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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.
image

Book Study
Read and discuss the similarities and differences between other books by Elise Hurst.  
image

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.
image
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!
image image

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.
image  

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.
image

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.  


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Max: Teaching Notes

MarcMartin-Max_CoverMax, Marc Martin (author, illus.), Viking Penguin Books, 2014. CBCA 2015 Early Childhood Notable Book.

Review.

‘Max’ is a story of a sweet (and salty) friendship between man and bird, with a key focus on one common theme… A love of chips!
Max the seagull is like other ordinary seagulls – he likes fish, and he likes chips. But what makes him extraordinary is his loyalty to Bob. Bob is the owner of the fish and chip shop, you see. So when Max behaves, he is rewarded. Max and Bob enjoy many good times fishing together, until one day, Bob disappears. After waiting for weeks, Max eventually forgoes his beachside location in search of his long-lost mate. Familiar smells lead him to the city, where he stumbles across a brand new fish and chip shop. Of course, it belongs to Bob! Will Bob recognise Max? Will they remain companions when things have changed?

I love the narrative focus from Max’s perspective, and together with the illustrative details, readers with a discerning eye (and ear) will pick up the emotional clues and reasoning behind the events. Marc Martin won the 2013 Crichton Award for new illustrator, and deservingly so. His eccentric quality of details, shapes, patterns, textures, animated characters, ‘bird’s-eye’ views and vivid watercolours are definately like a delectable feast for the senses.

‘Max’ is an endearing, whimsical tale of friendship and change that is full of zest and salty goodness. It is sure to fly off the shelves into its readers’ hearts, satisfying long after the book has been put down. For children from age three and up.

Discussion.

Before Reading:
Ask, have you been to the beach? What kind of things might you see there?
Draw a mind map (or a Fishbone Diagram!) showing each aspect according to different categories, such as animals, food, buildings, people, activities, etc.
Look at the cover. What can you see? What do you know about seagulls? Who do you think ‘Max’ is? Can you add anything else to your mind map after looking at the cover?

During Reading:
What kind of shops can you see in the pictures? Why is Max a bit mischievous? How does Max help Bob fish? Why does Bob seem sad? Where do you think Bob is going? Why?
Do you think Max will find Bob? Will Bob know who he is?

After Reading:
Why did Bob have to close his shop at the beach? Why do you think Max wanted to see Bob again? What are some of the differences between the beachside and the city? How do you think Bob felt when he saw Max again? How did Max feel when he was waiting, and when he found Bob? What has changed and what is still the same? What makes a good friendship?

Literacy.

Friendship Ladder.
With a partner, discuss / list the activities that you enjoy doing together. Then, using a Ranking Ladder, write them in order from least favourite (at the bottom) to most favourite (at the top).
IMG_9024
Poem / Letter.
Write or draw a friendship poem / picture or a friendly letter to someone you haven’t seen for a while. Eg. An old kinder friend or someone who moved schools. Write about the things you enjoyed doing with that person, and how you feel about their absence in your life.
Creative Writing.
Write a story about ‘change’. This open-ended topic can relate to many circumstances, including moving room, house or school, losing a loved one, changes in nature, changes in your body, and so on.
Comprehension.
Finish the sentence: ‘Max likes ____, _____ and ____.’ Write your own sentence: ‘I like ____, ____ and ____.’ and/or ‘My friend likes ____, ____ and ____.’ Illustrate. Make a class book.  

Numeracy.

