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>> Back to SpecEd 2018 – Unit 1 – The greatest stories

Syllabus outcomes for this unit

Select the subject to show the list of outcomes.

English

EN1-1A: Communicates with a range of people in informal and guided activities demonstrating interaction skills and considers how own communication is adjusted in different situations.

EN1-2A: Plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers.

EN1-3A: Composes texts using letters of consistent size and slope and uses digital technologies.

EN1-4A: Draws on an increasing range of skills and strategies to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on less familiar topics in different media and technologies.

EN1-8B: Recognises that there are different kinds of texts when reading and viewing and shows an awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter.

EN1-9B: Uses basic grammatical features, punctuation conventions and vocabulary appropriate to the type of text when responding to and composing texts.

EN1-10C: Thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts.

EN1-11D: Responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.

Mathematics

MA1-1WM: Describes mathematical situations and methods using everyday and some mathematical language, actions, materials, diagrams and symbols.

MA1-2WM: Uses objects, diagrams and technology to explore mathematical problems.

MA1-5NA: Uses a range of strategies and informal recording methods for addition and subtraction involving one and two digit numbers.

MA1-13MG: Describes, compares and orders durations of events, and reads half- and quarter-hour time.

MA1-17SP: Gathers and organises data, displays data in lists, tables and picture graphs, and interprets the results.

Creative arts

VAS1.1: Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.

VAS1.2: Uses the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements.

VAS1.3: Realises what artists do, who they are and what they make.

VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.

MUS1.4: Responds to a range of music, expressing likes and dislikes and the reasons for these choices.

DRAS1.1: Takes on roles in drama to explore familiar and imagined situations.

DRAS1.3: Interacts collaboratively to communicate the action of the drama with others.

Science and technology

ST1-5WT: Uses a structured design process, everyday tools, materials, equipment and techniques to produce solutions that respond to identified needs and wants.

ST1-12MW: Identifies ways that everyday materials can be physically changed and combined for a particular purpose.

ST1-13MW: Relates the properties of common materials to their use for particular purposes.

Geography

GE1-1: Describes features of places and the connections people have with places.

GE1-2: Identifies ways in which people interact with and care for places.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

COS1.1: Communicates appropriately in a variety of ways.

IRS1.11: Identifies the ways in which they communicate, cooperate and care for others.

INS1.3: Develops positive relationships with peers and other people.

Vocabulary words

Teaching and learning activities

Select the activity to display its details.

In order to print out any of the following activities, please select the ‘Print this page’ button at the bottom of this page.

Activity 1 – Schools Spectacular 2018 – The Greatest!

Learning intention

Students will learn what Schools Spectacular is all about and why they are doing this unit of work on the greatest stories.

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

Explain that tomorrow (or appropriate day), students are to come to school dressed as their favourite character of all time. Be sure to give parents/caregivers plenty of notice to prepare/source a costume before this activity.

Reflection

Discuss what the students are most looking forward to in this unit of work.

Activity 2 – Our favourite characters

Learning intention

Students will ask questions and collect data relating to things that interest them about characters, and represent the data in tally marks, graphs and summary sentences. Students work cooperatively in groups.

Success criteria

Students work cooperatively to create a data display which includes a question, tally results, a graph and a summary sentence.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA1-1WM: Describes mathematical situations and methods using everyday and some mathematical language, actions, materials, diagrams and symbols.
  • MA1-17SP: Gathers and organises data, displays data in lists, tables and picture graphs, and interprets the results.
  • COS1.1: Communicates appropriately in a variety of ways.

Resources

  • Attachment 2.1 – Character profile
  • A3 paper, textas or crayons, rulers
  • Character costumes or masks for students who don’t come dressed up, and one for the teacher

