My Little Story Corner

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WIN a copy of ‘This & That’ by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek – CLOSED

This recent release is utterly adorable and delightful.This & That, with its lively, adventurous goodness will literally take your breath away!

Aimed at young children ready to explore the world, you’ll be pleasantly satisfied with the linguistics, interactions and illustrations that take us on this wild ride with the most gorgeous of characters.

This & That, written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek, published by Scholastic Australia, October 2015.

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GIVEAWAY

My Little Story Corner has ONE copy of This &That to give away.

TO ENTER

Find out the secret that everybody misses by reading the following conversation with Judy Horacek on Twitter:

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Now either head over to the pinned post on our Facebook page or type in the comments below:

‘I know!’.

It’s that easy!

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. The winner will be drawn at random by Romi Sharp of My Little Story Corner.
2. Only ONE entry per person will be accepted.
3. Prize only open to Australian residents.
4. Entries must be received by 9pm (DST) on Sunday 13th March 2016.
5. Winner will be notified via Facebook or email. Please provide your postal address within 3 days of competition close. A non-response will result in a redraw.
6. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter or any other entity, other than My Little Story Corner.

Thanks for your entry! Good luck! 😀

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Two Birds on a Wire: Teaching Notes

two-birds-on-a-wireTwo Birds on a Wire, Coral Vass (author), Heidi Cooper Smith (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.  

Review.  

In an utterly amusing and entertaining tale, two birds; Black and Blue, pick a squabble up high on a wire. When the pair refuse to share, pandemonium strikes and the snapping, snorting, pushing, shoving, hassling and heckling battle breaks loose. Some puffing and panting later, the bickering birds turn tail and decide to rather sit together and enjoy the view.  

The fun rhyming verses, together with the characters’ exuberance and cheekiness brings out plenty of laughable, yet thought-provoking moments. The illustrations are eye-catching to say the least, but I also love the softness of the autumn colours in the background that remind us to enjoy the tranquility that is right in front of us (or below if you were a bird on a wire).  

So, let’s get some perspective here! The story takes place above a country town, overlooking trees, farm houses and animals. The unique angle that Heidi Cooper Smith has so cleverly introduced is highly effective. But from another clever angle is Coral Vass’s underlying theme of valuing cooperation and unity. It’s about ‘seeing’ the bigger picture, and not getting tangled in pettiness.  

‘Two Birds on a Wire’ is a perfect read aloud book for early childhood readers with a vision to learn the importance of sharing and problem solving, and have a giggle at a pair of silly birds at the same time!  

Discussion.  

Before Reading:
Put one chair out for two people. Ask two children to try and sit on it. How did they react when they both wanted to sit on the chair? Did they argue about who was there first, or who was bigger, or louder?
What would be the best solution? What are some kind and friendly ways to solve the problem?
Look at the front cover. Do you think these birds are happy with each other? What does their body language tell you about what they’re thinking? What do you think they’re upset about?  

During Reading:
Do you think Bird Blue should’ve shouted at Little Black to go? Do you think Little Black reacted well? Do you think one of the birds will be the winner?  

After Reading:
When Bird Blue first shouted at Little Black, what are some things that he could’ve said so that they didn’t argue? What might you do if someone was angry at you?
What do you think the birds learned from their squabble? How did they solve the problem in the end? Do you think they will always share from now on?
Do you ever have times when you don’t want to share? What are some things you can share and what are things you can’t share?  

Literacy.  

Writing.

Creative writing. Write a story about a pair (of animals or humans) who fight over an object. How did they argue? How did they resolve the issue?

(Check out Anna Kang’s ‘You are (Not) Small’ and ‘That’s (Not) Mine’ about disagreements).  

Reading.

Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds.
Find the rhyming words in the story. Some may not have the same rime spelling (eg. ‘at’ in cat, hat, sat), but the sounds are the same.
Download, laminate (optional) and cut out the Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds to play a rhyming game.
Separate each bird so that the matching pair can be re-found by stating the two rhyming words.
(To make it easier for less advanced students, cut a different pattern inbetween each bird so that they will easily be able to match the birds back together. Eg. Wiggly line, wavy line, zigzag, etc.)  
Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds1 Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds2

Angry Bird Verbs.
Write some verbs (doing words) around the angry birds to describe their silly actions. Eg. snapped, snorted, pushed, shoved, hassled, heckled, scowled, etc).
Download the Angry Birds Verbs sheet here.  
Two Birds on a Wire Angry Birds Verbs

Numeracy.