Number: Fishing Game.
Number Recognition. Write numbers 1-10 on paper fish and attach a paper clip to each one. Using a magnet on a piece of string, ‘catch’ the fish and say the number as you go.
Extension: Addition – record each number caught and add the next number caught to the previous. Eg. 5 and 4 is 9. Continue adding numbers until all the fish have been caught.
Number: Chip Number Stories.
Use materials, such as pop sticks, pipe cleaners, pencils or paper strips to represent chips. Make up, write and model number stories using addition, subtraction, groups of or shared between (depending on level) about Max and the chips. For example, ‘On Sunday Bob gave Max 2 chips, and on Monday he gave him 3 chips. How many chips is that altogether?’
Max maths1
Number: Money.
Open up your own ‘Fish and Chip’ shop with a register. Invite customers to buy your food using play (or cut out paper) money. Label the products with price tags, or write them up on a blackboard. Practise recognising different coins and notes, counting and adding money, and giving change. How much money did you make in a day?
Space / Location: Model City.
Max flew over the ocean, trees, around the city and above tall buildings in search of Bob. Make a model city with these features. Using prepositional language, instruct a partner to fly a paper seagull to different locations. Eg. ‘Fly Max around the red building.’ ‘Fly Max under the bridge.’ ‘Fly Max over the forest.’
: Maps.
Design and draw your own street map on a grid, showing various features including parks, buildings, houses, trees, rivers and roads. Formulate questions to find a particular feature on the map. Eg. In which grid reference would you find Bob’s Fish and Chip shop? A5.
IMG_9021
Graphs and Data: Favourite Food Survey.
Survey your friends to find out what they like to eat the most. As a class, list the foods and tally the votes once each person has been interviewed. Represent the results as a graph (bar, picture, pie chart), and discuss. What was the favourite food? Least favourite? What does this tell you about the class’s eating habits?
Alternatively, pick your own topic to graph.  

Science.

Water Science:  Oil and Water Study of pollution / oil spills at the beach / ocean.
http://sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/oilandwater.html

http://www.oneperfectdayblog.net/2012/02/27/mixing-oil-and-water-science-experiment/

  
Study of birds.
Choose a species of bird and research its appearance, habitat, migration, food, breeding, and so on. Present visually and/or digitally.
MarcMartin-Max_01-580x290

Art / Craft.
Make a paper plate seagull.
http://www.localfunforkids.com/home/preschool-summer-bird-craft-paper-plate-seagull.html
summer+craft+paper+plate+seagull

Origami.
Have a go at folding a paper seagull with this origami craft. See how ours turned out!
http://www.paperorigamiblog.com/2013/06/sea-gull-origami-folding-diagram.html?m=1
1 origami max seagull

Painting.
Paint your own aerial view of the city with watercolours and pencil. Experiment with other media like paper collage from textured paper or magazine cut outs.
– Paint the scene with Bob and Max fishing on the pier, using watercolours for the underwater section.
Max book image

Construction.
Make a cardboard box shopping strip with a variety of shops. Don’t forget the fish and chips!
http://krokotak.com/2013/03/cardboard-city/
218

Game:
Make a fishing rod and some fish to catch (see Numeracy: Fishing Game activity).
IMG_6082_2 IMG_6139_2
Game:
Toss the fish and chips into the seagull’s belly. See the following link for instructions (alternate penguin for seagull).
Http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/cardboard-penguin-toss-game-and-fish.html?m=1
IMG_6110

Water Activities
http://www.localfunforkids.com/home/10-preschool-summer-water-activities.html
Love these chip-looking sponge splash balls from momendeavours.com!
Water-Splash-Balls
Gift Wrapping.
Wrap a gift for a friend in fish n chip paper / butcher paper. Decorate and tie ribbon. That’s o-fish-ally a wrap!
http://papercrave.com/weekly-wrap-149-mint-dotty/
mint-dots-gift-wrap

Lessons by Romi Sharp.
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
http://www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
http://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 permission.


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iF…A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers: Teaching Notes

ifjpg.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxiF…A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers, David J. Smith (author), Steve Adams (illus.), New Frontier Publishing, 2015.

Review:

Love numbers? Love facts? Love history? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you love challenging your own thinking, then you will love this fascinating information book by David J. Smith and Steve Adams; ‘iF…A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers’.  

iF… looks at our world and Universe, and all the things that encompass them, in a scaled down way that provides the reader with the power to more meaningfully understand the relative sizes and relationships of big concepts. Teacher and author, (If the World Were a Village, If America Were a Village and This Child, Every Child), David J. Smith, identifies the use of scale and modelling as a valuable tool for numeracy development, and henceforth facilitating knowledgeable citizens.  

