You will need a range of traditional aboriginal stories (plan resources and scroll down for websites). Wombat Goes Walkabout by Michael Morpurgo ISBN 0006646271
Week 1 Monday
Main focus: Explore a traditional oral story.
4/2. Listen to speaker & use notes to develop a role-play.
3/1. Prepare stories for performance.
4/4. Create roles showing how behaviour can be interpreted.
4/7. Deduce characters' reasons for behaviour.
3/9. Use layout, and illustrations for different purposes.
Show a map of the world and identify Australia – has anyone ever been there or have family connections there. Discuss what chn know about it. Write Aborigine on f/c and ask if any chn have heard of the Aboriginal people or culture. Tell chn story of Rainbow Snake (see resources) or use CD of the story (available from Hamilton Education, scroll down for details). Discuss story of Rainbow Snake. Does it remind chn of other stories they have heard? List key events of story on f/c. Stress that it is a traditional story – handed down in an oral culture. Why does that make it different from a written story? (Parts will have changed over time; details may have been added etc.) Many traditional Australian stories are about Dreamtime - the time long ago in Aboriginal mythology when supernatural ancestors created the world (see plan resources). Explain to chn they will be reading/hearing more Australian trad. stories later.
Make a pictorial story plan of the Rainbow Snake story (session resource). Write a sentence opener for each picture: Suddenly; All at once; An amazing thing… Re-tell in own words to a partner using story map.
Chn work in small mixed ability groups to read the story of Kangaroo and Porpoise, if at all possible using the Picture book produced by Aboriginal children (ISBN 0868963275). Otherwise use copies of Hamilton version (plan resources). Chn discuss the story. What features of the Kangaroo and the Porpoise does the story explain? Chn work in pairs and act out a short imaginary telephone conversation between Kangaroo and a friend, explaining what happened.
Hard - How will Kangaroo justify her part in the story? TD as needed.
1. Identify Australia on a map.
2. Begin to understand more about the Aboriginal culture.
3. Identify main events of a story.
4. Listen and respond to an oral story by discussion/drama.
Ask some chn to repeat their acting of the conversation for us all.
Week 1 Tuesday
Main focus: Write English version of an Australian story.
4/1. Offer reasons and evidence for views.
3/7. Infer characters’ feelings.
4/7. Use knowledge of word structures to develop understanding of word meanings.
4/8. Read extensively and experiment with other types of text.
Read Wombat Goes Walkabout by Michael Morpurgo. Explain that MM was asked by the Australians to write a story which fitted into Aboriginal culture. How is it similar to many traditional Aboriginal tales? It’s about Australian animals, allows the animals to think and speak, it has a moral, tells us something about the different animal’s characters. Note the features on f/c.
Point out conversations each animal in turn has. Look at the alternatives to ‘said’: snapped; laughed; cackled. Look at verbs for how different animals moved past: ‘scampering by’; ‘hopping by’; ‘darting by’ and some adverbs e.g. timidly, quickly etc. Can chn think of any more words that the author might have used for ‘said’ or the animals’ movements? Write ideas on Post-it™ notes to add to working wall.
As Medium /Hard but using a writing frame (see resources) with some parts already filled out.
Refer back to working wall for alternative words.
Suppose Wombat Goes Walkabout was set in UK in an English wood. Chn think of animals to fit English version… Imagine that Wombat would be replaced by Badger… Who would Koala be? Emu? Etc. Chn choose an animal for an English version and write the conversation: Just then Fox came sneaking past. “Hello, who are you?” “I’m Badger,” said Badger. “What can you do?” asked cunning Fox. “Not much,’ said Badger. “I dig a lot, and think a lot...” “That’s nothing,” sneered Fox. “I can run, I can hide, I can sneak inside a chicken coop and create havoc!” Encourage chn to use good alternatives to ‘said’, and to describe how the animal moves, e.g. Fox sneaks…
1. Understand the elements that make a good story.
2. Recognise the features of a traditional Aboriginal tale.
3. Use interesting alternatives to “said” and movement verbs.
4. Use a familiar story as a basis to write own version.
Choose chn to share their conversations by reading these aloud using expressive voices for their characters.
