Content descriptor and code
Discuss characters and events in a range of literary texts and share personal responsesto these texts, making connections with students’ own experiences (ACELT1582 – Scootle )
To engage all students in the story, and make sure they have the background knowledgeto understand it, notably:
• The purpose of the story: It’s a suspenseful story about waiting for something.
• How we feel when we read the story: The people in the story really want the rain to come. When we read this story we really look forward to the rain too, and we are happy at the end when the rain comes.
• The setting: The story is set in an Aboriginal community in Northern Australia, in a very hot place, and the images tell us a lot about the setting.
• The characters: Old Stephen is the character who knows a lot about the weather
How to teach this strategy
• Class grouping: teacher and the whole class; everyone needs to be able to see the book.
• Introduce the book, and discuss the images on the front cover. Explain title and author/illustrator.
• Explain this is a book about waiting for rain. The people in this story are really wanting the rain to come. Explain some ways this setting is different from where we live.
• Talk through the book, examining the illustrations, and building in some key vocabulary and phrases, e.g., days of the week, big rain coming, there was no rain, action verbs such as nodded, dragged, some descriptive phrases, such as the dark clouds spreading. Point out the character of Old Stephen, and explain people would regard him as wise. Check with students if they have had experiences of feeling
so hot, or of dancing in the rain.
• Read the book dramatically, emphasising each mini-complication when there is
• still no rain, and the relief when the rain finally comes.
Example of what I will say
This is a story about a place where the people are waiting for rain. You can see the title here on the cover. The book is called Big Rain Coming. It was written by a woman calledKatrina Germein. She lived in an Aboriginal community, at a place called Minyerri, for a long time. It’s a very hot place, and every year it doesn’t rain for months and months. It gets very uncomfortable and sweaty, and people just get very excited about the rain coming. When it does rain it’s just like in this story: it’s a BIG rain. It rains and rains, but people really enjoy it. You can see the people on the front of the book jumping for joy, dancing and turning cartwheels on the brown earth. The earth looks dry, doesn’t it? It looks as though they really need some rain. And look at this lizard – I wonder if he’s waiting for the rain too. Do you think it looks like where we live? [Briefly discuss possiblesimilarities/differences.]
And look at this sun! It looks like it’s hot, doesn’t it? Doesn’t this ground look hot? And can you see this colourful band across the page. A woman called Bronwyn Bancroft, who is a famous artist, did all these illustrations. You’ll see this pattern all through the book. I think it might be a pathway through the story. Now, who do you think these people are that we can see on this page?
Copy of Big Rain Coming, that is visible to everyone, either a big book, or images on the
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