Connecting to prior knowledge

Strategic immersion

On p. 7 of The All New Must Have Orange 430, the main character Harvey is holding the box for the titular Orange 430. Written on the box are different translations of the phrase ‘useless object’. These translations, plus some additional ones, can be found here (PDF, 391KB). Print them out and place them around the classroom or in a particular learning space. Incorporate photos of useless objects; a quick Google search will yield many results, including those from exhibitions and artists who have specifically designed useless products. Print some of these as well and place them alongside the signs in your classroom.

Invite students to investigate the signs and pictures and suggest what they think this inquiry is about. They might conduct a gallery walk, working in small groups to discuss what they see in the pictures and how these connect to the translated words. Some students may speak or read a language other than English; do they recognise any of the words? Revisit cooperation skills, including turn-taking and ensuring that all voices are heard.

Bring the students back together to discuss what they have discovered. Brainstorm terms that might describe their discoveries, such as ‘inventions’, ‘toys’, ‘ideas’ or ‘stuff’.

Share some information about the languages on the box on p.7:

Oggetto Inutile Italian
Objet Inutile French
Useless Object English
Nutzloses Objekt German
Objeto Inútil Spanish

Discuss the order of the words and why some phrases commence with ‘object’ (noun) and some with ‘useless’ (adjective). Why are the Italian, French and Spanish words for ‘useless’ so similar?

Explain that you are about to read The All New Must Have Orange 430, and that students might see some connections between the story and their discoveries. Read the book to the class.

Afterwards, ask students if their discoveries matched what they saw in the story – were there inventions, toys, ideas and stuff? Which label would they give the Orange 430?

(ACELA1476)   (EN2-1A)   (ACELT1569)   (EN2-11D)

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

Finding the purpose

On p. 8 there is an image of the Orange 430. Show this page to students and ask them what they know about the item based on what they heard in the story.

Present students with a range of toys or pictures of toys. Working in small groups, they are to sort the toys into piles (or buckets, like those on p. 2 of the book) and label the different categories. These could include:

toys I have vs toys I don’t have
toys I play with vs toys I don’t play with anymore OR have never played with
toys I play with vs toys my parents or grandparents would have played with
toys I have seen advertised vs toys I haven’t seen advertised
toys that are soft vs toys that are hard

Give each group a picture of the Orange 430 and ask where they would place it if they were to sort the toys again. Share their ideas to relabel the Orange 430. For example, it might become ‘a toy I don’t have, that I have never played with, that I have seen advertised, that is also hard’. Challenge students to label the other toys using the same framework.

Discuss how The All New Must Have Orange 430 is framed in positive language, drawing attention to words that are meant to excite or enthuse. Also discuss why the author, Michael Speechley, might have made this decision. Flip the language so that the title is framed in a negative light, such as ‘The Really Old Don’t Need Orange 430’. Discuss how this changes the imagery and impacts your desire to acquire the toy.

(ACELT1594)   (EN2-10C)

Rich assessment task

Model how you could craft a name for one of the useless objects from the Strategic Immersion activity. This could be either positive or negative, such as ‘The Perfectly Plastic Whizz-Bang Watering Can’ or ‘The Non-Recyclable Not Working Watering Can’. Ask students to identify the grammatical structure of your names (i.e. 4 adjectives + 1 noun), then have them choose their own useless objects and name them using the same conventions as The All New Must Have Orange 430. Share the names in small groups to see if there were any common words used in the descriptions.

(ACELT1791)   (EN2-2A)

Responding to the text

How is the story being told?

Ask students to brainstorm the different ways we talk and record their ideas on sticky notes. Then draw up a table, labelling one column ‘Talk as a process’ and the other ‘Talk as a performance’. Move the sticky notes between the columns until the class agrees where they should sit. An example has been provided below.

Talk as a process Talk as a performance
  • talking in class
  • playing a board game
  • explaining how to play a game
  • sharing news for the class
  • hosting the school assembly
  • storytelling

If students do not mention ‘storytelling’ or a similar term during their brainstorm, add it to a sticky note and ask them which column it belongs in.

(ACELY1676)   (EN2-6B)

Who is telling the story?

Re-read The All New Must Have Orange 430. Ask students who is telling the story: is it Harvey, the lady at the counter, the children, Mr Ripoff, or someone else (such as a narrator)?

Discuss the role of narrators. They are essentially a kind of storyteller. The narrator, who knows all, tells us what is happening, what has already happened, or what is yet to happen in a story. They can even get inside the heads of the characters and tell us what they are thinking.

