock. Can you stay in beat with the music?
Extension: How many times can you jump / twirl / leap in one minute? Count and record.  

Science.

States of Matter: Dancing Raisins Experiment
Raisins can dance, too! I wonder if they prefer the Tango or the Mambo? Explore the matter of gas as the raisins interact with the carbon dioxide bubbles.
From Gift of Curiosity  
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Arts / Crafts.

Make your own dancing Foxtrot marionette puppet!
Check out this gorgeous toilet roll craft adapted from Duitang and get your Foxtrot boogying all over town.

imageMaterials:
Coloured paper (white, orange, green)
Cardboard (such as cereal box)
Pens / pencils / textas (assorted colours)
Toilet roll tube
String (allow for 1.5 metres)
Two (2) small bottle lids
Straw
Sticky tape
Scissors
Glue

——————–

Directions:
1. Cut to fit and cover toilet roll tube (body) with green paper.
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2. Draw a fox head shape and tail shape on to the cardboard. Cut.
Use as a template to trace onto white and orange papers. Cut each piece, use the white head to draw inner ears and eyes. Cut a tip of white for the tail.
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3.Paste all pieces on top of each other, with the cardboard at the bottom.
Stick head and tail onto the body and add details with pens. We added a little hat!
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4. Adult to pierce two small holes in each side of the body for the arms. Cut a piece of string and thread through the holes, tying each end in double knots. Trim excess.
5. Adult to pierce two holes at the bottom for the legs. Attach string to each of the bottle lids. Thread each leg string through a hole and tape down inside the tube. Make sure they are the same length.
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6. Cut three equal lengths of string (approx. 25-30cm). Attach one end to each foot (bottle lid), and attach the other end to each end of the straw. Attach the third piece of string to the back of the head.
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7. Hold the string in one hand and the straw in the other. Make your fox dance!
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Straw Blown Paintings.
Make your paint dance across the paper with this fun activity from The Imagination Tree.
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Dance School Diorama.
Design and construct your own Dance School diorama with character puppets / figures.  

Lessons by Romi Sharp.
© 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 not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links. This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
 

Information about the author illustrator of Foxtrot, Becka Moor can be found here.        


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Fire: Teaching Notes

Fire, Jackie French (author), Bruce Whatley (illus.), Scholastic Press, 2014.  

Review.

fireHarsh weather conditions are terrifying enough at the best of times, but what about when Mother Nature plays a hand in the wild and extreme that gamble with actual lives?
Award-winning author and Australian Laureate, Jackie French, together with the unequivocally talented illustrator, Bruce Whatley, have joined forces in producing a gripping and stunningly haunting book of adversity; ‘Fire’. Just like their previous book, ‘Flood’; depicting the horrendous Queensland floods in 2011, ‘Fire’ is another efficacious story of courage and strength in the face of a natural disaster.

Throughout the book are amazing, succinct verses that take your breath away with every word. The story begins with a serene outback set amongst golden hills and limp gum tree leaves. Upon turning the page, we are faced with the sudden impact of ferocious orange flames and black smoke, sending a once peaceful cockatoo fleeing for its life. Ramifications advance, affecting the people who live amongst the burning trees as the fire engulfs the land in a thunderous, cackling roar. Pretty soon, whole page spreads bleed with blood-red paint across the atmosphere, and thick grey ash that forces inhabitants to quickly escape the “gulping smoke and singed debris.”
Fire book imageNext, a gut-wrenching image of the oven swallowing houses, trees, the land. What about the aftermath? Loss, grief, disbelief. But the bravery of the firefighters and the safety of loved ones is what is appreciated most. From pain comes the strength of the Australian spirit, as we see the CFA tending to sick animals, and read of those friends who give love and help rebuild a world burnt bare. And eventually, the Earth is reborn once again.  

The final page details Jackie French‘s personal experiences with fighting bushfires and its effects on the land, and how best to manage its dangers. Bruce Whatley also gives appreciation for the courage of those dealing with these terrors, and his account of his illustration process. It is fascinating that he felt the erratic nature of the fire was the hardest thing to capture, because looking at his daubs, flicks, bleeding outlines, reds and yellows amongst their surrounding darks certainly creates intensely evocative and impactful imagery in my eyes.  

