SPaRK - The All New Must Have Orange 430

Holly Robinson is a teacher at Harbord Public School. In this Shared Practice and Resource Kit (SPaRK), Holly offers a range of engaging activities relating to the concepts of argument and point of view for Stage 2 students.

Book cover of The All New Must Have 430 by Michael Speechley
Image: ‘The All New Must Have 430’ by Michael Speechley (2018. Melbourne: Penguin Random House)

Resource overview

An intriguing picture book, ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ by Michael Speechley is a humorous tale about a boy who desperately wants the ‘latest and greatest’ toy. After seeing a persuasive advertisement in a magazine, Harvey, who enjoys playing with the latest fad toys, is determined to have his own Orange 430. His initial excitement about buying the toy fades when Harvey discovers the toy has so many components. In addition, each of the parts appears to have no actual function. Upon realising his purchase is completely useless, he tries to return the object and finds many other children on a similar mission. All the children who purchased useless objects eventually grasp their situation and collaborate to send a powerful message to Useless Object International.

The ‘All New Must Have Orange 430’ is a relevant text for children in Stage 2 as it presents issues relating to consumerism, sustainability and the impact of advertising. Students in Stage 2 will engage quickly with this text on a personal level, relating it to their everyday lives and their world. Once the students develop this personal connection with the text, they can begin to understand and connect to the deeper themes in the picture book and discuss the impact of more complex issues such as consumerism and sustainability.

When sharing this text with children, multiple readings are necessary to allow them to explore each of the features in this book. The choice of words to tell the narrative, the pictures which mirror aspects of the story, and the intricate details embedded in the illustrations integrate to convey the tale. The ‘All New Must Have Orange 430’ provides a limitless opportunity to explore a range of visual literacy concepts including the symbolism of colour along with the design and layout of each page.

Syllabus links

The ‘All New Must Have Orange 430’ relates well to the English Textual Concepts of argument and point of view which in turn, have links to the NSW English Syllabus.

Argument

Students understand that opinions should be supported by information and ideas presented in a structured way.

They learn that:

  • opinions can be refined through negotiation with others
  • paragraphs contain a single idea
  • paragraphs are made up of topic sentences and evidence
  • certain language (eg description, modality, aspects of images) carries a persuasive force.

Point of view

Students learn that point of view influences interpretation of texts.

They understand that:

  • different points of view affect a story
  • different modes and media convey point of view in different ways
  • meanings of stories may change when viewed through the eyes of different characters in the story or different responders to the story.

Use of these two English Textual Concepts can address various syllabus outcomes for Stage 2 English. The outcomes best linked to the perspective and activities presented below include: EN2-2A, EN2-4A, EN2-7B, EN2-9B, EN2-10C, and EN2-11D (NSW English K–10 syllabus).

Educational significance

By Stage 2, students should have an awareness that arguments need to be expressed in a clear and precise manner. Using this picture book, students can further develop their knowledge of argument and begin to understand that opinions need to be supported by information and presented in a structured way. ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ provides a limited, albeit persuasive argument for a toy marketed as the Orange 430. The advertisement uses language choices which are considered persuasive, for example, ‘all new must have’, ‘these will not last’ and ‘on sale now’. While these phrases may appear convincing, by exploring them closely through aspects related to the textual concept of argument, students should come to understand that these phrases are constructed as an advertising technique of appealing to the emotions. They are not substantiated by any evidence. Students could be asked to experiment on how to make the argument more persuasive by using evidence, a better structure, more explicit language choices and relevant images.

Using the English Textual Concept point of view to underpin the way students explore ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ provides an opportunity for Stage 2 students to understand how point of view influences and affects our understanding of a narrative. The story is told from Harvey’s point of view and is centred around his purchase of the Orange 430. For children, the need to save money to buy the ‘latest and greatest’ toy and the associated disappointment when the toy is not as wonderful as it was advertised to be, is one that resonates deeply with students. Thus, another child’s point of view helps students to connect and personally engage with the text.

‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ also offers understanding of another point of view, that of the company Useless Object International and their president, Mr Ripoff. Mr Ripoff’s concern is about selling products and his company suffers when the children realise his products are totally useless. Students in Stage 2 should be able to comprehend how this could affect him and the company. By looking at this point of view, students will be able to understand how the author has manipulated the student’s feelings towards Useless Object International and influenced their interpretation of the text.