Number. Less Than, Greater Than.
The birds argued that they were bigger, louder, better than one another.
Play this fun game to extend your counting and comparing skills.
Materials: Greater Than, Less Than print outs, bundle of toys / real life materials.
Objectives: Practise skills in counting, comparing, estimating, place value and fractions.
Directions:
1. Count out 2 piles of toys (upto 20 objects depending on level). Ask, which is larger? Smaller? Equal? Use the print outs to show each answer. If student is unsure they can use the numbers on the number line to see how they ascend.
2. Read the sentence. Eg. ’15 is greater than 5′, ’12 is less than 18′, ‘6 is equal to 6’.
3. Extension. Play the same game using fractions – use parts of whole items and/or pictures. Eg. ‘1/2 is greater than 1/4’.  
Two Birds on a Wire Greater Than Less Than Two Birds on a Wire Equal To2

Space / Location.
Mapping Coordinates – Bird’s Eye View: Map a Farm.
The birds overlooked a little farm from their wire. Complete the grid as per the key and state the coordinates for each item.
Download Bird’s Eye View Map a Farm.
Extension. On your own grid, use unifix blocks to build a city. Working in pairs, have each person take turns to build a tower and state the coordinates. Eg. ‘The blue tower is in A4.’  
Two Birds on a Wire Map a Farm

Science.  

– Explore flight and propulsion with this fun whirlybird!
See instructions for craft from Minieco.
whirly-bird

Art / Craft.  

Create some gorgeous birdy artwork with these ideas:  

Black Silhouette Birds on a Wire
Materials: watercolour paints, paper, paint brush, black paper, scissors, white crayon, glue.
Directions:
1. Create an abstract painting with your chosen colours and with water, blend together. Tip: once painted, tilt your paper side to side to blend the colours further.
Birds on a wire art2
2. With your white crayon, draw your bird shapes onto black paper. Cut out.
3. Cut a thin black strip for the wire.
4. Paste the wire first, then the black birds onto the paper in position.     
Birds on a wire art

Paper Plate Birds on a Garland.
From Pysselbolaget.
2015-11-17-14-01-49-1275738551

Patterned Birds on a Wire.
Found on Flickr.  
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
 

Purchase Two Birds on a Wire.

Information about the author, Coral Vass can be found here.
Information about the illustrator, Heidi Cooper Smith can be found here.


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Books for Dad 2015

What makes your Dad / Granddad (or other special person) so special? What are your favourite things to do together? What important life lessons has he taught you? These are just a few picture books (trust me, there are heaps more!) that are perfect to celebrate all the special fathers and grandfathers this Father’s Day.

imageFearless With Dad, Cori Brooke (author), Giuseppe Poli (illus.), New Frontier Publishing, 2015.

What a joyous celebration of the relationship between a boy and his Dad. Whether they’re real or imagined, the possibilities for adventure are unlimited. Enthusiastic, optimistic and brave, this little boy doesn’t hold back, as long as his dad is with him. Riding big waves, kicking goals, moon travel and fast cars, discovering how to be a builder, chef, rock star and superhero, through good times and bad, Dad is always there. I love the heartwarming and positive feel of the text along with the variety and vivacious illustrations that make this book so endearing.

imageTime for Bed, Daddy, Dave Hackett (author, illus.), UQP, 2015.

It’s a role reversal of the hilarious kind. Coercing Daddy in to the bedtime routine is no easy feat for one little girl. She manages to help Daddy take a bath, put pyjamas on, and clean his teeth, but that’s when the fun and games start. In typical child-like behaviour, Daddy prolongs bedtime with a few more requests; horsey rides, checking for monsters, a story and songs, and finally one last snuggle. It’s enough to exhaust any little person! Extremely sweet, completely comical, utterly eye-catching cartoonesque pictures…it’s a winner.

imageDaddy, You’re Awesome, Laine Mitchell (author), Renée Treml (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.

A gorgeous line up of baby animals forming special bonds with their daddies in playful ventures. Puppies chasing balls, bunnies building treehouses, owls spying bugs and monkeys racing bikes with their fathers, just to name a few. Written in fun rhyming couplets, each completed with the phrase, ‘Daddy, you’re awesome to me.’, and complimented with vibrant and adorable illustrations. Too sweet!

imageFly-In Fly-Out Dad, Sally Murphy (author), Janine Dawson (illus.), The Five Mile Press, 2015.

Dads can be superheroes in whatever shape or form, even if only to their children. For this young boy, life with dad may only be seldom, but when he’s home it is never boring. Dad is a Fly-in Fly-out dad, with a truck full of adventure stories to tell. But the little boy has his own stories to tell, too. When he’s home, we see a hands-on Dad helping with routines, involved in sporting events and taking the kids to the playground. I love all the little details, both in the text and the illustrations, that give this Dad and his family unique qualities. A very special, heartwarming story, particularly significant for those living with a FIFO Dad.

imageDaddy Cuddle, Kate Mayes (author), Sara Acton (illus.), ABC Books, 2015.

