A VERY QUACKY CHRISTMASBy Frances WattsIllustrated by Ann JamesBOOK SUMMARYA Very Quacky ChristmasISBN 9780733329623RRP 24.99Notes created by: Concetta GotliebWe wish you a quacky Christmas ’Samantha Duck is getting ready for Christmas. ‘I’mgoing to give presents to animals all over the world!’Her friend Sebastian tells her not to bother.‘Christmas is not for animals,’ he says.But with the help of her farmyard friends, Samanthasets out to prove that Christmas is for everyone.A joyous tale of giving and sharing from two awardwinning Australian creators.CURRICULUM LINKS AND KEY LEARNINGOUTCOMES English Health and Physical EducationHistory (Year 3) General Capabilities – Personal and SocialCapability, Intercultural UnderstandingAPPROPRIATE AGES 2-7 YearsThese notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 1
CONTENTS Book SummaryAbout the author About the Illustrator Reasons for studying this book Key curriculum areas ThemesClassroom ideas and activitiesABOUT THE AUTHORFrances Watts was born in Switzerland and grew up in Australia. Her bestselling picture booksinclude Goodnight Mice! (illustrated by Judy Watson), the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister'sAward for Children's Fiction; 2006 CBC Honour Book Kisses for Daddy (ill. David Legge); and2008 Children's Book Council of Australia award-winner Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books (ill.David Legge). Her young adult novel The Peony Lantern, set in nineteenth-century Japan, wasshort listed for a NSW Premier’s Literary Award 2016.ABOUT THE IILUSTRATOROver 35 years, Ann James has collaborated with many authors, illustrating picture books thatalmost always feature animals! In fact, her own pets are characters in The Midnight Gang; DogIn, Cat Out; The Way I Love You and Chester andGil.Ann's playful approach to illustrating is evident in her choice of media and techniques. Some ofher memorable picture-book characters are in Lucy Goosey; I'm a Dirty Dinosaur; I'm a HungryDinosaur; Bird and Bear and Bird and Bear and the Special Day.REASONS FOR STUDYING THIS BOOK‘A Very Quacky Christmas’ tells us that Samantha is an inspirational character. Bringing a bigheart and determination to the table Samantha the duck will have students rethinking themeaning of Christmas.These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 2
KEY CURRICULUM AREASEnglish – Year 1 Identify the parts of a simple sentence that represent ‘What’s happening?’, ‘What stateis being described?’, ‘Who or what is involved?’ and the surrounding circumstances(ACELA1451)Explore differences in words that represent people, places and things (nouns, includingpronouns), happenings and states (verbs), qualities (adjectives) and details such aswhen, where and how (adverbs) (ACELA1452) Discuss how authors create characters using language and images Discuss features of plot, character and setting in different types of literature andexplore some features of characters in different texts (ACELT1584) Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms ofcommunication (ACELT1586) Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriatetext structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation andappropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661) Innovate on familiar texts by using similar characters, repetitive patterns or vocabulary(ACELT1832)Make short presentations using some introduced text structures and language, forexample opening statements (ACELY1657)Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning about key events,ideas and information in texts that they listen to, view and read by drawing on growingknowledge of context, text structures and language features (ACELY1660) History (Year 3 Outcome) Celebrations and commemorations in places around the world (for example, ChineseNew Year in countries of the Asia region, Bastille Day in France, Independence Day inthe USA), including those that are observed in Australia (for example, Christmas Day,Diwali, Easter, Hanukkah, the Moon Festival and Ramadan)These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 3
Health and Physical Education Identify and practise emotional responses that account for own and others’feelings (ACPPS020) Recognise similarities and differences in individuals and groups, and explore how theseare celebrated and respected (ACPPS024)General Capabilities Personal capability - understand relationships Intercultural understanding – recognising culture and developing respect, interactingand empathising with others, reflecting on intercultural experiences and takingresponsibilityTHEMESChristmasSamantha and Sebastian explore the idea of Christmas in different communities. The bookprovides an excellent platform for exploring who can celebrate Christmas and why we celebrateChristmas.Big ideasExplore taking big ideas to the next level just like Samantha. Christmas themes and projectbased learning are a perfect match. By creating local, achievable projects students can learn towork in teams to achieve a goal.Maker movement and sustainabilityStudents will enjoy using the book as a Launchpad to explore making their own sustainableChristmas presents. Inventing, creating and making presents for classmates, friends or familyallows plenty of scope to use this book for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art andMaths) activities, craft or any other kind of making and tinkering.These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 4
