Frank's Red Hat: Years 3-4 English, Science, The Arts (Drama, Visual Arts), Health & PE

Exploring the 2023 CBCA Short List: Picture Book

The content description links on this page are in line with Version 9.0 of the Australian Curriculum. Use this guide to compare codes across versions.  

 Download and print this unit: AC Version |  NSW Version |  VIC Version

Unit writer: Karen Rogers

Text synopsis:  A story about never giving up on your talents, because even though what you do may not be appreciated right now, it may be in time. Possibly by someone you’d least expect. Frank is a penguin with ideas. Mostly terrible ones. That’s why his fellow penguins are nervous when he shows them his strange new creation. Something they’d never seen or expected to see in their cold and colourless Antarctic world — a red hat.

Rationale: In this unit students will interpret written and visual information and make connections between texts and personal experiences. They will draw and explain inferences using background knowledge as well as language and visual text features. Students will explore personal identity and belonging through the experiences of the characters in the text. They will use this learning to create a wearable item that expresses their own individuality as well as a written text that draws on their learning about the way that language and images can be used to connect to the reader. 

Cross-curriculum links: Science; The Arts (Drama); Health & PE; Personal and social capability

English concepts: Character; Context; Point of view 

Overarching questions: 

  1. How can point of view be represented?
  2. How do character dialogue, actions and language help to convey a point of view?
  3. How can understanding character experiences and context help us to understand ourselves and others?

Rich assessment task: Invite students to create their own item of clothing or accessory that meets a need and expresses their individuality. The item may be represented visually as an illustration or can be created using available materials in the classroom. Ask students to create an advertisement for their created item, using a format of their choice. Support students to make decisions about the best audience to market their item to; showing an understanding of contextual factors that impact appeal.

Curriculum codes, links and descriptions

Australian Curriculum

Year 3

English: Language

AC9E3LA01 understand that cooperation with others depends on shared understanding of social conventions, including turn-taking language, which vary according to the degree of formality

AC9E3LA09 identify how images extend the meaning of a text

AC9E3LA10 extend topic-specific and technical vocabulary and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts

English: Literature

AC9E3LE01 discuss characters, events and settings in different contexts in literature by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors and illustrators

AC9E3LE03 discuss how an author uses language and illustrations to portray characters and settings in texts, and explore how the settings and events influence the mood of the narrative

AC9E3LE05 create and edit imaginative texts, using or adapting language features, characters, settings, plot structures and ideas encountered in literary texts

English: Literacy

AC9E3LY04 read a range of texts using phonic, semantic and grammatical knowledge to read accurately and fluently, re-reading and self-correcting when required

AC9E3LY05 use comprehension strategies when listening and viewing to build literal and inferred meaning, and begin to evaluate texts by drawing on a growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features

AC9E3LY06 plan, create, edit and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive written and multimodal texts, using visual features, appropriate form and layout, with ideas grouped in simple paragraphs, mostly correct tense, topic-specific vocabulary and correct spelling of most high-frequency and phonetically regular words

AC9E3LY11 use phoneme–grapheme (sound–letter) relationships and less common letter patterns to spell words

Science

AC9S3U01 compare characteristics of living and non-living things and examine the differences between the life cycles of plants and animals

Year 4

English: Language

AC9E4LA01 explore language used to develop relationships in formal and informal situations

AC9E4LA07 investigate how quoted (direct) and reported (indirect) speech are used

AC9E4LA08 understand how adverb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases work in different ways to provide circumstantial details about an activity

AC9E4LA10 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 texts

AC9E4LA11 expand vocabulary by exploring a range of synonyms and antonyms, and using words encountered in a range of sources

AC9E4LA12 understand that punctuation signals dialogue through quotation marks and that dialogue follows conventions for the use of capital letters, commas and boundary punctuation

English: Literature

AC9E4LE01 recognise similar storylines, ideas and relationships in different contexts in literary texts by First Nations Australian, and wide-ranging Australian and world authors

AC9E4LE03 discuss how authors and illustrators make stories engaging by the way they develop character, setting and plot tensions

AC9E4LE05 create and edit literary texts by developing storylines, characters and settings

English: Literacy

AC9E4LY04 read different types of texts, integrating phonic, semantic and grammatical knowledge to read accurately and fluently, re-reading and self-correcting when needed

AC9E4LY05 use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring and questioning to build literal and inferred meaning, to expand topic knowledge and ideas, and evaluate texts

AC9E4LY06 plan, create, edit and publish written and multimodal imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, using visual features, relevant linked ideas, complex sentences, appropriate tense, synonyms and antonyms, correct spelling of multisyllabic words and simple punctuation

AC9E4LY10 understand how to use knowledge of letter patterns, including double letters, spelling generalisations, morphological word families, common prefixes and suffixes, and word origins, to spell more complex words