Week 1 Wednesday
Main focus: Create character profiles.
4/9. Choose/combine words, images, other features.
3/9. Select descriptive vocab.
4/8. Read favourite authors extensively experiment with other types of text.
3/8. Empathise with characters.
Look again at Wombat Goes Walkabout. What are the characteristics of the Australian creatures in the story? List these on the f/c – Kookaburra? (Cackles, mocks, jeer.) Wallaby? (Hops, shows off…) Possum…? Etc. Remind chn of the English animals they chose yesterday for a conversation with Wombat. What are the characteristics of these animals? Fox is cunning, wolf/hare?
Read other Australian animal stories e.g. Diary of a Wombat Jackie French or Possum Magic by Mem Fox.
Can we add any other characteristics to the list?
Discuss and define the word stereotype- an oversimplified standardized image of a person or group (it will be important to understand this for discussion work in wk 3).
Choose favourite character/s from book and write profile/s. Use f/c notes for support.
Chn write character profiles for one Australian creature and one English creature. They should contrast the two – e.g. Wolf is fierce and cruel. He has a bad reputation for eating chn, especially little girls in red cloaks. Koala is sleepy and very chilled, can rarely be bothered to argue… Encourage chn to use imagination drawing on mythical stereotypes they have learned about in Aboriginal stories and that they know from English folk stories. TDwhere needed
1. Think of characteristics and interesting words that match certain animals.
Share the best character profiles. Read without mentioning the creature. Can chn guess creature from character profile?
Week 1 Thursday
Main focus: Plan a story.
3/6. Spell unfamiliar words using known conventions.
4/6. Know and apply spelling rules.
3/9. Use beginning, middle and end.
4/9. Develop/refine ideas in writing.
Use settings etc. to engage interest.
Myths and traditional tales often have a message. In pairs chn identify the message of this story. (Wombat’s unique skills –digging and thinking which were not valued by other characters turn out to be life-saving). Encourage Hard group to identify and list themes of the story: Loss; fear; rejection; escape; mutual support; love.
To revise adding –ing to make a list of other animal skills (verbs) under appropriate columns i.e. typical, short vowels, etc. (see Spelling bank p4 and p23) running, flying, screeching, swimming, listening, tracking etc.
Plan a story based on Wombat Goes Walkabout. The animals and settings should be Australian. The chn need to decide:
Main character’s skills
How main character saves the day
How other characters help.
To help with descriptions of the setting show photos of the outback (plan resources). TD where needed
1. Use key events of a story to plan their own.
2. Write descriptive passages in response to visual stimuli.
On the fly leaf (of hardback) the story is described as ‘funny and touching’. Re-read last 7 pages and with chn identify the words and phrases MM uses that make the story ‘touching’ – list these words on f/c.
Look at outback photos from yesterday. Brainstorm and list powerful adjectives:
As for Easy, but chn should include powerful adjectives listed in intro.
Use ideas listed to heighten emotional aspect of story, i.e. try to make your story touching. TD
1. Discuss the emotional content of a story.
2. Begin to include emotional content in their writing.
Display chn’s stories in a class book hung where chn can all read it.
Independent group activities
You will need What Made Tiddalik Laugh? by Joanna Troughton ISBN: 9780140506747 (or Tiddalik the Frogby Anne Faundez, ISBN: 978-1845383237), Where the Forest meets the Sea and Window, both by Jeannie Bakers ISBNs 9800744513059 & 9781856810104. Chn need access to computers as well as books about Australia and the Aboriginal culture. They will be researching this culture and looking for stories on the internet. For Thursday’s lesson, chn will need to research Aboriginal art, also using computers and provided resources.
Week 2 Monday
Main focus: Research oral story culture.
3 & 4/7. Explain how writers use figurative/expressive language to create images and atmosphere.
3 & 4/3. Use time, resources and group members efficiently by distributing tasks; respond to all members of group.
4/6. Develop a range of personal strategies for learning irregular words.
3/6. Spell unfamiliar words.