Explain that when a character tells their own story they speak in the first person, and when a narrator tells the story they speak in the third person. Whichever version we hear gives us insights into that person’s perspective on events. You could show the class this short video to help them understand different points of view.

Ask students what kind of voice would suit the narrator’s disposition in The All New Must Have Orange 430. Discuss the book’s audience and purpose to help them make a suitable choice. Then have them choral read a page from the book to test out their chosen voice. Ask for volunteers who would like to share their voice and explain why they picked it.

(ACELY1678)   (EN2-8B)

Who is telling the story now?

Ask students to select a character other than Harvey from The All New Must Have Orange 430. They will then consider how this character would narrate the story. Points for consideration include:

  • What would this character’s voice sound like?
  • Would I change the way the current narrator tells the story?
  • Would the new narrator highlight a part of the story that previously was not highlighted?
  • Would the new narrator emphasise different words in the story?

Once they have noted their ideas, students will practise reading a part of the story that they will present to the class in the new narrator’s voice. This could be done using whisper phones/fluency phones if available, or with recording software on iPads, Chromebooks, etc. Students can then deliver their reading as a presentation to the class.

(ACELY1677)   (EN2-6B)   (ACELY1675)   (EN2-11D)

Exploring plot, character, setting and theme

Lessons to be learned

Re-read The All New Must Have Orange 430 and ask students to consider the message Michael Speechley wants us to take away from the book. Focus on the last double-page spread where Harvey identifies two things he would like to do (pp. 28–29). Discuss what the very big action might be.

At this point you could show your class some clips of children engaging in social change. This could include Greta Thunberg launching a child rights campaign in response to COVID-19, Kid President exploring how to change the world, or Solli Raphael performing slam poetry about sustainability. View these clips prior to the lesson to determine their appropriateness for your class context, and to identify any pre-teaching needs. You could also share slogans from picture books like The Lorax by Dr Seuss or Greta and the Giants by Zöe Tucker, illustrated by  Zoe Persico.

Returning to the book, students should consider:

  • What is the big issue raised in The All New Must Have Orange 430?
  • What does this issue bring to mind for you?
  • When you think about this issue, how does it make you feel?
  • What are some other issues that might connect to this one?

Students could record their ideas in this template (PDF, 88KB).

(ACELT1596)   (EN2-11D)

Where is the issue?

This activity builds on the previous lesson by exploring how characters deal with the big issue. It can be done individually, in small groups, or as a class. Draw up a grid as follows:

Character vs self Character vs character






Character vs society Character vs nature






Ask students for ideas and examples of how different characters faced the big issue in the book:

  • with themselves (internal challenges, understandings, epiphanies)
  • with other characters (convincing them to consider different opinions, staying firm in their beliefs)
  • with society (feeling pressure to conform, rebelling, profiting from others)
  • with nature (considering the impact of useless objects on the environment)

You can start with Harvey and move on to other characters like Mr Ripoff or the other children.

(ACELY1680)   (EN2-4A)

Rich assessment task

Zooming in on what one person can do

Ask students to recall the new narrator they picked for The All New Must Have Orange 430 (Who Is Telling the Story Now?). As you read the story aloud again, invite students to focus on their chosen character and zoom in on one moment where that character could have acted differently to create a positive change for others.

Based on the positive action they identify, students can craft a slogan that could replace the pointless sign on p. 17 of the book.

(ACELY1682)   (EN2-2A)

Examining text structure and organisation

Fonts and feelings

In The All New Must Have Orange 430, fonts are used to convey different aspects of the experience. For example, some words (predominately speech) are written in a hand-drawn font with embellishments that suggest movement. Fonts create mood and atmosphere and often indicate what we should read first, and with what expression. The way they are presented also creates reading paths due to the movement or gaze directed by vectors.

Show students the video ‘If The Fonts Were People’, explaining that the characters have taken on the attributes of different fonts. You might like to display some of the fonts (PDF, 192KB) beforehand and discuss how their characters might look or act.

(ACELA1483)   (EN2-8B)

Y reactions

Using Y charts (PDF, 190KB), have students work in small groups to record the feelings evoked by various fonts. There are no wrong answers, but students should be able to justify their responses. As this is a collaborative task this could involve a synthesis of ideas (e.g. ‘I thought Calibri was plain but others thought it was easy to read’).

(ACELA1476)   (EN2-1A)

Examining grammar and vocabulary

Spelling rules!

Throughout The All New Must Have Orange 430, students will read many words with common prefixes or suffixes attached to a base word. This presents an opportunity to explore these words and see what spelling rules are applied. Read through the book again; if available, use a document camera to enlarge the pages for display.

