Old Monster Dog:YEAR 2-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 - Discuss how depictions of characters in print, sound and images reflect the contexts in which they were created.


If a hero quest story relies on the central character being the ‘hero’ and overcoming adversity by conquering the most feared, then the story also requires a ‘villain’. Ask students to think about how a story creates characters that represent ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Read selected fairy tales that have distinct characters representing ‘good’ and ‘bad, e.g. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. As a class, start a list of ‘baddie’ characters in stories and also list the types of immoral behaviours they exert in the stories. Suggested resource:

List the word ‘stereotype’ and ask whether students are familiar with the word and what it means (typecast label, categorised, fixed, etc.). Have the students select one stereotype of baddie that they can remember from a story they know: witch, wizard, wolf, queen, black knight, snake, crocodile, dragon, etc. Ask students to describe the actions of these baddies in their selected story.

In small groups ask students to:

  • select one stereotyped ‘baddie’. They should find an image of this baddie and glue the image to the centre of a cardboard/paper sheet.
  • think about how the character is presented, what features of the character represent him as a bad character to the audience
  • draw arrows to the parts of the costume, facial features, voice, stance, gestures that a baddie makes to give these messages to readers or viewers.
  • list what the characteristics are around the character and draw arrows to the parts of the character that are representative, e.g. black hat, spikey hair, sharp teeth, dark colours, mean expression, etc.

Ask each group to feedback to the rest of the class about the character they analysed.

As a class, view a selected number of “Fractured Fairy Tales”:

  • Fractured Fairy Tales, Student Interactive, Read Write Think                                                                                                                                          Ask students what they understand by the term ‘fractured’. Have them suggest how have the example stories been fractured? Elements in the story for them to analyse include:
    • Plot and sub-plot
    • Character/s, representation of stereotype
    • Setting
    • Point of view
    • Challenge and solution

In small groups, ask each group to ‘fracture’ a well-known fairy tale, myth, fable, or legend. They can elect to:

  • swap the roles of the hero and baddie characters
  • change the setting (time or place); change the colours used to illustrate the setting
  • tell the story from a different character's point of view
  • invent a new problem to solve
  • change an important item (for example, the glass slipper in Cinderella)
  • rewrite the ending of the story.

Invite each group to retell their ‘Fractured tale ’to the class. They can elect to enact it. Record the stories and upload them for sharing with others.

As an example of (older) students creating their own interactive comic, access:

NEOMAD is a comic series created with the community of Roebourne, WA as part of Big hART’s Yijala Yala Project. It’s a futuristic fantasy based on real places, real people and the world’s oldest continuing culture. In the course of three episodes, NEOMAD follows the story of the Love Punks, a group of techno savvy young heroes from the Pilbara who speed through a digitised desert full of spy bots, magic crystals, fallen rocket boosters and mysterious petroglyphs. Initially released as an interactive iPad app, the series is now also available in book form.