Monkey’s Shoes Strategies to use with a big book Band of development

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Monkey’s Shoes
Strategies to use with a big book

Band of development:

Early childhood

Curriculum organiser:


Year level(s):


Proposed duration:

4 sessions

Essential Learning Achievements

9. The student reads effectively.

10. The student writes effectively.


Thank you to the Literacy and Numeracy Team for developing and sharing these lessons.

This is a sample learning experience. Teachers need to consider its usefulness within the context of their own students’ needs and school’s curriculum plan and adapt it accordingly.


November 2007

Monkey’s Shoes

Strategies to use with a big book

BAND OF DEVELOPMENT: Early childhood



PROPOSED DURATION: 4 sessions (as part of the whole literacy program)




These teaching and learning experiences use the Big Book ‘Monkey’s Shoes’ by Jill Eggleton (Sails Series) as a stimulus for reading and writing. They are designed to be only one component of a balanced literacy program. While a significant amount of essential content is listed, it needs to be revisited within other parts of the program. The focus of the sessions is on:

  • language features of the text

  • organisational framework of the text

  • the authorial decisions students can make when innovating texts.



  • Reading is decoding and understanding the words on a page.

  • Writing has structure and form.

  • Reading and writing are linked.

This unit aims to provide opportunities for students to:

  • identify some language features for this text type

  • identify social purpose of this text type.



Students have opportunities to:

  • develop a positive attitude towards reading

  • develop a positive attitude towards experimenting with their writing.

  • Roving conferences

  • Author’s Circle reflecting on own work

  • Observational notes on student involvement and responses to questions

  • Analysis of student work samples

ELA 9 The student reads effectively

In the early childhood band of development, students have opportunities to understand and learn about:

4. conventions of print (e.g. left page before right, left to right and top to bottom direction of print, sentences, words and spaces, letters and letter order in words, basic punctuation, how illustrations relate to the print)

6. words commonly used in the texts they read (reading vocabulary), the ways in which sounds are organised in spoken language (phonemic awareness) and represented by letters and letter clusters in print (phonics).

In the early childhood band of development, students have opportunities to learn to:

8. identify the main topic of a story, retell a sequence of events and draw inferences from directly stated descriptions and actions (e.g. a character’s feelings)

11. use strategies to self-monitor their reading for meaning and to search for and use meaning, word order and visual information (or cues) to detect and self-correct errors when meaning is lost

14. respond to texts in a variety of ways (e.g. discussion, drama, drawing, writing their own texts).

ELA 10 The student writes effectively

In the early childhood band of development, students have opportunities to understand and learn about:

1. how writing communicates a message for a variety of purposes to different audiences

3. structures and features of imaginative texts (e.g. characters, a setting and a plot in stories) and of information texts (e.g. descriptions of people and events or giving opinions)

4. similarities and differences between spoken and written language (e.g. how patterns of repetition are used in written language to emphasise actions or ideas in texts)

5. processes of planning, drafting, checking and editing writing to make the message clear for an intended audience.

In the early childhood band of development, students have opportunities to learn to:

11. write simple sentences, using suitable vocabulary for the topic, basic punctuation (capital letters, full stops, commas in lists) and appropriate grammar.

  • Eggleton, Jill. Monkey’s Shoes Big Book. Author Jill Eggleton, Sail Series.

  • First Steps Reading Map of Development, Reed International Books, Australia, 2004. (FSWMOD)

  • First Steps Reading Resource Book 2nd Edition, Reed International Books, Australia, 2004. (FSWRB)

  • First Steps Writing Map of Development, Reed International Books, Australia, 2005. (FSWMOD)

  • First Steps Writing Resource Book 2nd
    Edition, Rigby, Australia, 2005. (FSWRB)

  • Narrative Mountain graphic organiser

  • Post-it notes

Prompt questions to assist discussion during the learning experiences:

Text Participant/Comprehension

What do you think the story might be about?

Do you think parrots and monkeys can really talk?

Could this story be true? Why/why not?

Students retell favourite part of the story.

What did Monkey do?

Have you seen a monkey? How do they move? Tell us about it.

Why was the man angry?

Act the story out.

Text code breaker/Reading

Model 1:1 correspondence with pointing stick, left to right directionality and pausing for full stops.

Print conventions/punctuation – full stops, capital letters

Reading strategies – re-reading when text does not make sense, looking at the sounds in a word and what would make sense.

