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Literature Based Plan

Grade Level: Grade 4

Unit Title: Green is the new grey

Major Text Used: Carnavas, P 2010, Last Tree in the City, New Frontier Publishing, Frenches Forest, NSW.

Last Tree in the City is about a boy who has a special place within a crowded city, finding refuge in the high branches of a tree. One day, he finds that the
tree is gone and only a small branch is left. The boy then tries to find a new home for the branch so that the city can still have some colour. The main idea
throughout the text is that even one person can make a difference and add some colour and nature to a bland and concreted world.
Links to the Australian Curriculum: Literature/Literacy and the cross curricula link to the Australian Curriculum

Understand that the meaning of sentences can be enriched through the use of noun groups/phrases and verb groups/phrases and prepositional
phrases (ACELA1493)

Explore the effect of choices when framing an image, placement of elements in the image, and salience on composition of still and moving images
in a range of types of texts (ACELA1496)

Discuss literary experiences with others, sharing responses and expressing a point of view (ACELT1603)

Create literary texts that explore students own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607)

Create literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings (ACELT1794)

Identify characteristic features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text (ACELY1690) maybe

Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and
evaluating texts (ACELY1692)

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of
audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694)

Re-read and edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups to improve content and structure (ACELY1695)

Use a range of software including word processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and
audio elements (ACELY1697)
Cross-Curriculum Priorities
OI1. The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth.

OI3. Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.

OI5. World views are formed by experiences at personal, local, national and global levels, and are linked to individual and community actions for

OI6. The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local
and global equity and fairness across generations into the future.

OI7. Actions for a more sustainable future reflect values of care, respect and responsibility, and require us to explore and understand environments.

OI9. Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments.

Scope of learning:

Throughout this learning sequence students will explore and examine their knowledge of sustainability through examining their prior knowledge of the
environment and sustainable practices. Vygotsky (2014, p.495) states that learning is like a conversation, utilising this thought students will reflect on
their changing and developing knowledge and work towards enhancing their cultural schema relating to sustainability. The theme of sustainable patterns of
living through informed individual and community actions will flow through the learning sequence combined with a focus on literary development. Literary
skills development will be centred around the concept of critical literacies and will assist students in developing skills to become critical readers and
responders who can understand the complex motives and assumptions that are found within text.
Sequence One: Frontloading
Lesson One:

Students imagine a city, and draw it. Discuss the colours that people used, what each city has in common and some differences.

Some Questions to lead students:

What happens in your city? What are people doing?

Why have you used those colours in your city? How do they make you feel?
What does it sound like? What different noises can you hear?

Lead students to Senses poster (Appendix A) to assist in leading them to consider what each of their 5 senses would experience within a city.

Lesson Two:

Teacher then introduces the cover of the text. Describe the cover, as a class, in relation to the cities that they have drawn.

What is on the cover?

What do you think that tells us about the book? Theme? Story line?
What colours are used? How do those colours make you feel about the book?
Look at the buildings, what do you notice about them? What colour are they?
Is the tree significant in this story? Why do you think so?
Look at the title. What do you think it tells you about the book?
Students draw a new cover for the book, attempting to change the way it makes you think about the book (by changing colour or size of objects etc.).

Lesson Three:

As a class, break down the title of the text. What does it reveal about the text?
Some Questions to lead students:

What does it mean to be last?

o The last one? Last in a race, you lost? You are the only one left, all alone?
o Ask students to share a time when they were last and how they felt.
Last tree IN THE CITY
Why does it specify in the city? What does it mean by this?
Are there trees elsewhere? Why is it the last tree?
Are there any places you know that have only one tree? Why do they only have one?

Lesson Four:

Why are trees important?

Why would someone write a book about there being only one tree left in a city? Why does it matter?

Teaching Focus 1 The significance of trees. Discussing why we need trees and what purpose they serve. This will get the students thinking about
what the book might be about, Last tree in the city.

Strategic Questions to lead Why are trees so important?

the students toward your
How do trees help us?
How can we help them?

How does this change your opinion of the text?

Whole class Activities to Watch the youtube video (link in resources, screen shot in Appendix B) and ask comprehension questions at three different
engage the students levels.