We will continue to explore the themes of Australian traditional tales by reading What made Tiddalik Laugh? (or Tiddalik the Frog). This story is also from the Dreamtime (remind them of meaning). Read story.
Explain we will be coming across lots of words that may be unfamiliar to us. Enlarge a copy of the word bank sheet (plan resources) and keep a record of these words throughout the weeks. Try and find out definitions either by using the text or researching on the internet.
Give chn photocopies of ‘joke’ page in Tiddalik book. Working in pairs write jokes they know that would help make Tiddalik laugh. They should draw their own animals telling the jokes with speech bubbles.
Work in pairs to read Aboriginal stories & research culture in books & on web; http://www.abc.net.au/dustechoes/ is good, scroll down for other sites. Using the session resource sheet chn draw a character from each story and write a sentence or 2 about the main part of the story and if possible what the story is trying to tell the reader. Are there any similar themes? Has anyone come across more than 1 story that seems to explain an animal’s characteristic or a reason why something is how it is? Tell chn that by the end of the session they must also have a fascinating fact about the Aboriginal culture to share with the class. TD where needed
1. Begin to understand what Dreamtime means in Aboriginal culture.
Share jokes and fascinating facts.
Week 2 Tuesday
3/1. Sustain conversation, explain or give reasons for their views or choices.
4/4. Comment constructively on plays and performances, discussing effects and how they are achieved.
3/11. Use speech marks.
Watch/listen to one or two of these visually exciting stories. Tell the chn a story (from a book, plan resources or for stories on websites scroll down). Explain that the Dreamtime stories, like most traditional tales were passed down by word of mouth (oral tradition). Aboriginal culture has no written language. Stories and art carry the culture and are extremely important. Share experiences of listening to a story teller and how powerful that can be (perhaps invite one into school?!).
Discuss in pairs or 3s which stories you liked best giving reasons.
Using the jokes from yesterday. Change from speech bubbles into direct speech, e.g. The parrot asked “Why do birds… winter?” “Because it’s... walk!” replied Wombat. TD
Give chn a short story to learn by heart or they could use a story written last week. They need to organise themselves in small groups to split up the story and learn their part.
As for Medium but choose their own story to learn from one they have read and begin to learn it by heart
1. Write direct speech.
2. Begin to learn and tell a story.
Med/Hard groups tell as much of their stories as they can so far. Others comment constructively.
Week 2 Wednesday
Main focus: Present oral story as written text.
3 & 4/7. Deduce/infer characters' reasons for behaviour from their actions. /Use knowledge of word structures/context to develop understanding of meanings.
3 & 4/6. Use knowledge of word structure/phonemes to spell new words.
4/9. Summarise/shape material.
Tell the story of Lungkata the Blue Tongued Lizard Man (plan resources). Talk about this story. What is it telling us? We should have respect for our parents and for the customs of our people. Show examples of pictorial story maps made by Easy group Day 1 wk 1. Talk about the sentence openers used. Remind chn of stories they started to learn yesterday.
Make a list of more powerful words including connectives and sentence openers that they could include in their story telling (Grammar for writing p68/p98).
Meanwhile... A few days later… After that… Amazingly... In an instant… etc. etc.
Revisit story maps wk 1 day 1, and learn by heart or use stories written wk 1 day 5.
Make simple (but carefully produced) A4 story maps to act as prompts when telling stories. Include key words/phrases to help make their telling more powerful. Practice and polish stories, then tell them to another group. TD
1. Discuss a story and understand the message it is trying to put across.
2. Re-tell a story in a shorter form by using just the key events.
Read Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker – another Australian writer. Discuss the message of the book. Read chn the back page, which explains about how much the Daintree Rainforest is under threat. Discuss how the island is being destroyed. What is causing it to be destroyed? How do you think it will affect the people living near it and the wildlife?
Week 2 Thursday
Main focus: Research oral story culture.
3 & 4/3. Use time, resources and group members efficiently by distributing tasks.
3 & 4/9. Develop and refine ideas in writing.
3 & 4/9. Summarise and shape material and ideas into a logical sequence.