iF… begins with a table of contents and a foreward page outlining the concept of the book; ”Some things are so huge and so old that it’s hard to wrap your mind around them… (This book) scales down, or shrinks, huge events, spaces and times to something we can understand.”  
With tons of mind-blowing facts and statistics, enormous numbers and unique perspectives, the book takes us through planet sizes, to the history of life on earth, significant inventions, to food, water, living species, money, energy, our population and lifestyle choices.  
Learning about these topics is far from boring. Planets can be compared to different ball sizes. If Earth were a baseball, Mercury would be a ping-pong ball, Venus; a tennis ball, Mars; a golf ball, and Jupiter; an exercise ball. If 3.5 billion years of life forms on Earth were condensed into one hour, bacteria is first to arrive in one second,  dinosaurs appear after 56 minutes for 3 minutes only, and modern humans make an appearance with 0.2 seconds left to spare.        
Real-life materials demonstrate how each grand idea can be modelled in the classroom. The Inventions are laid out on a one metre long measuring tape and a 30cm ruler. The surface areas of The Continents are divided into percentages and pictorially spread across the two pages. The wealth of the population is represented with piles of coins and a world map. And your whole life activities can be shown in the form of a large pizza.  
If_2277_spr2
The illustrations by award-winning, Steve Adams, are absolutely incredible. The detail, perspectives, pictorial and graphic representations accurately depict the mammoth amount of information in an appealing and easy way for the reader to comprehend the ideas.   A fortune of research has been compressed in to this book, and any reader will certainly gain a wealth of knowledge back after reading it.

iF…, creative, challenging, eye-opening. It’s the kind of brain overload primary school children will love.  

Review by Romi Sharp

Discussion:

Before Reading:
Show students a toy or model of an aeroplane, car or large animal. Ask, Is this the actual size of a car, or elephant? How would you describe its’ size? What do the terms ‘scaled down’ and ‘proportional’ mean?
What other things are too large to hold in our hands? How might you represent these? What about concepts that can’t be held, such as time, distance or the population? How might you show events that occurred over billions of years?  

During Reading:
Discuss some of the concepts found in the book. Does it make sense?  

After Reading:
Is this text an imaginative, informative or persuasive text? How do you know?
What were the favourite / most interesting ideas? Were there any ideas that students want to know more about? Are there other ways to represent a particular topic from the book? What other ideas can you think of to explore that weren’t covered in the book? Perhaps something relevant to you.  
13childrens-2-articleLarge

Curriculum Activity.

Mathematics.

Learning Outcomes:
Measurement and Geometry.
Using units of measurement
 
Measure and compare the lengths and capacities of pairs of objects using uniform informal units(ACMMG019)

Number and place value
Recognise, model, represent and order numbers to at least 1000 (ACMNA027)

Design, Creativity and Technology Learning focus  
In response to simple design briefs, students develop basic design ideas based on their experiences of working with materials/ingredients and components. They talk about their design ideas and thought processes and start to represent these visually by using models, pictures and words. They consider that more than one solution may be possible and begin to give reasons for changes in their thinking. Students consider whether their design solutions work and are appropriate for the purpose for which they were designed. With guidance from the teacher and feedback from peers, they reflect on how they designed and made their products.  

1. Pose the question, ”If a blue whale were a watermelon, how would you represent other kinds of whales and sea life with pieces of fruit?”
PhotoGrid_1427082725063
2. Make a list of whales and sea life. Research and write their sizes next to the name. Make another list with fruits of various sizes. Collect and measure each one and write the size next to the name.
3. Distribute fruits to correlating whale/sea creature with a visual display. Discuss and make comparisons. Brainstorm other ways can this information be represented.
4. Assessment Task:
Allow students to select a chosen method (eg. Graph, timeline, visual model with materials, etc), and work in a group to represent the information.  

Extension Ideas.
Learning Outcomes:

Civics and Citizenship
Learning focus

Students begin to participate in a range of class and school activities such as recycling, taking responsibility for class resources, and marking local and national celebrations and commemorations. They explore the purpose and benefits of school, community and national events. Students investigate the ways individuals, families, groups and communities can work to improve their environment.

1. Students to pose their own questions based on personal experiences and represent this visually (eg. Daily life activities as a puzzle, or, amount of rubbish collected in a week shown as piles of blocks).
2. Pose a new question in reverse. For example, select things that are miniature and represent them on a larger scale.