Use of speech bubbles/captions

Prediction – predict new and unfamiliar words using meaning, structure and visual information

Sight words – the, he, they, on, and, for, you, has

Text Analyst/Critical Literacy

Is this a true story?

What do you think happened after Monkey fell out of the tree?

Why do you think the animals watched Monkey climbing the tree?

Do you think Monkey would take another pair of shoes?

How did the illustrator make the Monkey look silly?

Do you think the other animals like the Monkey? Why/why not?

Text User

Do you think this is a true or a make-believe story? Why/why not?

Find an information book about monkeys and parrots.

Examine the cover – What do you think the book is about?

Would you find this in the fiction or non-fiction part of the library?

WORTHWHILE LEARNING - Big Book and writing activities

  • Paint a class mural of the jungle. Add speech bubbles to the animals telling Monkey what he should do (“Put those shoes back!)

  • Create a wall story with the class.

  • Children illustrate their favourite part of the story and write a sentence to go with it. Display in room together.

  • Children innovate on the text, change the monkey to another supporting character such as the lizard or spider.

  • Focus on common sight words in book – on, the, up, and, you, for – search for these words in other books. Add them to the class word wall.

  • Students write an advice book for Monkey, e.g. “What to do when you find shoes in the Jungle!”

Writing Lesson Plan

Once a student’s phase of development has been determined, the Major Teaching Emphases provide the first step in linking assessment, teaching and learning. These are provided at each phase of development, and suggest appropriate teaching priorities for students ‘in that phase’. (FSWMOD, p.15)

Where are they now?
  • Assigns a message to own written and drawn symbols

  • Identifies and talks about characters from literary texts

  • Uses known letters or approximations of letters to represent writing

  • Relies upon personal experiences as a stimulus for writing
Where to next?

Major Teaching Emphases:

The strategies used in this unit came from First Steps (2nd Edition) Resource Books for Reading and Writing. This example is taken from the Role Play Phase of Writing. Mapping to ELAs 9 and 10 are indicated at the end of each dot point.

  • Expose students to a range of text forms pointing out purpose (10EC1)

  • Drawing students’ attention to decisions writers make when composing texts (10EC5)

  • Model one to one correspondence between spoken and written words (9EC6)

  • Teach strategies used throughout the writing process, eg connecting (9EC11, 10EC4)


  • Attempts a small range of familiar texts

  • Identifies and talks about characters from literary texts

  • Writes simple sentences using correct punctuation.

  • Uses a small range of strategies throughout the writing process

Learning experiences are linked (where appropriate) to the Four Resources Model.

Reading strategies:

  1. Predicting
  2. Connecting (FSRRB p137)

  3. Inferring

  4. Comparing

  5. Synthesising

  6. Creating Images

  7. Self-questioning

  8. Skimming

  9. Scanning

  10. Determining Importance

  11. Summarising and Paraphrasing

  12. Re-reading

  13. Reading On

  14. Adjusting Reading Rate

  15. Sounding Out

  16. Chunking

  17. Using Analogy

  18. Consulting a Reference

Writing strategies:

    1. Predicting

    2. Connecting

    3. Using memory aids

    4. Comparing

    5. Creating images (FSWRB p.200)

    6. Summarising/Paraphrasing

    7. Synthesising

    8. Self-questioning

    9. Using analogy

    10. Using meaning

    11. Determining importance

    12. Using spelling generalisations

    13. Re-reading

    14. Sounding out

    15. Chunking

    16. Using visual memory

    17. Consulting an authority


  • Roving Conferences

  • Anecdotal Observations

  • Author’s Circle

  • Work samples assessed by checklist

Writing Processes:

  • Planning (FSWRB p.207)

  • Drafting (FSWRB p.205)

  • Refining

  • Conferring (FSWRB p.205)

  • Publishing


  • Big Book – Monkey’s Shoes – Jill Eggleton

  • Interactive Writing Group with teacher

  • Text innovation

  • Modelling of reading and writing strategies

  • Heterogenous groupings for writing groups




ELA 9 The student reads effectively

EC 6, 8, 14


ELA 9 The student reads effectively

EC 6, 8, 11, 14

Tuning In

Predictions about book – Book orientation

Text Participant and Text User:

  • What do you think this book is about?

  • What do you know about monkeys?

