Posts

Take Away Teaching Ideas #25

Giraffe Problems

By Jory John

RECONNECT is a word that I have used a lot this year! By implementing my webinars, I have been able to reconnect and collaborate with so many colleagues. It has been an opportunity to share my current thinking and insights with educators in Australia and beyond!

The author of this edition is one person I was so excited to reconnect with. Deb David is a passionate educator who loves all things about learning. She works as a part of an amazing team at St Albans’ Primary School. Meeting up with Deb again has been a bonus!

Thanks, Deb, for introducing me to another new book and creating these ideas for us all.



Edward the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when Edward has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

 

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/563426/giraffe-problems-by-jory-john-illustrated-by-lane-smith/

 

 

You can view the story below:

 

Watch Michele Obama reads it aloud:

 

 

Our readers can:

 

Predict: Before reading make a prediction of what this book could be about. What could a giraffe problem be? Justify your prediction using your prior knowledge and clues from the book. After reading, revisit your predictions.

Compare and contrast: Use a Venn diagram to show the similarities and differences between Edward and Cyrus. You can easily make a Venn diagram by overlapping two paper plates.

Make Connections: Make a connection to yourself from the book. When has a friend helped to cheer you up or when did you cheer a friend up? How did it make you feel?

Investigate words: glorious, accomplished, delectable… create a word splash of interesting words used in the book. Write the words on cards and sort them. Set the challenge to try and use one new word every day when talking to their classmates. Add the words to your classroom interactive word wall.

Explore the author’s purpose: An author always writes with a purpose. What do you think Jory John’s purpose is? Is there a lesson we can learn from Edward and Cyrus?

Infer: We are never told where this story is taking place. Where do you think it is? Justify for answers using clues from the text.

Search for synonyms: gander, stare, glimpse and gaze are words Jory John uses instead of the word “look.” What other words could we use instead of look? What is the difference between glimpse and gaze, or gaze and stare? Why would the author choose those words over look? Write the words on cards and order them from glimpse to stare discussing the subtle differences/shades of meaning between the words.

Make a text to text connection: Read Jory John’s Penguin Problems. How are the two books the same? How are they different?

 

 

Research: What do you know about the animals in this book? What would you like to know? Let’s use websites and books to discover some facts!

Engage writers by:

Text innovation: Draw your own giraffe neck (use page two as inspiration). How would you describe your neck? It’s too wiggly, too bendy, too curly, too straight, too zany.

Factual writing: Write a description about the appearance of a giraffe. What interesting words would you use to describe its neck, its patterns, the way it moves?

Text Innovation: Edward’s problem is his neck is too long, Cyrus’ neck is too short. What type of problems would other animals have? Think, pair, share to generate ideas and students create their own narrative.

Personal Writing: Edward’s mother said he should be proud of his neck. What does it mean to be proud? What are you proud of?

Persuasive Writing: Would you rather have a long neck or a short neck? If you had a long neck for the day what would you do? How would you persuade others to have a long or short neck?

Exploring word choice: Cyrus describes a banana as ‘delectable.’ Using the 5 senses, what other words can we use to describe a banana. Don’t forget to use the book to see other words Cyrus uses.

Small moments: Revisit Cyrus telling Edwards about his week long, banana dilemma. Have you experienced a time you had to wait or a time when they had to persist with a problem?

Procedural writing: At the end of the story Cyrus and Edward wear a bow tie. Write instructions to their friend the zebra on how to tie a bow tie.

 

This book is a great springboard to launch into mathematics investigations:

Measurement: How long is Edward’s neck? What can we use to measure it? Provide students a picture of Edwards neck and record how long it is using a range of informal/formal units. Don’t forget to estimate before you measure! Extra challenge: compare it to your neck. What is the difference in length?

Using a tie, identify, measure and record the length of objects. What did you find out? How will you share your thinking?

Patterns: Edwards tries to dress up his long neck. Design a patterned scarf, tie or bow tie for Edward’s long neck. As a class, create a tally of the different patterns used – stripes, shapes, colours. Don’t forget to make a bow tie for Cyrus too!

Cyrus the turtle has an attractive shell. What shapes can you see? What patterns can you make using the shapes? How will you share the patterns and your thinking?

Positional language: Edwards wants to hide his neck. Where could he hide? Behind a tree, in a ditch… The mathematicians create their own Edward and hide it in different parts of the classroom. Photograph to make a class book. The mathematicians write about Edward’s location.

Classifying: List all the animals that appear in the book. How could we classify them? How can you represent this data? As a tally, graph, table?

Problem Solving: There are 12 animals featured in the book. How many legs might there be all together? Show your thinking in pictures, numbers, and words.

Time: Edward wants to ‘hide until the sun sets.’ When does the sun set? How long does Edward want to hide for? What other phrases can we use to describe the length of time?

Ordering: Research the heights of different animals. Order them from shortest to tallest. Discuss all the vocabulary we can use to describe height. This could be a good opportunity to discuss why we say the giraffe has a long neck instead of a tall neck.

Number: Edward has a bundle of scarves. Collect a bundle of materials. How many is in your bundle? How will you share your total and your thinking?

 

Enjoy and stay connected,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

Take Away Teaching Ideas #24

Dharma the Llama

By Matt Cosgrove

 

A delightful BLAST FROM THE PAST!

I feel very honoured to introduce Janette Colbert to you all. Many moons ago, Janette and I worked closely together at Beaconsfield Primary School in Victoria. She continues to be a passionate teacher! The beauty of our profession is the many friendships you develop over time. I am happy to present the teaching ideas created by Janette and I – ENJOY!

 

I adore the way Matt writes and illustrates. His books have been great seeds for my Writer’s Notebook and to develop comprehension strategies. This book is my favourite! I adore the character Dharma – but I also LOVE reading books and flowers. (Maybe a text to self connection)

Listen and view Matt introduce Dharma:

 

Listen to and view Jessica Mauboy present this fabulous story as a rap:

I think this is a great initiative and once you hear this rap….you love the story even more!

  • Looking at the front cover what shapes can you see? What could you draw using these shapes?

 

  • Study the end papers inside the front and back cover. What clues do they give us about the story? Can you create end papers for your own story?

 

  • On the title page, how many butterflies do you see? Activate your prior knowledge. What do you know about butterflies? Why do you think Matt include them in this illustration?

 

  • Explore the rhyming words in the text by selecting four words and make a Think Board of rhyming words. Put one word in each section of the Think Board and brainstorm as many rhyming words as possible to fill each section.

 

  • Go on a print walk and select words you love! Can you show the meaning of the words using colour, size, and shape?

 

    • Dharma loves to read both fiction and nonfiction books. After reading Dharma the Llama, read a nonfiction book about llamas. Compare and contrast – how are the two books similar? How are they different?

 

    • What are your favourite fiction and nonfiction books? How would you promote these books?

 

    • Go on a punctuation mark hunt! What did you find? How are you going to show your findings?

 

    • Dharma’s books all have titles with a twist on real life stories. Think of your favourite book and give it a llama twist for its title. Create a new front cover for your book with its new title and yourself as the author. Create a new back cover, including a blurb for your book.

 

    • Dharma declares ‘X marks the spot!’ Create a pirate map using a birds-eye-view. Use your best pirate voice to explain your map!

 

    • Follow instructions to make a pirate hat like Dharmas. Make a short video for someone else to follow.

 

    • Use the colours of the llamas in the story to create your own pattern – how many elements can you include?

 

    • Dharma made her own rope ladder. Make your own creation out of rope. Write the instructions as a procedural text that someone else could follow. Create a class book for everyone to try!

 

    • Make Ooblek and put objects in it to recreate the llamas stuck in the mud. Explore the properties of Ooblek – what makes it tricky for objects to get out? How is this similar to mud?

 

    • Create a new adventurous way for Dharma to save the other llamas – she tried a rope ladder, a vine swing and hot air balloons as an astronaut. Illustrate and write your solution.

 

    • Make a list of all of the bold words in the book. Categorise them as verbs and adjectives.

 

    • Create a list of everything that you would need to throw a party. Use a shopping catalogue or online shopping to find out the total cost of your party.

 

  • Create a map that shows all of the adventures of the llamas. Use a map key to show important features on your map.

 

  • Collect data in response to the question- What animals appear in the book? how will you present your data?