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Students (and you, the teacher) will come to class, dressed as their favourite character of all time. Allow time to question and comment on each other’s outfits. Have some spare outfits or masks for students who do not come dressed up.
  2. You may wish to take a photo of each student and of you, to display with their character profile cards on the classroom wall for later reference.
  3. Explain that in this unit of work, students will be learning about lots of different characters from stories around the world from now and in the past. Today, they are going to be talking about the characters that they came dressed as and sorting them into groups.
  4. Demonstrate what you want each student to do. Stand up and state which character you came dressed as. Say why this character is your favourite. Give three adjectives to describe your character. Write your character’s name and the three adjectives on Attachment 2.1 and show the students.
  5. Review what an adjective is.
  6. Hand out a copy of Attachment 2.1 for each student and have them fill it in for their character.
  7. Sit the students in a circle, and one by one, students also stand up and state who their character is, why they chose this character and three adjectives, showing their piece of card/paper.
  8. After hearing from each student, explain that you are now going to sort these characters into groups. Start by putting any identical characters together.
  9. Discuss with students what sort of groups they could make (human and non-human, male and female, old and young, whether they wear hats, nice or evil and any other combinations). Decide on a first categorisation.
  10. Ask the students to stand up and move around the room to sort themselves into groups (for example, male, female or unknown characters). On a piece of paper, have a student record the question/categorisation and the results, using tally marks.
  11. Have another student choose another question/categorisation (for example, human or non-human characters). Students move to the correct group. On a piece of paper, have a student record the question/categorisation and the results, using tally marks.
  12. Continue this process with more categories. Aim for at least 10 in total.
  13. Sit students back in a circle. Explain that the students just collected data. Discuss how you could show those results (tally marks, graphs). Discuss how you could show the results in a graph. What sort of graph would you use – column? Discuss how to draw a column graph and accurately represent the results.
  14. Separate the students into groups, with each group getting a question and the results that were collected.
  15. In their groups, students create a poster showing the results, including a heading, tally results and graph, and a sentence explaining what they discovered.
  16. Each group presents their data display to the class.

Reflection

Discuss whether they were surprised by any of the results.

Activity 3 – Creating cool characters

Learning intention

Students will write detailed descriptions of two different characters.

Success criteria

Students write two descriptions of characters with contrasting interior and exterior qualities.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN2-1A: Plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers.
  • EN1-11D: Responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the characters that students came dressed as for the last activity. Were they interesting? What made them interesting?
  2. Explain that today, students will be learning how to create their own interesting characters.
  3. Read out Attachment 3.1. Discuss which character is interesting enough to read a story about.
  4. Watch Creating characters for your story video from Sydney Story Factory and discuss.
  5. Hand out Attachment 3.2. Demonstrate how to create both types of characters and answer the four F questions with the class.
  6. Students create two different characters on Attachment 3.2 using the method described in the video.
  7. Students choose one of their two characters and answer the four F questions on the worksheet.

Reflection

Students share their favourite character with a partner, and a few students share with the class.

Activity 4 – Dear Peter Rabbit – ASSESSMENT

Learning intention

Students will learn how to write a letter, including giving of information and asking for information.

Success criteria

Students will write a properly formatted letter to Peter Rabbit, including three questions, one statement and NSW Foundation handwriting.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-2A: Plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers.
  • EN1-3A: Composes texts using letters of consistent size and slope and uses digital technologies.
  • EN1-11D: Responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.

Resources

  • Attachment 4.1 – Letter to Peter Rabbit
  • Copy of ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Read ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ to the class or watch an online reading.
  2. Review the previous activity on adjectives and as a class, come up with five interesting adjectives to describe Peter Rabbit. Display on the board.
  3. Discuss how good it would be to be able to ask our favourite characters questions. If you could meet Peter Rabbit, what would you ask him?  Explain that the students are going to write a letter to Peter Rabbit.
  4. Explain the format of a letter, discussing when you might receive or send one. Demonstrate how to write a letter with three questions and one statement.
  5. Review handwriting rules, including tall and low letters, and discuss why neat handwriting would be important in a letter.
  6. Hand out Attachment 4.1. Explain again what students need to do. Refer to the checklist at the bottom of the Attachment.
  7. Students write a letter to Peter Rabbit. They use the checklist to ensure they have completed the task.

Reflection

Students read their letters to a classmate.

As an option, students could put their letters in envelopes and put into a post box at the front of the classroom. The teacher could write a reply to each child from Peter Rabbit, answering their questions.

Activity 5 – Winnie the Pooh

Learning intention

Students will learn how to use a thesaurus, and use interesting adjectives to write an acrostic poem about a given character.

