Connecting to prior knowledge

Begin by having students play a familiar game such as What’s the time Mr Wolf?, Statues or Simon Says.

As a class discuss a time when they played follow the leader. Why did you follow the leader? Where were you going?

Now discuss what happens when you hear a loud noise like thunder. What do you do? Where do you go if you are frightened?

Listen to a thunderstorm and using this and own knowledge, ask students to brainstorm different noises; hiss, bang, clap, scream. Record the words to begin a word wall which will feature across the unit.
(ACELA1429)   (ENe-1A)

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

Show students the cover of The Terrible Plop and lead a session predicting what the story will be about.

Use prompts such as:

  • What do you think this story is about?
  • Two of the characters are on the front and back cover. Talk about what might happen to these characters.
  • Read the title together. Discuss the use of the tree and the apple as letters.
  • Discuss the font.
  • Why might the word ‘terrible’ be in large font?
  • Check if any students know the author and illustrator and can make connections to other books written and illustrated by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner.

Read the blurb on the back. Again ask for predictions (students might predict the text will rhyme).

Now read the review on the top of the back cover by the Sunday Age. Discuss the words hilariousoriginal and energetic.

Read The Terrible Plop to the students. After the first reading allow time for students to share their experiences of hearing the text and make connections to the earlier predictions.
(ACELA1431)   (ENe-6B)

Now revisit and recount the story with a focus on the actions of the animals. Students can mime as the story is read or retold.

Prepare sets of pictures of the animals (bear, rabbits, fox, monkey, cat, elephant, pig, tiger, bat, leopard, goose, antelope, moose) in the story and a set of six books. Have students work in groups of three to four to place the animals in a sequence from the text.

Gather as a whole class to share their sequencing and look for differences.

  • Why did the animals all follow each other?
  • Who was the bravest animal in the end?
  • What can we learn from rabbit?

(ACELA1786)   (ENe-8B)

Talk about the noises in the book and the noises the animals might make. If appropriate, introduce and discuss the concept of onomatopoeia. Ask each student to write a noise on a card and illustrate the noise. Words may be printed on cards or scribed for students needing extra scaffolding with writing. Display the cards on The Terrible Plop word wall.
(ACELA1434)   (ENe-6B)


Rich assessment task

Ask students to sequence the main events. Provide students requiring additional support with a scaffold (PDF, 97KB) with four linked boxes and ask them to draw the story in sequence. The story sequencing may be done individually or in pairs to encourage valuable discussion. Look for the main events and correct sequencing.
(ACELY1651)   (Ene-2A)

Responding to the text

Revisit the The Terrible Plop by re-reading to the students.

Students and teacher do a print walk, discussing and sharing their previous responses to the tasks including the collection of words on the word wall that make a sound.

Discuss the sequencing task and note any differences to the task. Invite individual students to share his/her task on display.
(ACELA1429)   (ACELY1646)   (ENe-1A)

The language of sequence is discussed: first, second, third, and then came, after, before, later on, lastly, the last one, the first one, the middle, much later, even earlier, order, forwards, backwards.

What would happen if we changed the order of the story?

Students are given a copy of their previous sequencing task and asked to cut the shapes out and rearrange the events.

Students volunteer to share their new sequence justifying why they made the changes. Encourage the use of sequencing language by displaying the words. Students might be filmed by the teacher or another student using an iPad.
(ACELY1784)   (ACELA1786)   (ENe-1A)

Exploring plot, character, setting and theme

The Terrible Plop is re-visited with a print walk and listening to two of the iPad recordings.

Using the animal cards re-visit the main characters. Discuss the characteristics of each animal.

  • How did the rabbits feel in the beginning?
  • How did the fox feel?
  • How did the bear feel when he saw the animals running?
  • Did the bear’s feelings change?

Follow up this discussion by asking the students to record the animals’ feelings.

Students are shown a chart with each animal in the grid. Students are encouraged to attach a feeling symbol (such as a smiley or frowning face) under the animal.

This may be a whole class and/or a group activity. Which animal had a change of feeling?
(ACELA1429)   (ENe-1A)

Creating a soundscape

Revisit The Terrible Plop through a print walk and re-introduce the animals.

Gather together a range of percussion instruments and have a discussion about which instrument could represent which animal. How would it sound?

Discuss class protocols on the use of instruments and sound levels.

Put students in small groups with a variety of instruments and provide time for them to experiment with sounds.

Which animals changed sounds in the story (rabbit and bear)?

Each group shares their soundscape.

The soundscape can then be represented visually. What does a sound ‘look like’? Is it a colour? Would a loud sound be red (for example)?
(ACELT1579)   (ENe-10C)


Rich assessment task

Students are given a ‘feeling’ scaffold (PDF, 311KB) to complete in which they indicate how the animal from the story was feeling. They can also draw themselves and how they felt during the story.
(ACELT1783)   (ENe-10C)

Examining text structure and organisation

Students re-visit The Terrible Plop through a print walk of The Terrible Plop word wall. During the print walk ask for volunteers to read the sound words and add any new ideas.

