Literature and context

Connecting to prior knowledge

Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions.

Before reading

Read title and show front cover to introduce Amy and Louis, explaining that they are special friends who live next door to each other and love to do everything together. Ask students to share with a partner responses to questions such as:

  • Do you have a friend who lives close to you?
  • Do you have a special friend?
  • What do you like to do with your friend/s?
  • How do you get in touch with your friend?
  • Do you have a special way of greeting/talking to each other?

During reading

Tell students that Amy and Louis have a special way of calling for each other and ask them to listen for this. Also, have them listen for things that Amy and Louis do together to see if any match what they like to do.


Exploring the text in context of our community, school and ‘me’

After reading

In groups of four, have students discuss questions such as:

  • Do you have any special words you use in your family or with friends?
  • Do you have different ways of saying ‘Hello’?
  • Have you ever moved away?
  • Have you ever had a friend or someone in your family move away?
    (ACELY1656)   (EN1-1A)

Ways of greeting/calling each other

As a whole class collect special words and different ways of greeting/calling each other. Discuss when and why we use different ways to communicate. Explain to students the origin of the term ‘cooee’. Class could use this during outdoor activities and greet each other using a different language or system such as signing each day.

Experiences of people moving

Ask students to stand in one part of the room if they had a friend/family member move away and in another part if they moved away.
In these groups have students share:

  • How they felt
  • Whether they still communicate with friends/family and if so, how?

Ask students who are in neither group to imagine how they would feel and how they could still communicate.

As a whole class, have groups share. Record key feeling words. Ask students to notice if the feelings of different groups are similar or different.
(ACELA1443)   (EN1-6B)


Rich assessment task

Model/jointly construct making a short video-clip, on an I-pad or other device, to show the special way that Amy and Louis called each other and explaining the origins and uses of this special call. In groups of three, have students make short video-clips showing a special way of greeting/calling someone and briefly explaining when and why it is used.
(ACELA1443)   (EN1-6B)

Responding to literature

Responding to the text

Discuss characters and events in literary texts, share personal responses

Using think-pair-share and have students discuss:

  • What makes someone a special friend?
  • Why do you think Amy and Louis are such special friends?

As a whole class share group responses. Record key ideas words/phrases. These could be used to create a ‘friendship’ word wall.
(ACELT1582)   (EN1-11D)

Exploring plot, character, setting and theme

Tell students that you want them to help look for clues in the words and pictures that show:

  • Amy and Louis were special friends
  • Why their friendship was special

Display front cover. Using think-pair-share, ask students to look at the picture and see what they notice about how Amy and Louis are drawn. As whole class, share observations being sure to elicit features such as:

  • facing each other
  • sitting close to each other – close enough to touch each other
  • both looking at what Louis is holding
  • looks like Louis is talking and Amy is showing she is listening and interested
  • playing with the same things
  • sitting the same way, but like opposites, like in a mirror.

Scaffold students to interpret what this shows the reader about Amy and Louis’s relationship. For example they:

  • are close
  • are interested in the same things and each other
  • listen to and show respect to each other
  • are equals
  • are like a reflection of each other.

Continue modelling/jointly deconstructing the book, recording clues in a table (PDF, 124KB). Note: depending on students’ familiarity with this process and their knowledge about language and images, you may want to look at language and images separately.

Stop at the point where Amy moves away and ask students in small groups to examine the two double pages, seeing what differences they can find in how these two pages are drawn compared to the first part of the story.

Model a Venn Diagram (PDF, 95KB) to show what was similar and what was different for Amy and Louis when Amy moved away.
(ACELT1581)   (EN1-11D)


Rich assessment task

Making connections with characters, events and own experience, sharing personal responses

Have several students take the ‘hot seat’ as Amy and Louis and ask them how they felt about being separated etc. Then have them complete Venn Diagrams (PDF, 294KB) comparing the events, experiences and feelings of the characters Amy and Louis to those of their friend/s and theirs.

Students then video each other and orally share their response to the book, drawing on the information in the Venn Diagrams to support their connections and preferences.
(ACELT1582)   (EN1-11D)

Examining literature

Examining text structure and organisation

Discuss features of plot in words and pictures

Revise with students the stages/parts of a narrative:

  • orientation/setting – beginning
  • complication/problem
  • resolution/solution – ending.

In pairs, have students locate where they think the complication begins (when Amy moved away) and where they think the resolution begins (when Louis called out to Amy). Confirm these two points as a whole class.