 

  • Make a list of all of the titles of the books Dharma reads. Survey your family and friends or classmates to find out which book they would most like to read. Present your survey findings as a graph of your choice.

 

  • Use the activities of the llamas to create a daily timetable – include the times they started and finished each activity.

 

  • Dharma wears a chin of flowers around her neck. Have you ever made a daisy chain? Try it out! How long is it? How many flowers did you use?

 

  • Dharma loves to read anything, any time and anywhere! What do you like to read? What is your favourite spot? Create a profile about yourself and share.

 

Happy World Teacher’s Day everyone!

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

 

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #22

Mallee Sky

Jodi Toering

Do you know I have had the privilege of working alongside an award-winning author?

Let me introduce you to Jodi. I am fortunate to have collaborated with Jodi on several projects at Forest St PS – Teaching Writers, Writer’s Notebook, and Inquiry Learning.

This is a treat as Jodi has created this edition of teaching ideas about her own book. Thank you, Jodi, for the brilliant collection of ideas. I cannot wait to use your book again with one of these ideas!

 

Check out Jodi’s website at :

https://www.joditoeringauthor.com/

 

TEACHING READERS

Mallee Sky lends itself to all facets of comprehension.

Predict Look at the front cover, read the blurb on the back to gather clues and use any prior knowledge you may have to predict some events that might happen in this story.

Visualise Listen to a few pages of Mallee Sky without looking at the pictures.  What did you see in your mind?  List and describe.

Connect Text to Self: Have you ever been to the Mallee, to the country or to a farm before?  What did you notice, what happened, or what did you discover?

Text to Text: Does this book remind you of another book you have read?  How and why?  Explain the connections you have made.

Text to World: What does this book remind you of in the real world?  What connections can you make to things you have read about, seen on the news or learned about in TV programs?

Infer Feelings:  Look at the illustrations of each character as the story progresses, e.g: Dad on the verandah surveying his crops, the students at school when they hear the rain and then when they get to dance in it.  Can you infer how each character is feeling in those moments?  What clues from the pictures and words did you use to make these inferences?

Infer Consequences: This book highlights the devastation drought can have on communities.  Why is farming essential?  Why does it matter if the crops grow or not?  Infer what might happen for the broader community if crops don’t grow.

Infer Cause and Effect:  What happens to the land when it doesn’t rain?  What happens to the land when it does?  Use the book to confirm or disconfirm your inferences.  Prove it!

Summarise After reading, summarise the key events that happened in the story in your own words.

Synthesise What did you know about farm life or drought before reading Mallee Sky?  What do you know now?

Question After reading this story, what are you wondering now?

Analyse Notice the descriptive words and language used throughout the text.  List some of the descriptive words and phrases.  How do they make you feel?  Why do you think I used those words in my book?

Critique Did you like Mallee Sky? (Of course you did!!!)  Explain why, or why not.

Write a book review of Mallee Sky.  Use a five star rating, and explain your rating in your review.

 


TEACHING WRITERS

Mallee Sky is a great children’s picture book to use as a mentor text to study several aspects of the craft of writing.

Figurative Language Imagery:  Authors use words to paint a picture in the readers’ mind.  Look at examples from Mallee Sky, e.g.: As days pass, blue gives way to welcome grey while paddocks turn to carpets of green beneath the leaden sky. Practise using descriptive words and phrases to bring your setting to life.  Make sure you provide enough detail that your reader can visualise your setting in their mind.

Metaphor – Authors use words or phrases to describe something that isn’t literally true, e.g.: “When the sun goes down, the red heat of the day bleeds into the sky and sets it on fire.”  The sky isn’t literally bleeding or on fire – but the colours of the sunset remind the reader of these things.  Find the metaphors in Mallee Sky and practise writing your own.

Alliteration Authors love to use alliteration; that is, starting several words in a sentence with the same letter. Find examples of alliteration in Mallee Sky, e.g.: The scrub sighs, still and thirsty.  Now pick a person, object or place and practise writing your own sentences about it, using alliteration.

Similes:  Similes compare two things.  Choose objects from Mallee Sky and write similes for them, e.g.: The silos are as tall as a giant.  The sun is as hot as fire.  The sky is as blue as the ocean.

Personification Sometimes, authors give an object or thing human characteristics or actions.  Mallee Sky is full of personification, e.g.: The wind is too hot and tired to raise more than a whisper through the eucalypts. Find an object around the room and write sentences, giving it human characteristics or actions.

Show Dont Tell! Instead of writing direct statements about a character, place or event, show the reader with actions, feelings or descriptions.  In Mallee Sky, we know that it is hot and dry, but I don’t state this, directly, I show it with my descriptions, instead.  Try writing sentences to show your reader the following:  It is hot.  It is cold.  He was scared.  She was tired.  But there’s one catch:  You’re not allowed to write hot, cold, scared or tired!  Show by describing actions, feelings, thoughts and descriptive words or phrases.

Language Use and Word Choice: Emotions Authors use words and phrases to make the reader feel something.  Find words and phrases in Mallee Sky that elicit powerful emotions.  Choose an emotion, e.g.: angry, sad, excited and surprised.  Write sentences to show how your character is feeling.  But, one rule:  You are not allowed to use the words “angry, sad, excited or surprised”. Instead, use descriptive words or phrases and show these emotions in your character’s actions, thoughts and words.

Sensory Images Mallee Sky taps into our senses.  Find the pictures and words that help you to visualise, see, feel, hear or smell the landscape.  Write your own sensory poem about your favourite place, tapping into the senses.

Sizzling Starts: Read the first page of Mallee Sky.  Practise writing your own sizzling starts to draw the reader in.  Start with a sound, some action, some dialogue, or describe your setting using show don’t tell.  Just don’t start with “One day!”

Compare and Contrast: Write how the harsh landscape of the Mallee compares with the place you live, or another place you have been.

Convince Me:  Mallee Sky features the seasons of the year.  Imagine the seasons have an argument one day about which season is the best and why.  Don’t forget to add lots of details about each season’s reasons!

Themes:  Research the themes of drought or climate change.  Write an information report on your findings.

Place:  Authors write about places they know and love. I love the Mallee, as it is my home. That’s why I decided to write a book about it. Write about your favourite place. Why do you love it?  List all the reasons with lots of description and detail.

 


TEACHING MATHEMATICIANS

Mallee Sky has wonderful links to Mathematics, especially in terms of temperature, location, mapping, distance, size, colour, counting, the list goes on!

Size:  Find three objects in the book.  Draw each object.  Compare the size of each object.  Which is the biggest?  Which is the smallest?  Which would weigh more?  Explain your thinking.  Label each object with a size word to describe it.

Sort and Classify:  Choose six objects from Mallee Sky, e.g.: dog, boy, dam, galah, tree, Dad.  Draw each object.  Now cut them out and sort them into your own categories.  Why have you sorted them this way?  Is there another way you could sort them?

Colour:  Go on a colour hunt in Mallee Sky. Count the colours.  List the colours.  Sort into bright colours, light colours, dark colours.  Create a picture of your own landscape using colours.

Shape:  Find objects in Mallee Sky that feature different shapes, eg: the silos, cars, utes, houses, bath, etc.  Draw the shapes.  Label the shapes.  How many sides do each shape have?  How many corners?

Make your own picture using shapes.

Build one of the objects from Mallee Sky out of Lego.  Count the number of bricks you needed to make each object. Measure it.

Counting:  Go on a house hunt.  Count the number of houses in the book.

Count the number of silos in the book.

Count the numbers of vehicles.

Count the number of birds and animals.

Count the number of mailboxes.  What number is on your mailbox?  How many different numbers can you make with the numerals on your mailbox?  What is the highest number?  What is the lowest number?  Order the different numbers you have made.

Graphing:  Make a pictograph showing how many birds, cars, houses, mailboxes.

Temperature:  The Mallee is a hot place. Sometimes, it gets up to 49 degrees in the summer, and Minus 5 in the winter!

Research temperatures in the Mallee.  Compare the temperature in the Mallee today, with the temperature of your town.  Find the difference.

Pick a place.  Research the daily temperature using a weather app or website.

Graph the temperature over a week including the highs and the lows.  Interpret your graph.  What was the highest temperature? What was the lowest temperature?  What was the average temperature?

Location / Distance:  Find where the Mallee is on a map.  How far away is it from your town?

