English / Year 4 / Literature / Examining literature

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Curriculum content descriptions

Discuss how authors and illustrators make stories exciting, moving and absorbing and hold readers’ interest by using various techniques, for example character development and plot tension (ACELT1605)

Elaborations
  • examining the author’s description of a character’s appearance, behaviour and speech and noting how the character’s development is evident through his or her dialogue and changing relationships and the reactions of other characters to him or her
  • identifying pivotal points in the plot where characters are faced with choices and commenting on how the author makes us care about their decisions and consequences
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Text structure

Teacher resource

1788: Was life the same for everyone?

This is a unit of inquiry consisting of 12 learning sequences for year 4 in the English for the Australian Curriculum resource. Each learning sequence contains a series of resources, suggested activities to carry out with students and a post-activity reflection. This unit closely examines a range of texts, including written, ...

Interactive Resource

Syllabus bites – responding to literature

A web page with information, teacher guides and resources on responding to texts. This resource supports the NSW English K-10 syllabus.

Teacher resource

Horton Hears a Who

This resource for primary school children examines the Dr Seuss picture book classic and the film based on the book. It examines the theme of sustainability. It contains questions and activities on the book and the film, as well as a teacher guide.

Moving Image

Story development and plot holes with Andy Griffiths

How do you move your characters forward in a story? A trick Andy Griffiths uses is asking a lot of questions. His favourite question to ask is "what's the worst thing that can happen next?" Try asking yourself that question if you get stuck when writing your next story. In this clip Andy also talks about plot holes. What ...

Moving Image

Sally Rippin on sculpting stories

Watch this clip to learn where Sally Rippin finds inspiration for her writing. What does she say about where story ideas come from? Sally talks about noting down ideas in a notebook and remembering how particular experiences made her feel. What does she say about turning ideas into stories? Why not try keeping a notebook ...

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Understanding story plots

There are a million ways to get from the beginning to the end of a story. Watch this entertaining video to learn about different story types and how to move your characters through a story in satisfying ways.

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What words and illustrations convey

Have you ever read a book where the words tell you one thing but the pictures tell you something different? For example, characters in a scary situation might say aloud that they're not scared, but the illustration could show characters who are huddled in a corner. See if you can come up with a short story and an illustration ...

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Leigh Hobbs as Old Tom

Leigh Hobbs writes and draws the pictures in the Old Tom stories. He describes Old Tom as being ‘sneaky' and ‘sly' and ‘naughty'. What words would you use to describe Old Tom? In the video, Leigh talks about what he was like when he was a child. In what ways are Old Tom and Leigh the same?

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Sally Rippin on authors and illustrators

Watch this clip to find out about the relationship between authors and illustrators. What role does the publisher play in this relationship? What does Sally Rippin say about the role of illustrations in books for young children?

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Finish the story: bushfire

Edit a comic book story to make it more exciting and complete. Look closely at a narrative about an adventure where a couple driving home are trapped by a bushfire. Choose an ending. Improve the story by adding adverbs, choosing verbs and changing nouns to pronouns. Choose a title and image for the cover.

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Finish the story: boat disaster

Edit a comic book story about an adventure where a couple spend a day fishing from a boat, but then get stranded. Look closely at the narrative and make it more exciting and complete. Choose an ending. Improve the story by adding adjectives, choosing verbs and linking sentences using text connectives. Choose a title and ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Show and tell: eerie encounter

Watch a short cartoon about a close encounter with an alien spaceship. Select language elements to create sentences and build a basic factual recount. Rearrange the elements to create the best word order in the sentences. Who was involved? What did they do? When, where or how did they do it? Add adverbs and adjectives to ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Point of view: newspaper report

Examine a model newspaper report to learn about structure and use of verbs, adverbial phrases and pronouns. Read and listen to two witness reports of a skateboarding accident. Identify the two different points of view. Arrange paragraphs for the newspaper report. Select suitable verbs and adverbial phrases for the report. ...

Interactive resource

Finish the story: car crash

Edit a comic book story about a romance between two characters who have an argument. Look closely at the narrative to make it more exciting and complete. Choose an ending. Improve the story by adding similes and adverbial phrases, and by combining sentences using conjunctions. Choose a title and image for the cover. This ...

Interactive resource

Point of view: newspaper report: pronouns

Examine a model newspaper report to learn about structure and use of pronouns. Read and listen to two witness reports of a skateboarding accident. Identify the two different points of view. Arrange paragraphs for the newspaper report. Select suitable pronouns for the report. Create a headline and choose a photograph. This ...

Teacher resource

Putting it in perspective - unit of work

This unit of work explores point of view in narrative. Students explore two meanings of the term 'point of view': personal point of view and narrative point of view. They learn about first-person and third-person omniscient point of view in narrative, and differentiate between 'narrator' and 'author'. Students then bring ...

Teacher resource

Starting an adventure - unit of work

This unit of work explores elements of narrative in the context of a particular type of narrative, the adventure story. The unit is designed to help students understand the purpose of adventure stories, the narrative structure onto which the writer builds events, characters and setting, and how writers engage readers. Students ...

Teacher resource

Using 'Stages of life' - Teacher idea

This Teacher idea includes reflections following the teaching of R11512 'Stages of life - unit of work'. Students engage in a sequence of structured activities in Science and Drama to develop their knowledge and understanding of the cycle of life of plants and the cycle of life of humans.

Teacher resource

Night and day

This is a unit of inquiry consisting of 12 learning sequences for year 3 in the English for the Australian Curriculum resource. Each learning sequence contains a series of resources, suggested activities to carry out with students and a post-activity reflection. The primary focus of this unit of work is a literature study ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

World heritage: Kakadu information display

Look at descriptions of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Help a park ranger to sort facts and pictures for an information display. Use a model structure, sample text and images to build a description for visitors. Include sections on the park's location, wildlife and cultural importance.