Success criteria

Students will write an acrostic poem, using at least four interesting adjectives.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-2A: Plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers.
  • EN1-9B: Uses basic grammatical features, punctuation conventions and vocabulary appropriate to the type of text when responding to and composing texts.

Resources

  • Attachment 5.1 – Winnie the Pooh and his friends
  • Large sheets of paper and textas

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. As students come into the room, have an image of Winnie the Pooh on the board. Allow discussion about what they see and know about Pooh.
  2. Ask the question: What kind of a bear is Pooh? Brainstorm different types of bears. Let students know that Winnie the Pooh is actually based on a brown bear called Winnie, which the author’s son liked to visit at the London Zoo.
  3. Tell the students that the author, A.A. Milne, actually wrote the Pooh stories for his son Christopher Robin Milne. These were special stories that they shared as a family. Ask whether the students have any special stories that their families like to share again and again. Discuss.
  4. Explain that in this activity, students will be coming up with interesting adjectives to describe Pooh and his friends, but you are going to ban the ‘boring’ words.
  5. Using some large sheets of paper, brainstorm some ‘boring’ words with the students (for example, big, funny, nice, small). Write each of these in the middle of a large piece of paper, in a dark colour.
  6. Introduce the students to a children’s thesaurus. Explain its use and demonstrate how to find more interesting words that those on the sheets. Have some students use the thesaurus too. Write the interesting synonyms around the ‘boring’ word in bright colours.
  7. Hand out Attachment 5.1. As a group, or in small groups, students are to come up with interesting adjectives to describe each of the four characters.
  8. Students choose their favourite of the four characters and they create an acrostic poem using their name, writing sentences for each letter including one adjective in each sentence. If there is time, they can draw an image to go with their poem.

Reflection

Students read their acrostic poems to the rest of the class.

Activity 6 – Fairy tales and folk stories

Learning intention

Students will watch and comprehend three different fairy tales from around the world, reflecting on the moral of the story.

Success criteria

Students will be able to write one sentence describing the main message of three different texts and draw a visual representation.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-4A: Draws on an increasing range of skills and strategies to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on less familiar topics in different media and technologies.
  • EN1-10C: Thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask students to name some of their favourite fairy tales. Discuss what they enjoy about them. What makes them a fairy tale? What are common features (magic, princesses and princes, happily ever after, once upon a time)?
  2. Ask whether all fairy tales are written down. Explain that long ago, fairy tales (also called folk tales) were told out loud, rather than written down or put on screens. They have been told for many generations in every country and culture.
  3. Ask the students why they think folk or fairy tales are told. What is their purpose? Explain that most fairy tales or folk tales are told to pass on a message about how to be a good person and what rules must be followed.
  4. Explain that the students will be watching animations of various fairy tales from around the world. Their job is to work out what the message or moral of the story is. After each story, you will give them time to write on their worksheet what the activity of the story was, and to draw a picture to represent the story.
  5. Hand out Attachment 6.1. Play the three YouTube videos, one at a time, and allow students time to respond.

Reflection

Students discuss their favourite of the three fairy tales and what activity they believed it was teaching.

Activity 7 – Dreamtime Mimis

Learning intention

Students will reflect on the meaning of a Dreamtime story, learn about a recurring character in indigenous stories, and reflect on the music and art techniques that are used to depict that character.

Success criteria

Students will contribute to the discussion about the meaning of the Dreamtime story, the traditional artwork and the music used in the video.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-11D: Responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.
  • VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.
  • MUS1.4: Responds to a range of music, expressing likes and dislikes and the reasons for these choices.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the past activity, reflecting on the reason why folk and fairy tales are told.  Explain that indigenous people in Australia also had their own stories to explain nature and to pass on wisdom. See if students know of any Dreamtime stories.
  2. Show students the Dust Echoes – The Mimis (YouTube) video. This video is focused on the well-known character of the Dreamtime – the Mimis. Discuss the message being conveyed.
  3. Turn the discussion to the Mimis themselves. Explain that Mimis appear in the Dreamtime stories from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. They are usually described as very thin, tall spirit creatures, who live in the crevices of the rocks. They are said to have taught the Aboriginal people how to hunt and eat kangaroo, and how to do rock paintings. It is also said that they come out at night to care for the land.
  4. Use a large copy of Attachment 2.1 to come up with three adjectives to describe the Mimis in this story.
  5. Look at images of traditional Aboriginal artwork depicting Mimis, for example, on the Mimi Spirits webpage or google images. Discuss the artworks and the common features that are usually included in these drawings.
  6. Have students try to draw their own Mimi spirits on paper to display in the room.
  7. Play the Dust Echoes – The Mimis (YouTube) video again, but this time without the images. Have students listen to the music, especially whilst the Mimi segment is on. Can the students identify any instruments being played? How does the music make them feel? Does it seem to be happy music or sad music? Do they like the music? Why or why not?
  8. Play that segment of Dust Echoes again, and this time, invite the students to dance along with the Mimis and the boy, in a similar way.