Building on the work done in the last section, model finding and recording clues in words and illustrations (in the orientation stage) that show how things usually were.
In pairs, have half the class examine the page where the complication begins and the other half, the page where the resolution begins. Ask students to find clues in the words and illustrations that show a new stage of the story is beginning. Join each complication pair with a resolution pair, and have them share their findings.

As whole class discuss findings, recording clues. Below is a suggested table format for recording these findings.

Stage of the story    Clues in words to show how things usually were   Clues in picture to show how things usually were  
Orientation Begins with Amy and Louis and tells us what they do togetherAmy and Louis’s names are on every double pageIt uses ‘they’ a lot to show the two are together Begins with Amy and Louis close and show us what they do togetherAmy and Louis are on every double page
Stage of the story    Clues in words to show it is beginning    Clues in picture to show it is beginning   
Complication But one day (a signal that something different happened that changes the usual)Only talks about Amy and her family – Louis’s name is not on the page The colour has goneWe can only see Louis and then on the next double page we can only see Amy
Resolution So (a signal that something is going to happen – Louis is going to do something to try to solve the problem)Louis used the special signal word again – the first time since the problem started All the colour has come backThe signal words are written very big – first time they go across double page and looks like they are stretching out to reach Amy

(ACELT1584)   (EN1-7B)


Examining grammar and vocabulary

A closer look at language clues – words that tell us ‘where’

Explain that the author uses words that give extra details (circumstances), telling us where Amy and Louis are and that this is important to show us about their friendship and how it changes when Amy moves.

For the orientation stage of story only, have half the class look for details about Amy and the other half look for details about Louis, completing relevant tables showing where (PDF, 135KB) Amy and Louis were.

Reform as a whole class to share and discuss what this shows: Amy and Louis were never far apart, even if they were doing different things in different places, they were in the same yard, or the same room or next door. Point out the importance of this re being able to call out to each other with their special word.

In the same pairs as above, have pairs record in relevant tables showing where (PDF, 135KB), details in the complication or resolution stage.

As whole class share and discuss findings and importance for the story.

Provide colour-coded cards (PDF, 112KB) for students to build sentences. The ‘where’ cards could also be used to complete a close activity.
(ACELA1452)   (EN1-9B)


Rich assessment task

Expressing emotions in visuals, including body language and facial expression

Review discussions of visuals depicting stages of the narrative, relating these to showing feelings. Ask students to note body language. List findings:

Happy Sad
Lots of bright colour
Sun shining
Smiling faces
Looking up
No/not much colour – dark/dull
Small mouth/mouth turned down
Looking down, shoulders down

In groups of four, have one pair act/pose for a photo to show Amy and Louis in the orientation stage, with the other pair providing feedback and taking a photo, using I-pad or other device. Pairs then swap roles for complication stage.
(ACELA1787)   (EN1-1A)

Creating literature

Innovating on Amy and Louis to plan and create stories

Deconstruct the plot of Amy and Louis (PDF, 104KB), as a class through using teacher modelling and guided questioning.

Demonstrate how to improvise on the plot to plan a class story using questions based on the plot of Amy and Louis (PDF, 104KB). For example, have students:

  • suggest names for the characters (preferably imaginary characters) and then as a class vote to choose two
  • brainstorm things the characters could do and then decide on three.

Record brainstorms under headings and make accessible for students to draw on when constructing their plans.

Jointly construct class story. Note: If the recording of the plot of Amy and Louis is read from top to bottom, it reads as a story. Where several options were provided, it is recommended you choose just one, for example, one summarising statement about what their life was usually like.

Ask students what kind of visuals could be drawn/created to go with the three different parts of the story, being sure to draw out comments reflecting the study of images in Amy and Louis, such as:

  • use of full colour and bright colours versus no/little colour and dull colours
  • showing the characters together and close or separated
  • the body language and facial expression of the characters
  • what the characters are doing.

Model or jointly construct three visuals, one to accompany each stage of the story:

  • the two characters playing together
  • page divided in two halves, with each side of the page showing one friend alone after one has moved/gone away
  • page divided in two halves, showing how the friends now communicate: one side showing one friend ‘calling/sending a message’ and the other ‘hearing/receiving the message’.

These could be hand drawings, drawn/created using digital tools or staged photographs.

Model placing/pasting the written text onto/next to the visual, either on paper or in digital form.

In addition, students could work in pairs or small groups and, writing in role as either Amy or Louis, jointly construct text to accompany the three visuals. These could then be compared and displayed.
(ACELT1586)   (EN1-10C)


Rich assessment task

Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication

Using techniques modelled in class joint construction, have students innovate on Amy and Louis to plan, write and illustrate a story about them (the students) and their special friend (real or imaginary).
(ACELT1586)   (EN1-10C)