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Avery’s Hat-Tastic Adventures is a fun new series from award-winning author Ellie Royce, with zesty illustrations by Mardi Davies, for junior readers aged five to seven that incorporate positive, true to life, stand-alone stories with themes of imagination, friendship, family and real-life challenges. The first title, How Does A Hat Save The Day? is about an adventure to the community garden patch where a scarecrow is in need of saving, along with the gardeners’ precious crops. Don’t worry, a hat does save the day, and there’s a deliciously satisfying outcome full of colour and variety! Hats are purposeful for many reasons and many occasions, and here we will explore a few ideas to incorporate into your teachings around Literacy, Science, HASS, Creative Thinking, and Visual Arts. So, go ahead and put your thinking caps on!
Before Reading –
Pre-prepare a range of different kinds of hats (or pictures of hats) to show students. Play a game where students can guess / label the name of the hat. For example, sunhat, gardening hat, top hat, cap, beanie, helmet, chef’s hat, etc. Can students also describe the purposes and materials of these hats?
Extension: Include a range of cultural / traditional hats and headwear from around the world for students to label and describe their origins and significance. For example, Sombrero (Mexican), Akubra (Australian), Skull Cap / Kippah (Jewish), Hijab (Muslim), Turban (Hindu/Seikh), Beret (French), etc.
HASS Years 3 & 4: Inquiry and skills (ACHASSI052)(ACHASSI073)(ACHASSI053)(ACHASSI054)(ACHASSI055)(ACHASSI074)(ACHASSI075)(ACHASSI076)(ACHASSI059)(ACHASSI061)(ACHASSI082) Knowledge and understanding (ACHASSK068)(ACHASSK069)(ACHASSK088)(ACHASSK072)(ACHASSK093)
Task 1: Make a chart with the hat name, purpose, country and religious / cultural group.
Task 2: Organise a day for students to bring and wear a cultural or favourite hat / headwear from home to model to the class.
Ask, do you have a favourite hat? Why is it special to you?
Look at the cover of How Does A Hat Save The Day?. What do you see? What does it make you wonder? How does it make you feel? How do you think the girl (Avery) is feeling?
What do you think the term ‘Hat-tastic’ means? How do you think the author has created this word?
Why might Avery think hats are helpful? How might her hat help her in this story?
What do you think makes a good friend? Turn and talk to a friend about your ideas. Can you be friends with something that isn’t a live being, like a toy or object? Why? How?
Do you have a special place in or around your neighbourhood that you, your family, and other people go to? Example, in the story, Avery is visiting the community garden patch with her Granny Irene.
After Reading –
What did you like about the story? What did you learn about Avery and her friends?
Task: Write a list of adjectives (describing words) to describe the characters in the story. Use these terms to write a profile or innovative narrative around a chosen character and/or their cultural background story.
How are Avery’s hats significant to her? Why do you think she needs them? How do you think she felt when faced with the challenge to give up her favourite hat? What might she have done if she never got it back?
Do you think Avery and Olivia’s science experiment was successful? Can you think of any other ways they could have tested Sam the Scarecrow’s ability to scare the birds?
How would you design a hat for Sam to wear?
Why is The Patch an important place to the community? Other than food, what does it provide for the people who live and work around there?
Can you think of other books that are about hats or include a famous hat in them?
Creative / Critical Thinking with De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats
Think about the feelings and actions of Avery (or other characters) and any alternative ways of thinking with the use of the six hats:
Red (fears, feelings, intuition), White (information, facts), Yellow (Benefits, positive thinking), Blue (big picture, focus, learnings), Green (creative thinking, alternatives), Black (risks, problems, obstacles).
STEAM – Build a Garden Hat
Science Years 3 & 4: Science understanding – Biological sciences (ACSSU044)(ACSSU072)(ACSSU073) Science as a Human Endeavour (ACSHE050)(ACSHE061)(ACSHE051)(ACSHE062) Science inquiry skills (ACSIS053)(ACSIS064)(ACSIS054)(ACSIS066)(ACSIS057)(ACSIS216)(ACSIS058)(ACSIS060)(ACSIS071)
Challenge: To grow a living plant / vegetable / garden on or in a hat!
Objectives: To learn about ecoliteracy (to understand how nature’s living systems operate), and incorporate this into an engineered hat design.
Materials: A hat of your choice, soil, seeds or seedlings, water and sun, (optional: pot, cotton wool).
1. Decide whether your hat will be functional or decorative. Choose an appropriate hat with a material that will suit plants to grow on/in.
2. Draw a labelled design of the hat including the types of plants you are growing and where they will be placed. You may need to research the sizes and suitable conditions for your chosen plants to grow.
3. Create your intended creative garden hat design with the materials listed, and place in a suitable spot for growth.
4. Tend to your garden hat daily. Observe and measure growth. Evaluate whether it needs more or less water and/or sunshine.
5. After several days / weeks, evaluate your garden hat. How does it compare to your original design? Was it a successful experiment? Is it functional, or more of a decorative piece? Draw / record your final results. Discuss.
Hat Templates – Design, Colour or Make a Hat
Using the templates or by drawing your own, design and colour in your own hat, or construct a hat using construction paper, cardboard, felt, newspaper, or other materials. Be as creative as you can! Alternatively, you might also consider a unique cultural / religious hat, or a new scarecrow hat for your design.
Avery’s Hat-Tastic Adventures; How Does a Hat Save the Day? is written by Ellie Royce, illustrations by Mardi Davies. Published by We Are All Made of Stories. Notes prepared by Romi Sharp.
Reference: Australian Curriculum
Visit Ellie at her website: https://www.weareallmadeofstories.com/
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