Health and Physical Education

AC9HP4P01 investigate how success, challenge, setbacks and failure strengthen resilience and identities in a range of contexts

AC9HP4P02 plan, rehearse and reflect on strategies to cope with the different changes and transitions they experience, such as the changes associated with puberty

AC9HP4P04 select, use and refine personal and social skills to establish, manage and strengthen relationships

AC9HP4P06 explain how and why emotional responses can vary and practise strategies to manage their emotions

Science

AC9S4U01 explain the roles and interactions of consumers, producers and decomposers within a habitat and how food chains represent feeding relationships

The Arts (Drama)

AC9ADR4C01 improvise and/or devise and shape drama using the elements of drama to communicate ideas, perspectives and/or meaning

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Learning intention: Background knowledge is needed to understand context

Evidence of learning

Students:

• identify the unique habitat features of Antarctica
• describe the interrelationship of living things within a habitat
• use background knowledge about the text setting to make predictions

Exploration

Before reading the text support students to research penguins and Antarctica. Find out the features of the environment, penguin habitat, other animal life, penguin predators, penguin appearance and characteristics to consider how they keep warm.

Key questions:
• What are the unique environmental features of Antarctica?
• How do these environmental features create a suitable habitat for penguins?
• What other animals live in Antarctica?
• What predators do penguins have?
• What physical and behavioural adaptations do penguins have to keep warm?
• What problems might the characters in the story be face with?


Response

Create food web diagrams and highlight the relationships between penguins, seals, walruses and killer whales.

Guiding questions:
• How do animals rely on other living things in their habitat for survival?
• What might be the impact on the food chain if numbers of one of the living things was reduced?
• What man-made or natural factors may cause a reduction in the numbers of living things in Antarctica?

Learning intention: Narratives can share similar themes or messages

Evidence of learning

Students:

• describe similarities between character experiences in different texts
• identify the message of similar texts
• describe the strategies that people use to fit in or stand out

Exploration

Explore a range of books that touch on the themes of belonging, individuality, or include hats or other fashion accessories. For example, The Hueys in The new jumper by Oliver Jeffers; I want my hat back, This is not my hat and We found a hat by Jon Klassen; Fashionista by Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Key questions:
How does the main character in each book 'fit in' or 'stand out'?
How do the characters use fashion choices to show their individuality?
What message do you think the authors of these texts are trying to convey?

Response

Use the literature as a launch pad for a class discussion about the themes of belonging and individuality.

Guiding questions:
How do people conform with others to gain a sense of belonging to a group?
How do people celebrate and show individuality?
How can we use clothing or fashion as self-expression?

Learning intention: Narratives can help us to understand our own and other's point of view

Evidence of learning

Students:
• describe the connection between personal experience and point of view
• make connections between their own experience and that of a character in a text

Exploration

Talk about the concept of an idea and discuss the difference between a good idea and a bad idea. Compare the responses of the penguins and of the seals to Frank’s hat designs. Introduce the concept of point of view. 

Key questions:
How did the responses of the penguins and the seals make Frank feel?
• How do we feel if someone says our ideas are good versus bad?

Response

Invite students to make personal connections to the concept of point of view.

Guiding questions:
• Do good ideas seem good to everyone? 
• How can different people’s point of view mean that some consider an idea good while other might consider it to be a bad idea?
• Can you think of a time when someone has told you that your idea is bad? Or good? How did it make you feel?


Learning intention: Dialogue shows the point of view of different characters

Evidence of learning

Students:
• use punctuation conventions to show direct speech
• make inferences about character feelings based on what they say

Exploration

Examine the dialogue in the text and the way it characterises Frank as bold and interested in new ideas while the other penguins are nervous and wary of anything new. Notice the different vocabulary included in Frank’s speech versus Neville’s on pg. 9, for example. “Oh,” said Neville, “Is it dangerous?” “No, it is perfectly safe.”

Key questions:
How is the punctuation and sentence structure of dialogue on p. 9 & 10 the same and different to that in the speech bubble on p.13?
How do questions and statements demonstrate different levels of authority or expertise?

Response

Jointly rewrite the speech in bubbles on p. 29 & 30 as quoted sentences using appropriate punctuation.

Guiding questions:
• What additional symbols and words are needed to indicate direct speech within a text?
• Why do authors and illustrators show direct speech in speech bubbles? Why do they embed it within the text?

Learning intention: The way that written text is presented guides our expression and phrasing

Evidence of learning

Students:

• identify the variations in font and punctuation that authors use for effect
• use written text clues to guide oral expression

Exploration

Model reading the text on p.8, varying pace, volume and pitch according to the punctuation and font clues.

Key questions:
• What do ellipses (…) indicate to the reader?
• Why is ‘anything’ written in italics?
• Why is ‘very’ written in capital letters?

