Package 3-1: Reading

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

Week 4 - 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.


  • Lesson 1 video – telling stories using visual features and words
  • Lesson 2 video – beyond the story
  • Lesson 1: Activity sheet 1 – visual and words
  • Lesson 2: Activity sheet 2 – beyond the story
  • Pencils & colour pencils
  • Blank sheets of paper or activity sheets in this guide

Back up

  • A copy of the book: Alexander’s Outing by Pamela Allen. You may be able to find a reading of this book on a digital sharing platform, such as YouTube.
  • Blank paper, use the digital worksheet on technology or a hand-copied version of the worksheets.

Before your child starts

These lessons follow on from the Week 3 shared reading lessons about ‘Alexander’s Outing’.

Make sure your child has everything ready at the start of each lesson. There are 2 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 2 – Watch Lesson 1, complete activity sheet 1

Day 4 – Watch Lesson 2 and complete activity sheet 2.

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?

Discuss what happened in the story and what it is about.

Ask your child what they can see happening in the pictures. Tell them words that the author used match the pictures.

Talk about Alexander and what you can see is happening to him in each picture. Take turns with your child to retell the story by just looking at the pictures.

Encourage your child to join in with some of the repeating words and phrases aloud.

Instead of thinking about what happened after the story, ask your child how they would have rescued Alexander.

Activity too easy?

Have you noticed the illustrations in Alexander’s Outing? Why might the author-illustrator have included them? Why did she use the technique she did?

Stories often share a message or moral. What might be the message or moral of Alexander’s Outing? Look for words in the text and illustrations to see how the author has built this message throughout the story.

Extension/additional activity

Your child might like to look at other picture books and identify other examples of where the visual features and words matched.

Your child might like to imagine they have been asked to illustrate Alexander’s Outing. They can choose a page and draw or paint a new illustration to match the words.

Your child might like to create their own picture book story about what happens after the end of Alexander’s Outing, e.g. ‘Alexander goes on another outing’.

Activity 1: Visuals and words

Learning intention

To understand authors use both visual features and words to tell their stories

Success criteria

I can identify when an author uses visual features and words to tell a story.

‘Visual features’ in a story are the illustrations. They might:

  • match the words that the author wrote
  • tell the reader more about the story than the words do
  • tell a different story to what the words say
  • tell part of the story with no words.

Your task

In each box, draw a visual feature from Alexander’s Outing and write the word or words that match.

Activity sheet 2: beyond the story

Learning intention

To understand how to respond to a story more deeply.

Success criteria

I can respond to a story by imagining what might happen after it ends

What do you think might happen to Alexander next? You can use this page to write or draw your ideas.

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