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.

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 passionate 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.



  • 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)


Narrative writing-

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



  • 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


    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.

Enjoy and take care,


Andrea Hillbrick