Reflection

Students discuss whether they think they would like to visit the world of the Mimis.

Activity 8 – 'The Three Little Pigs' – STEM challenge – ASSESSMENT

Learning intention

Students will work in a pair to design a structure to meet certain building criteria. They will refine their design after testing, and share their design process and refinements with the class. As a class, students will record data and display in graph form.

Success criteria

Students will work cooperatively to design a structure. They will make refinements to their design after testing, and share their process confidently with the class. Students will use a stopwatch and record times in raw data and in graph form.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA1-13MG: Describes, compares and orders durations of events, and reads half- and quarter-hour time.
  • MA1-17SP: Gathers and organises data, displays data in lists, tables and picture graphs, and interprets the results.
  • ST1-5WT: Uses a structured design process, everyday tools, materials, equipment and techniques to produce solutions that respond to identified needs and wants.
  • ST1-12MW: Identifies ways that everyday materials can be physically changed and combined for a particular purpose.
  • ST1-13MW: Relates the properties of common materials to their use for particular purposes.
  • COS1.1: Communicates appropriately in a variety of ways.

Resources

  • Attachment 8.1 – 'The Three Little Pigs' – STEM accessories
  • A small fan
  • Paddle pop sticks, plastic straws, rolls of tape, stopwatch

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review some of the fairy tales that the students have previously mentioned as knowing. Explain that today, the students will be focusing on the classic ‘The Three Little Pigs’.
  2. Read the story to the students or watch it online.
  3. Explain the task. Students will work in pairs to build a house of straw (plastic straws) or sticks (paddle pop sticks). The goal is to build a house that can’t be blown down by the Big Bad Wolf (the fan with a wolf mask attached to the top – see Attachment 8.1).
  4. Each group only has the materials provided: 50 straws and a roll of tape or 50 paddle pop sticks and a roll of tape. They must draw their design first. They have 15 minutes to build the best house that they can, and then they will be tested. The house must be big enough to hold their little pig (see Attachment 8.1) inside.
  5. After the 15 minutes, test each of the houses using the fan on low speed. Before their house is tested, the pair must explain what they used and why they built the house that way. They must also show their design drawing. Time how long each house stood before being blown away.
  6. Record this data together as a class informally, and then decide on how it could be represented in graph form. Create a graph together to reflect the data.
  7. Students are given another 10 minutes to adjust their houses to see if it can stand up for longer against the ‘wolf’. Test again and record the new times.
  8. Change or do a new graph to reflect any changes in the results.
  9. Be sure to dispose of the plastic straws and the paddle pop sticks responsibly or reuse them.

Reflection

As a class, reflect on the data that they gathered. Which materials seemed to stand up for longer? Did particular designs stand up for longer? If they had access to more materials or more time, how would students change their designs?

Activity 9 – Fractured fairy tales

Learning intention

Students will devise a short drama script, fracturing a fairy tale.

Success criteria

Students will work cooperatively with others to create a short drama piece for the class, depicting a fractured fairy tale.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-1A: Communicates with a range of people in informal and guided activities demonstrating interaction skills and considers how own communication is adjusted in different situations.
  • DRAS1.1: Takes on roles in drama to explore familiar and imagined situations.
  • DRAS1.3: Interacts collaboratively to communicate the action of the drama with others.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss the fact that we usually hear a fairy tale from the perspective of the main character. What if we heard it from one of the other characters? How would the story of The Three Little Pigs be different if we heard it from the wolf?
  2. Watch the read-aloud video The True Story of The Three Little Pigs (YouTube).
  3. Students are to write about which version of the story they find most believable and why. Share and discuss as a class.
  4. Explain that the students will now be split into small groups. Their group has to choose one of the fairy tale books from the teacher. They read and/or talk about the original story, and then decide which elements of the story they could change (setting, main characters) to make the story very different. They will then plan a short drama piece where they act out their new, fractured fairy tale for the class.
  5. Give groups 20–30 minutes to plan and rehearse their fractured fairy tale.
  6. Each group performs their piece. After each performance, allow the audience time to discuss the changes and how they affected the story.

