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The Rabbit’s Magician is a beautiful, poignant story of comfort during a time of loss. Author, Shae Millward, was inspired by The Law of Conservation of Energy –a fundamental law of nature. This law states: energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can change from one form into another. It is a heart-warming reminder that the energy of someone we have lost remains around us in this vibrant universe, just in a different form. Illustrator, Andy Fackrell, has used a common colour theme throughout with the inclusion of the moon motif to create a deeply emotive yet vibrant visual story. With a multitude of teaching and learning opportunities in the areas of Literacy, Science / STEAM, Mathematics, The Arts, and Health and Physical Education, this picture book has many moons to explore!
Before Reading –
What’s your favourite magic trick? Do you know the one with the rabbit in the hat?
Show, or ask students to participate, in some magic tricks. For example, card tricks, coin tricks, illusions, etc.
Look at the cover of The Rabbit’s Magician. What do you notice? What does it make you wonder? What does it make you feel? What do you think this story is about?
Read the blurb and discuss. What do you think might happen in this story now?
Turn and talk to a friend about a time you lost someone or something special. How did you feel?
After Reading –
What did you like about the story? What did you learn about Ziggy, Albertino and the animal friends?
What kinds of tricks did you see in the story?
How were Ziggy’s friends being supportive? What did they help him understand about Albertino’s disappearance?
What do you understand about the phases of the moon? Identify the shapes and names of each phase from a picture.
How does the changing moon show you what is happening with Ziggy in the story?
Why do you think the moon was special to Alby?
Do you believe that Alby is all around Ziggy? Will he return to his original self? Why or why not? What actually happened to him?
Discuss what you know / learned / want to learn about The Law of Conservation of Energy.
What do you think will happen after the end of the story?
Moon Phases Graphic Organiser
Literacy Years Foundation to Year 2: (ACELA1786)(ACELA1437)(ACELA1453)(ACELA1454)(ACELA1469)(ACELA1470)(ACELT1575)(ACELT1783)(ACELT1582)(ACELT1578) (ACELY1655)(ACELY1650)(ACELY1660)(ACELY1670)
Science Years Foundation to Year 2: Earth and space sciences (ACSSU004)(ACSSU019)(ACSSU032)(ACSHE013)(ACSHE034)(ACSHE022)(ACSIS014)(ACSIS024)(ACSIS011)(ACSIS025)(ACSIS026)(ACSIS012)(ACSIS027)(ACSIS040)(ACSIS041)(ACSIS029)
Note the changes of the moon in the illustrations of The Rabbit’s Magician. Discuss the descriptions of the moon by Alby, “The moon is a master of illusion, Ziggy. It’s a dusty old rock covered in craters, yet we see it as incredibly beautiful.”, “The moon appears to shine, but it makes no light of its own. The brightness we see is nothing more than reflected sunlight. And the moon seems to change shape, yet it is always whole. It’s simply a trick of the light.”
How is the moon ‘a master of illusion’?
What are the two main aspects of the moon that appear to ‘trick’ us?
What else can you find out about the moon and planets?
Identify, observe and draw the phases of the moon in a diagram, like the example below. Students might also like to make a model of the moon phases. Be creative!
The phases of the moon include: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent.
Students might like to keep a nightly moon journal to record their observations over a two-week period.
Science: Disappearing Colour Experiment
Science Years Foundation to Year 2: Chemical sciences (ACSSU003)(ACSSU018)(ACSSU031)(ACSHE013)(ACSHE034)(ACSHE022)(ACSIS014)(ACSIS024)(ACSIS011)(ACSIS025)(ACSIS026)(ACSIS012)(ACSIS027)(ACSIS040)(ACSIS041)(ACSIS029)
Students can explore the magical chemical reaction to make colour disappear!
A clear jar, water, food colour, bleach, dropper.
- Fill the jar with water and add some food colour.
- Add some bleach to the dropper and carefully place a drop into the water, about a tablespoon at a time.
- After each drop of bleach, you might like to give it a little stir, and observe what is happening to the colour.
Please note: Adult supervision is necessary to avoid spilling and getting bleach on the skin.
Extension: Add food colour back into the jar and see how the water reacts now with bleach in it.
Bleach contains an oxidiser, which reacts with the molecules in the food colouring. The pigment molecule remains, but the shape changes so it can’t absorb or reflect light the same way and loses its colour due to the chemical reaction.
Papier-Mache Moon Lamp Craft
Visual Arts Foundation to Year 2: (ACAVAM106)(ACAVAM107)(ACAVAM108)
Students can create their own ‘illuminating’ moon lamp with a few art supplies!
Large round balloon, paper towel (cut into strips), papier-mache glue, paint brushes, acrylic paint, LED light or string lights.
- Blow up and tie the balloon, and apply papier-mache glue and strips of paper towel around it. Stick on about eight layers of paper towel.
- Leave for about 24 hours and allow the glue to dry and harden.
- Snip the balloon and pull it out of the moon shell.
- Paint the moon’s craters with dark paint.
- Once dry, paint the entire moon white (or pale yellow).
- Once dry, place battery-powered string lights or LED light inside the moon.
- Light it up!
BONUS! Find more BRILLIANT teaching notes and FUN, FREE downloadable worksheets by
The Rabbit’s Magician is written by Shae Millward, illustrations by Andy Fackrell. Published by Ford Street Publishing. Notes prepared by Romi Sharp.
Reference: Australian Curriculum
Visit Shae Millward at her website: shaemillward.com
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Andy Fackrell can be found at Andy Fackrell.
THE RABBIT’S MAGICIAN is available for purchase through: Ford Street Publishing | Booktopia | Local and independent bookstores
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3 thoughts to “Magic and the Moon: Teaching Notes for The Rabbit’s Magician”
Fabulous notes to support use of The Rabbit’s Magician in the classroom. Great stuff, Romi!
Thanks so much, Norah! The Rabbit’s Magician has so much potential for terrific teaching and learning opportunities! x
It really does, and I love the way you have highlighted them.