Ask students to record all the words they hear/see that have prefixes or suffixes (they may need a refresher on what these could be). They will then complete this matrix (PDF, 90KB) so they can visualise the words as prefix + base, or prefix + base + suffix, or base + suffix. For example:

Prefix Base Suffix
search ed
check ed
own ed
pop (p) ed
un happy
un less

This is not an exhaustive list; students will find more examples in the book. Have students discuss their completed matrices and test their theories in small groups (e.g. when the base word ends in a consonant you can add a suffix without changing anything). Invite the groups to share their ideas with the whole class, checking for accuracy and challenging any theories if necessary. Then create anchor charts that explain the spelling rules discovered and tested from this learning experience.

(ACELA1827)   (EN2-5A)

‘It had everything!’

Revisit p. 9 from The All New Must Have Orange 430 where the narrator describes the toy’s features.

Write this description on a whiteboard or some butcher’s paper, or project it onto a screen. Discuss which words are nonsense words, circling or highlighting them as they are identified (students can look up any words they are unsure of in a dictionary or on Google). Point out that none of the verbs in this description use the suffixes or prefixes from the previous activity. Then discuss any patterns students may have noticed. This might include:

thingy / nothing base is the same
whatsit / squat rhythm to the end of the words
dooverlacky / whacky rhyming words
something / silly alliterative

Now have students choose one of the useless objects from pp. 20–21 and describe it using similar techniques and structure. They will need come up with a name for the object, plus four lines that describe what the parts do (or don’t do!).

Once completed, have students share their descriptions in small groups.

(ACELT1791)   (EN2-2A)

Rich assessment task

Students are to create a ‘non-ad’ for their useless object (i.e. promote what it doesn’t do rather than what it does). They should select fonts for impact and consider how they can use vectors to create reading paths. The non-ad must include the description of what the useless object cannot do. This should also be reflected in its name, which should innovate on The All New Must Have Orange 430.

There are many distinct visual aspects to this book, including sepia illustrations, front/end matter (including the inside covers) and the use of shape, colour, texture and background details. This learning experience could be extended by analysing these features and considering their impact on the reader (or consumer!). You can find additional visual literacy resources under More Resources.

The completed non-ads can be displayed in class as a gallery. You might like to include some pictures from the Strategic Immersion activity (Literature) alongside the students’ own useless objects.

(ACELT1601)   (EN2-2A)

Be an advertising detective!

Throughout this unit of work students have explored different aspects of advertising. These final learning experiences culminate in the creation of a guide for toy companies on how to ethically advertise to children.

As a class, watch a few advertisements from days gone by and record students’ insights in a table like the one below.

Company being promoted What does the ad say the product will do? What is the ad trying to get me to feel, buy, do or think? What tricks have been used to encourage me to buy the product?
Cottee’s Cordial
Banana Boat
Aeroplane Jelly
Australian bananas

Now have students review a range of toy ads, either from printed catalogues or online (some toy store websites have an ‘as seen on TV’ category, complete with videos). They are to record their insights in another table (PDF, 91KB), this time working individually.

(ACELT1594)   (EN2-10C)

What are the rules about advertising to children?

Watch the Behind the News episode about kidfluencers and junk food advertising as a class. Then display the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) fact sheet on toy advertising. Read through it together, annotating the text with students’ questions or wonderings and highlighting any words they do not understand or are curious about. Discuss the main messages of the fact sheet.

Ask students to craft a list of rules for toy advertising based on their discoveries. They could begin in small groups, recording their ideas on sticky notes before coming together as a class to sort them. Similar ideas can be placed in a group, then each group can be finessed until the class agrees on one set of rules.

(ACELY1680)   (EN2-4A)

Shaper or shopper?

Re-read The All New Must Have Orange 430 and pause on pp. 23–24, where Harvey makes a very deliberate decision about his buying patterns. Here he decides that he will no longer be an easily influenced shopper, but rather a shaper. The Story of Stuff Project unpacks these concepts in this video; check that it is appropriate for your class context before you play it for students.

Returning to the book, have students brainstorm examples of Harvey’s actions as both shaper and shopper, and record them in this table (PDF, 87KB). Then ask students to consider what they would do as a shaper or shopper and expand their table. Conclude this learning experience by watching ‘Kids on “Creativity”’ as inspiration for the next task, and to reaffirm Harvey’s final actions in the book.

(ACELY1678)   (EN2-8B)

Rich assessment task

Drawing on their personal reflections, connections to The All New Must Have Orange 430, and their investigations into the world of toy advertising, students will create a guide for toy companies called How to Ethically Advertise to Children. They can present their work in any format of their choosing, including:

(ACELY1682)   (EN2-2A)