Package 1-4: Reading

Your child is learning to think critically when listening to a story. Your child needs to know that people bring different experiences, thoughts and ideas to a story, and this can change how we understand it.

Week 2 – Package 4 - Kindergarten English/Literacy - Shared Reading

Things you need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task

Ideal Back up

Lesson videos:

Shared Reading, Big Rain Coming Lesson 1

Shared Reading, Big Rain Coming Lesson 2

Shared Reading, Big Rain Coming Lesson 3

Shared Reading, Big Rain Coming Lesson 4

A copy of the book: Big Rain Coming, by Katrina Germein, illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft and published by Penguin Random House.

You may be able to find a reading of this book on a digital sharing platform, such as YouTube.


Blank sheets of paper or workbook

Before you start

Make sure your child has everything ready at the start of the lesson. There are 4 video lessons to work through in order.

Check that the videos are working and that the volume is turned up for the video lessons. It will help if your child is in a quiet environment.

What your child needs to know and do

Your child is learning to think critically when listening to a story. Your child needs to know that people bring different experiences, thoughts and ideas to a story, and this can change how we understand it. They are learning to look at a story, and think about the author and illustrator’s message.

It is important your child engages with a range of texts, including imaginative, persuasive and informative. These lessons will help your child to use new vocabulary and the concept of recognising symbols in the environment and in the stories read.

What to do next

Your child will need to watch and listen to each video carefully, just like they do when the teacher at school is sharing a story with them. During the video, you may like to pause as children are asked to respond to prompts and questions. Encourage your child to do this aloud so you can hear what they are thinking and check for understanding. Discussion encourages understanding of the story and provides an opportunity to ask and answer questions.

At the end of each video, talk about aspects of the story discussed in the lesson. Ask questions that will extend your child beyond the basic, obvious facts, for example ‘what colour are the frogs?’. A thoughtful question promotes deeper thinking, opening the way to explore rich vocabulary, ideas and feelings. Examples include:

  • ‘Why do you think the illustrator makes every picture ‘wide’, with lots of sky and land?’ ‘
  • What sort of person do you think Old Stephen is? Is he cranky? Patient? What words and images in the story lead you to think this?’
  • What images has the illustrator used to symbolise ‘waiting’?
  • Can you prove to me, through the words chosen by the author, that it is incredibly hot? She doesn’t say ‘it is hot’, so how do we know (inferred knowledge)?

Options for your child

Activity too hard? Activity too easy?

Talk about the characters in the story. Then explain the simple plot: It is very hot. Old Stephen predicts that rain is on its way. People and animals wait and wait. Finally it rains and everyone is excited and pleased to see it.

After the reading, discuss the characters and how they are portrayed in the story. Why has the author only named Old Stephen? Why can’t we see the eyes of any character? What effect does that have on us as we read the story?

Extend the learning

  • Your child might like to write a story, play, poem or draw a picture that shows what they think happens after the ‘big rain’ comes.
  • Discuss creating another chance for the character Old Stephen to show us how wise and patient he is. What else would he have seen over the years? What else can he share with the community?
  • Use the words from the vocabulary lesson ‘huddle’ and ‘echoing’ in multiple contexts throughout the week.
  • What images do we personally use, and does our community use, to symbolise something important? What does a red cross symbolise? Who knows this symbol? What about a dove? Does this symbolise anything to a group of people? What does the rainbow serpent symbolise to some Aboriginal communities? Symbols are everywhere – think about road signs. These are universally accepted symbols designed to keep us safe.
  • Read other books throughout the week with your child and compare the structure of each book to Big Rain Coming. Are there similarities and differences between them?

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