Look at a map.  Find your town, and now find the town Beulah.  List all the different towns between.  Write a set of directions to get there.

Time:  If it takes one hour to drive 100 kilometres, how long would it take you to drive to the Mallee?

If it takes 2 hours to walk 10 kilometres, how long would it take you to walk to the Mallee?!

Measurement:  The Mallee is a dry place.  Research the rainfall in the Mallee over the last week.  Find out monthly average rainfall.  Find out the yearly average rainfall.  Compare the rainfall of the Mallee to the rainfall in your own town.  Find the difference.

 


Professional Learning Update: 

Writer’s Notebook Tools and strategies to motivate writers to generate and collect ideas:

 

F-2

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-monday-12th-october/

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-thursday-22nd-october/

 

3/4

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-tuesday-13th-october/

 

 

5/6

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-thursday-15th-october/

 

Thank you to Tracy and Naomi for the stunning photo of the silos.

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

Take Away Teaching Ideas #20

The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants

By Philip Bunting

View the story 

 

Visit Phillip’s website: https://philipbunting.com/

 

The people I meet and collaborate with is a major bonus of my work. In this edition I have had the pleasure of collaborating with a friend from WA! We were lucky to meet at AISWA professional learning opportunities in Perth.

Sarah Lilley is passionate about all aspects related to learning and is always willing to share how she transfers new learning into her classroom.

I truly thank Sarah for collaborating with me to create these teaching ideas for you! 

 

Reading:

This book links to predicting, summarising, and making connections.

  • Predicting: Why do you think Phillip drew an ant inside the front and back cover? The labels on the ants are different why? Confirm or reject your prediction after reading the book.
  • Making connections: What objects do you use on pages 1 and 2? Where do you find them? How do you use them?
  • Predicting: Before you read pages 3 and 4: There are lots of ants on Earth. How many do you think there are?
  • Predicting: Before you read pages 7 and 8: What do you love to do? What do you not like to do? What do you think ants love to do?
  • Making connections: Pages 21 and 22: Connecting knowledge about using the recycling bins around the school with how ants naturally recycle. The idea of using a compost bin to help feed a worm farm and create better soil is also utilised by ants.
  • Summarising: Pages 22 – 26: Philip summarises the amazing feats of ants by using key words to explain the most important aspects of ant life: Love your family; Waste nothing; Always do you best for others around you.
  • Summarising: Create a matching game of terms, pictures and definitions.
  • Summarising: Create a table of what ants love and do not love. Create a table of information about yourself!
  • Making connections: Investigate another book created by Philip. Were you able to make text to text connections?

Writing:

This book lends itself to writing to inform and vocabulary.

  • Vocabulary: What would you write in the caption on page 1?
  • Factual writing: Pages 13 and 14 explore the jobs that occur in an ant colony. It highlights the use of keywords (rather than sentences) to display facts. This would link in well with HASS concepts about community members and the jobs they do. An interview with Mum and Dad, or a member of the school community, could be the final outcomes.
  • Vocabulary: Pages 17 and 18: What is odorous? aromatic? pheromones? These challenging words lend themselves to using scents in playdough on the Sensory Table. Focus on how smells evoke memories i.e. What does this citrus smell remind you of? (making lemon slice with my Nanna).
  • Vocabulary: Pages 19 and 20: The words that have a lot of syllables/claps. Omnivorous, carnivorous, herbivorous. What animals are herbivorous?
  • Vocabulary: What words would you add to your classroom word wall with your students? How would you support them to use these words as writers?
  • Factual Writing: Write your own pledge/action plan in response to the message on the last page of the book.
  • Factual Writing: Create an image of ants by using your fingerprints. What ideas have you collected for your writing? What can you now write about?
  • Factual Writing: Observe an ant farm and jot down your observations to include in a factual piece of writing.

 

Mathematics:

This is a great book to explore number, time, direction, mass, shape, and size.

  • Shape: What shapes can you see on the front cover of the book?
  • Number: What is the number on pages 3, 4 and 5?  How many zeros are in this number? What is the biggest number you have counted to?
  • Mass: On page 6 there is a picture that shows the weight of ants and humans. Heft a range of objects to find two objects of the same mass. Draw and label your objects. Weigh the objects using balance or kitchen scales.
  • Size: List words to describe the size of ants.
  • Direction: Pages 11 and 12, which explains how colonies are like villages is a great inspiration for teaching direction. It shows ants walking left and right and could be used for exploring positional language. Even though it is not a ‘birds eye view’, this page would also prompt the creation of a map of a village the students are familiar with; the classroom, ECC or school.
  • Time: Ants have powernaps. The sign says, ‘back in a minute’. What can you do in a minute? How will you record your findings?
  • Shape: The reduce – reuse – recycle symbol is three arrows. Where else do you see this symbol? How will you collect this data? How will you present your data?
  • Number: Ants have six legs. Can you find collections of 6 inside or outside? Photograph or draw your collections.
  • Number: Ants have six legs. Investigate the number of legs of other living things. How will you present your data?

 

A bonus social domain: Working as part of a team:

  • Pages 15 and 16 explain how ants work as a team. This video demonstrates how amazing ants can be when they have to traverse a gap.

 

This is such an engaging text – we thoroughly enjoyed planning these teaching ideas for you!

When you implement one of these ideas tag me in on your post! Sarah and I would love to see these ideas come alive! 😊

 

 

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #19

The Pear in the Pear Tree.

By Pamela Allen

When John and Jane went out walking what did they see? They saw a pear in the pear tree. This humorous rhyming story tells of their attempts to reach the pear.

 

View the story:

 

 

I am sure you will agree with me that Jazz has prepared so many opportunities to explore this story across the curriculum! Jasmine O’Brien is the Learning Specialist at Portarlington Primary School, Victoria. You can tell by this edition that Jazz is passioniate about linking literature across all areas of the curriculum. We both share a passion for mathematics. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to collaborate with Jazz on a whole school mathematics initiative at her school.

On behalf of us all – thanks Jazz for sharing your highly practical and engaging teaching ideas.

 

Literacy:

Reading:

  • Punctuation (exclamation, ellipses, question marks, talking marks, full stops, hyphen)
  • Rhyming words (letter patterns and phonics)
  • Problem and solution
  • Fluency (using pictures to support reading)

Writing:

Narrative writing-

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Dialogue
  • Author study- Writer’s crafts

Mathematics:

Measurement:

  • Weight (hefting, balancing, mass)
  • Distance
  • Height
  • Informal and formal measurement

Problem solving:

  • Estimate, test, prove

Social and Personal Capabilities:

  • Team work
  • Persistence
  • Sharing

 

Teaching ideas:

In Pamela Allen’s story The Pear in the Pear Tree she cleverly uses a combination of simple sentences, questions, dialogue, punctuation, rhyming and onomatopoeia to engage her audience. This story explores desire, teamwork, problem solving, weight and luck. It is a fantastic story to unpack with students as it prompts lots of rich learning.

  1. Students to explore words for sounds. Students to play a ‘sound (onomatopoeia) heads up’. Students to hold up pictures of objects, things etc… (drum, wind, cow) above their head and their partner must make the sound for that item. The person must guess the object, thing or item. They have 30 seconds each. Most sounds correct gets to select first the card they wish to publish and make a class display for. Students to record all their sounds at the end of each round.

  2. Teacher to model how to categorise/sort rhyming words. Have students explore rhyming words in the story. Why did the author use rhyming words? What do they notice about some words when they rhyme? (the same letter patterns, blends that make a particular sound i.e. shout, out). What letter blends are different but have the same sound? (scare, air) Can you think of other words that rhyme but have different spelling patterns? Students to make a ladder of letter patterns to show as many words that rhyme as they can.

  3. Introducing problem and solutions. Write a summary using the prompts the problem was… The way the author solved the problem was…

  4. Students to write a sizzling start using onomatopoeia.

  5. Exploring secretarial skills in writing. Read Pamela Allen’s story and identify the many different types of punctuation. What does each one mean? Depending on level of learning make between 2 to 6 punctuation boxes (see below). Teacher to have students sit in a fishbowl. Give students prewritten sentences and have them sort each sentence into its correct punctuation box. Each student should explain why they chose the box i.e. this is a question because it begins with the word ‘how’ so it must end with a question mark etc… Students to then independently write sentences using their knowledge of the punctuation explored.