Show this clip which shows a dreaming story being painted. The artist explains how stories are handed down. Explain we shall continue collecting information, pictures and stories and these will go on large posters about Aboriginal culture. We shall collect a few more facts, then later we shall add stories, written as small ‘zig-zag’ books and mounted concertina-style on the poster. They can also include their story maps. Explain that today we will start to work in 2s/3s to plan our poster and collect images.
Chn continue research, especially immersing themselves in Aboriginal Art (scroll down for web addresses) and then plan their posters. Could produce background in art using dots working from aboriginal images. They work in groups of 2 or 3, and will need to remember that they will be adding ‘zig-zag’ stories to concertina across the poster. The posters should also include their fascinating facts which they need to decide how to present. Give chn wallets to collect work for their posters as they complete it. TD where needed
1. Research Aboriginal stories and culture using the internet.
2. Research and present facts.
Share at least one fascinating fact from six chn.
Week 2 Friday
Main focus: Present oral story as simple written text.
3 & 4/1.Tell stories effectively.
3 & 4/9. Show imagination through lang. use.
3/9. Write non-narratives.
Explain that today, chn will choose a traditional Aboriginal story that they have read/heard/learnt/ written and write it in shortened form as a ‘zig-zag’ book to stick onto their poster. Discuss and demonstrate how to shorten a story – we only write the key events and the key things that are said. We may write a key sentence for each event and a speech bubble to go with it.
Using their story maps or re-telling a story they know, chn produce a rough written version of a story for their small concertina book planning what will go on each page. Stress that they will plan the story today (plan resources) and write it in neat on Monday. They also make their final selection of facts, images and background for the poster. TD as needed
Children can: 1. Re-write a story using key events.
2. Select and edit facts and images.
Choose two or three chn to show their plans for their shortened stories. Are the speech bubbles good? Do they match the event they go with?
Independent group activities
You will need The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan ISBN 9800734402219
Week 3 Monday
Main focus: Explore and describe emotional content of a book.
3 & 4/7. Explain how writers use fig. and expressive lang. to create images and atmosphere. Infer characters feelings.
3 & 4/8. Interrogate texts to deepen understanding / Empathise with dilemmas.
3 & 4/12. Write consistently with neat, legible and joined handwriting.
Look at Window point out that it is written by the same person as Where the Forest Meets the Sea. How can chn tell this is the same author/illustrator? Go through Window. Why are there no words? What carries the narrative (the pictures – the way the view changes over time)? Encourage chn to really look at the pictures. If possible, scan and enlarge on an iw/b. Ask chn in pairs to identify at least 3 things that have changed or altered in someway in each new picture. In pairs chn discuss the message of the two books: the destruction of wild places and habitats. Do the chn think Jeannie Baker gets across her message? What are the emotions they give rise to? How do they make you feel? Sad, wistful, concerned. A sense of the passing of time and the loss of beauty. Draw 3 columns on f/c. In first 2 list points raised by chn under book title headings.
Write out concertina stories in neat. Discuss how these need to be written really neatly so they are legible and people will want to read them. Encourage chn to take pride in their work and keep checking back through. Talk about spelling and punctuation – readability!
Assemble final versions of posters and stick down and display! TD where needed
1. Understand and present a written re-telling of an oral story.
2. Present their work neatly with correct punctuation.
Look at a variety of chn’s posters. Encourage positive remarks and discuss what went well.
Week 3 Tuesday
Main focus: Understand meaning of an allegory.
4/7. Identify and summarise evidence from a text. Explain how writers use figurative and expressive language.
3/7. Identify how different texts are organised.
4/8. Explore why and how writers write.
3/8. Empathise with characters and debate moral dilemmas. Identify features that writers use to provoke.