Class discusses the level of comprehension in each question, questions that are directly answered in the text (literal),
inferential questions and evaluative questions. All questions should be closed questions requiring a true or false response. The
questions should then be discussed as a class, as well as the three different levels of the questions. This style of
comprehension questioning will be an activity for the students to complete in sequence two so it is important for the students
to understand the type of questioning and what each level is.
Students go for a walk around the school grounds and observe trees. As a class, identify as many trees as you can. You may like
to look up the trees when you return to the classroom. They collect leaves of different kinds to take back to the classroom.
Students update their learning journals with their observations of the different trees.

Follow on activities Using the leaves that each student collected on the walk, students then create their own tree. On a large, dark sheet of paper,
partner/group/independent students stick the leaves onto the paper in the shape of a tree.

Assessment: Teacher is able to assess the level of comprehension of the video through the true or false comprehension questions.

The teacher is also taking note of students discussion across the phases of the lesson.

Resources PBS Parents (2013) Learning about trees | adventures in learning | PBS parents. Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abVvZLyZAIg (Accessed: 20 September 2016).

Lesson 5:

Looking to the back cover of the text.

What is the purpose of a blurb?

What does the blurb tell you?

Students rewrite the blurb to share what you think the text might be about. As a class, read the blurb and discuss what it is saying and its purpose. Students
then take time to write their own blurb for the text, predicting what the text is about. Class comes back together to read the newly created blurbs.
Sequence 2: Explicit Teaching
Read the book. As you get to page 23 (Appendix C) where he is deciding where to plant his tree, ask the children where they think he might plant the

Explicit Teaching Session 1

Introduction Students will engage in a comprehension task for the book Last Tree in the City. This task will be similar to what was
demonstrated to the students in sequence one using the video, only they will be completing the task (coming up with
questions) on their own.

Elaboration Talk again about the 3 levels of comprehension questions completed in sequence 1.

Example of questions:
Literal: The boys name was Edward.
Inferential: The duck was Edwards friend.
Evaluative: The tree was cut down to make room for a new building.

Practice Students look through the text and create their own true or false questions, two from each level of questioning; literal,
inferential and evaluative.
Students write down their questions on a sheet of paper with the option of true/false for each question.

Review Students then get into groups to discuss their questions and their answers and the teacher observes utilising formative
assessment techniques.

Resources Department of Education, Science and Training, 2002. MyRead. [Online]

Available at: http://www.myread.org/index.htm
[Accessed 30 09 2016].

New Frontier Publishing, 2016. Teachers' Notes. [Online]

Available at: http://www.newfrontier.com.au/depot/teachingnotes/202_lasttree.pdf
[Accessed 15 09 2016].

Winch, G. et al., 2014. Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature. 5th ed. South Melbourne: Oxford University

Explicit Teaching Session 2, 3 and 4

Introduction Read the text. After reading the text, discuss briefly as a class what happened.

Discuss; How does Edward feel about living in the city? What makes him happy? Why does the tree make him happy?

Students will be looking at special places and discovering how sustainability can effect that place, both positively and

Elaboration Talk about special places. Relate this back to the text and how the tree was Edwardss special place.
What happened when the tree was gone? What did Edward do?
What happened to the tree? Did it fall? Did someone cut it down? How can you tell? And why would that happen?
Why would someone do that? (could be good reasons for cutting down a tree)

After Edward planted his piece of tree in the tricycle, the story says, Then something wonderful happened... What is the
wonderful thing that happened?

Why does everybody copy Edward at the end? How do the people feel now that the city is full of trees? How can trees
make us happy?

Practice Students draw their own special place that is important to them, this could be their home, maybe a relatives house, or
their favourite park.
If we did not care for the environment, what would happen to their special place? Talk about this in relation to
sustainability. Students then brainstorm ways that they could care for their special place to ensure it survives.
Students create a poster on how to care for their environment/place. This could be about recycling or using less power.
Compare this to how Edward saved his special place and the effect that his actions had on the rest of the city.

Review Students are able to identify how places can be effected by the environment. Students then create posters to teach and
encourage others to care for their environment/place. These posters can be placed around the school to encourage others
to care for the environment. This is one way that students can help to make a big change just like Edward did in the text.
Resources Department of Education, Science and Training, 2002. MyRead. [Online]
Available at: http://www.myread.org/index.htm
[Accessed 30 09 2016].