Lessons by Romi Sharp
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
For personal and classroom use only, not permitted for commercial use.
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www.twitter.com/mylilstorycrner


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Bridie’s Boots: Teaching Notes

Bridie’s Boots, Phil Cummings (author), Sara Acton (illus.), Working Title Press, 2014.  

IMG_7839Review:  

Bridie’s five year old boots are the best. She can go anywhere and do anything in her boots, especially in her wildest dreams! But as the seasons change over the year, an almost six year old Bridie discovers that her boots no longer fit. In a gesture of goodwill, Bridie’s boots are packed and shipped to a new owner across the other side of the world. She, too, can go anywhere and do anything in her new boots. And Bridie smiles and continues of her charitable mission.
Illustrations by Sara Acton portray Bridie expressively and enthusiastically, as the little girl that she is. The fluid watercolour, ink and pastel paintings beautifully compliment Phil Cumming’s story with the movement of Bridie’s actions, the passing seasons and the journey of the boots.
‘Bridie’s Boots’ is a gorgeous, endearing book about maturing as a person, and thinking of the environment and others globally. It is also the perfect story for reinforcing the enjoyment and appreciation for the simple pleasures in life.

Discussion:

Australian Curriculum Standards:
Literacy

Respond to texts drawn from a range of cultures and experiences (ACELY1655)    

Before Reading:
Do you own something that you would like to keep forever? How is it special to you?
Look at the cover. Do you think Bridie’s boots are special to her? Why, and what might she do with them? Do you think she can keep them forever?  

During Reading:
What is the dog looking at in the cupboard? Do you think Bridie will wear her boots again after the year has passed? What is a shipping container? What do you put in there? Where does it go? What does the new girl like about the boots?  

After Reading:
Why did Bridie decide to send her boots away? Why not throw them in the bin? How did Bridie feel about giving up her boots in the beginning? How did she feel at the end? How was the new girl’s world and dreams different to Bridie’s? Why is Bridie giving away some of her toys?

Literacy Activity:
Jumping in Muddy Word Puddles

Australian Curriculum Standards:
Language
Know that regular one-syllable words are made up of letters and common letter clusters that correspond to the sounds heard, and how to use visual memory to write high-frequency words (ACELA1778)

IMG_7816Materials:
coloured paper,
scissors,
texta or pencils,
copy of ‘Bridie’s Boots’,
pair of boots (optional).

___________________________________________________________

Directions:
1. On coloured paper, draw and cut out ten puddle shapes (or as many as you see appropriate for level of child).
IMG_7817
2. Using either of the word lists given (or select your own words from the book), write one word per puddle shape.
IMG_7818
3. Spread them out across the floor.
4. Have the child put on their boots (optional) and listen to the instructions. Say, ”jump on the word ‘the’. If the child can correctly read the word they can keep the puddle. Carry on until all the words have finished.
IMG_7819
5. Extension: Once a word has been identified, ask the child to put the word into a sentence. Eg. for ‘boots’, ”Bridie wore red boots with little sailboats on them.”
6. Extension 2: Once a word has been identified, turn it over and ask the child to spell it out. Eg. for ‘boots’, ”b-o-o-t-s”.

Words from book: boots, best, feet, dry, sun, puddles, lands, winter, wet, days, weeks, months, year, rain.
Sight words: was, she, they, were, in, and, the, it, her, as, when, on, of, to, do, all, but.

Mathematics Activity:
Make a Seasonal Wheel

Australian Curriculum Standards:
Using units of measurement

Describe duration using months, weeks, days and hours (ACMMG021)

IMG_7831Materials:
2 x A4 sheets paper,
textas or pencils,
grey lead pencil,
ruler,
scissors,
plate,
split pin

_____________________________________________________________________
——————————————————————-

Directions:
1. Trace two circles around the outer edge of the plate by turning it upside down. Cut out each circle.
IMG_7830
2. On each circle, trace around the inner edge of the plate by turning it right side up.
3. Find the centre point of each circle with your ruler. On one circle, draw four equal quarters by ruling a horizontal line and a vertical line through the centre point, stopping at the inner circle.
4. Above each quarter in the outer section, write the months of the year. There should be three months per quarter, as per the following for the Australian seasons.

