Connecting to prior knowledge

Before Reading 

Show the front cover and read the title of the book. Ask students to make a comment about what they see on the cover. Then focus on the word ‘dream’. Have a class discussion about dreams, dreaming and dragons.

Key Questions

  • What is a dream?
  • Do we dream when we are awake or asleep?
  • Are dreams real?
  • Can you remember a dream you have had?
  • What do you know about dragons? What kinds of things might dragons dream about?

Our brain is very busy even when we are sleeping. Dreams are thoughts or images our brain creates when we sleep. Everybody dreams but we do not always remember our dreams.

After looking at the front and back cover ask students to make predictions about the story. Next ask the students to do a think-pair-share on what this dragon might dream about. Share a few examples with the class and then ask the students to draw their own prediction about what the dragon might dream about.
(ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)

After Reading

Read the story out loud, pausing to allow students to explore the illustrations. After reading One Dragon’s Dream, have a class discussion about students’ thoughts and opinions on the story. Begin by asking: what are you wondering about?

Key Questions

  • Were your predictions right?
  • What did you notice about the story? Why did the author use numbers in the story?
  • Have you ever had a dream about animals?
  • How did the story end? Were you surprised?

Students individually reflect on the story by choosing their favourite part (PDF, 102KB) of the text to draw and write about.

Put students in small groups each with a copy of the book. Direct attention to the number and the word used in each sentence such as ‘3 three tigers told him off’. Discuss what ‘told him off’ means. Why did the tigers tell the dragon off?

Ask each group to study the illustrations on each page of the story and see if they can find that number hidden anywhere else in the picture.
(ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)

Drawing on Prior Knowledge 

Show students the Dreams Song clip. Discuss what the characters in the clip dreamed about.

Ask the students what they like to dream about. Encourage students to share their positive and enjoyable experiences. If some students cannot remember a dream they have had, they can use their imagination to think about something fun they could do in their dreams.

Brainstorm some ideas with the students. For example they might dream about animals, friends, playing, family, the beach.
(ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)


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

Show students the picture of the dragon opposite the title page of One Dragon’s Dream.

What is the dragon holding? (A teddy bear that looks similar to the dragon). Discuss the similarities between the dragon and the bear-like dragon he is holding.

Do you have a special toy that you take to bed with you?

What is on the dragon’s head? A nightcap is a warm cloth cap that is worn while sleeping. It is similar to a beanie.

Do you wear anything special to bed when you are going to sleep such as colourful pyjamas?
(ACELT1575)   (ENe-11D)


Rich assessment task

Show students the first two pages of the story One Dragon’s Dream. Point out to the students that there is no text on these pages. Why do you think the author has chosen to do that? What might these pages say if there was text?

The illustrations show the numbers that are in this book and the dragon getting ready for bed. Discuss what you can see in the dragon’s bedroom. Direct the students’ attention to the book on the floor. Do you think the dragon reads before he goes to sleep? Do you read books before going to sleep or does someone read to you?

Ask students to draw and write about their own routine when they go to bed. Assess sentence structure and success in sequencing events.
(ACELT1575)   (ENe-11D)   (ACELA1435)   (ENe-9B)

Responding to the text

Re-read One Dragon’s Dream. Encourage students to join in saying the numbers on the page as you read each sentence.

Show the first three pages of the illustrations of the dragon’s bedroom and ask the students to look for differences in the bedroom. The page with the text ‘One dragon had a dream’ has many new items that have been added to the page. Talk about why the illustrator has done this.

Put students in groups of three to four with a copy of the book open at that page. Get each group to choose an item in the dragon’s bedroom and talk about it. Prompt: is the thing you chose something in the bedroom or from a dream the dragon has had?

Ask students to use think-aloud statements such as ‘I think that the dragon might dream about the treasure chest under his bed. He might be a pirate who has found treasure’. Ask the students to do a think-pair-share about an item on the same page. Share responses with the class.
(ACELA1786)   (ENe-8B)

Conduct a print walk through the book and discuss:

  • How does the dragon’s face change during the story?
  • How do you think he is feeling on each page? Why do you think this?
  • What clues are in his facial expressions and body language?