Reflection

Watch the short segment from Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked! - Wolf Meets Red (YouTube), when the wolf meets Red Riding Hood.

Activity 10 – 'Into the Woods'

Learning intention

Students will take part in group storytelling, using a variety of characters with intertwined stories.

Success criteria

Students will contribute to the class storytelling.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-1A: Communicates with a range of people in informal and guided activities demonstrating interaction skills and considers how own communication is adjusted in different situations.
  • EN1-10C: Thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on some of the amazing characters that the students have focused on so far in this unit. Who have been some favourites? What if we could have stories, where lots of our favourite characters, from different stories, met one another? Discuss whether that could work. Who would they include? Write the names on the board.
  2. Tell the students that in fact, some writers are doing just that. They are combining some of the most famous characters of all time into stories where they meet and have new adventures together.
  3. Explain that you are going to show a trailer of a film called Into the Woods, and the students are to pay attention to famous characters that they spot in the trailer. Play Into the Woods trailer (YouTube).
  4. Sit the students in a circle. Explain that they are going to come up with their own story which includes some of their favourite characters. You are going to start a story, but then each student will take turns to add another sentence to the story. Throughout the story, they can add some of the characters on the board and have the different stories mix together. For example, Winnie the Pooh is heading out to find honey when he finds a toy cowboy called Woody lying on a rock. Pooh pulls on the string on his back and Woody starts talking to him. Pooh and Woody are enjoying sitting and chatting in the sun, when they see a Mimi dancing between the rocks.

Reflection

The teacher should round the story up after one or two rounds or when the class has exhausted its ideas.

Activity 11 – 'Partner in Crime'

Learning intention

Students will listen to a piece of music and discuss the differences between the musical theatre genre and regular pop songs.

Success criteria

Students can identify ‘speech singing’ from ‘lyrical singing’.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MUS1.4: Responds to a range of music, expressing likes and dislikes and the reasons for these choices.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask the students if they can think of any stories where there are two main characters. They might be best buddies, partners, brother and sister or even enemies. Brainstorm and write their ideas on the board.
  2. Write the heading ‘Dynamic duos’ on the board above the ideas. Discuss what that means. What is a duo?
  3. Put the students in pairs and give them Attachment 11.1 (top half). Explain what the three groups are (best friends, enemies, partners). Students are to come up with any other dynamic duos they can think of. Examples are listed at the bottom of Attachment 11.1 for the teacher.
  4. Introduce the students to the movie and musical ‘Tuck Everlasting’. In it, there is a song called ‘Partner in Crime’. It is all about needing a buddy to hook up with, and how much better things are when you are working in a pair.
  5. Listen to Partner in Crime from Tuck Everlasting the musical (YouTube) with the lyrics (Attachment 11.2).
  6. Discuss the genre of music (musical theatre). There is a lot of ‘speech singing’ in musical theatre. The performers are trying to tell a story as well as sing the song. Demonstrate the difference.
  7. Listen to the song again. When the students think the singers are ‘speech singing’, they put their hands on their cheeks. When they think they are ‘singing’, then they put their hands on their shoulder.
  8. There is a long instrumental section in the song. Discuss with the students what might be happening in the musical during this time (dancing). Why do they think that?

Reflection

Discuss: If you could have any of the characters we have learnt about so far as a ‘partner in crime’, who would it be and why?

Activity 12 – 'When She Loved Me'

Learning intention

Students learn about the use of music to create atmosphere. Students write descriptions with adjectives and pertinent questions.

