Old Monster Dog:YEAR 2-English-Elaborate

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.

Elaborate - Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose.


Elsie Wright (1901–88) and Frances Griffiths (1907–86) are famous for fooling the world for a very long time with fake photographs of fairies at the bottom of the garden: The Cottingley Fairies.

Essentially, the cousins used paper cut outs of the mythical fairies set up in the garden, and took a number of photos. The audience at that time believed that the photographs were real as most people didn’t understand early photography and how it worked.

Tell students that they are going to create an environment for a ‘monster’ character of their choice. They should take a walk around the school and find a setting that they can use to create an environment where the character will be photographed.

In order to understand their ‘monster’ character, they should research information about the animal/spirit/human and find out what they look like, where they inhabited/lived, what they did to be labelled a ‘monster’. Use this information to develop an informational text or report.

Find illustrations of the ‘monster’ from different sources, e.g. illustrated books, online photographs, movie characters. Download, print and cut out a number of these images, in different sizes. Glue the images on a cardboard cutting sheet, colour them. Have students set up their photograph with the cut out positioned in the landscape setting. The photograph should represent the character of the ‘monster’ or actions that it may have committed in the original story. The ‘monster’ could be interacting with the environment or other characters.

As a class, review the five visual design choices a set photographer makes:

  • Shot size (e.g. close up, medium, long distance)
  • Camera angle (e.g. bottom-up view as dominant; top-down view as weak)
  • Character position (e.g. facing each other or facing away)
  • Facial expressions (e.g. angry, happy, deep in thought)
  • Body gestures (e.g. pointing, using fist, relaxed)

The visual design choices are also supposed to persuade the viewer to adopt particular feelings for the characters. The point is that visual design choices are not neutral. Have students identify the effect they want to design for each shot. Lead a class discussion on the power of visual design.

Students should have a choice of one photograph that encapsulates what they want to communicate, or many photographs as an action series. Load into Powerpoint® or Photo stream and run as a basic ‘stop-motion’ animation, or use Pic-Lits:

  • Picture writing, Pic-Lits: Inspired picture writing
    Pic-lits is a creative writing site that allows the user to match images with words to capture the essence, story and meaning of the picture.
    Drag and drop words onto an image or write freestyle onto an image to create a piclit.