Conclude by recording a list of words describing what the dragon is feeling page by page.
(ACELT1783)   (ENe-10C)

Explore some of the body language in each illustration of the dragon. Stop and ask students to mime actions as you read through each page. Begin with the actions below and then allow students to mime alternative actions.

  • One dragon had a dream. Students pretend they are sleeping
  • Two turkeys teased him. Students cross their arms in front of their body.
  • Three tigers told him off. Students pretend they are running away.
  • Four frogs seized him. Students put their arms in the air. Discuss what it means to surrender.
  • Five cranky kangaroos hopped around and fenced him in. Students interlock their fingers in front of their body. Discuss what it means to plead.
  • Six stern storks tried him and sentenced him. Students mimic the dragon’s face.
  • Seven slippery seals off to jail they juggled him. Students lie on their back with their arms and legs together as if they were tied up. Discuss how you might feel if you were not in control of your body.
  • Eight great elephants in balloons they smuggled him. Students lie on their stomachs and imagine they are being lifted and carried away. Discuss the word smuggled.
  • Nine nimble numbats sewed him up with thread. Students mimic what the dragon is doing. Ask the students: is the dragon waiting for something? Does he look pleased that he is waiting?
  • The dragon’s face changes on the page with number 10. Stop and discuss why this happened.

(ACELA1786)   (ACELA1437)   (ENe-8B)


Exploring plot, character, setting and theme

Arrange students in groups of four to five. Provide each group with a copy of the book One Dragon’s Dream. Give each group one or two pages and ask the students to discuss what the dragon might be saying on their allocated pages. Back in a class group, each small group shares their ideas with the class. Following this, students can draw their own page from the story and include a speech bubble for the dragon. Students write what the dragon might be saying in that situation. Discuss the emotion shown on the dragon’s face or the dragon’s body language to prompt writing. Remind students to refer back to the feeling words brainstormed earlier.
(ACELT1578)   (ENe-8B)


Rich assessment task

Open the book One Dragon’s Dream to the page with the five cranky kangaroos. Ask students to examine the illustration and look for a reason why the kangaroos have fenced in the dragon.

Guide students to the posters that have a picture of the dragon on them. There are five because five is the featured number on that page. Discuss:

  • What is a wanted poster?
  • What does reward mean on a wanted poster?
  • Will the kangaroos get the reward?
  • Why might the dragon be on a wanted poster?

Students individually create their own wanted poster (PDF, 119KB) for the dragon using the template and a rich range of art materials.
(ACELA1786)   (ENe-8B)

Comparing two stories

Show students the front cover of the story The Waterhole by Graeme Base or view on an interactive whiteboard using the The Waterhole e-book. Direct the student’s attention to the numbers down the left side of the cover.

Key Questions

  • What do you think this story may be about?
  • Are these the same numbers as in the story One Dragon’s Dream?
  • What animals can you see on the front cover? Are any of the these animals also in One Dragon’s Dream?

Read the story out loud, pausing to allow the students to explore the illustrations. Invite the students to find the frogs on each page. There are 10 frogs on the first page and the number of frogs goes down as the waterhole goes down. Explain to students that the number of frogs goes down because there is less water for them to live in.

Talk as a class about both books, comparing and contrasting the texts. Draw a venn diagram on a large piece of paper or the interactive whiteboard. As a class, compare The Waterhole and One Dragon’s Dream, looking for features of each text and recording like features in the intersecting circles.

Key Questions

  • What animals are the same in both stories?
  • Were there items to count in both stories?
  • Did each book use the same numbers?

Follow up lessons and teaching resources relating to water conservation are available on the Water Corporation of WA website.
(ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)


Examining grammar and vocabulary


  • In One Dragon’s Dream, the author uses alliteration in places, such as ‘two turkeys teased him’ or ‘six stern storks’. Discuss how the text sounds when read aloud. Try changing the words to ‘two turkeys made fun of him’ or ‘six cranky storks’. What happens when the words are changed?
  • View the Ants on the Apple YouTube clip. Forward to ‘dolls are dancing’ and ask students to think of another word instead of dolls. Say the sentence replacing dolls for dragons, dinosaurs and dogs.
  • Individually, students can explore the Alliterations A–Z app using iPads. The app features songs and interactive scenes for each letter of the alphabet.
  • Use alphabet organiser to generate a list of words to use for using alliteration when writing. Include verbs and nouns for each letter you choose to focus on.