New Frontier Publishing, 2016. Teachers' Notes. [Online]

Available at: http://www.newfrontier.com.au/depot/teachingnotes/202_lasttree.pdf
[Accessed 15 09 2016].

Winch, G. et al., 2014. Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature. 5th ed. South Melbourne: Oxford University

Session 5:

Whilst displaying the illustrations on pages 4 & 5 and also the illustrations on pages 10-11 (Appendix D & E respectively) the teacher ask students to make
observations about the use of colour on the pages. Ask students to recreate the illustration throughout the text but students working in small groups each
designated two pages of the text to recreate. Students utilise resources such as newspapers to recreate the building and vivid tree pictures sources from

Session 6:

Students in pairs, work with the same page from the text that they recreated the session before. Students change the adjectives on that page without
changing the meaning of the text. Students share their work before changing the adjectives to create a new meaning. As a class, try to put the new pages
back together to create a new story.

Session 7:

In the next session students will complete their literacy circles. The students will be familiar with this process and the roles from previous literacy circle
rotations. The roles include; Discussion Director, Vocabulary Enricher, Literary Luminary and checker. The students rotate through to their next role and
complete their roles for the relevant text.

Session 8:
In this session, students will be rewriting the story, but from a new perspective. Read through the book again and take notice of the duck. What is the duck
looking at? Why is he looking at this? Take special note of page 16-19 of the text (see Appendix J). What is the duck looking at? Notice the blank space
where the duck is looking through noting to a sad Edward. Discuss why the illustrator may have done this.
After reading through the text again, students write the story from the perspective of the duck.

Sequence 3: Developing a multimodal response

The task: Individually or in small groups students will be creating their own books reflecting their efforts to make a space more environmentally sustainable.
Students will select a location within the school to focus on making more environmentally sustainable. This task may coincide with a school working bee or
something similar and will need to be approved by school administrators. Over a week students will document themselves with photographs making a
space more sustainable and reflective of sustainable practices. Following this they will create their own eBook telling their story of enacting sustainable
practices and then share and discuss with their peers. This activity is cross curricular in the literary development of a book combined with a focus on
sustainability in our own ecosystems. They will all be assessed on their creativity, presentation and ability to communicate their own ideas using the rubric
in Appendix F.

Lesson 1:

Gather students and collectively brainstorm some of the more sustainable practices that students have uncovered in previous sequence. Write all
suggestions on the board for students to analyse and develop on.

Allow students to consider possible ways we could implement these practices within the school.

Students brainstorm in small groups (3-4) students different ways they can use more sustainable practices to enhance and protect a place within the school.

They storyboard their idea with pictures and/or words collaboratively using the storyboard work sheets in Appendix G.
Students have time to edit and reflect upon their story and make changes to enhance flow and understanding. Focusing on a depiction of before, during
and after.

Lesson 2

Each group of students take 1 iPad and head out into the playground to begin taking photos for the background of their picture book using scenes from
their own school. This would be prepared to include the tools they need to make a change to their special place. Resources could include some small
plants sourced from the school budget or alternatively rubbish collecting tools etc. Parents are invited to help for this scenario.

Lesson 3

Students visit the website https://www.mystorybook.com using the same iPads they took photographs with. The website (featured in Appendix H) allows
students to create their own story book using a huge range of images stored in the database as well as photographs they have collected themselves.
Students work in groups using the easy to navigate website with the assistance of their hand drawn story boards and photographs taken in the previous
lesson. The website has easy to use tools on the left hand side of the page to add backgrounds, text, images and drawings to each page and an easy
navigation tool on the right hand side. (Appendix I)

Lesson 4

Students edit their picture books and reflect on their ideas. They must also brainstorm together what to put in the blurb session of the storybook. Then
using the share tool on the website the whole class can share their picture books just with each other and read through the stories to evaluate everyones
different interpretation of the task.

Assessment: Through the use of open questioning and active listening the students will reveal the knowledge they have gained as part of formative
assessment. The teacher will also have access to the picture books in order to access visible literacy skills and achievement of the rubric.


10-12 storyboard worksheets

10-12 iPads

Tools for change (small plants, rubbish collecting tools etc.)