Summer = December, January, February
Autumn = March, April, May
Winter = June, July, August
Spring = September, October, November

5. In each quarter, write the corresponding season and draw an appropriate picture.
IMG_7832
6. On the second circle, cut out the outer circle and one quarter of the circle. Write a title and decorate.
IMG_7833 IMG_7834 IMG_7835
7. Place the top circle above the bottom one and insert the split pin through the centre of each.
IMG_7836
8. Your Seasonal Wheel is ready to spin!
IMG_7837 IMG_7838
Extension: Discuss the months of the year and their corresponding seasons. Discuss appropriate activities, clothing, food, and so on for each season. What did Bridie do in each season? Mark the seasons on a calendar. What special events occur in what season?

Science Activity:
Rain Cloud in a Jar

Australian Curriculum Standards:
Earth and space sciences

Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape(ACSSU019)
Questioning and predicting
Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events(ACSIS024)
clouds7-resized
Find instructions here: http://www.tobyandroo.com/diy-rain-clouds-one-best-science-activities-for-kids/

Find a great selection of relevant teaching ideas and craft activities at:
Http://www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner/bridies-boots-teaching-notes

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp
© My Little Story Corner 2015
For personal or classroom use only. Not permitted for commercial use with written permission.
https://www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
http://www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner


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Santa’s Outback Secret: Teaching Notes

9780857982254
Santa’s Outback Secret
Mike Dumbleton
Illustrated by Tom Jellett

Find the Review here.

Santa’s Outback Secret: Question Time!  

Before Reading:
Have a bag full of disguises, like funny glasses, wigs, hats, moustache, etc. Ask a child to pull out an item and put it on themselves or a toy. This is a disguise. Why might people wear disguises? .  
Look at the cover and title. What do you know about Santa? Does this man look like Santa? What do you think Santa’s secret might be? Where is the outback? What might Santa do there? What would be your wish for Christmas?  
IMG_1004 IMG_1002 IMG_1007
During Reading:
Why do you think Santa needs to disguise himself and hide his reindeer? Ask if children know the meanings of the words ‘jackaroo’, ‘tucker’, ‘crook’. What does it mean for the horse to be ”trickier than a thoroughbred”?  

After Reading:
Do you think the boy knew that the man was really Santa? Why do you think Santa chose to help Ben after reading his letter? What was the boy’s wish? What does this tell you about the boy’s nature? How do you think the trail bike will help the boy and his dad when Santa’s gone?  

Santa’s Outback Secret: Learning Time!  

Writing.

– Write your own letter to Santa about a very important Christmas wish to help someone else in need.
– Write a story about a time when Santa came to visit your house for a day. What would he do there? Did he solve a problem or help you in any way? What gift did he leave at the end of the day?
– S is for Santa. Write all the words in the book that start with ‘Ss’. (Santa, secret, special, skies, stained, snake-skin, shirt, stockman, swag, spray, smile, skill, speed, and so on).
IMG_7324
– Using the ‘s’ nouns listed above, draw and cut out, place blue tac on the back of each picture, then use to ‘dress up’ your Santa. Optional: Laminate for durability.
(Draw Santa (or download a Santa picture), stained jeans, snake-skin belt, shirt, shoes (boots), sun hat, sling water bag, stockman’s whip, canvas swag, spray). Make sure everything is labeled.
(See Mathematics Ordering activity for follow up).  

Reading.

– Comprehension Activity. Match the Aussie slang words to their meanings.
Download Santa’s Outback Secret Aussie Slang Match Up worksheet.
Santa's Aussie Slang
– Rhyming words. Find the rhyming words in the story. Think of other words that rhyme with: jackaroo, speed, bike, etc.  
– Read other Christmas books. What messages do they offer? What are the similarities and differences?
PhotoGrid_1418819481147 PhotoGrid_1418819703928

Mathematics.