  6. Measurement (building mathematical vocab, connections and understanding through estimation and investigation)- Students to explore weight using informal measurement. Students to collect items from around the class. Students to draw a table with 5 columns (items, estimated heaviest, hefting heaviest, scales heaviest). See below. First lesson students to estimate and use hefting to find weight of items. Second lesson students to test their hefting with balance scales and give a reason as to why they think an item is heavier (it is longer than the other item). Another column can be added for formal measurement using scales as needed.

    Items Estimated heaviest Hefty Heaviest Balance Scales

    Heaviest

    what is the reason?

     

    Pencil and cup Pencil Cup Pencil  

     

     

  7. Have students use various items (coat hanger, string, cups, ruler, cylinder etc…) provided by the teacher to create their own balance scales. Estimate, investigate, record, explain and prove the weights of items.


  8. Measurement- weight. Students to create their own catapult. They must collect 4 items to catapult. Students to estimate which one will travel further. Students to use a 1 metre piece of wool or string taped to the floor with a drawing of a pond at the end. Can my item make it to the pond? Students to write down a yes or no for each item and a reason why they think it will or will not make it to the pond. Students to test each item.

  9. Measurement- Using the catapult from the previous lesson students to measure distance. Students to choose 4 items to catapult. Students to decide how they will measure the distance (Unifix blocks, string with pegs, counters, measuring tape). Students to estimate which item will travel the longest distance and which will travel the shortest distance. Students to test, record and discuss.

  10. Problem solving- How would you reach the pear? Put a pear in the classroom out of the reach of the students. Ask students to estimate the height of the pear (is it a student and a half high, or 4 chairs etc…) Teacher to then use a piece of string to show the actual height of the pear. Students to be given the string to compare their measurements. Students to plan how they would get the pear in a realistic and safe way. Students to write a script with a team/partner and create a puppet play to show how their characters would get the pear.

In my Literacy Shop there are some teaching ideas for Pamela Allen’s books – check them out 😊

 

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #25

Giraffe Problems

By Jory John

RECONNECT is a word that I have used a lot this year! By implementing my webinars, I have been able to reconnect and collaborate with so many colleagues. It has been an opportunity to share my current thinking and insights with educators in Australia and beyond!

The author of this edition is one person I was so excited to reconnect with. Deb David is a passionate educator who loves all things about learning. She works as a part of an amazing team at St Albans’ Primary School. Meeting up with Deb again has been a bonus!

Thanks, Deb, for introducing me to another new book and creating these ideas for us all.



Edward the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when Edward has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

 

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/563426/giraffe-problems-by-jory-john-illustrated-by-lane-smith/

 

 

You can view the story below:

 

Watch Michele Obama reads it aloud:

 

 

Our readers can:

 

Predict: Before reading make a prediction of what this book could be about. What could a giraffe problem be? Justify your prediction using your prior knowledge and clues from the book. After reading, revisit your predictions.

Compare and contrast: Use a Venn diagram to show the similarities and differences between Edward and Cyrus. You can easily make a Venn diagram by overlapping two paper plates.

Make Connections: Make a connection to yourself from the book. When has a friend helped to cheer you up or when did you cheer a friend up? How did it make you feel?

Investigate words: glorious, accomplished, delectable… create a word splash of interesting words used in the book. Write the words on cards and sort them. Set the challenge to try and use one new word every day when talking to their classmates. Add the words to your classroom interactive word wall.

Explore the author’s purpose: An author always writes with a purpose. What do you think Jory John’s purpose is? Is there a lesson we can learn from Edward and Cyrus?

Infer: We are never told where this story is taking place. Where do you think it is? Justify for answers using clues from the text.

Search for synonyms: gander, stare, glimpse and gaze are words Jory John uses instead of the word “look.” What other words could we use instead of look? What is the difference between glimpse and gaze, or gaze and stare? Why would the author choose those words over look? Write the words on cards and order them from glimpse to stare discussing the subtle differences/shades of meaning between the words.

Make a text to text connection: Read Jory John’s Penguin Problems. How are the two books the same? How are they different?

 

 

Research: What do you know about the animals in this book? What would you like to know? Let’s use websites and books to discover some facts!

Engage writers by:

Text innovation: Draw your own giraffe neck (use page two as inspiration). How would you describe your neck? It’s too wiggly, too bendy, too curly, too straight, too zany.

Factual writing: Write a description about the appearance of a giraffe. What interesting words would you use to describe its neck, its patterns, the way it moves?

Text Innovation: Edward’s problem is his neck is too long, Cyrus’ neck is too short. What type of problems would other animals have? Think, pair, share to generate ideas and students create their own narrative.

Personal Writing: Edward’s mother said he should be proud of his neck. What does it mean to be proud? What are you proud of?

Persuasive Writing: Would you rather have a long neck or a short neck? If you had a long neck for the day what would you do? How would you persuade others to have a long or short neck?

Exploring word choice: Cyrus describes a banana as ‘delectable.’ Using the 5 senses, what other words can we use to describe a banana. Don’t forget to use the book to see other words Cyrus uses.

Small moments: Revisit Cyrus telling Edwards about his week long, banana dilemma. Have you experienced a time you had to wait or a time when they had to persist with a problem?

Procedural writing: At the end of the story Cyrus and Edward wear a bow tie. Write instructions to their friend the zebra on how to tie a bow tie.

 

This book is a great springboard to launch into mathematics investigations:

Measurement: How long is Edward’s neck? What can we use to measure it? Provide students a picture of Edwards neck and record how long it is using a range of informal/formal units. Don’t forget to estimate before you measure! Extra challenge: compare it to your neck. What is the difference in length?

Using a tie, identify, measure and record the length of objects. What did you find out? How will you share your thinking?

Patterns: Edwards tries to dress up his long neck. Design a patterned scarf, tie or bow tie for Edward’s long neck. As a class, create a tally of the different patterns used – stripes, shapes, colours. Don’t forget to make a bow tie for Cyrus too!

Cyrus the turtle has an attractive shell. What shapes can you see? What patterns can you make using the shapes? How will you share the patterns and your thinking?

Positional language: Edwards wants to hide his neck. Where could he hide? Behind a tree, in a ditch… The mathematicians create their own Edward and hide it in different parts of the classroom. Photograph to make a class book. The mathematicians write about Edward’s location.

Classifying: List all the animals that appear in the book. How could we classify them? How can you represent this data? As a tally, graph, table?

Problem Solving: There are 12 animals featured in the book. How many legs might there be all together? Show your thinking in pictures, numbers, and words.

Time: Edward wants to ‘hide until the sun sets.’ When does the sun set? How long does Edward want to hide for? What other phrases can we use to describe the length of time?

Ordering: Research the heights of different animals. Order them from shortest to tallest. Discuss all the vocabulary we can use to describe height. This could be a good opportunity to discuss why we say the giraffe has a long neck instead of a tall neck.

Number: Edward has a bundle of scarves. Collect a bundle of materials. How many is in your bundle? How will you share your total and your thinking?

 

Enjoy and stay connected,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

Take Away Teaching Ideas #24

Dharma the Llama

By Matt Cosgrove

 

A delightful BLAST FROM THE PAST!

I feel very honoured to introduce Janette Colbert to you all. Many moons ago, Janette and I worked closely together at Beaconsfield Primary School in Victoria. She continues to be a passionate teacher! The beauty of our profession is the many friendships you develop over time. I am happy to present the teaching ideas created by Janette and I – ENJOY!

 

I adore the way Matt writes and illustrates. His books have been great seeds for my Writer’s Notebook and to develop comprehension strategies. This book is my favourite! I adore the character Dharma – but I also LOVE reading books and flowers. (Maybe a text to self connection)

Listen and view Matt introduce Dharma:

 

Listen to and view Jessica Mauboy present this fabulous story as a rap:

I think this is a great initiative and once you hear this rap….you love the story even more!

  • Looking at the front cover what shapes can you see? What could you draw using these shapes?

 

  • Study the end papers inside the front and back cover. What clues do they give us about the story? Can you create end papers for your own story?

 

  • On the title page, how many butterflies do you see? Activate your prior knowledge. What do you know about butterflies? Why do you think Matt include them in this illustration?