Success criteria

Students will write a short description with at least two adjectives and three pertinent questions to ask an adult.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-1A: Communicates with a range of people in informal and guided activities demonstrating interaction skills and considers how own communication is adjusted in different situations.
  • EN1-10C: Thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts.
  • MUS1.4: Responds to a range of music, expressing likes and dislikes and the reasons for these choices.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity and ‘Partners in Crime’. Identify partners in crime in the Toy Story movies. Ask students to think of examples of duos in Toy Story 1, 2 and 3. (Woody and Buzz, Jesse and Bullseye, Mr and Mrs Potato Head).
  2. Discuss the fact that there are other relationships in these movies too, between the children and their toys. Students describe how Andy feels about Woody in the movies. How does it change as he gets older?
  3. In pairs, students write down what they can do with their toys as they get older (donate, keep, throw away). Share these ideas with the class.
    Refer to the scene in Toy Story 2, when Jessie sings a song about her old owner, Emily. Play When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2 (YouTube); the students can sing along if they like. Discuss the music. What sort of mood does it create? How does the music do that?
  4. Display the toys that you have collected from staff members/parents/caregivers. Ask students to share adjectives that describe the toys. What questions do they have about them?
  5. At their table, students draw a picture of one of the toys and write a two sentence description of it, using at least two interesting adjectives. They then write two questions that they would like to ask the owner of the toy.
  6. Have the owners of the toys come to answer the questions that the students had.

Reflection

Discuss a toy that they would like to always keep when they grow up.

Activity 13 – Pairs are everywhere!

Learning intention

Students will identify pairs in the environment, as well as in maths.

Success criteria

Students are able to match pairs that they have created, including ‘Ten’s Friends'.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA1-1WM: Describes mathematical situations and methods using everyday and some mathematical language, actions, materials, diagrams and symbols.
  • MA1-2WM: Uses objects, diagrams and technology to explore mathematical problems.
  • MA1-5NA: Uses a range of strategies and informal recording methods for addition and subtraction involving one and two digit numbers.

Resources

  • Attachment 13.1 – Concentration cards

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss the fact that there are lots of ‘dynamic duos’ and ‘partners in crime’ in stories, but there are actually pairs everywhere around us, for example: bacon and eggs go together, thunder and lightning, summer and heat, shoes and socks. What other pairs can students think of?
  2. Put students in pairs, and give them 20 blank cards to draw and write on (Attachment 13.1). They are to come up with 10 pairs then draw and write the name of each item on a separate card, for example, thunder and lightning get their own individual card. Students should take their time to make the drawings recognisable and be careful with spelling.
  3. Discuss how many items there are in a pair. Why does it need to be two? Discuss odd and even numbers.
  4. Tell the students that there are some other important pairs in maths. Discuss the numbers that pair together to make 10 (‘Ten’s Friends’). As a class, work out which numbers they are. Show the students how to work it out using their fingers.
  5. Get the groups to go back to their tables and give them more concentration cards, so that they can create cards for the ‘Ten’s Friends’ pairs.
  6. Teach the students how to play concentration with their cards.
  7. Let students play concentration with their partner.
  8. After class, collect and laminate the cards for later games.

Reflection

Suggest that at home, students look for things that are in pairs.

Activity 14 – Better together

Learning intention

Students will identify the skills required to work well in a pair.

Success criteria

Students will work cooperatively in a pair to achieve a goal.

Syllabus outcomes

  • IRS1.11: Identifies the ways in which they communicate, cooperate and care for others.
  • INS1.3: Develops positive relationships with peers and other people.

Resources

  • Straps for three-legged race

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review what we learnt about pairs. There are pairs everywhere, including in our own lives. Sometimes it is much easier to tackle something when you are working with a partner.
  2. As a class, create a pros and cons chart, outlining what the students think is good and bad about working in a pair.
  3. Look at the examples given for what is hard about working with a partner. Come up with ideas to help with those difficulties.
  4. Discuss how we can make sure that we are working cooperatively with a partner in a game or activity.
  5. Explain that in this activity they are going to be taking part in a classic partner game – the three-legged race. You can only do well in this game, if you work together as a team.
  6. Pair the students up and go outside to have a go at some three-legged races.
  7. Highlight and praise those teams who worked well together.

Reflection

Discuss what other ‘pair’ games the class could play in the future.

Activity 15 – Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

Learning intention

Students will listen to a reading of a Snugglepot and Cuddlepie story, paying attention to plot, structure and character.