(ACELA1439)   (ENe-4A)

Follow up by reading Animalia by Graeme BaseWhen reading aloud, pause to allow the students to explore the illustrations.

Key Questions

  • What do you notice about the animal names and the words the author is using to describe them?
  • Using any page, ask: what else can you see on the page that starts with that letter?
  • Turn to the ‘S’ page, ask: what do you notice about the border?

(ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)

New Vocabulary

The book One Dragon’s Dream introduces wonderful vocabulary such as seized, stern, smuggled, nimble, towed, tried and sentenced. Re-read the book and stop to explore the meanings of these words as they arise in the story. For example, nimble numbats. Ask your students to look closely at the illustrations, what might nimble mean? What is another word that we could use to describe the numbats in the illustration. Add the words discussed to the word wall for future use.
(ACELA1437)   (ENe-8B)


Rich assessment task

Using the generated word list made previously through alphabet organiser, choose a letter of the alphabet and as a class construct a sentence that contains alliteration.

For example: five fat fish feast on fruit. Encourage students to use adjectives to describe the noun and an appropriate verb in their sentence. Model using a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence and a full stop at the end.

Ask students to choose a letter from the alphabet and individually create a sentence using the format modelled by the teacher. Explain that the pages will be put together to create a class alphabet book. Any missing letters can be done later as a whole class using interactive writing.

Assess the individual writing by checking the student has created a correct sentence using appropriate punctuation as modelled. Encourage students to be adventurous in choosing descriptive words. Check how successful they were using alliteration in a sentence for their chosen letter of the alphabet.
(ACELA1432)   (ENe-9B)

Text Innovation

Cover up the text on each page of One Dragon’s Dream with paper and retell the story through illustrations only. Either as a class or in groups, support students to create a new sentence that ‘fits’ what is happening on each page. When complete read the new text and then reveal the original and compare.

Which sentence is best? Why?
(ACELA1786)   (ENe-8B)

Sensory Play

Students construct their own scene from the story The Waterhole by Graeme Base.

Collect leaves, sticks, flowers and sand from the environment. Using a collection of plastic animals, a large container of water and the materials from the environment, model retelling The Waterhole in your own words. As you retell the story to the students take out some of the water so that it reflects what happens in the story.

Now place students into groups of three or four and take them outside to collect their own objects to construct a scene from the story. Each group will also need a collection of plastic animals, a large container of water, a cup and an empty bucket to fill with the water they take out. Allow the students time to practise retelling the story in their own words. Use an iPad to video each group’s performance. Watch the recorded performances as a class.
(ACELT1580)   (ENe-10C)

Role Play

Based on One Dragon’s Dream, model creating your own story that includes the numbers one to five. Choose a collection of plastic animals, play dough or simple paper puppets to represent the characters in the story. Following the book’s sequence, starting with a main character that is dreaming. As each new character/s enter the scene, use alliteration as you narrate your new story. For example: two tiny turtles toppled in the tent. Invite students to contribute by making suggestions about what the characters might do.

Conclude the story with the main character waking from the dream.

As an extension, you could hide some additional items in each scene, such as plastic animals, sticks or leaves, similar to the way Peter Pavey hid items correlating to the number being represented in the scene.
(ACELY1784)   (ENe-8B)


Rich assessment task

In pairs, students will create their own representation of One Dragon’s Dream. Discuss with students that they can choose to keep the same characters as the original story or create their own. With a partner, ask students to do a quick draw of their main character. Around the main character, students draw five sets of characters that will be in the main character’s dream. For example, two turtles, three tarantulas, four fish and five ferrets. Allow students time to practise their story and have the alphabet organiser created previously in view to assist with words they can use to create alliteration. Provide each pair with an iPad to record their storytelling. View all recordings as a class.
(ACELY1651)   (ENe-2A)