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


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


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


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 

  • 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. 

  • 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

who sank the boat

Take Away Teaching Ideas #3

Who Sank the Boat?

By Pamela Allen

who sank the boat

Five animal friends decide to go for a row in the bay. Do you know who sank the boat?


A BIG thank you to Joel Brian and Carly White @misswhitesclassroom

 for contributing ideas to this Take Away!

You can view the story here



This book links to the comprehension strategies of predicting and visualising. 


This book lends itself to generating and collecting ideas for developing a setting. It also provides multiple examples of questions and the use of question marks.


This is a great book to explore mass, capacity and ordinal numbers.

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

  • Read the blurb (inside cover) and draw a picture of what you will see in the story.
  • What is the missing part? Look at the first and last picture in the book. Make a prediction about what will happen in the middle of the story.
  • Follow the instructions to make an origami boat.
  • Using a lotus diagram select eight nouns from the first page to brainstorm adjectives and verbs.

lotus diagram

  • This can then be used to create a setting for a new story.
  • Design/build a boat using recycled items. Test the boat by placing marbles or small rocks in it until in sinks. Count the total number of marbles in efficient ways such as grouping them into groups of tens. Reflect on your design and try again. Compare your trials.
  • Heft objects to compare and order from heaviest to lightest. Sketch and label.
  • Draw the characters from the story and label them according to the order they entered the boat – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
  • If you changed the characters in the story – who would they be? Why?
  • Let’s go on a letter hunt! How many words can you find in the story that have double letters?
  • The sheep was knitting in the story. Can you finger knit? Research and find out how to make yourself something to wear.
  • The water line in the boat changes as the animals get into the boat. Using a water tray and a range of objects experiment with the water line. Draw your findings.
  • Retell the story using toy animals or puppets.
  • The characters had to balance. Go for a walk where you need to balance. Write about your experience.
  • What would the sound effects of the story be? Make a sound scape of the story.
  • Make a mask to act out the story from one of the characters point of view.

If you would like more ideas for Pamela Allen’s stories visit my online resources at:

Enjoy and take care,

Take Away Teaching Ideas #2

My Dad STILL thinks he’s funny

By Katrina Germein

Illustrations by Tom Jellett

This series of books are fun to read and make you laugh!

Story Box Library features the book – My Dad STILL thinks he’s funny!

A BIG shout out to Courtney Trigg for contributing ideas to this Take Away!


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


I have used this as a mentor text for collecting and generating ideas, text matching pictures to support comprehension and punctuation.


This is a great book to collect and represent data about the favourite joke in the story.

Courtney and I have collaborated to plan these teaching ideas for you!

  • Use a photograph or a drawing of your Dad/special person and list all the things you love doing with them! How many can you come up with?
  • Select your favourite jokes from the book to perform to an audience.
  • Create props to support your performance.
  • Make a video of your performance.
  • Which joke did you like the best? Were there any that you didn’t understand? Do you think the boy likes his dad’s jokes? Why or why not? What did the boy do at the end?
  • Research different kinds of jokes, riddles, puns, pranks, limericks, etc.
  • Investigate and read joke books.
  • Make and publish your own joke book.
  • Investigate the compound words in the story. How many did you find?
  • Katrina uses puns in her story. Can you provide an example from the story and an explanation? How would define the term ‘pun’ to support other writers?
  • Find out more about Katrina by reading the interview here
  • Create a Y chart to describe one of the jokes/illustrations in the story.
  • Tom has created an illustration to build understanding of the jokes. This is one example. What page is your favourite? Why?

  • Find out more about Tom by reading the interview here
  • How would you describe Tom’s style of illustrations? Try this technique.
  • Create a 3D scene for one of the jokes.
  • Publish a joke to support the reader’s understanding.
  • In the story the boy receives a special card from his Gran. Create a card for someone special to you!
  • Write a text to persuade your audience that Dad jokes are essential!
  • Compare two stories written by Katrina. What is the same in these stories and what is different?

Enjoy and take care,

Take Away Teaching Ideas #1

Clive Eats Alligators

By Alison Lester

This is a story of seven characters and all the things that make them unique!

It is such a thrill to listen to Alison read her book that she wrote 35 years ago! 

Follow the link and you will find the read aloud here:


This book links strongly to the comprehension strategies of making connections and summarising.


I have used this as a mentor text for generating and collecting ideas, conventions and publishing.


This is a great book to explore different events and connections to the times of the day.

Alison’s read aloud has inspired the following teaching ideas that I would like to share with you!

o Draw images or write a description of your favourite character. (My favourite character is Frank!) Share your clues and see if your buddy can guess your favourite character.

o Create a T chart to compare two characters.

Ernie                                                                                                     Rosie

 Eats porridge for breakfast                                                             Likes bacon and eggs

o Create a word splash to represent a character in the book or an event such as breakfast, getting dressed or shopping. Use colour, size and shape to represent the meaning of the words.

o Match or label times of the day that would be reasonable for the events. What time would breakfast be?

o Create a mobile using words and images to recall one character in the story.

o Collect objects or images that appear in the story and sort by character.

o Play ‘character heads’ using the characters from the text.

o Go on a word treasure hunt! How many times the word – has- appeared in the book?

o Design, make and wear a tail like Tessa.

o On the front cover of the book Alison used a background of alligators to provide clues about Clive. Can you create a page about yourself? what would your background be?

o Photograph events in your day to create a book.

o Nicky likes to build. What can you build? What materials did you use? Sketch and label your building.

o Create a foldable book to describe a character or yourself!

o Select three characters and record the key ideas about each character on a grid.

o Cut up the grid and recall the story by classifying the terms according to the characters.

o Frank likes to play chess with his dog Rodger. What games do you like to play? Can you write instructions, make a video or draw a diagram to explain how to play your favourite game?

Enjoy and take care,