‘Fire’ is a powerful, poignant and moving story of real life truths; a devastingly beautiful, poetic rendition of a tough facet of nature. It is a book about life, love, friendship, hope and the human spirit that is so brilliantly captured in its words and images. ‘Fire’ is suited to primary school children, and is deservingly shortlisted in the CBCA’s 2015 Picture Book of the Year awards. Just phenomenal.

This review appeared first on Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before reading:

Ask, what do you know about bushfires? How do you think they start?
Have you seen stories about bushfires on the news? Have you or do you know anyone who has experienced this tragedy?
Look at the cover. What can you see? What does it tell us about this bushfire?

During reading:

What do you notice about the language used? What is a metaphor? How is a fire like a black snake?
What do you think the animals do to escape bushfire? How do the people need to act?
Discuss the illustrations in the book. How effective are they in making such a huge impact on the reader?

After reading:

What people / jobs might you see around the bushfire? What would their roles be?
What happened to the land during and after the bushfire? What could we do to help people who lost their homes in a bushfire? What ways can people protect themselves and their homes when living in the bush?

Curriculum Activities.

Literacy / Writing: Bushfire Poems
Objectives: Discuss language used in the book, including rhyming words, metaphors, symbolism. Discuss the order of events.

Acrostic Poem.
You may choose to write your own style of poem. My Prep daughter wrote an acrostic poem with the word BUSHFIRE.

imageBurning
Unsafe
Save yourself
Help animals
Firefighters are brave
I feel sad
Regrowth
Earth re-born.

———————————-

Technology / Craft: Firefighter and Burning Tree Construction.
Objectives: Understand the role and uniform of the CFA volunteers, and the effects of bushfires on the land, people and animals, and strategies to deal with its adversity.

Paper Roll Firefighter
Materials:
Paper roll, coloured paper (red, yellow, black or brown), goggle eyes (optional), pencil, glue, scissors, sticky tape, pipe cleaner.
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Directions:
1. Cut a strip of yellow paper for the body and attach to the paper roll. Cut a yellow hat / helmet shape and attach to the top of the roll.
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2. Pierce two holes in each side of the body and thread through the pipe cleaner (cut to size).
3. Decorate the firefighter as desired, with details on the uniform, goggle eyes and face.
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Paper Roll Burning Tree.
Materials:
Paper roll, choice of tissue paper / coloured paper / streamer, etc in fire colours (red, orange, yellow), sticky tape, scissors.
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Directions:
1. Cut large piece of tissue paper and stuff into top of paper roll.
2. Cut out flame shapes with another colour and stick in to tissue paper inside roll.
3. Cut out more flames with the third colour and stick into roll.
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4. Use your firefighter to put out the fire in the tree. We added a little pipe cleaner hose for the firefighter to hold.
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Science.
Learn about fire facts and its impact on humans, animals and land. Science Kids has some interesting information.

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


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Big Pet Day: Teaching Notes

imageBig Pet Day, Lisa Shanahan (author), Gus Gordon (illus.), Lothian Children’s Books, 2014.
Shortlisted in 2015 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards (5 – 8 years).

What an exciting day at school! ‘Big Pet Day’ is a tale of mammoth exuberance as Lily’s class celebrate the individual qualities and talents of their pets. Much to her dismay, Mrs Dalton’s classroom quickly becomes a disorganised chaotic mess. The principal, Mr Fisher, will be judging the best pet later that day, so keeping everyone under control is of the utmost importance. There is a runaway ferrett, a pooping pony, and a cordial-drinking puppy. Lily’s pet dragon is very well-behaved though, but she is the only one who knows how special he is. In a hilarious finale, involving a squealing, hermit crab-fearing Mr Fisher, it is Lily’s dragon who is now ‘seen’ as the most deserving gold trophy winner.
The text by Lisa Shanahan is absolutely comical, with many personalities evident – the cheekiest would have to be Mrs Dalton! There is a lot to discover, with the various children and the shenanigans of their pets, and illustrator Gus Gordon covers all these aspects expertly with charm and humour. I love the page with the kids looking exactly like their pet counterparts! Gorgeous! His use of scanned images, adorable hand-drawn characters and fine details (like Mrs Dalton’s book titled ‘Pet Management’) allow for hours of perusal and plenty of giggles.
‘Big Pet Day’ is perfect for primary school aged children (and their teachers), with scope for open discussions on pets (real and imagined), classroom management, friendship and loyalty. This book is both entertaining and heartwarming. It’s a winner!