– Space / Location. Prepositions:
List the prepositional language in the book. Match word with a drawn picture. Eg. beside a dusty homestead track. Santa leaped onto his back… The horse jumped up. The horse jumped over the stockyard fence!
Make a model Santa and a horse and demonstrate these actions (Make a model from anything like blocks, playdough, paper or pipe cleaners).
– Number. Santa’s Ordering Activity:
Order the items of clothing and accessories as Santa put them on. You can use your cut-outs from the writing activity and place them in order from 1st to 9th. Add your own item to make it the 10th piece.  
Science.
– Investigate Transport / Force.
What modes of transport can be found in the story? (Reindeer pulling a sleigh, horse, trail bike). How are each powered? Investigate by making models.
Find some terrific science, maths, art and games activities for the transportation theme here:
http://www.123child.com/lessonplans/other/transportation.php

– Santa Science Kids Activities.
http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/12/more-santa-science-kids-activities.html
Cool activities from Magic Milk, Ice and Salt, and Holiday GOOP!     
Christmas+Science+Kids+Activities magic+milk+experiment

Art / Craft.
– Santa in Disguise. Make yourself a pair of Christmas glasses
http://picklebums.com/2014/11/14/christmas-glasses  
christmas-glasses-title
– Homemade Button Christmas Cards. Write a special message for a loved one.
http://craftsbyamanda.com/2014/12/homemade-button-christmas-cards.html
Button-Christmas-Cards-for-Kids-1
– Gorgeous Christmas Crafts
http://mumsgrapevine.com.au/2011/12/25-fabulous-christmas-crafts/  
xcraft5
– Fantastic Santa Crafts. Why not try making an Aussie Santa wearing a flannelette shirt!
http://onetimethrough.com/everything-santa-claus-45-kids-ideas-christmas/  
Everything-Santa-Claus-One-Time-Through-Blog

Purchase Santa’s Outback Secret from Boomerang Books for $17.99.

Lessons devised and adapted by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal or classroom use only and not permitted for commercial use.  

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Whale in the Bath: Teaching Notes

whale-in-the-bath
Whale in the Bath
Kylie Westaway
Illustrated by Tom Jellett

Read the Review.

Whale in the Bath: Question Time!  

Before Reading:
Ask some silly questions, like ”Would you ever find an elephant in your toilet?”, ”Would you find a polar bear in your fridge?”.  Encourage children to think of their own examples and write them down.
Look at the cover. Did you think a whale could fit in a bath? Do you think this might be a true story or make believe? What do you think the boy might say to the whale? What would you say to the whale?  
whale in the bath titles

During Reading:
Ask, Do you know what krill is? Do you believe Bruno? Do you think he really had a bear under the bed and a walrus in the backyard? Do you think the whale has nice manners? Can you wash like a whale? (Do the actions).  

After Reading:
Do you think Ally sees the whale or is she making it up? Why do you think Bruno’s family didn’t believe him? Why do you think Bruno didn’t want to have a bath? What would you do if someone didn’t listen when you asked them to do something? Have you ever tried to avoid something you didn’t want to do? What happened?  

Writing.
– Using the ideas listed prior to reading, write a new title about a large animal in a small item. For example, ”Hippo in a Teacup”. Illustrate to create a front cover.
IMG_7120
– Using the above front cover, write a new story about yourself trying to use the item that the animal is sitting in. What was it doing in there? Why doesn’t it want to get out? What would you say? What do your family say?
– W is for whale. Make a list of words that begin with ‘Ww’. Encourage children to copy or trace some of these words. Accompany each word with a picture to represent it.
– Make a paper model of one of the ‘w’ words. Eg. paper whale (see Art / Craft), walrus, window, etc.
– Write an alliteration sentence with ‘w’ words. Eg. Wally Whale wondered why the water wasn’t warm. Illustrate.  

Reading.
– Read other books about whales.
PhotoGrid_1416297033050
– Find and write a list of verbs associated with the word ”splash”, in a whale template.
Alternatively write adjectives to describe the whale, or nouns listing the items he used in the bath.  
skinny-outline-whale-md

