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Gorkle is a story that focuses on delivering messages – literally, through appropriate means of digital and face-to-face communication. Reinforcing the notion of effective communication and social skills through a digital learning platform, students can practice using ‘I-messages’ in a range of scenarios. That is, they will speak to one another using ‘I’ statements to get their feelings across.

*Gorkle is written by Penny Macoun, illustrated by Anam Akram, published by (c) Penny Macoun 2019.


Key Curriculum Areas: Foundation – Year 2


Language for interaction: Understand that language can be used to explore ways of expressing needs, likes and dislikes (ACELA1429)

Explore different ways of expressing emotions, including verbal, visual, body language and facial expressions (ACELA1787)

Text structure and organisation: Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and language features that help the text serve its purpose (ACELA1463)

Understand concepts about print and screen, including how books, film and simple digital texts work, and know some features of print, for example directionality (ACELA1433)

Responding to literature: Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)

Discuss characters and events in a range of literary texts and share personal responses to these texts, making connections with students’ own experiences (ACELT1582)

Creating literature: Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication (ACELT1586)

Digital Technologies

Knowledge and understanding: Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)

Processes and production skills: Explore how people safely use common information systems to meet information, communication and recreation needs (ACTDIP005)

Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)

Reference: https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/


Age Range 

5 – 8 years



Before Reading

Look at the cover of Gorkle. What do you see? What does it make you wonder about?

What is technology? What kinds of things are considered ‘technology’?

Think of a time when a piece of technology hasn’t worked. What happened? How did you solve the problem?

After Reading

Why was Gorkle miserable on his planet?

Why do you think Gorkle kept the text messages? Do you think this was the right thing to do? Why or why not?

Why was it important for the humans, John and Xin, to tell Gorkle to stop collecting the messages? Do you think they were being nice? What was said that made Gorkle cry? How did they solve the problem?

Do you think Gorkle found the happiness he was looking for? How?

Discuss the safe use of technologies and online behaviours.


I-Message Interactive Communication


Google Slides / Google Classroom / Powerpoint

The Formula: I feel…when…because…I need.

1. Using an interactive digital platform, provide students with one scenario per page. For example, ‘Your friend collected and kept all the balls in their bucket that you were going to use to play tennis.‘ OR ‘Your friend said they didn’t like your house.

2. Students to work with a partner, and each create an avatar or choose a character. On the left side, write ‘YOU‘ statements (threatening) in speech bubbles. For example, for the first scenario above, ‘You made me upset when you took all the balls.‘ How might the other person respond? Type it in the speech bubble.

3. On the right side, write ‘I’ statements (non-threatening) using the formula, in the speech bubbles. For example, for the first scenario, ‘I felt sad when you kept all the balls because I wanted to use them for my game of tennis. I need you to ask or share them next time.’ How would the other person respond now?

4. Type your own scenarios and positive ‘I’ statements using the formula and speech bubbles in the templates below.

Download here:

I-Message Interactive Statements



Paper Tube Rocket Mailboxes

Make a rocket ship from paper tube and coloured card. Cut a slit in the back to fit paper letters, so you can send your messages to outer space! Which friend will you write to?

See this example from Craft Play Learn.

Paper Tube Gremlins

Make your very own Gorkle gremlin, and maybe even some of his friends from Cybron! Use paper tube and a range of craft materials to decorate your creature from outer space.

See these examples from Meaningful Mama.

*Teaching notes devised by Romi Sharp, Books On Tour PR & Marketing 2020.

#gorkle #literacy #technology #communication #friendship #socialskills

Follow Penny Macoun at these links:

Website: HOME | Penny Macoun Author

Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads

Gorkle is available to purchase through online bookstores seen at Penny Macoun’s website| Booktopia.



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Organised by Books On Tour PR & Marketing. Email: info.booksontour@gmail.com

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