Old Monster Dog:FOUNDATION-English-Explain

Little J is initially scared to approach the ‘monster’ in the back yard. Encouraged to face his fears, he vows to catch the frilly-necked monster and sets about building a monster trap with the help of Levi.

Explain - Explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts


Select a variety of scary/monster/fantasy character stories (traditional and contemporary) from different cultures. For example:

  • The Jabberwocky, in Lewis Carroll’s ‘
  • The dragon, Smaug, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘
  • The Wicked Witch in L. Frank Baum’s ‘

Ask the students to list the characters from each story and suggest what the lead character’s role in the story is. On a sheet of paper or the IWB, list the headings, ‘Hero’ and ‘Villain’. Ask student to suggest the meaning of these words and what characteristics and behaviours a hero or villain would have. List their suggestions below the heading.

After reading each story, ask the class to suggest the names of characters that would fit under the two titles. Introduce a ‘freeze frame’ game to students. This game means that when a particular word is announced they are to act out a character that they feel exhibits the characteristics of the word. Use the words from each column that the students suggested. Put the words in a hat and select one at a time.

Have students view a short animated story:

As a class, identify the ‘Hero’ and the ‘Villain’ in each. Ask students to suggest what actions were taken by the ‘hero’ to overpower the ‘villain’.

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