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

Interactive

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.

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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?

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How to make a story interesting

To make a good story, author Tony Wilson says you need your characters to either make difficult decisions or do something difficult. Can you think of any good stories you've read where neither of these things happen? It's very difficult! Think about a tricky decision you've had to make or perhaps it's a tricky thing you've ...

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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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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.

Video

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 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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Create a graphic novel with Peter Sheehan

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Meet illustrator Andrew Joyner

Andrew Joyner is an illustrator (and sometimes author) of children’s books. Watch this clip and find out why he loves drawing elephants so much. What techniques does he use to build his drawings? What materials and tools does he use to create his illustrations? Andrew describes the way he works with a designer and publisher ...

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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 ...

Online

Writing and illustrating with Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

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Online

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.

Interactive

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.

Online

Primary English: models and modelling

These seven learning activities, which focus on 'modelling texts' using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers are provided with guidance about ...

Interactive

Patrick Brennan: the legend of Ned Kelly

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Text

BBC Bitesize: travelling pronouns - worksheet

This is a simple printable worksheet for students to complete once they have finished the interactive resource 'Travelling pronouns'. It consists of four sentences, each of which contains at least one pronoun choice to make. Students make their choices by colouring in their preferred option. This resource is one of a series ...

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Rainforest: make a walking track

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Responsible fishing in Western Australia: write an article

Go fishing in Western Australia. Look at how and why laws restrict people from taking certain fish. Identify cases where laws apply: size limits, bag limits and closed seasons. Build a magazine article explaining the fishing laws. Use a model structure and persuasive text to support a responsible position. For example, ...