 

  • Explore the rhyming words in the text by selecting four words and make a Think Board of rhyming words. Put one word in each section of the Think Board and brainstorm as many rhyming words as possible to fill each section.

 

  • Go on a print walk and select words you love! Can you show the meaning of the words using colour, size, and shape?

 

    • Dharma loves to read both fiction and nonfiction books. After reading Dharma the Llama, read a nonfiction book about llamas. Compare and contrast – how are the two books similar? How are they different?

 

    • What are your favourite fiction and nonfiction books? How would you promote these books?

 

    • Go on a punctuation mark hunt! What did you find? How are you going to show your findings?

 

    • Dharma’s books all have titles with a twist on real life stories. Think of your favourite book and give it a llama twist for its title. Create a new front cover for your book with its new title and yourself as the author. Create a new back cover, including a blurb for your book.

 

    • Dharma declares ‘X marks the spot!’ Create a pirate map using a birds-eye-view. Use your best pirate voice to explain your map!

 

    • Follow instructions to make a pirate hat like Dharmas. Make a short video for someone else to follow.

 

    • Use the colours of the llamas in the story to create your own pattern – how many elements can you include?

 

    • Dharma made her own rope ladder. Make your own creation out of rope. Write the instructions as a procedural text that someone else could follow. Create a class book for everyone to try!

 

    • Make Ooblek and put objects in it to recreate the llamas stuck in the mud. Explore the properties of Ooblek – what makes it tricky for objects to get out? How is this similar to mud?

 

    • Create a new adventurous way for Dharma to save the other llamas – she tried a rope ladder, a vine swing and hot air balloons as an astronaut. Illustrate and write your solution.

 

    • Make a list of all of the bold words in the book. Categorise them as verbs and adjectives.

 

    • Create a list of everything that you would need to throw a party. Use a shopping catalogue or online shopping to find out the total cost of your party.

 

  • Create a map that shows all of the adventures of the llamas. Use a map key to show important features on your map.

 

  • Collect data in response to the question- What animals appear in the book? how will you present your data?

 

  • Make a list of all of the titles of the books Dharma reads. Survey your family and friends or classmates to find out which book they would most like to read. Present your survey findings as a graph of your choice.

 

  • Use the activities of the llamas to create a daily timetable – include the times they started and finished each activity.

 

  • Dharma wears a chin of flowers around her neck. Have you ever made a daisy chain? Try it out! How long is it? How many flowers did you use?

 

  • Dharma loves to read anything, any time and anywhere! What do you like to read? What is your favourite spot? Create a profile about yourself and share.

 

Happy World Teacher’s Day everyone!

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

 

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #22

Mallee Sky

Jodi Toering

Do you know I have had the privilege of working alongside an award-winning author?

Let me introduce you to Jodi. I am fortunate to have collaborated with Jodi on several projects at Forest St PS – Teaching Writers, Writer’s Notebook, and Inquiry Learning.

This is a treat as Jodi has created this edition of teaching ideas about her own book. Thank you, Jodi, for the brilliant collection of ideas. I cannot wait to use your book again with one of these ideas!

 

Check out Jodi’s website at :

https://www.joditoeringauthor.com/

 

TEACHING READERS

Mallee Sky lends itself to all facets of comprehension.

Predict Look at the front cover, read the blurb on the back to gather clues and use any prior knowledge you may have to predict some events that might happen in this story.

Visualise Listen to a few pages of Mallee Sky without looking at the pictures.  What did you see in your mind?  List and describe.

Connect Text to Self: Have you ever been to the Mallee, to the country or to a farm before?  What did you notice, what happened, or what did you discover?

Text to Text: Does this book remind you of another book you have read?  How and why?  Explain the connections you have made.

Text to World: What does this book remind you of in the real world?  What connections can you make to things you have read about, seen on the news or learned about in TV programs?

Infer Feelings:  Look at the illustrations of each character as the story progresses, e.g: Dad on the verandah surveying his crops, the students at school when they hear the rain and then when they get to dance in it.  Can you infer how each character is feeling in those moments?  What clues from the pictures and words did you use to make these inferences?

Infer Consequences: This book highlights the devastation drought can have on communities.  Why is farming essential?  Why does it matter if the crops grow or not?  Infer what might happen for the broader community if crops don’t grow.

Infer Cause and Effect:  What happens to the land when it doesn’t rain?  What happens to the land when it does?  Use the book to confirm or disconfirm your inferences.  Prove it!

Summarise After reading, summarise the key events that happened in the story in your own words.

Synthesise What did you know about farm life or drought before reading Mallee Sky?  What do you know now?

Question After reading this story, what are you wondering now?

Analyse Notice the descriptive words and language used throughout the text.  List some of the descriptive words and phrases.  How do they make you feel?  Why do you think I used those words in my book?

Critique Did you like Mallee Sky? (Of course you did!!!)  Explain why, or why not.

Write a book review of Mallee Sky.  Use a five star rating, and explain your rating in your review.

 


TEACHING WRITERS

Mallee Sky is a great children’s picture book to use as a mentor text to study several aspects of the craft of writing.

Figurative Language Imagery:  Authors use words to paint a picture in the readers’ mind.  Look at examples from Mallee Sky, e.g.: As days pass, blue gives way to welcome grey while paddocks turn to carpets of green beneath the leaden sky. Practise using descriptive words and phrases to bring your setting to life.  Make sure you provide enough detail that your reader can visualise your setting in their mind.

Metaphor – Authors use words or phrases to describe something that isn’t literally true, e.g.: “When the sun goes down, the red heat of the day bleeds into the sky and sets it on fire.”  The sky isn’t literally bleeding or on fire – but the colours of the sunset remind the reader of these things.  Find the metaphors in Mallee Sky and practise writing your own.

Alliteration Authors love to use alliteration; that is, starting several words in a sentence with the same letter. Find examples of alliteration in Mallee Sky, e.g.: The scrub sighs, still and thirsty.  Now pick a person, object or place and practise writing your own sentences about it, using alliteration.

Similes:  Similes compare two things.  Choose objects from Mallee Sky and write similes for them, e.g.: The silos are as tall as a giant.  The sun is as hot as fire.  The sky is as blue as the ocean.

Personification Sometimes, authors give an object or thing human characteristics or actions.  Mallee Sky is full of personification, e.g.: The wind is too hot and tired to raise more than a whisper through the eucalypts. Find an object around the room and write sentences, giving it human characteristics or actions.

Show Dont Tell! Instead of writing direct statements about a character, place or event, show the reader with actions, feelings or descriptions.  In Mallee Sky, we know that it is hot and dry, but I don’t state this, directly, I show it with my descriptions, instead.  Try writing sentences to show your reader the following:  It is hot.  It is cold.  He was scared.  She was tired.  But there’s one catch:  You’re not allowed to write hot, cold, scared or tired!  Show by describing actions, feelings, thoughts and descriptive words or phrases.

Language Use and Word Choice: Emotions Authors use words and phrases to make the reader feel something.  Find words and phrases in Mallee Sky that elicit powerful emotions.  Choose an emotion, e.g.: angry, sad, excited and surprised.  Write sentences to show how your character is feeling.  But, one rule:  You are not allowed to use the words “angry, sad, excited or surprised”. Instead, use descriptive words or phrases and show these emotions in your character’s actions, thoughts and words.

Sensory Images Mallee Sky taps into our senses.  Find the pictures and words that help you to visualise, see, feel, hear or smell the landscape.  Write your own sensory poem about your favourite place, tapping into the senses.

Sizzling Starts: Read the first page of Mallee Sky.  Practise writing your own sizzling starts to draw the reader in.  Start with a sound, some action, some dialogue, or describe your setting using show don’t tell.  Just don’t start with “One day!”

Compare and Contrast: Write how the harsh landscape of the Mallee compares with the place you live, or another place you have been.

Convince Me:  Mallee Sky features the seasons of the year.  Imagine the seasons have an argument one day about which season is the best and why.  Don’t forget to add lots of details about each season’s reasons!

Themes:  Research the themes of drought or climate change.  Write an information report on your findings.

Place:  Authors write about places they know and love. I love the Mallee, as it is my home. That’s why I decided to write a book about it. Write about your favourite place. Why do you love it?  List all the reasons with lots of description and detail.

 


TEACHING MATHEMATICIANS

Mallee Sky has wonderful links to Mathematics, especially in terms of temperature, location, mapping, distance, size, colour, counting, the list goes on!