Response

Allow students opportunities to practise reading parts of the text aloud using the font (italics and capitalisation) as well as the speech verbs in the dialogue to indicate how to phrase and expressively read the text.

Guiding questions:
• What variations in font or punctuation do you notice in this section of the text? 
• How can you vary your pace, volume or pitch to match the author’s intent?
• How can you use bounded dialogue to guide your expression when reading aloud?

Learning intention: Noun groups (including adjectival groups and phrases) are used to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind

Evidence of learning

Students:

• identify noun groups within a sentence
• describe the function of noun groups
• substitute words to change the visualised meaning

Exploration

Begin a discussion about the way the setting is illustrated. Draw students’ attention to the noun groups with pre and post modifiers that Sean E Avery has used to describe the setting, e.g. cold and colourless world, black rocks, white snow, black rocks covered in white snow, winter white world, icy ocean depths.

Key questions:

• What do you notice about the scenery where the penguins live?
• How could you describe the setting of the book?

Response

Jointly construct further adjectival phrases and clauses to add further description to aspects of the scenery or to describe the characters.

Guiding questions:
• What are the words that help to create an image in the reader’s mind?
• What words could you substitute to change the meaning?
• How do these words serve a similar function within the text (to describe the noun)?

Learning intention: Words can be used to show different levels of emotions

Evidence of learning

Students:

• explain the way that language can be used to show variation in emotion
• order vocabulary according to meaning
• make personal connections to the emotions of the characters in the text


Exploration

Create mind maps to brainstorm words associated with feelings using some examples from the text as a starting point e.g., disappointed, trust, terrified, nervous, dangerous, perfectly safe, reassured, reassurance, surprised

Key questions:
• How can we extend the list of words with synonyms and antonyms?
• How can we use these words to show different levels and strengths of emotion?

Response

Choose one of the words and their associated synonyms and antonyms. Create a word cline to order them according to the strength of the emotion that they convey.

Guiding questions:
• When have you experienced one or more of these emotions?
• What was the situation that triggered the emotion?

Learning intention: Illustrators position characters to show emotion and connect with the viewer

Evidence of learning

Students:
• describe the impact of visual layout on the reader
• differentiate between illustrations that show offer and demand
• draw characters that show different emotions

Exploration

Closely view illustrations to notice the use of offer and demand used to engage the viewer with Frank’s emotions and to align them with this character. Notice the demand on the title page, p. 5 and p. 20. 

Key questions:
• How do close up pictures engage the reader with the character?
• What is the direction of Frank’s gaze on pages 5 and 20 (demand)? How does it make you feel towards Frank?
• Compare with the image of Frank and the walrus on p. 4 when they are looking at each other (offer). How does it make you feel towards Frank?
• Why do you think the illustrator has shown Frank in this way?

Response

Conduct a guided drawing activity to experiment with how to draw Frank or other characters through both offer and demand. Demonstrate how to draw the pupil in the middle of the eye to create a demand, while drawing it towards to top, bottom or side of the eye circle creates offers.

Guiding questions:
• How can you experiment with the placement of features such as eyelids and eyebrows to create emotions?

Learning intention: Illustrations can foreshadow complications in a narrative

Evidence of learning

Students:
• describe the impact of foreshadowing on the plot of a story
• make predictions based on previous events in the text

Exploration

Highlight the killer whale character. Explain the literary technique of foreshadowing and explain how the killer whale eating the penguin who tried on the red hat on p. 11 was foreshadowed on p. 6 & 8.

Key questions:
• Why do you think the killer whale was shown on p. 6 & 8?
• How does the illustrator show that the killer whale is getting closer?
• Is Frank’s red hat the reason for Neville being eaten?

Response

Later in the book on p. 28 Avery creates a sense of foreboding by showing the killer whale in the distance. Invite students to create a comic strip to tell a story that focusses on this subplot of Frank’s red hat

Guiding questions:
• What do you predict might happen? What might the killer whale do next?
• How do previous events in the text impact our predictions?

Learning intention: Spelling patterns helps us to decode and encode words

Evidence of learning

Students:
• blend letters to read phonemes
• identify similar phone-grapheme patterns
• identify base and affixes
• use base and affixes to create word families

Exploration

Use the words from the earlier activity (e.g., disappointed, trust, terrified, nervous, dangerous, perfectly safe, reassured, reassurance, surprised) to investigate the phoneme-grapheme patterns such as re, ur, ous and double letters such as ss, rr, pp.

Key questions:
• What do you notice about the letter patterns in each of the words?
• What sound do the letter patterns make?
• Can you identify the base?
• Does the word have any affixes?

Response

Hunt through the picture book for examples and brainstorm further words that demonstrate these spelling patterns.

Guiding questions:
• Are there any common patterns?
• What other words have similar spelling patterns? Do they sound the same or different?
• Can you add any affixes to the words to create word families? How does the spelling change?