Suggestions for using this resource

Before introducing ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’, teachers could present a relevant advertisement on a current fad toy to the students. This may be in print or an audiovisual delivery of a television commercial. The class can brainstorm student feelings about the product and consider why they feel such a desperate desire to have it. After a discussion on the current product, the teacher could show students a commercial for a previous fad toy, such as a fidget spinner or Rubik's Cube and investigate how successful this toy was. Most students will be able to tell you that the toy was fun and exciting for a few weeks but now lies somewhere hidden in the house.

When reading the picture book, it would be beneficial to discuss the written text and the visual literacy components separately. This may be undertaken over several readings focusing on different Stage 2 concepts. In the written text these may include direct and indirect speech, modal verbs, commas and the use of simple, compound and complex sentences. For visual elements, the text provides many opportunities to examine how colour symbolism (the use of orange and sepia tones), the placement of elements in the illustrations, movement and salience have shaped meaning in the text.

Teaching activities

Questioning

After reading, present two styles of questions to the students about the book. These may include specific textual questions unique to this narrative and overarching conceptual questions, such as those related to argument and point of view. Questions may include:

  • What message did you get from this text?
  • Why did Harvey purchase the Orange 430?
  • How did Harvey develop as a character throughout the text?
  • What would you say to other children who may want the Orange 430 or another Useless Object?
  • What would you do with an Orange 430?
  • How did the author create an argument which convinced Harvey to purchase the object?
  • Who sees, thinks and tells the story?
  • Describe how you feel about Mr Ripoff? Why do you feel that way?

Persuasive writing

Once ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ has been studied in depth, students could write an exposition to other children convincing them not to purchase the Orange 430. Students will need to identify the purpose and choose an appropriate audience for their written work. For instance, it could be written as a persuasive letter to a friend.

The OREO structure, outlined in this YouTube video (2.25), offers a useful guide to writing evidence based paragraphs within the structure of an exposition.

Students should be guided to consider arguments which focus on:

  • the uselessness of the object;
  • the cost of the object and how this money could be better used;
  • the poor packaging choices and how this impacts on the environment.

As an additional activity, students could write another exposition presenting Mr Ripoff’s point of view. The purpose of this piece would be to write an exposition which persuades children to purchase a Useless Object or an Orange 430. Students will have to think carefully about their chosen audience and ensure language choices suit the purpose of the text. This may also be written as a persuasive letter.

Syllabus links

Stage 2 - English

A student:

  • EN2-2A: plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language
  • EN2-7B: identifies and uses language forms and features in their own writing appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • EN2-9B: uses effective and accurate sentence structure, grammatical features, punctuation conventions and vocabulary relevant to the type of text when responding to and composing texts
  • EN2-10C: thinks imaginatively, creatively and interpretively about information, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts.

Exploring advertisements

Students should then create a new and improved advertisement for the Orange 430. The advertisement should include written and illustrated components to advertise the Orange 430 as an outstanding product. This will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the text, point of view and argument.

When creating the advertisement, students should consider the following things:

  • Modal language
  • Direct and indirect speech
  • Sustainability
  • Colour choice
  • Salience
  • Movement of images

Syllabus links

Stage 2 - English

A student:

  • EN2-2A: plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language
  • EN2-7B: identifies and uses language forms and features in their own writing appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • EN2-9B: uses effective and accurate sentence structure, grammatical features, punctuation conventions and vocabulary relevant to the type of text when responding to and composing texts
  • EN2-10C: thinks imaginatively, creatively and interpretively about information, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts

Experimenting

The All New Must Have Orange 430 provides many opportunities for students to develop their critical and creative thinking skills. Some of these could include:

Science/STEM focus:

  • Repurpose an unused toy to make it useful again.
  • Repurpose an old box and create a new game.

English:

  • Create a television commercial to accompany the Orange 430 and/or the repurposed toy.
  • Rewrite the story from Mr Ripoff’s point of view.
  • Source quality advertisements and discuss the techniques companies use to make them persuasive.

References and further reading

Callow, J. (2013). The shape of text to come: how image and text work. NSW: PETAA.

Daley, M. (2019). Review + teachers’ notes: ‘The all new must have orange 430’. Children’s Books Daily.

NSW Department of Education & English Teachers’ Association NSW. (2016). English textual concepts.

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales. (2012). English K-10 syllabus.

OREO by Mikayla Sterling. YouTube video.

Speechley, M. (2018). The all new must have orange 430. Australia: Penguin Random House.

How to cite this article – Robinson, H. (2020). SPaRK - The All New Must Have Orange 430, Scan, 39(8).

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