Mathematics.
– Measurement: Length. How big is a Blue Whale?
Objectives: Children understand the size of a Blue Whale. Practice predicting and measuring skills.
Materials: roll of string (100 feet or 30.5 metres), Blue Whale picture, pencils, large butcher paper, corridor or outdoor area, paper plates.
1. Research and write measurements of the Blue Whale on the picture.
2. On large butcher paper, draw the head of the whale, as life size as possible. Do the same with the tail.
3. Have children draw eyes, mouth, scales onto the head and tail.
4. Mount the head at one end of the corridor, then stick (or tie) the end of the string to the head.
5. Unravel the string (30.5m) and attach with the tail.
6. Children predict how many paper plates (and/or other materials) it would take to fill the entire length of the whale. Write estimates, measure and record.
7. Discussion: Who’s prediction/s was closest? Refer back to book. Compare and contrast – Would it be possible for this whale to fit in a bath? A car? A house? What else might be as big as a Blue Whale?
(Activity adapted from www.teachervision.com/science/lesson-plan/2548.html)  

– Find a range of online whale maths games and videos at the following site:
https://www.learninggamesforkids.com/animal-games-whales.html  

Science.
– Research facts about the Blue Whale (use size measurements in Maths activity above). Present as a booklet, poster or visual technology presentation.
Some information can be found at: www.animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/blue-whale/
Learn all you wanted to know about blue whales with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.  
blue-whale-pictures_3

Art / Craft.
– Look at the illustrations by Tom Jellett. Draw cartoon style pictures and paint with cool, earthy tones.
– Download these awesome drawing and colouring activities by Tom Jellett, found at:
http://kyliewestaway.com.au/fun-stuff/colouring.     
IMG_7117 IMG_7118
– Make your own Paper Plate Whale.
How cute is this one from Krokotak! We made our own using one paper plate, textas and some gold paper! Simple and adorable!
Instructions here: http://krokotak.com/2014/07/a-paper-plate-whale/ .    
025c3b584f452b91ea47eda710be3cc9 IMG_7114-1
– And this Blue Whale Paper Toy:
http://krokotak.com/2013/03/blue-whale-paper-toy/
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– Crayon Relief Whale.
Materials: crayons, watercolour paint, water, paintbrush, paper, googly eyes and glue (optional).
Directions: 1. Draw a large whale with crayon and colour in as desired.
2. Dab water in to the watercolour paint to form a runny mixture, and paint over the entire sheet of paper.
3. Notice the crayon wax resisting the water. Allow to dry.
4. Glue on a googly eye/s (optional).    
293x208xcrayonresistwhaleshark-mainpic.jpg.pagespeed.ic.SywDeQHFda
– Crayon Fun in the Bath!
Have a whale of a time and be creative in the bath with some bath crayons. You can easily make your own.
See instructions here: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Soap-Crayons  
760px-Make-Soap-Crayons-Step-6

General.
– Find a range of whale activities, including literacy, mathematics and crafts, on Kylie Westaway’s Pinterest page:
http://www.pinterest.com/kyliewestaway/whale-in-the-bath  
b1e26c3392f1e5b7c26a48d4832769da

Lessons created and adapted by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal or classroom use only and not permitted for commercial use.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.twitter.com/mylilstorycrner


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Scary Night: Teaching Notes

9781921504631
Scary Night
Lesley Gibbes
Illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Scary Night: Question Time!  

IMG_6895Before Reading:
Have a Halloween style goody bag filled with related items or pictures. Eg. bats, ghost picture, owl, crocodile, bear, pumpkin, cake, hat, parcel. Ask children to guess how these items might appear in the story. Ask, what do you know about Halloween? How do you feel about the dark night?
Look at the cover. How do you think the characters feel about where they are? What do you think the title is telling us about the story? Do you think it will be a story that is…funny? scary? serious?

During Reading:
Where do you think they’re going? Why is it a ‘mystery’?
Ask children to join in to answer the questions (‘Were they scared?’, ‘Did they shake?’, etc), the loud roaring and screaming, and the repeating lines (‘Did they give up? Of course they didn’t!’, ‘tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight’)  

After Reading:
How did you feel about the story? Were you afraid? Why do you think the friends kept going when they were so frightened? What would you do if you were scared? Where did the friends end up going to? Why do you think they were going to a party in the night? What do you think ‘tickled pink’ means?  

Scary Night: Learning Time!  

