Each lesson is approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on children’s engagement.
Because The Allen Adventure explores social skills and situations, teachers should be alert to personal or social issues in the group which are raised in discussion and allow additional time if required.
Lesson plans have been developed for 3 to 4 year olds, 5 to 6 year olds and 7 to 8 year olds. One chapter is read and discussed each lesson, and teachers are encouraged to highlight the relevant prosocial behaviours in general class interactions during the following days.
Each lesson has three phases and an additional phase of Allen ‘on the go’:
Reading the chapter (5 mins)
Retelling and extending the story (10 mins)
Discussing the themes (10 mins and additional time for the optional activities for skill development)
Allen ‘on the go’ (applying and expanding the learning in the following days).
Visit the Starting in early childhood section of Bullying. No Way! to read more about the rationale for The Allen Adventure and extensive information for educators and parents about young children social and emotional development. The content from the site can be downloaded as handouts for parents
You may like to create an ‘Allen Adventure’ space in your classroom to provide a reference point throughout the period you read the story.
Extensions and adaptations
Prosocial skill development varies considerable over this age range, so it will be necessary to extend or adapt the lesson plans in response to students’ age and level of development. Younger children will benefit from lots of opportunities to practise emerging social skills. Children of all ages can benefit from thinking and discussing the story and the importance of getting on together.
In between sessions, additional activities and discussion will allow children to explore the concepts and develop their skills.
Sharing ideas with the rest of the school
Providing an opportunity for children to share their ideas extends their learning. Ways for children to share their learning with the rest of the school include:
Each week, a class or year level shares with the wider school community what Allen has learnt in the most recent chapter through acting, doing a puppet play or telling the story.
Students across the early years collaboratively produce a journal about making the school a positive place for everyone. Students add to the journal as they read about Allen and think about the points raised in their classroom discussions.
Students develop an Allen poster each week to illustrate the important things that Allen has learnt. Each poster might present a key question or concept pertinent to that week’s story. Posters could then be displayed around the school.
An ‘Allen’ space could be created within the library, featuring The Allen Adventure app on an iPad or Android tablet, posters and other resources or responses from the class levels studying the story.
The Allen Adventure materials could be displayed in the school reception area for parents and visitors to read. The display could include:
An iPad or Android tablet for visitors to listen to the story
Other social, emotional and behavioural resources related to the early years.
An ‘Allen Alert’ might be developed by the various classes to be published in the school’s newsletter. The article can highlight some of the focus questions from the week’s chapter, and key responses of students.
A section of the school website could be developed as an Allen Space, perhaps as a joint venture with an older year level as part of an IT unit, which would feature some of the responses and work done by the early childhood classes.