Success criteria

Students will be able to recall key features of the story and the characters.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-4A: Draws on an increasing range of skills and strategies to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on less familiar topics in different media and technologies.
  • EN1-8B: Recognises that there are different kinds of texts when reading and viewing and shows an awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on some of the dynamic duos from previous activites. Explain to the students that in this activity, they are going to learn about one of the most iconic Australian duos, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. 2018 marks 100 years since they were first created by May Gibbs, who will be a focus for the next set of activites.
  2. Bring up the May Gibbs stories and characters webpage.
  3. Show the original version of the book, to get an idea for the illustrations and style.  You could use a hard copy, or go to the May Gibbs website.
  4. Ask students what their first impressions are of the characters. What do they look like?  What sort of setting do you think their stories will be set in? What sort of adventures might they get up to?
  5. Watch the Tales From The Gum Tree video to see Kate Ritchie reading the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie story ‘Tales From The Gum Tree’.
  6. As a class, see if the students can recall key events in the story in sequence.
  7. Discuss why they think these characters are so iconic.

Reflection

Discuss: What more would you like to know about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in the coming activities?

Activity 16 – Bush babies lit up!

Learning intention

Students discuss what art is, and whether light installations are art. Students compare the work of May Gibbs and the Vivid designers.

Success criteria

Students can articulate what they think about the Vivid display, in terms of its artistic merit.

Syllabus outcomes

  • VAS1.3: Realises what artists do, who they are and what they make.
  • VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss: Have you ever been to Vivid Sydney? Discussion about what it is about.  Look at some of the images of Vivid on the Vivid website.
  2. Explain that because Snugglepot and Cuddlepie were turning 100 this year, there was a special focus on the story at the festival this year. Watch the Behind the Scenes for Snugglepot and Cuddlepie at Vivid Sydney 2018 video.
  3. Discussion: Why do you think people go and see something like Vivid Sydney?  Why did the organisers want to showcase the duo this year?
  4. Watch the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie at Vivid Sydney 2018 video.
  5. Pause at intervals to let the students talk about what they are seeing.
  6. After watching the video, ask students if what they saw was ‘art’. Why or why not? How did they make that artwork? Who would have been involved? How would the audience have been involved? Did they just stand back or could they move around the artwork?
  7. The Vivid display was definitely different to what May Gibbs produced 100 years ago. What was similar about it though? As a class, or individually, have students fill in a Venn diagram, comparing May Gibbs’ work with that of the Vivid artists. What is different? What is similar?

Reflection

Discuss: Would you like to go and see Vivid Sydney one day?

Activity 17 – May Gibbs

Learning intention

Students learn about May Gibbs and her botanically inspired artwork and use that as inspiration for their own artwork.

Success criteria

Students create botanically inspired artwork in the style of May Gibbs.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-4A: Draws on an increasing range of skills and strategies to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on less familiar topics in different media and technologies.
  • VAS1.1: Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.
  • VAS1.2: Uses the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review what students remember about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Do they remember who wrote the stories? Tell them that they are going to focus on May Gibbs, the author and illustrator of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, and other stories.
  2. Watch May Gibbs’ story – Banksias and Babes video.
  3. Discuss May getting her inspiration from the plants that were all around her. Explain that in this activity, the students will be doing the same. They will be going outside and collecting a number of flowers, blossoms or leaves from the school grounds (ideally native). They will bring these into the classroom and draw what they see.
  4. Collect the plant specimens with the students in the school grounds.
  5. Students choose a few items to try to draw. Emphasise that May Gibbs included all of the little details. Students should take their time, and draw exactly what they see. The drawings should not be too big.
  6. As an extension, students might like to turn some of their drawings into little creatures, just like May Gibbs did.

Reflection

Students can walk around the room to see the drawings that their peers have done.

Activity 18 – The Australian bush

Learning intention

Students reflect on what makes a place special.

Success criteria

Students will be able to identify features of the Blue Mountains that makes it special.