Dramatic Play.
– Re-enact the story with some props; cake, hat, parcel and background items.
Characters include: Cat, Hare, Pig, crocodiles, bear, Goat.
– Alternatively, make the characters into puppets for a puppet show. Shown here are the characters drawn, coloured and cut out, taped onto black painted pop sticks, tip-toe creeping in front of a painted background.     
IMG_6915 IMG_6914

Writing.
– Write your own play for ‘Scary Night’. What kind of scary places, creatures and animals would you meet? Will you be going to a party or somewhere else?
– Write a creative answer to the question:
But where were they going in the dead of the night, tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight? They were going to _____________. Illustrate.
– Make an open-the-flap-door card. On the front write
”Turn the handle. Sneak inside. Count to three and shout…”
Inside the door flap write your own word that the friend might shout. Who will be behind your door?
Shown is a lid from a baby wipes packet for the door. Alternatively, to make a flap-door, cut three lines in the centre of the paper, leaving the longer left side attached as the hinge.  
IMG_6899 IMG_6900 IMG_6902

Reading.
– Phonics.
Make a chart with each character and the first letter of their name. Eg. ‘C’ for Cat. List all the ‘c’ words that you can think of.
Repeat with ‘H’ for Hare and ‘P’ for Pig. Decorate.
– Complete the worksheets. ‘What Can Cat Carry to the Party?’, ‘Follow Pig along the Path!’, ‘Would you Dare to Scare a Hare if You Were a Bear?’ Download Scary Night Reading Worksheets   
scary night worksheet c scary night worksheet p scary night h

– Rhyming words.
Find and list the rhyming words in the story. Brainstorm other words that rhyme with… night, cave, roar, stairs, pink.
– Adjectives.
Find and list the adjectives in the story. Eg. scary, pale, snapping, cool, bold, grizzly, sharpened. Can you think of any more to describe the characters and setting in the story?
– Read other Halloween stories. How do they compare in terms of ‘scariness’?  
IMG_6863

Mathematics.
– Space / Location.
Make an obstacle course with props and furniture.  Use prepositional language as you use each piece of equipment.
Materials: cushions, chairs, block towers, blue material, dark sheets, table, paper.
Eg. over a hill (cushions), through the woods (blocks), across a creek (material), past a cave (sheet over table), up a mountain / stairs (boxes), behind a gravestone (chair), under the moonlight (paper on wall).
Here we have Porcupine with a present, tip-toe creeping on a mysterious journey.     
IMG_6965 IMG_6966 IMG_6967

– Number: Ordering numbers, Number Place, One to one correspondence.
Match the number order. Download Scary Night Number Order Worksheet
scary night number order

– Number stories.
Make up number stories about the characters. Use materials such as counters or toys to help.
Eg. There was one friend and three more came to his party. How many friends altogether?
There were five bats and two bats flew away. How many bats are left?  

Science.
– Heaps of fun Science Activities for Halloween can be found at:
http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/60117/halloween-home-science
halloween-science-KAB
– Static Powered Dancing Ghost or Bat
Instructions: http://www.sciencebob.com/blog/?tag=dancing-ghost
Teaching tips on Static Electicity: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/26688/static-electricity    
static-ghost1
– Haunted Halloween Ice Hand Melts
http://happyhooligans.ca/salt-and-ice-experiment/  
IMG_4253-1

Art / Craft.
– Waterpaint and crayon relief pictures. Make spooky pictures using crayons and thinned black water paint.   
IMG_6908 IMG_6909 IMG_6910

– Halloween crafts from Red Ted Art:
http://www.redtedart.com/page/4/?s=halloween
easy-halloween-craft-puppet

Bat Crafts:
http://www.redtedart.com/2014/09/10/bat-crafts-kids/    
25-Cute-Bat-Crafts-for-Halloween-and-Bat-Lovers Handprint-bat-flying-over-moon-craft-300x275 bat-crafts

Cute pom pom bats:
http://www.redtedart.com/2014/09/22/bat-crafts-pom-pom-bats/
Bat-Pom-Pom

– Halloween Shadow Makers:
http://www.minieco.co.uk/halloween-shadow-makers/
shadow-makers-2

– Paper Cat Crafts:
http://krokotak.com/2014/10/three-cats-stories-in-paper/
cover1

Purchase Scary Night at Boomerang Books.

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been cited.
Lessons for personal and classroom use only, and not permitted for commercial use.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner