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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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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.

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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.
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Numeracy.

Space / Location.
Help Teddy find his way back to Dot.
Make your own or download and complete the Teddy Took the Train Maze.
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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

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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).
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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
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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).
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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.