  • What sort of monkey do you think the one is in this book? (cheeky, noisy, friendly?)

During reading

  • Read text through with whole class

  • Model connecting reading strategy (put book down when ‘connecting’ so students understand that this is the teacher’s thoughts not the authors) (FSRRB p. 137).

Contextual Understanding

Discussion (Text Analyst):
  • Is the monkey a male or a female? Why?

  • Does it affect the text?

Processes and Strategies

During reading

  • Use post-it notes to cover key words to encourage decoding and reading strategies.

  • Discuss and reflect on the reading strategies used.

  • Create a reading strategies chart for classroom reference. “When we read we…”

Contextual Understanding

Discussion (Text Analyst):

  • What does the author want us to think about the characters? How does author do this?

  • What would the text be like if the main character wasn’t a monkey?


Word Awareness

  • High frequency words

  • Tic Tac Toe



  • Interest words:

  • jungle, screeching, hopping, dancing, stomping, bruise

  • Antonyms: whispered/shouted

  • Homonyms: blew/blue, sea/see, to/too

  • Synonyms: stomp/stamp




ELA 10 The student writes effectively

EC 3


ELA 10 The student writes effectively

EC 1, 3, 4

Familiarising Activity:

Model the features of narrative text using the strategy ‘Narrative Mountain’.

One text analysis (teacher modelling writing)

Using Monkey’s Shoes (type up text) identify language features and organisational framework (FSWRB p. 62). Teacher records student responses on post-it notes next to the appropriate section of the text.

Multi text model analysis (teacher modelling writing)

Use two other big books (text can be typed up) to establish common elements of narrative text. Using the identified features from the one text analysis, test these features against different texts with the same social purpose (to entertain). Students create a list of what is must have and another of what it could have (variables such as weather, supporting character etc).




ELA 9 The student reads effectively

EC 6, 8, 14


ELA 9 The student reads effectively

EC 4, 14

Processes and Strategies

Connecting Strategy (FSRRB p. 137)

Model strategy using Five Cheeky Monkeys poem or book. Again remember to put book down when ‘connecting’ so students understand that this is the teacher’s opinions not the authors. Ask students to share with a partner what they connect to in the text.

Contextual Understanding

Character Motivation

Look at the pictures in the text. Students use post-it notes made into speech bubbles to write what they think the character is really thinking. Encourage students to think about what might be motivating the character or what the intentions of the character may be.

Stick the post-it notes on the visual text and read the story with speech-bubbles.

Use of Texts

  • What is the heartbeat of a story? Use ECG graphic organiser or plot profile to chart heartbeat of the story.

  • Look at Narrative Mountain graphic organiser and see if the heartbeat climbs at a particular point (problem). What does this mean for our writing?
    Components of Narrative Mountain: Opening / Build up / Problem / Events / Resolution / End


Phonological awareness

  • rhyming words – me/tree/he, news/bruise

  • suffix – ‘s’ – shoes, news

  • word family op – hop, stop, top, mop, pop

  • say phonemes in – t/o/p, f/ee/t


Print conventions

  • full stops, exclamation marks, quotation marks, question marks,

  • capital letter for sentence beginning and names

  • change in font style – italics, bold. Discuss reasons for this.




ELA 10 The student writes effectively

EC 1, 11


ELA 10 The student writes effectively

EC 1, 3, 5, 11

Modelled/Shared Writing

Brainstorm a list of words that could be repeated as speech, the example in the book is ‘News, news, news’. Teacher models the innovation first. Discuss how repetition is used as a print device in this text. Focus on creating images (what picture do you see when I say this?)

Students innovate on the sentence from the text “_____, ______, ______! Monkey is __________ a tree with ____________”
Support students’ writing with word cards and word banks.

Independent Writing

Text Innovation

Students create a text innovation about something else monkey could steal in the jungle. Format of text is provided with students developing one idea to be used in a class book.

Authors Circle

Model this process using ‘hands’ for reflection focus. Prompts include:

  • I liked…

  • It made me think of…

  • I could picture…


Evaluation of resources, content, activities; recommendations for further action. In this sessions, how has the teaching and learning demonstrated:

that every student can learn?
the maximising of student learning?
sustained opportunities for students to learn?
depth of student understanding and expertise?
equitable and inclusive opportunities for learning?
ethical practice?
content, assessment and pedagogy that is coherent and aligned?
a dynamic and responsive approach?

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