Size:  Find three objects in the book.  Draw each object.  Compare the size of each object.  Which is the biggest?  Which is the smallest?  Which would weigh more?  Explain your thinking.  Label each object with a size word to describe it.

Sort and Classify:  Choose six objects from Mallee Sky, e.g.: dog, boy, dam, galah, tree, Dad.  Draw each object.  Now cut them out and sort them into your own categories.  Why have you sorted them this way?  Is there another way you could sort them?

Colour:  Go on a colour hunt in Mallee Sky. Count the colours.  List the colours.  Sort into bright colours, light colours, dark colours.  Create a picture of your own landscape using colours.

Shape:  Find objects in Mallee Sky that feature different shapes, eg: the silos, cars, utes, houses, bath, etc.  Draw the shapes.  Label the shapes.  How many sides do each shape have?  How many corners?

Make your own picture using shapes.

Build one of the objects from Mallee Sky out of Lego.  Count the number of bricks you needed to make each object. Measure it.

Counting:  Go on a house hunt.  Count the number of houses in the book.

Count the number of silos in the book.

Count the numbers of vehicles.

Count the number of birds and animals.

Count the number of mailboxes.  What number is on your mailbox?  How many different numbers can you make with the numerals on your mailbox?  What is the highest number?  What is the lowest number?  Order the different numbers you have made.

Graphing:  Make a pictograph showing how many birds, cars, houses, mailboxes.

Temperature:  The Mallee is a hot place. Sometimes, it gets up to 49 degrees in the summer, and Minus 5 in the winter!

Research temperatures in the Mallee.  Compare the temperature in the Mallee today, with the temperature of your town.  Find the difference.

Pick a place.  Research the daily temperature using a weather app or website.

Graph the temperature over a week including the highs and the lows.  Interpret your graph.  What was the highest temperature? What was the lowest temperature?  What was the average temperature?

Location / Distance:  Find where the Mallee is on a map.  How far away is it from your town?

Look at a map.  Find your town, and now find the town Beulah.  List all the different towns between.  Write a set of directions to get there.

Time:  If it takes one hour to drive 100 kilometres, how long would it take you to drive to the Mallee?

If it takes 2 hours to walk 10 kilometres, how long would it take you to walk to the Mallee?!

Measurement:  The Mallee is a dry place.  Research the rainfall in the Mallee over the last week.  Find out monthly average rainfall.  Find out the yearly average rainfall.  Compare the rainfall of the Mallee to the rainfall in your own town.  Find the difference.

 


Professional Learning Update: 

Writer’s Notebook Tools and strategies to motivate writers to generate and collect ideas:

 

F-2

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-monday-12th-october/

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-thursday-22nd-october/

 

3/4

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-tuesday-13th-october/

 

 

5/6

https://andreahillbrick.com.au/product/writers-notebook-webinar-with-andrea-hillbrick-thursday-15th-october/

 

Thank you to Tracy and Naomi for the stunning photo of the silos.

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

Take Away Teaching Ideas #20

The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants

By Philip Bunting

View the story 

 

Visit Phillip’s website: https://philipbunting.com/

 

The people I meet and collaborate with is a major bonus of my work. In this edition I have had the pleasure of collaborating with a friend from WA! We were lucky to meet at AISWA professional learning opportunities in Perth.

Sarah Lilley is passionate about all aspects related to learning and is always willing to share how she transfers new learning into her classroom.

I truly thank Sarah for collaborating with me to create these teaching ideas for you! 

 

Reading:

This book links to predicting, summarising, and making connections.

  • Predicting: Why do you think Phillip drew an ant inside the front and back cover? The labels on the ants are different why? Confirm or reject your prediction after reading the book.
  • Making connections: What objects do you use on pages 1 and 2? Where do you find them? How do you use them?
  • Predicting: Before you read pages 3 and 4: There are lots of ants on Earth. How many do you think there are?
  • Predicting: Before you read pages 7 and 8: What do you love to do? What do you not like to do? What do you think ants love to do?
  • Making connections: Pages 21 and 22: Connecting knowledge about using the recycling bins around the school with how ants naturally recycle. The idea of using a compost bin to help feed a worm farm and create better soil is also utilised by ants.
  • Summarising: Pages 22 – 26: Philip summarises the amazing feats of ants by using key words to explain the most important aspects of ant life: Love your family; Waste nothing; Always do you best for others around you.
  • Summarising: Create a matching game of terms, pictures and definitions.
  • Summarising: Create a table of what ants love and do not love. Create a table of information about yourself!
  • Making connections: Investigate another book created by Philip. Were you able to make text to text connections?

Writing:

This book lends itself to writing to inform and vocabulary.

  • Vocabulary: What would you write in the caption on page 1?
  • Factual writing: Pages 13 and 14 explore the jobs that occur in an ant colony. It highlights the use of keywords (rather than sentences) to display facts. This would link in well with HASS concepts about community members and the jobs they do. An interview with Mum and Dad, or a member of the school community, could be the final outcomes.
  • Vocabulary: Pages 17 and 18: What is odorous? aromatic? pheromones? These challenging words lend themselves to using scents in playdough on the Sensory Table. Focus on how smells evoke memories i.e. What does this citrus smell remind you of? (making lemon slice with my Nanna).
  • Vocabulary: Pages 19 and 20: The words that have a lot of syllables/claps. Omnivorous, carnivorous, herbivorous. What animals are herbivorous?
  • Vocabulary: What words would you add to your classroom word wall with your students? How would you support them to use these words as writers?
  • Factual Writing: Write your own pledge/action plan in response to the message on the last page of the book.
  • Factual Writing: Create an image of ants by using your fingerprints. What ideas have you collected for your writing? What can you now write about?
  • Factual Writing: Observe an ant farm and jot down your observations to include in a factual piece of writing.

 

Mathematics:

This is a great book to explore number, time, direction, mass, shape, and size.

  • Shape: What shapes can you see on the front cover of the book?
  • Number: What is the number on pages 3, 4 and 5?  How many zeros are in this number? What is the biggest number you have counted to?
  • Mass: On page 6 there is a picture that shows the weight of ants and humans. Heft a range of objects to find two objects of the same mass. Draw and label your objects. Weigh the objects using balance or kitchen scales.
  • Size: List words to describe the size of ants.
  • Direction: Pages 11 and 12, which explains how colonies are like villages is a great inspiration for teaching direction. It shows ants walking left and right and could be used for exploring positional language. Even though it is not a ‘birds eye view’, this page would also prompt the creation of a map of a village the students are familiar with; the classroom, ECC or school.
  • Time: Ants have powernaps. The sign says, ‘back in a minute’. What can you do in a minute? How will you record your findings?
  • Shape: The reduce – reuse – recycle symbol is three arrows. Where else do you see this symbol? How will you collect this data? How will you present your data?
  • Number: Ants have six legs. Can you find collections of 6 inside or outside? Photograph or draw your collections.
  • Number: Ants have six legs. Investigate the number of legs of other living things. How will you present your data?

 

A bonus social domain: Working as part of a team:

  • Pages 15 and 16 explain how ants work as a team. This video demonstrates how amazing ants can be when they have to traverse a gap.

 

This is such an engaging text – we thoroughly enjoyed planning these teaching ideas for you!

When you implement one of these ideas tag me in on your post! Sarah and I would love to see these ideas come alive! 😊

 

 

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #19

The Pear in the Pear Tree.

By Pamela Allen

When John and Jane went out walking what did they see? They saw a pear in the pear tree. This humorous rhyming story tells of their attempts to reach the pear.

 

View the story:

 

 

I am sure you will agree with me that Jazz has prepared so many opportunities to explore this story across the curriculum! Jasmine O’Brien is the Learning Specialist at Portarlington Primary School, Victoria. You can tell by this edition that Jazz is passioniate about linking literature across all areas of the curriculum. We both share a passion for mathematics. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to collaborate with Jazz on a whole school mathematics initiative at her school.

On behalf of us all – thanks Jazz for sharing your highly practical and engaging teaching ideas.