CLASSROOM IDEAS AND ACTIVITIESActivityNotes & Curriculum LinksICT Integration/WorksheetCover StoryDiscuss the cover text and illustrations. Thepurpose of this discussion is to introduce theauthor and illustrator, uncover prior knowledgeor create interest in the story.2 IWBCover Story BrainstormGuiding Questions Read and Retell(ACELT1584)What do you think the book is about? Whatcan you tell from the cover?What are the ingredients of this book?What do you think the title means?Where is the book set? How do you know?Who are the main characters?How do you think the illustrations werecreated?Read the story with the students, stopping tohighlight interesting ideas and studentreflections.3 IWB/PrintableRead and RetellGuiding Questions What do you think will happen next?Do you agree with Sebastian thatChristmas is not for animals?Would you exclude anyone fromChristmas? Why?What do you like about Christmas?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 5
Was there anything about the story youdidn’t really understand?Did the author leave anything up to yourimagination?Have the students retell the story in their ownwords.Quacky Quiz(ACELY1660)Wacky Words(ACELA1778)Depending on the level students can answer aquiz or use these questions for discussion.4 IWBGet students thinking about the authors choiceof words.5 IWBQuacky QuizWord WallGuiding Questions Did you learn any new words?Which words do you think describe the truemeaning of Christmas?Which words describe how we celebrateChristmas?Create a word wall with pictures of all the wordslisted on the Word Wall slide. Depending on theage and level students you may choose to useonly one or two lists.These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 6
Sensible Sentences(ACELA1451)In this activity students will consider thestructure of simple sentences. Select sentencesfrom the book and deconstruct them to uncoverthe parts. Eg6 IWB/PrintableSensible SentencesAll that day, and late into the night, Samanthaand Sebastian wove the flowers into daisychains. (Note that this sentence structure iswoven into the story to help build tension withinthe story.)‘Christmas is about sharing,’ said the donkey. Iwould be happy to share my cart with you.’Guiding Questions What is happening?What state is being described?Who is involved?What else can we find out from thissentence.Students can reinforce this knowledge by addingthe appropriate parts to the sentences in theworksheet.Writing Techniques(ACELA1448)Writers often repeat the same conceptsthroughout the story, sometimes they evenrepeat the same sentences. In this activity, you’lllook more closely at the way the author hasstructured the writing to make it interesting.7 IWB/PrintableWriting TechniquesGuiding Questions Can you find examples of where the writerhas repeated a sentence?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 7
Do you think this technique adds to yourenjoyment when reading the story?What other aspects of the writing do youfind interesting?Which parts of the story do you like to listento the most?Students can also practice writing similarsentences in preparation for the writing task.Story Elements(ACELT1582)(ACELT1583)Now we’ll look at the story. Using the graphicorganiser provided discuss the elements of thestory and share your opinion. You can also usethe postcard to get students discussing the bigideas of the text.8 IWB/PrintableStory ElementsGuiding Questions Who are the main characters in the story?Where do they live?What is the problem? Samantha wants toget presents to all the animals in the world.What is the solution? Samantha asks all herfriends for help and they use their specialskills to make presents and deliver themaround the world.Have you ever wanted to do something thatother people said was impossible? What doyou think that would be like?Do you think the story has a good messageabout Christmas?Would you recommend this story to others?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 8
Character Close-Up(ACELT1581)In this activity you’ll create an online profile forSamantha duck. Write a list of words todescribe Samantha and then use these words towrite a description of her. Then draw a pictureof Samantha doing something she loves.9 PrintableSamantha ProfileGuiding Questions Can you add to Samantha’s list of skills? E.g.singingWhat can you tell about Samantha from theimages? Eg she is good at talking to biggroups of animalsDo you think Samantha is inspirational?Extension ActivityWorking Together(ACPPS020)(ACPPS024)Create your own profiletemplate using AdobeSpark or Canva.https://www.canva.com/templates/resumes/Have students create a mock online profile ofthemselves. Students can consider theirpersonality, skills and interests. This would alsoprovide an opportunity to talk about cybersafety.https://spark.adobe.com/Books can help us look at situations and thinkabout how we would feel and how we wouldrespond to the situation. In this activitystudents work in pairs or small groups tointerview Sebastian and find out more abouthow he felt about working on the project.10 Print & Laminate (1between 2)Guiding Questions Do you think Samantha could have achievedher vision on her own?How did Sebastian feel about the project?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 9
‘A VeryChristmas’ n an important part of the story?Have you ever had to work with others toget something done? How did you feel?What positive emotion did you have? Whatnegative emotions did you have?Using Samantha as inspiration students willdream big and develop their own ChristmasProject. As a class prepare a big surprise for agroup you care about. You don’t have to knowthe group, it could be the school, a nursinghome, your family or even someone in adifferent country.11 IWB‘A VERY CHRISTMAS’Guiding Questions Did Samantha and Sebastian spend lots ofmoney to buy the Christmas presents?What skills do you have that you could useto make Christmas presents for the wholeschool?Can you use those skills to create your ownbig Christmas project idea?Easy ideas for making presents for the wholeschool: Watercolour bookmarks – see activity Finger knitting heart ornament Baking Christmas cupcakes Use any of the Harper Collins Christmascraft books to choose a craft project towork on (these are listed at the end ofthe lesson plan)These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 10
Students can continue making these in class orat home until you have enough.WatercolourPaintingDiscuss how the illustrations add to the world ofthe story.(ACELA1453)Guiding Questions Youtube Skill ShareHow do the images add to the story?Which images tell you more about thecharacters than is written in the story? EgWhen Samantha is talking to a group ofsheep she looks very confident in her idea.Why do you think the illustrator choose towork with watercolour?How does an artist create watercolours?Can you create your own watercolourpaints?Do the black outlines add to the images?Create your own watercolour paints using thevideo from Skill Share. Click on this link to learnhow to create your paints.WatercolourBookmarksPrint the bookmark template onto cardboardand have students use watercolour paints tocolour the dots or create a wash or marbleeffect on the book. Gift these bookmarks toanother class or even the whole school as partof your project.12 PrintableBookmark templateThese notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 11
Creative Writing(ACELA1448)Using the story structure recreate your own ‘AVERY CHRISTMAS’ Depending on thelevel students may complete a joint constructionand then move to an individual narrative.Storybirdhttps://storybird.com/Using the vocabulary, writing techniques andplot structure from the story create a narrativetext modelled on the story.Students could use their class project as a basisfor the story. Start by getting the students tothink about any problems they had to overcomein creating their big idea/project.Students could use Powerpoint or Storybird toturn their story into a picture book. Studentscan create illustrations using watercolours, takepictures and edit them in photoshop or use acompletely different technique to create a visualworld.Thank youOn Christmas morning, animals all over theworld woke up to find a special surprise.13 IWB/PrintableThank youIt’s nice to appreciate the gifts we are given. Inthe captions write thank you in as manylanguages as you can.Guiding Questions Is it far for Samantha and Sebastian todeliver presents all around the world?Do you think the animals would feel thankfulfor the gifts?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 12
Optional Activity:ChristmasAnthropomorphism(ACELT1590)A Very Quacky Christmas is an entertaining andendearing book, one of the techniques Francisuses to help build the story world isanthropomorphism.Guiding questions What is anthropomorphism?What human characteristics to the animalshave?Do turtles and ducks usually have closerelationships?Watch this William Wegman video for moreanthropomorphic Christmas fun.Use photoshop to create anthropomorphicChristmas scenes of your own.Author Comparison– Jackie French(ACELT1583)Many authors like to use animals in theirChristmas stories. Read other stories that aresimilar to ‘A Very Quacky Christmas’ andcompare the writing techniques, plot lines andcharacters.Click here to find out more about howWombats celebrate Christmas.Guiding Questions Which Christmas stories did you enjoy themost?What writing strategies would you like to tryin your own writing?How could you show your appreciate of thestories you like?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 13
Extension: Choose one of your favourite storiesof animals celebrating Christmas. Can you createa fun craft activity, role play or worksheet forsomeone else to complete when they havefinished reading the story?Bonus IdeaAs an additional digital text creation activitystudents can work individually or in groups tocreate a 20 second motivational YouTube orPowerPoint. Discuss the structure of ‘tips’ e.g. 15 Youtube/PowerpointTitle Page10 Tips From SamathaWork with friendsNever give up etcInsert a screenshot for 10 tips slide into the startof your video or slideshow. Students can thenconsider how they will display their tips digitallyGuiding Questions What do you think motivated Samantha tokeep going with her idea?How did Samantha get others to help her?These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 14
R E LA T E DB OO K -anddo/#sm.0010gz2di6syedq11v82h4in92agaPREPARED BYInformation about the author of the notesConcetta Gotlieb is a qualified primary teacher. Concetta is passionate about working withteachers and students to design, develop and deliver digital learning experiences to solveproblems and create connections. Her teaching and learning design focusses on students ascreators and producers.These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not bereproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.Page 15
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