My Little Story Corner

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Mr Chicken Lands on London: Teaching Notes

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

imageWHO:

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

Mr Chicken Lands on London REVIEW:

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

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

POP-UP QUIZ:

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

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

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

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

DISCUSSION / ACTIVITIES:

HISTORY / GEOGRAPHY / TECHNOLOGY.

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

RICH ASSESSMENT TASK:

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

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

SOCIAL STUDIES / LITERACY.

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

TASK:

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

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VISUAL ART / CULTURE.

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

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

TASK:

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

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NUMERACY.

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

TASK 1:

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

TASK 2:

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

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SCIENCE.

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

TASK:

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

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IT’S YOUR STORY CALENDAR 2016 by Leigh HOBBS

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

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

© My Little Story Corner 2016.

www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner

www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner

All sourced resources have been credited.

These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.

This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.

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

Purchase Mr Chicken Lands on London.

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

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Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

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

Review. 

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

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

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

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before Reading:

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

During Reading:

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

After Reading:

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

Literacy.

Writing.

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

Reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Science / Technology.

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

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

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

Design and make other kinds of sculptures.
Terrific ideas at Artful Parent.
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Oil Paintings.
Recreate your favourite scene from the book, experimenting with oil paints or oil pastels. Try different techniques such as blending and bold strokes.
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.  

Purchase Adelaide’s Secret World.

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


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Fearless with Dad: Teaching Notes

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

Review.

imageWhat 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. The subtle humour and cheekiness, sense of spirit and obvious affection amongst the softly painted spreads allows for a wonderfully sensory experience. I hope Dads are ready for a wild ride this Father’s Day!

Discussion.

Before Reading:

What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your Dad?

Look at the cover. What does the word ‘fearless’ mean? What does this tell you about the kind of story this might be?

During Reading:

Do you think they really travelled to the moon and back?

What is ‘daggy’? What makes them ‘cool’?

What do you notice about the illustrations (colours, interpretations, media)?

After Reading:

What words can you use to describe the boy? Words to describe Dad? Are there any activities in the book that you have done with your Dad / special person?

What was your favourite part? Why?

What have you realised about the role of Dads? Are they always fun? Do they also teach important lessons? Do you think the boy could be brave without his Dad? Why or why not?

Educational Activities.

Science.

“Build a sturdy, wide bridge.”

Get your engineering hats on! It’s time to build!

Check out these awesome bridge ideas on pinterest and learn the physics of force and different kinds of structures.

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Technology.

“Travel to the moon and back.”

Get imaginative with a cardboard box! The possibilites are endless!

Check out these amazing box inventions from Tip Junkie.

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Numeracy.

“I can be a farmer.”

1. Get your beans out! Play an addition game of ‘Magic Beans’.

Outcomes: Know and count numbers up to 10. Add numbers to make 10.

Directions:

  1. Paint / texta any colour on one side of each of the 10 beans (dried lima beans or butter beans).
  2. Take turns to toss the beans in the air.
  3. Count and record the number of beans fallen on the plain side, and the number of beans fallen on the painted side. Example, 4 and 6 is 10, 7 and 3 is 10, and so on.
  4. Ask, what is the equation when they are all the same?
  5. Extension: Make equations for subtraction, by taking away the smaller amount of colour beans. Example, 10 take away 2 is 8, and so on.

Find a sorting and counting bean activity at The Imagination Tree.

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2. Get your rulers out! Measure your growing plant.

Outcomes: Observe growth by marking the heights of a plant over time.

Directions:

  1. In your garden bed or a jar, plant a seed or bulb.
  2. Place a measuring stick (strip of wood) next to your plant with the starting height and date.
  3. Continue to mark the growth at chosen intervals (every few days).
  4. Extension: Look for patterns in growth, race your plants against each other.

Check out this great article from Parents that explains these concepts.

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Literacy.

“A mighty and fearless superhero.”

Phonological Awareness: Ss words.

Find and write words and pictures in the text beginning with Ss on a Superhero Dad chart. Eg. Superhero, sunflowers, scarecrow, sturdy, star, serious, silly, sunglasses, sad.

Illustrate each word.

Write each word in a sentence.

Art.

“With my Dad… I can do anything. I can be anything.”

Colour in these awesome Fearless with Dad Activity Sheets from the story with your Dad. Experiment with different media including pencil, watercolour, crayons, etc.
IMG_9486 Fearless with Dad Activity Sheet 2

Thank you to Katie and Giuseppe Poli for providing these activity sheets to My Little Story Corner!

 

 

More Father’s Day book reviews can be found here.

Purchase Fearless with Dad from Boomerang Books.

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 or classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written permission.


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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.