 

Literacy:

Reading:

  • Punctuation (exclamation, ellipses, question marks, talking marks, full stops, hyphen)
  • Rhyming words (letter patterns and phonics)
  • Problem and solution
  • Fluency (using pictures to support reading)

Writing:

Narrative writing-

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Dialogue
  • Author study- Writer’s crafts

Mathematics:

Measurement:

  • Weight (hefting, balancing, mass)
  • Distance
  • Height
  • Informal and formal measurement

Problem solving:

  • Estimate, test, prove

Social and Personal Capabilities:

  • Team work
  • Persistence
  • Sharing

 

Teaching ideas:

In Pamela Allen’s story The Pear in the Pear Tree she cleverly uses a combination of simple sentences, questions, dialogue, punctuation, rhyming and onomatopoeia to engage her audience. This story explores desire, teamwork, problem solving, weight and luck. It is a fantastic story to unpack with students as it prompts lots of rich learning.

  1. Students to explore words for sounds. Students to play a ‘sound (onomatopoeia) heads up’. Students to hold up pictures of objects, things etc… (drum, wind, cow) above their head and their partner must make the sound for that item. The person must guess the object, thing or item. They have 30 seconds each. Most sounds correct gets to select first the card they wish to publish and make a class display for. Students to record all their sounds at the end of each round.

  2. Teacher to model how to categorise/sort rhyming words. Have students explore rhyming words in the story. Why did the author use rhyming words? What do they notice about some words when they rhyme? (the same letter patterns, blends that make a particular sound i.e. shout, out). What letter blends are different but have the same sound? (scare, air) Can you think of other words that rhyme but have different spelling patterns? Students to make a ladder of letter patterns to show as many words that rhyme as they can.

  3. Introducing problem and solutions. Write a summary using the prompts the problem was… The way the author solved the problem was…

  4. Students to write a sizzling start using onomatopoeia.

  5. Exploring secretarial skills in writing. Read Pamela Allen’s story and identify the many different types of punctuation. What does each one mean? Depending on level of learning make between 2 to 6 punctuation boxes (see below). Teacher to have students sit in a fishbowl. Give students prewritten sentences and have them sort each sentence into its correct punctuation box. Each student should explain why they chose the box i.e. this is a question because it begins with the word ‘how’ so it must end with a question mark etc… Students to then independently write sentences using their knowledge of the punctuation explored.


  6. Measurement (building mathematical vocab, connections and understanding through estimation and investigation)- Students to explore weight using informal measurement. Students to collect items from around the class. Students to draw a table with 5 columns (items, estimated heaviest, hefting heaviest, scales heaviest). See below. First lesson students to estimate and use hefting to find weight of items. Second lesson students to test their hefting with balance scales and give a reason as to why they think an item is heavier (it is longer than the other item). Another column can be added for formal measurement using scales as needed.

    Items Estimated heaviest Hefty Heaviest Balance Scales

    Heaviest

    what is the reason?

     

    Pencil and cup Pencil Cup Pencil  

     

     

  7. Have students use various items (coat hanger, string, cups, ruler, cylinder etc…) provided by the teacher to create their own balance scales. Estimate, investigate, record, explain and prove the weights of items.


  8. Measurement- weight. Students to create their own catapult. They must collect 4 items to catapult. Students to estimate which one will travel further. Students to use a 1 metre piece of wool or string taped to the floor with a drawing of a pond at the end. Can my item make it to the pond? Students to write down a yes or no for each item and a reason why they think it will or will not make it to the pond. Students to test each item.

  9. Measurement- Using the catapult from the previous lesson students to measure distance. Students to choose 4 items to catapult. Students to decide how they will measure the distance (Unifix blocks, string with pegs, counters, measuring tape). Students to estimate which item will travel the longest distance and which will travel the shortest distance. Students to test, record and discuss.

  10. Problem solving- How would you reach the pear? Put a pear in the classroom out of the reach of the students. Ask students to estimate the height of the pear (is it a student and a half high, or 4 chairs etc…) Teacher to then use a piece of string to show the actual height of the pear. Students to be given the string to compare their measurements. Students to plan how they would get the pear in a realistic and safe way. Students to write a script with a team/partner and create a puppet play to show how their characters would get the pear.

In my Literacy Shop there are some teaching ideas for Pamela Allen’s books – check them out 😊

 

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #17

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

By Mo Willems

 

You can view the story here

 

Jenny Kompa and I share a passion for books! Jenny and I are often chatting about our latest reading lists. I was so excited when Jenny agreed to collaborate and with her choice of book!

Thanks Jenny 😊

 

Jenny and I hope you enjoy your students love for these teaching ideas!

 

Great read aloud for younger students. They love to get involved! They get very loud & animated! The text is highly effective as an introduction to persuasive texts.

 

Find out more about Mo Willems HERE

 

Mo has made a number of videos recently called ‘Lunch Doodles’. They’re quite random in content & length but in the first one he shares his writer’s notebooks, mock-ups and drafts of some of his books and gives a pigeon drawing tutorial.

 

Check out these teaching ideas:

 

Text innovation:

Text innovation takes a text and allows the students to change characters, setting, and story elements to make a personalised version of the story.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Truck! (end of story)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the…(other transport)

Don’t Let the Pigeon… (so many possibilities and always a class favourite!)

What if you DID let the pigeon drive the bus? (Oh no!)

Explore speech bubbles & thought bubbles – difference & purpose.

Explore punctuation – question marks & exclamation marks. How does our voice change when we read these aloud?

What strategies does the pigeon use to attempt to persuade you to let him drive the bus?

Line debates – for and against letting the pigeon drive the bus.

Read more about line debates. Find out more about line debates at:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52db91b3e4b0c2e3ce0f1ce4/t/56bc4b379f72665ed6d3749e/1455180628040/Gladly-teach.pdf

Lean on the pictures. What is the pigeon doing? What happened first? What do you think is going to happen next?

Explore the pigeon’s emotions. Map out how the pigeon’s feelings change in the story. What events influence the change?

Discuss and list the character traits of the pigeon. Play charades for the other players to guess the traits.

Ignite class discussion around whether the pigeon could actually drive the bus. This may lead to an exploration of pigeons with jobs and learning all about the role of pigeons during war time.

Create some puppets and use them to retell this story.

Create your own pictures of this pigeon doing unusual tasks and add captions.

Create the word VROOM using materials that represent the sound.

Research facts about pigeons. I can recommend this website:

https://onekindplanet.org/animal/pigeon/

Mo used interesting fonts. Have you trialled using different fonts when you publish your writing? Write an awesome sentence about the book using different fonts.

What shapes did Mo use to create the illustration of the pigeon?

Follow the drawing tutorial of the pigeon HERE

Create a 3D model of a bus. What’s the mathematics about your bus? How many wheels? What colours did you use? What shapes have you used to create the bus?

Trace around the perimeter of your hand to use as the body to begin to create a pigeon.

Make a tally to calculate the most used word in the story.

Design and implement a survey to find out who would let the pigeon drive the bus.

If the Pigeon gave you five bucks (dollars) what coins could he give you? How many options are there?

 

Links to other texts:

Mo Willems Pigeon series

Mo Willems ‘Elephant & Piggie’ series (also cartoon style illustrations and speech & thought bubbles)

Oscar’s Book -Golden Book (one of Jenny’s childhood faves!)

Do Not Open This Book – Andy Lee (series)

Gary by Leila Rudge

Wheels on the Bus song

 

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

 

 

Take Away Teaching Ideas #9

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet

I wish that I had duck feet

By Dr Seuss

A young boy weighs the pros and cons of possessing various animal appendages–such as a duck’s feet, a deer’s antlers, a whale’s spout, an elephant’s trunk, and a long, long tail–only to decide that he’s better off just being himself. A zany, insightful story that beginning readers will wish to hear again and again.

Such a fun story to share!

You can view the story HERE. 

 

Here are my top 20 teaching ideas for you! (In no particular order)

  1. Create a mobile of all the rhyming words. Use colour coding the show the rhyming words.
  2. Use instruments and everyday objects to create a sound scape to match a scene in the book
  3. Think, turn and talk: If you could have one wish from the story, which would you choose? Why?
  4. Lucky dip an animal toy from a bag. What would be your wish? Draw your idea.
  5. Using a photo of yourself had an animal feature.
  6. Make some duck feet from cardboard or material. Tie onto your ankles or shoes and experience having duck feet. What did you find out?
  7. Create a long, long tail. How can you measure your tail? How will you record the measurements?
  8. Can you write the word SPLASH as an onomatopoeia? (The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named) Can you find some other suitable words in the book?
  9. Make a list of all the wishes from the book. Survey your friends to find out the most popular wish.
  10. Play charades to show animal movements and features.
  11. What is the purpose of the hyphen in the name Which-What-Who?
  12. Create a Y chart to describe the Which-What-Who.
  13. What do you think the message of the story is? Make a poster to share the message.
  14. Create a T chart to explore the pros and cons of all the animal features.