Introduce The Rabbits (John Marsden/Shaun Tan) with chn. Also about environmental destruction. What emotions does this book provoke? Anger, sorrow, regret (look up words). How do the illustrations contribute? Spiky and threatening? Explain what an allegory is. One topic or subject is used to write about something more serious. What do Rabbits stand for in story? The English. Why is this a good allegory? Describe how the English brought rabbits to Australia and that the rabbits overran the land causing endless damage. Explain how Myxomatosis was introduced deliberately with the aim of getting rid of the rabbits – also that the Australians built ‘rabbit-proof fences’ to keep the rabbits away from whole areas of the countryside. Remind chn what Rabbits stand for in this story. The English or the Europeans. Why are the native Australians (Aborigines) so hostile to these settlers? The English seized or destroyed their land, stole their chn and tried to destroy their culture (see plan resources for more teacher information.)
Use 3rd column on f/c to list points arising from discussion.
Read through f/c. Work with chn who then choose one of the 3 books: Window, Where the Forest Meets the Sea or The Rabbits, and write a review.
Provide sentence starters if necessary. TA
Choose 2 of the books: Window, Where the Forest Meets the Sea, or The Rabbits, and compare them. Chn write about which they prefer and why. TD
Write the book titles and, under each one in a separate paragraph explain what message each author is trying to convey and how they achieve it. How successful have they been?
Main focus: Explore how text and illustrations work together.
3/11. Compose using adjectives for impact.
4/9. Summarise & shape to write informative texts.
Look again at The Rabbits discuss how the language of the book depicts what happened. Short powerful sentences, questions. Discuss how the text works with the pictures. Show Where the Forest Meets the Sea again. Look at the man on page ‘My father says there used to be crocodiles here.’ Does he want things to stay the same (yes, he wants to protect the island…)? Read some of the reviews and comparisons written yesterday. How well do these books convey the authors’ fears that these places are being destroyed? Discuss with chn which places they know in our country that they fear may be destroyed or will change. Discuss why this is and what could be done to prevent it.
Write descriptive sentences about a place you know that is special to you. What makes it special? TD
In pairs/groups choose 2 of the ecosystems described on this web page and make notes about the key facts of each to feedback to the class. Use short clear sentences
Present a fact and an environmental threat for the class to discuss.
Week 3 Thursday
Main focus: Begin to empathise with the victims of historical crimes.
3/10. Signal sequence, place and time to give coherence.
4/9. Show imagination through the language used to create emphasis, atmosphere. Choose and combine words & images for particular effects.
Refer back to the page in The Rabbits where it says ‘… and they stole our children.’ Tell them the true story (told in the film ‘Rabbit Proof fence’ of Molly Craig (plan resource). Show this (U rated) trailer of ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi693043481/ (warning- film is PG rated). Show the clip again and ask chn to list emotions they can identify on w/bs (e.g. joy, freedom, threat, fear, terror, determination, sorrow, and loneliness). Bring out the ability and skills of aboriginal people to live and survive the harsh desert environment. Does the clip make you want to watch the film? Why or why not? Depending on your class, hot-seat either Neville (protector) or Molly.
Pretend you are Molly and write a short narrative about your capture and escape.
Imagine a meeting between Molly and Neville when she has grown up. What would she have said to Neville what would be her arguments against being taken away. What might he have said to her? In pairs plan a dialogue. Talk about the power of understatement. TD
1. Interrogate and evaluate a film clip.
2. Imagine and write a dialogue.
Week 3 Friday
Main focus: Present a difficult issue through drama.
3/1. Sustain conversation, explain or give reasons for their views or choices.
3 & 4/4. Identify/ comment constructively on plays and performances.
In pairs, chn make notes about why they think the Australian government was so cruel to the Aborigines. Why did Europeans want to destroy Aboriginal culture? What were their reasons? Have they succeeded? Why did they try to make chn forget their culture? Remind chn of word stereotype (an oversimplified standardised image of a person or group). The two cultures were so different and most Europeans did not try to understand how aborigines felt about their land, traditions, beliefs and stories. They just thought the European way of life was the only right way. They felt threatened by anything different. Is it significant that Neville was called the ‘Protector’? Do we think the same way now? What could they have learnt about conservation of landscapes and ecosystems from the aborigines?
Watch the Australian parliament statement (prime-minister Kevin Rudd) apologising for the actions of the past,
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