This is truly a book to treasure. It’s such a sweet story of an over-zealous early riser eager to wake Daddy for a play. In typical toddler language, the little bunny suggests every toy and accessory found to its blissfully unaware, snoring father. After a small outburst, bunny finally gets the affection and attention required. The ending is completely adorable; definitely a photo-worthy moment.

imageDaddies Are Great!, Meredith Costain (author), Polona Lovsin (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.

Dog lovers will adore this book with its range of breeds enjoying quality moments with their pups; licking, swinging, climbing, digging, and cuddling. Special relationships are formed when daddies are caring, thoughtful, and loving. With beautifully soft and playful illustrations, this book is perfect for sharing intimate moments with your own pup on Father’s Day.

imageLucas and Jack, Ellie Royce (author), Andrew McLean (illus.), Working Title Press, 2014.

Powerful, evocative and intriguing. Jack, an elderly resident at the aged care home, inspires young Lucas to conceptualise the rich pasts of other people in the facility. Lucas always believed visiting his Great Grandpop was boring, but with a newfound glimpse into his childhood, Lucas becomes keen to bond with his great-grandfather and discover more about his fascinating story. With beautifully gentle and nostalgic illustrations, this book represents the importance of encouraging and celebrating meaningful memories and connections with our ageing relatives.
Interview with author Ellie Royce here.

imageMy Dad Thinks He’s Funny (2012), and My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny (2013), Katrina Germein (author), Tom Jellett (illus.), Black Dog Books.

A hilarious, eye-rolling, side-splitting collection of ‘Dad jokes’ told from the perspective of the son, with bold, comical, retro-style illustrations.

Check out teaching notes / Father’s Day activities for My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny on the website and on Pinterest

imageWhat’s Dad Doing?, Susan Hall (author), Cheryl Westerberg (illus.), National Library of Australia, 2013.

Gloriously interactive with its page-turning story, energetic illustrations and lift-the-flap fun, this book will keep you entertained. Pat Possum is looking for his Dad. When assuming he is involved in a typically-male oriented activity, we are pleasantly surprised when under the flap Dad is doing ‘motherly’ things. Rather than watching TV, Dad is bottle feeding the baby. He’s not mending something in the shed, he’s having a cuppa with Grandma. Some more housekeeping chores are done before Pat can finally play a rough-and-tumble game of footy with Dad. Complete with some possum facts in the back, this is an interesting look at parenting roles that families can relate to.

imageMy Dad’s the Coolest, Rosie Smith (author), Bruce Whatley (illus.), Scholastic Press, 2012.

This one’s a classic simply because how totally adorable and relatable it is. A range of animal babies tell us why their dad is the coolest. The author has used child-friendly language and human behaviours, which have brilliantly been matched to an animal. “…makes me laugh.” identifies with a clown nose-wearing puffer fish. “…and clever too.” represents a Einstein-like owl with glasses. There are strong rhinos, sandpit-digging moles, and hide-and-seek expert chameleons. Each spread beautifully illustrated and dedicated to each father, this book is humorous, lively and heartwarming.

imageMy Aussie Dad, Yvonne Morrison (author), Gus Gordon (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2010.

Containing all the wonderful nuances that make Dad, the typical Aussie Dad. Different fathers are featured doing culturally appropriate dad things, even though they don’t do them quite so well. We see a Dad as a classy bloke in his stubby shorts and thongs, belting out songs in the supermarket. One Dad plays cricket on the beach, only to have the ball whack him on the nose. There are Dads who burn snags on the barbie, embarrassing Dads at footy matches, and Dads with very ordinary handyman skills. Hilariously entertaining, both in the text and the illustrations. But totally loveable!

imageI Love My Dad, Anna Walker (author, illus.), Scholastic Press, 2009.

Typically gorgeous gentle, watercolour illustrations by Anna Walker, with an equally tender rhyming story of Ollie and his loving relationship with his dad. A bit of baking, and some outdoor play, wrapping up with a piggyback ride to bed. This is one to keep; a must read for all the special days spent with dad.

Find some other Dad titles in the image grids below!
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Happy Father’s Day!

All books listed here can be purchased through Australia’s leading online bookstore, Boomerang Books. My Little Story Corner is not sponsored by Boomerang Books, only endorsed for a small percentage through affiliate links. These assist with the up-keep of the website and being able to provide free educational resources by a qualified teacher. Thanks!