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before Reading:

Use a story bag and fill it with items relating to the story. Eg. Pictures / toys of different animals and a dragon, a gold trophy, pet accessories (brush, collar, ball, etc).
Have children guess what the story might be about as they refer to the items.
Ask, Do you have a pet? If you could have any pet what would it be? How do you take care of a pet? Can a dragon be a pet? Why or why not? What would you teach a dragon if you had one as a pet?

During Reading:

Would you like to take your pet to school? What tricks would you like it to show? Do you think Mrs Dalton likes having the pets in her classroom?
Do you think Courtney is right about Lily’s dragon? What do you notice about the technique used in the pictures?
How do you think the teachers and students will respond to Lily’s dragon’s roars?

After Reading:

What unusual things does your pet do? Which animal/s in the story did you like best? Why or why not?
Why do you think the class liked Lily’s picture of herself and her flying dragon best?
How did each student get their pet ready for the parade? How did Lily get her pet dragon ready? What are the special qualities about Lily’s dragon that make him unique? Do you think he deserved to be the gold trophy winner? Why?
How did Lily handle the others not believing in her dragon? Could she have responded to Courtney’s untrustworthiness in a different way? Could Courtney have responded to Lily’s stories differently?

Thinking Activity.

De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.
Download Big Pet Day 6 Thinking Hats, formulate and answer your own questions about Lily and her dragon in ‘Big Pet Day’. Here are some examples.

Blue Hat – Processes. Thinking about thinking: Organise your own class pet day.
White Hat – Facts. Information and data: List the ways the children took care of their pets when getting ready for the Grand Parade.
Red Hat – Feelings. Intuition, instincts: How did Lily and her dragon feel to be the winner? How did they feel when no one took notice of them?
Green Hat – Creativity. Ideas, possibilities: What creative things could you teach your pet?
Yellow Hat – Benefits. Positives: What are the best things about having a pet dragon / any pet?
Black Hat – Cautions. Difficulties, weaknesses: What are the most dangerous / difficult things about having a pet dragon / any pet?
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Literacy.

Writing:
– Persuasive Text. Complete and illustrate: ‘The best pet is…. because…’.
– Creative Writing. Write a story around the theme of keeping a pet dragon.

Reading:
– Comprehension. The students got their pets ready for the Grand Parade.
Match the description of how they took care of their animals with the correct picture. Download Big Pet Day Match Up
Big Pet Day Match Up

– Read other books and fairy tales about dragons. Compare and contrast fierceness vs gentleness, personality traits and appearance, and so on.

Numeracy.  

Measurement: Ordering Pets by Size.
Collect a range of toys of different sizes. Have student/s order and identify them from smallest to largest.
Use other vocabulary to describe sizes. Eg. Tiniest, medium-sized, biggest, etc. Draw them in their order and label.
– Sorting. Use the Big Pet Day Cut and Paste to sort the animals into various categories.
A three way venn diagram is included for categories of three (eg. Feathers, Fur, Fins).
Big Pet Day Cut and Paste
Graphs and Data: Favourite Pets Graph.
As a group, list a range of favourite pets. Students survey each other and make a tally against each given pet. Count and mark the number of votes for each pet, and graph the results on a bar or picture graph. Discuss results.
Optional: include imaginary pets in the survey.

Science. 

Bubble Creatures.
Bubbles are always a fascinating discovery with the mixture of detergent and water and its transparency, soapy surface, expanding and popping qualities.
Here’s a fun way to explore bubbles and create your own ‘bubble-breathing’ dragon at the same time! From Two-Daloo.
dragon2

Arts / Crafts.  

Dragon Crafts.
Find a range of fantastic dragon crafts from Activity Village.
dragon_bookmark
Collage Art.
Cut out pictures from magazines or photos, and incorporate them into a painting of your favourite scene, or create your own Grand Pet Parade.
Materials: magazine cut outs, photos, paint, pencil, glue.

  

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


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Teddy Took the Train: Teaching Notes

9781760112134 Teddy Took the Train, Nicki Greenberg, Allen and Unwin, 2015.

Review.

Teddy Took the Train is a suspenseful and heartwarming story of a brave little girl who waits in anticipation for her teddy to return home after accidentally losing him on the train. Dot is eager to show Teddy the sights and sounds of the city passing on by their window seat inside the train. But with all the hustle and bustle, Dot and her Mum hurriedly depart the train, soon to realise that the train has taken Teddy… “No, Teddy took the train!”As best as she can cope with the grief of his sudden departure from her life, Dot reassures herself that Teddy’s train trip had been preconceived and he will make his way back to her in good time. His picnic at Bear Bend, his crowd surfing at Flinders Street, his river ride, and worldly adventures were all part of his plan. And when doubt and worries creep in, she handles these thoughts with maturity and optimism. But will Dot’s little world-travelling companion make it home in time for bed?

Nicki Greenberg’s text paces rhythmically and steadily, effectively engaging its young readers as they journey around town with this adventurous toy. I love how she builds emotion and encourages interaction with some bold sound words, repetition of what’s taking Teddy and the incorporation of questions. Nicki’s illustrations are equally animated and intriguing with their mixed media acrylics, scanned textures and collage techniques that keep your eye roving throughout every page.

A delightfully imaginative story about dealing with missing toys in a courageous and resilient way. It is perfect for preschoolers, and those who especially understand this situation all too well.

Short listed in the 2015 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards.

Available for purchase here.

tumblr_no0mw8qMTQ1qcjicdo1_500
Discussion.

Before Reading:
Ask, have you ever been on a train? What did you see, hear, smell inside and outside? Where / which way do you like to sit?
Look at the cover. What do you see? Where do you think Teddy might be going? Why do you think he’s taking a trip on the train?

During Reading:
Do you think Teddy likes being crowded on the train? How do you think Dot lost Teddy? Do you think Dot is worried about Teddy? How do you know? Do you think Teddy is worried about Dot? Why or why not? Do you think Teddy will make it back home? Why or why not?

After Reading:
Do you think Teddy really did all those things? Why does Dot tell her other toys about Teddy’s adventures? How do you think Dot felt when she thought Teddy was taking a long time to come home? What words can you use to describe Dot? Teddy?
Have you ever lost a favourite toy? How did it make you feel? What thoughts did you tell yourself to make you feel better?
Were there things you noticed about the different people in the book? Were there things you noticed about objects or textures in the pictures?

Thinking Activity.

Dot and Teddy Venn Diagram.
Create a Venn Diagram showing the similarities and differences between Dot and Teddy. Think about their appearances, character traits and actions. Eg. Dot has blond, curly hair / Teddy has short, brown hair. Dot had a picnic with her toys / Teddy had a picnic with his bear friends. Draw the ideas and label your pictures.

Literacy.

Recount Writing.
Write about a time when you lost, or misplaced, something you were fond of. What did you do? How did you feel? Did you find it in the end? If not, how did you overcome the problem? Illustrate with your favourite part of the story.
Creative Writing.
Imagine one of your toys took an adventure. Where would they go? How would they get there? What obstacles did they have to overcome? Did they come back to the original destination?
Writing Lists.
Write a list of places you would like to visit, real or imaginary.
Vocabulary / Grammar.
Write a list of adjectives to describe Dot. Write another list to describe Teddy. Include appearance, character traits, actions. Also see Thinking Activity (Venn Diagram).
 Comprehension.
Complete the sentence: ‘The ____ took ____! No, _____ took the ____!’ Illustrate.
Phonics.
Tt is for Teddy. Make a list of words beginning with ‘Tt’. Draw/make a train and write each word in the carriages.
Teddy took the train word train
Reading
Read other books by Nicki Greenberg. Compare and contrast similarities and differences between writing style and illustrations.
PhotoGrid_1436833366839

Numeracy.

Space / Location.
Help Teddy find his way back to Dot.
Make your own or download and complete the Teddy Took the Train Maze.
PhotoGrid_1436507398916
Puzzle Maker: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/AdvMazeSetupForm.asp

Number.
Train Addition Game.
Objectives:Reinforce number recognition and one-to-one correspondence counting skills.
Http://stayathomeeducator.com/build-a-train-a-preschool-addition-game

IMG_9189

Measurement: Time.
Train Travel. Teddy explored the city of Melbourne via the train network. Choose your own city’s travel network to explore for the following activity.
Materials:list of train (or tram, bus, etc) stations, train track / hard floor with labelled stations, toy train or homemade propelling train (See Science activity), timer or stopwatch.

Materials: paper, scissors, pencil, sticky tape, blocks/train with wheels, balloon, paper rolls, timer or stopwatch

Materials: paper, scissors, pencil, sticky tape, blocks/train with wheels, balloon, paper rolls, timer or stopwatch


Directions:
1. Make your own train route with different stations (we simply stood labelled paper rolls up as the stations).
image
2. Make or use a toy/propelled train. Tip: if using a balloon, attach the tape underneath and not over the neck so you don’t restrict the airflow
image
3. Set the train at the start of the track, and let go! Time how long it takes to travel from one station to the next (adult assistance required).
image
4. Record results. Eg. Melbourne Central Station to Southern Cross Station: 6 seconds.
5. Extension: Increase the number of stations on your track. Estimate and time how long it takes to complete the whole route.

Measurement: Time.
Clocks. It took from breakfast to bed time for Teddy to complete his outing on the train.
Make a time wheel or timeline showing your daily routine / activities, dividing the day into either:
Breakfast, Morning tea, Lunch, Afternoon tea, Dinner, Dessert, or
Morning, Mid-morning, Midday, Afternoon, Evening, Night, or
9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm.

Science.

Make your own self propelled train.
The science of ‘force’ is fascinating and can be explored in many ways. Use this train in the above Numeracy activity (Train Travel), or simply experiment and discuss the nature of ‘forces’ in this Science activity.
Instructions on how to make a balloon powered car (or train) here: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Balloon-Car
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A few more great ideas on learning about forces here: http://www.science-sparks.com/2014/01/29/ideas-for-learning-about-forces
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Arts / Crafts.

A trip to the market.
Dot and her Mum bought oranges, a bun, leafy greens and a cup of coffee. Create a train that carries items you might find at the market.
Http://play-trains.com/natural-freight-toy-trains-summer
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Paper Roll / Egg Carton Train.
Take Teddy for a ride on your very own homemade train.
Http://www.thecrafttrain.com/1/post/2013/03/egg-carton-train.html
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Cardboard Box Car and Train Tunnel.
Take your train through the City Loop with this fantastic box tunnel.
Http://celebrateeverydaywithme.com/diy-project-for-your-train-loving-car-racing-kid
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Geography Project: My Place in the World.
Teddy visited lots of destinations around the world. Get to know your place in the world with this brilliant geographic activity.
Since Australia is both a country and a continent, you will include it twice. Discuss this fact by making comparisons to other countries / continents.
Http://kidworldcitizen.org/2011/11/26/my-place-in-the-world-project
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Find templates for a map of Australia, including plain coastal, plain States and labelled States here:
Http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=281&lang=en
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Music.

Train Songs.
Http://www.letsplaykidsmusic.com/down-at-the-station-train-songs

Lessons by Romi Sharp
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal or classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written permission.


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Hello From Nowhere: Teaching Notes

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.