Learning intention: Language can be used to express opinions and feelings

Evidence of learning

Students:
• make inferences about characters’ feelings
• use language that describes emotional responses

Exploration

Use teacher in role to model exploring different points of view on Frank’s ideas while considering how language is used to follow social conventions and establish relationships.

Key questions:
• What words are used to describe feelings and reactions?
• How can be we make the words stronger or more precise?

Response

In small groups, ask students to role play the first few pages of the book and think about the language they can use to describe the characters’ feelings.

Guiding questions:
• Walrus – how does you feel about having its tooth used as a fishing spear and a snowman’s nose?
• Penguins – how do Frank’s actions make you feel?
• Frank – how do you feel about the reactions to your ideas?

Learning intention: Dialogue in narratives is presented in an agreed way. Dialogue shows the character's point of view

Evidence of learning

Students:
• make inferences about characters’ feelings
• use language that describes emotional responses
• use punctuation conventions to show direct speech

Exploration

Support students to use role play to recreate a scene that imagines what the penguins are saying or thinking after they have separated themselves from Frank, on the iceberg on p. 14.

Key questions:
• What might the penguins be saying to each other?
• What might Frank be saying in his mind?

Response

Convert the role play into written dialogue, referring to the punctuation conventions of the jointly constructed dialogue from the previous Dialogue and characterisation activity.  Add adverbials to the speech verbs, e.g. ‘whispered nervously’, drawing from the previous Vocabulary activity.

Guiding questions:
• What words are used to describe feelings and reactions?
• How can be we make the words stronger or more precise?
• What additional symbols and words are needed to indicate direct speech within a text?

Learning intention: The distance that an image is presented from impacts connection with the viewer

Evidence of learning

Students:
• describe the impact of visual distance on meaning
• create an image that uses distance for impact

Exploration

Observe and discuss the distance and angles from which the illustrations are shown. Notice the zooming in and out that shows the penguins from different distances and allows the viewer to see different types of detail of the characters and the setting. 

Key questions:
• How much information can be obtained from a long shot image? What can't be seen?
• How much additional detail can be seen in a close up image? How does this detail help to create meaning?

Response

Encourage students to have a go at using similar visual choices to compose an image, focussing on the seal or the killer whale shown through a close up. Experiment with showing the character through offer and demand, revisiting the Point of View activity.

Guiding questions:
• How do long shot or close up, offer or demand images elicit different emotional responses from the viewer?
• How can we use different visual distances to connect with the viewer in different ways?

Learning intention: People use strategies to cope with emotions

Evidence of learning

Students:
• describe emotional responses to situations
• explain strategies for coping with emotions 

Exploration

Compare Frank’s ‘masterpiece’ to the Archibald portrait of Cal Wilson, Clown Jewels. Read about Cal’s Covid lockdown hobby of making headbands that is showcased in the portrait. Jointly construct an explanation of Cal’s coping mechanism of creating headbands [sensitivity note: since the original creation of this teaching unit Cal Wilson has passed away].

Key questions:
• How is Frank’s ‘masterpiece’ similar in appearance to the image of Cal Wilson? How are they different?
• What other ways do people cope with ‘big feelings’ of nervousness, worry, anxiety, etc?

Response

Allow students to use this as a model for writing about Frank’s coping mechanism of knitting, or others students know about, such as reading fiction, using worry dolls etc. See Anthony Browne’s Silly Billy as another example. 

Guiding questions:
• How did knitting help Frank cope with his feelings of being different?
• What hobbies or activities do students enjoy? How do they feel when they participate in them?
• What strategies do students use to cope with ‘big feelings’?

Related PETAA teaching units and additional resources

Directed drawing: A drawing video by Mo Willems with ideas on how to conduct directed drawing and this Youtube video is another directed drawing resource.
Emotional awareness: A resource for helping to teach about emotions and a NSW Department of Education resource about social-emotional learning.
Offer and demand: The shape of text to come 2nd edition by Jon Callow and The potential of the visual by Jennifer Asha provide additional information and explanation of the visual metalanguage used in this unit.

Related PETAA teaching units:

Katerina Cruickshanks by Daniel Gray-Barnett is a story of acceptance and negotiation within friendship groups.
• Not Cute by Phillip Bunting is a story about self-acceptance and appreciating difference.
• Three by Stephen Michael King is a story about difference and belonging.
• Nop by Caroline Magerl tells the story of an overlooked bear and his quest to find a place where he belongs.
Marsh and Me by Martine Murray is a novel about differences, confidence, friendship and overcoming personal challenges.
Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey is a picture book about a young girl who likes to stand out – or does she?
The Nerdy Birdy by Danielle Wheeldon and David Snowdon tells the story of Ned, a bright little bird who gets teased for being different from everyone else in his class.


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