    Animal Feature:

    Pro:

    Con:

    Deer Horns

    Carrying lots of things with you

    Tricky to get into doorways

    Elephant Trunk

    Playing on the playground

    Washing things at home



  15. Collect images of animals and create your own animal by selecting features from different animals. What is your animal called? What would be a good story to match your animal?
  16. Create a 3D scene for one settings in the book.
  17. Collect up to fifteen words from the book and sort them as nouns, verbs and adjectives. What did you find?
  18. Select your favourite page from the book and practise reading fluently. Video your reading.
  19. Find some animal facts in the book called Actual Size by Steve Jenkins.

    Actual size
  20. Add talk and think bubbles to the pages of the book. What would be inside those bubbles?

Teaching Ideas



Do you love the Lorax? I do!

Check out my new resource of many teaching ideas for the book, app and movie!

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

pig the tourist

Take Away Teaching Ideas #6

Pig the Tourist

By Aaron Blabey

View the book trailer Here

Enjoy the read aloud  Here 

This week I had to pleasure to collaborate with the Educators at Yarraville SDS!

Thanks to everyone for professionalism and engagement in the Professional Learning sessions.

We considered all the literacy learning opportunities for this text.

In preparation for our session together I implemented a ‘Book Walk’.  

This enables me to consider all learning opportunities to use the text as a

springboard to engage the learners in my classroom.

Watch the video to find out how!

These are teaching ideas I generated following my ‘Book Walk’:

  • Hook the students into the text by:
  • Open up a suitcase to find the book
  • Pig the Pug toy
  • Listening to the sound of a dog barking
  • Photo of yourself or colleague with their dog.
  • Investigate the rhyming words – away, say, day, play, stay
  • Creating a simple icy pole stick puppet of Pig The Pug to read along the text with you!
  • Have fun reading the text GO AWAY! and videoing the students.
  • Lean on the pictures by investigating the objects that appear in the illustrations.
  • Activate prior knowledge and predict Pig the Pugs behaviour.
  • Make connections to other Pig the Pug adventures.

  • Search for the piranhas in the illustrations and make connections to the piranhas in a different text.

Innovation of the Story:

Story innovation takes a text and allows the students to change characters, setting, and story elements to make a personalised version of the story.

Some suggestions are:

  • The character could become the student, teacher, another animal or their pet.
  • Food trolley – What could Pig be travelling in?
  • Egypt – What is another location? Where could Pig the Pug be at our school? Where could Pig the Pug be in the community?
  • Swimwear – What could Pig the Pug be wearing?
  • Piranhas – What else could bite Pig’s bottom?

What learning experience would engage your students?

I adore reading texts about dogs! A favourite of mine is Ted by Leila Rudge. I have teaching ideas based on this text available.

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

Take Away Teaching Ideas #5

Mix It Up

Mix it up!

By Hervé Tullet

A BIG shout out to Michael and Sarah Chapple for contributing ideas to this Take Away.

I appreciate your generosity!

You can view the Mix It Up text here

Reading:

This story provides the perfect opportunity to read aloud and respond to punctuation.

Writing:

I have used this as a mentor text for writing instructions to engage the audience. It provides many examples of the use of question marks.

Mathematics:

This is a great book is ideal to explore colour, shape, and pattern.

Physical Education:

This is a great opportunity for students to use movement in different ways: drawing, tracing, stepping, jumping, and leaping as well as quick decision making.

Check out the teaching ideas we have planned for you!

  • Go on a Word Treasure Hunt! Find how many times the word – they or little – appeared in the book?
  • Make a list of two letter words that you know.
  • Have a book look for words with the letter x as in mix.
  • Select two of your favourite pages and practise reading fluently.
  • How do you read a sentence with a question mark? Quotation marks? Full stop?
  • Mix it Up! explores actions such as smudge, rub and shake. Create a foldable book to show actions you do in a day.

mix it up!

  • I wonder how many spots are in this book. Make a tally chart or pictograph and record how many different coloured dots there are on a page.
  • Collect objects or take photographs of things you have at home that are the same as the colours in this book.
  • Collect ten things and sort by colour.
  • Using the different colours in this book, how many patterns can you create?
  • What wonderings do you have about colours? Record your wonderings on a T chart. See if you can answer your wonderings.

wonderings and answers

  • Have a go at mixing some of the colours yourself. You could put spots on a page just like in the story or mix colours on a large piece of paper.
  • Introduce the colour wheel to the students.
  • Investigate recipes. What do you need to mix up in the recipe?
  • What questions would you ask Hervé Tullet about this book?
  • Play the game “Mirror Me!” Students are to draw coloured circles on the ground facing each other. Trace around their feet in the middle. One person is the colour master and jumps to a coloured circle. Their partner has 2 seconds to match the same colour on their board otherwise their opponent wins a point. First to 10 points is the winner. Swap roles. They can include maths by keeping a tally chart of their wins.

                     

  • A different version of the game above except it is played with your hands. Students use coloured paper and their hands. One person is the colour master and creates a 3-4 colour pattern while their partner copies the same pattern to stay in the game. For example: Colour Master – red, green, pink.

@learning through movement

  • Get the kids moving through designing their own movement course. All you need is chalk, a sidewalk and lots of creativity.

  • Have the students assign the colours in the book with a movement challenge. Every time the colour appears, they must do the action 10 times.

I enjoy following Michael on Instagram and I learn heaps!

 

@pe_with_mr_c

If you like to use picture story books to plan mathematical experiences, I have an online resource that lists 40+ picture story book titles with author and the Mathematics learning focuses for each title.

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea

Andrea Hillbrick

lest we forget

Take Away Teaching Ideas #4

Lest We Forget

By Kerry Brown

lest we forget

A young boy visits his granddad and thinks about the important days in his life: his first day of school, playing soccer with his team, the day his baby sister was born. Yet through the illustrations the reader sees a parallel story of the grandfather’s experiences at war: wearing his brand-new soldier’s uniform, with his fellow diggers in the field, looking at a photo of the baby he’s never met.

I am grateful to have collaborated with Joel Brian

and Carly White @misswhitesclassroom 

You can view the story at  here

Reading:

This book links to the comprehension strategies of inferring, comparing and contrasting.

Writing:

A mentor text for a narrative that includes flashbacks and the use of illustrations to convey meaning.

Mathematics:

This is a great book is a great springboard to explore the use of calendars.

The three of us have collaborated to plan these teaching ideas for you!

  • Before reading the text brainstorm what Lest We Forget
  • What can we learn from the front cover?
  • What does ANZAC stand for?
  • Create a Venn diagram by drawing two overlapping circle or pasting two paper plates. Compare the ‘then’ and ‘now’ pictures. What is the same? What is different?
  • Why did the author Kerry present the book in this way?
  • Select five words that relate to the text to make a word collage. You may use words and letters from catalogues, newspapers or magazines.
  • How do we find out about the grandfather’s past? Look closely at the illustrations and list what you see. Why was there no text with these pictures?
  • Can you make a connection to another text? What text is it?
  • Make a calendar and record dates that are important to you and your family. Each month could have a special picture to match either a: season, moment, or special event.
  • Provide the students with a month of the calendar cut up as a jigsaw to solve.
  • Make a patty pan poppy. you can find the instructions at

http://www.beafunmum.com/2014/04/anzac-day-craft-how-to-make-a-paper-poppy/ 

  • Create an artwork using images to show your understanding for celebration and commemoration.
  • Make ANZAC biscuits following recipe students can write their own instructional text.
  • Visit Art for kids Hub and follow instructions on how to draw poppies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkSBztJ_bMQ 

  • Begin to create your own memory capsule. What will you use? What will be your first memory to be stored?

Another great, engaging book to use with your students is ‘ANZAC Day Parade’ –

check it out on my online resource section  here

ANZAC day parade             ANZAC Day Parade

Enjoy and take care,

Andrea Hillbrick