Package 2-1: Reading

In these lessons your child will learn to engage with a story and think about the author and illustrator’s message.

Week 3 - Package 1 - Year 1 & 2 English/literacy - Shared reading

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.


Back up

  • A copy of the book: Alexander’s Outing by Pamela Allen
  • Paper

Before your child starts

These lessons relate to a new book ‘Alexander’s Outing’ by Pamela Allen.

Make sure your child has everything ready at the start of each lesson. There are 3 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.

Print the activity sheets if required.

What your child needs to 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 to understand how authors create their stories using words and pictures.

What your child can 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 it when your child is 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.

Day 1 – Watch Lesson 1, complete activity sheet 1, and retell the story to someone else.

Day 3 – Watch Lesson 2 and think aloud with someone else.

Day 5 – Watch Lesson 3 and complete activity sheets 2 and 3.

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 ‘Why do you think the illustrator put these things in the picture?’. A thoughtful question promotes deeper thinking, opening the way to explore rich vocabulary, ideas and meanings.

Examples include:

  • Why do you think the author included words like ‘bored’ and ‘adventure’ at the beginning of the story?
  • What do you notice that is different between the illustrations and the words in the story? Why do you think the illustrator made them different?
  • Why did Alexander end up in the hole? What does he need to do so that it won’t happen again?
  • Does this story remind you of anything? Maybe something that happened to you? Or maybe something that you’ve seen or read in another story?

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Check that your child knows what some of the subject is about. Do they know what ducks are and how they behave? Do they know where Sydney is? Have they ever gone on an outing? Connect important parts of the story with your child’s own knowledge and experiences. If they don’t know something, you could tell them about it or show them pictures or a video.

For the action verbs, ask your child to move different ways (e.g. jump up and down, clap hands) and then identify the action verbs each time aloud (e.g. jump, clap). Or, read the words on the action verbs activity sheets aloud, ask your child to identify the action verb, and you point to the word for them to circle.

Explain some of the more complex vocabulary used when Alexander fell down the hole, such as ‘din’ and ‘faint’ and ‘distant’. Talk about how these words have been used because Alexander is in a very deep hole so it would be hard to hear the sounds he made.

Activity too easy?

After the reading, discuss the characters and how they are portrayed in the story. Why has the author used a duckling as the main character?

Why did the author call the story Alexander’s Outing? Does the title connect to the message of the story?

Extension/Additional activity

Your child might like to retell the whole story of Alexander’s Outing in writing or as a play.

Your child might like to look at other picture books and identify the beginning, middle and end of the stories. They could draw these in three boxes or on 3 pieces of paper, and then retell the stories to someone.

Your child might like to do an activity where they do lots of moving, or watch a short video of other people moving. They can then write precise action verbs to match the movements.

Activity sheet 1: Retell the story

Learning intention:

To understand how to summarise a text and retell it in the correct order.

Success criteria:

I can draw pictures to retell the main parts that happened in a story.

Your task:

Draw three pictures to show what happened at the beginning, middle and end of Alexander’s Outing. Use your pictures to retell the story to someone else.




Activity sheet 2: Action verbs

Learning intention:

To understand how an author uses precise vocabulary to make their story more effective.

Success criteria:

I can identify precise action verbs that authors use to make their stories more interesting.

Verbs are words that tell us what is happening.

Action verbs are verbs that tell us what something is doing or saying. Sometimes they can even be found in pairs.

The action verbs are highlighted in these sentences. Text in [square brackets] identifies highlighted words.

  • He [straggled] behind with his head in the air.
  • Alexander’s mother [quacked] and [quacked].

Your task:

Circle the action verbs in these sentences based on Alexander’s Outing.

  1. Alexander straggled behind.
  2. He had disappeared.
  3. They pranced in one long snaky line.
  4. Now, dipping and tipping, they danced.

Draw a picture to match one of the sentences.

Activity sheet 3: Pairs of action verbs

Learning intention:

To understand how an author uses precise vocabulary to make their story more effective.

Success criteria:

I can identify pairs of action verbs that authors use to make their stories more interesting.

Your task:

Can you use some of these words to make pairs of action verbs? You might even try to put them into a sentence.

flapping tripping dipping danced clapped pranced flapped tipping quacking

Return to top of page Back to top