Syllabus outcomes

  • GE1-1: Describes features of places and the connections people have with places.
  • GE1-2: Identifies ways in which people interact with & care for places.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask students whether they have noticed the background sounds when visiting the May Gibbs website over the past two activities. What sort of sounds could they hear?
  2. Go to the May Gibbs website again and listen to the sounds in the background. Have students list as many of the sounds as they can identify. Discuss what they heard. What sort of a place does this remind you of?
  3. To find inspiration, May Gibbs liked to go to the Blue Mountains, as well as into her own garden in Sydney. What sort of a place is the Blue Mountains? Why is it special? Go to the Blue Mountains National Park website to see some images of the Blue Mountains.
  4. Brainstorm some words that you could use to describe the Blue Mountains.
  5. Students draw a picture of the Blue Mountains and write a paragraph describing it.
  6. One of the most striking places in the Blue Mountains is The Three Sisters. There is a Dreamtime story which tells how they were formed. Watch Legend of the Three Sisters Dreamtime story (YouTube) which an interpretation of the story by three local schools in the area. Discuss with students what the legend was about and how the schools made the film.
  7. Discuss: What makes a place special or important?
  8. Students draw a picture of, and write about a place that is special to them.
  9. Discuss: What does the student’s special place have in common with the Blue Mountains, and what is different.

Reflection

Students talk to a partner about why they think May Gibbs chose the Blue Mountains as an inspiration for her artwork and stories.

Activity 19 – Time to be awesome!

Learning intention

Students will write detailed descriptions of their favourite characters of all time and answer questions from their perspective.

Success criteria

Students will create a detailed poster with adjectives and insightful thoughts. They will be able to answer questions from the point of view of the character.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN1-1A: Communicates with a range of people in informal and guided activities demonstrating interaction skills and considers how own communication is adjusted in different situations.
  • EN1-2A: Plans, composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers.

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask students to think about all of the characters that they have been learning about during the unit. Get them to choose a favourite character – one that they think is amazing!  Share their choices in the group. It will be important that everybody has a different character.
  2. Explain that in this activity, the students are going to create a poster about their character, explaining how awesome it is. Their poster will need to include a drawing of the character, its name, and what story it comes from. It will also need to have a description of what it looks like and acts like. Most importantly, their poster needs a sentence, in big colourful writing, which says: __________ is AWESOME because …
  3. Give students time to create their poster.
  4. Once the posters are completed, students will come to the front one-by-one, pretending to be their character, and answer the following questions, asked by the teacher or by students pretending to be reporters:
    • Could you please tell us your name and what story you are from?
    • What are three words that you think describe you?
    • If you could pick any other character in the room today to be friends with, who would it be and why?
    • What is it that makes you AWESOME?
  5. After every student has had a turn, ask them to put their posters down and stand in a circle. They should still pretend that they are still their character, ready to dance and celebrate how awesome they are.
  6. Play the song Time To Be Awesome from My Little Pony: The Movie (YouTube) but don’t put the image on the screen. Encourage students to dance to the song, still in character. There is a long instrumental section at the end where students could take turns in the middle of the circle doing their most AWESOME dance move.

Reflection

Give all of the students a high five on the way out of class, and thank them for being awesome characters.

Activity 20 – Schools Spectacular, here we come!

Learning intention

Students will understand what Schools Spectacular is and know what to look for in ‘The greatest stories’ segment.

Resources

Approximate time

15 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask if any students have attended a previous Schools Spectacular. Are there any who haven’t? Those who have attended can tell the class what it is all about.
  2. Watch the Schools Spectacular promotional video and discuss with students what they think.
  3. Explain that there will be a segment in the show, which is focused on ‘The greatest stories’. They will see some of the characters that they have focused on during this unit of work.
  4. Explain that you want them to pay particular attention to all of the characters that they see and how they mix together as friends. You will talk about that after the show.

Activity 21 – Schools Spectacular – The Greatest!

Learning intention

Students will respond to what they saw at Schools Spectacular and what they noticed about the characters’ interactions with each other.

Approximate time

15 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss as a class, their favourite things about Schools Spectacular 2018. Would they go again? Would they try out to be a part of the show in 2019?
  2. Focus on ‘The greatest stories’ segment. What happened during this part of the show? Did the students recognise any of the songs from their unit of work?
  3. Discuss what was happening with all of the characters. Did they recognise any? How did they interact with each other.

Reflection

Ask students what their favourite part of this unit has been.

Find out more about The Arts Unit Digital Engagement

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