Briefly re-visit the sequence of the story and sequencing words previously discussed.

Re-read the story and encourage students to clap when they hear two words that rhyme.

As the words are identified, write rhyming words on cards in matching colours, e.g. stop/hop, high/sky, low/aglow, cat/bat, goose/moose frown/down, care/bear, see/me and others.

Students choose a card and when they hear it in the story they clap or tap an instrument.
(ACELT1579)  (ENe-10C)


Discuss features of the text, focusing attention on the use of exclamation marks. There are many examples in this text.

The Terrible PLOP?

Thinks the fox in fear,

Maybe I’d better

Get out of here!

Why do we use it? Have students choral read with and without the exclamation mark. Discuss the difference.

In groups of two to three, have students jointly construct a sentence about a character in the book. Ask them to write a sentence that requires an exclamation mark such as:

The fox was terrified!

‘Run!’ yelled the rabbit to his friends.

Have one student from each group read the jointly constructed sentence. If done orally the teacher can scribe the sentences onto strips of paper to add to the word wall.

Now as a whole group examine the different font used in the text.

  • Why is it large and bold?
  • Why is PLOP always in capitals?

Students volunteer a sentence about the text and say it as they would if it was written in a large and bold font. The teacher can scribe and add the extra sentences to the word wall.

The characters

Now lead the class to examine the way the characters are illustrated.

  • What do the illustrations tell us?
  • How has each character been depicted?
  • What media has the illustrator chosen?
  • Have you ever illustrated a story this way?

(ACELY1784)   (ACELT1578)   (ENe-1A)

Introduce or revisit the text structure of a narrative. Working in small groups with a copy of The Terrible Plop, ask the students to identify the beginning, middle and end of the story.

Recap as a whole group:

  • The beginning of the story (the orientation), where we meet a main character (rabbit) and where he is located (eating carrots and cake by a lake).
  • The middle of the story (complication) where all the action takes place and things become confused or we have a problem (the animals begin running away).
  • The end (resolution) where the problems are solved (rabbit is no longer afraid).

Put the words orientation, complication and resolution on cards and have groups illustrate a scene from the text that is relevant to that stage of the narrative.

Students sit in a circle and sequence the words and illustrations on the floor.
(ACELA1786)   (ACELT1575)   (Ene-8B)

Follow up by staying in a circle. Show a part of the story such as the complication and invite individuals or small groups to mime the scene.

Then make three groups, one for each stage of the narrative. Assign roles and give each group the opportunity to mime that part (orientation, complication and resolution).

The three groups reconvene and mime the story in sequence.
(ACELT1580)   (ENe-8B)


Examining grammar and vocabulary

When introducing the book, the teacher led a discussion of the Sunday Age review on the back cover where the book was described as ‘Hilarious, original and energetic. . .’. Revisit the words and see if the students have a better understanding of the description by supplying synonyms for each of the words.

Talk about adjectives used on the first page of the text. What are the rabbits eating? Chocolate cake. Brainstorm some other words that might describe cake such as delicious cake, sweet cake etc.

By now the students will be quite familiar with the text so form six groups, each with a copy of the book. Either the teacher reads one page at a time and stops while the groups explore and discuss the words, looking for adjectives, or let the groups read and explore the text independently. If appropriate some groups can work alone while the teacher works with the others.

Each group can find what they think is an effective adjective (one that gives the reader an image) and then share with the class.

For example, a round, red apple; folding chair; silly old plop; big brown bear; little rabbit; brave little rabbit; evening wind.
(ACELA1437)   (ENe-9B)


Rich assessment task

Provide students with a scaffold (PDF, 101KB) of a narrative structure. Ask students to draw and/or write the events of the story in the correct order. This can be done individually or in pairs. Alternatively students can write their narrative using Storybird.
(ACELY1651)   (ACELY1650)   (ENe-4A)   (ENe-2A)

Story Map

Visit The Terrible Plop word wall and discuss previous experiences focused on sequencing.

Ask students re-visit The Terrible Plop by creating a story map. Model the creation of a story map as a scaffold to guide the students. Engage students in a discussion about the sequence of the story. The teacher removes the pictures from the story map and places them in the middle of a circle.

Students volunteer to place the events of the story in the correct order. Students complete the story map (PDF, 108KB) and are encouraged to write and/or draw the story. The teacher should highlight useful words on the word wall.
(ACELT1580)   (ENe-8B)

Students re-visit the characters from The Terrible Plop and create animal masks.

These masks are used to add noises to the story as the teacher reads the text.

The masks can also incorporate a Readers’ Theatre activity and re-tell the story or introduce the order in which the animals appear in the story.

The students may make a freeze frame of a part of the story.
(ACELY1651)   (ENe-2A)

Show an example of a Venn Diagram.

Read The Story of Chicken Licken by Jan Ormerod. After reading ask questions to generate some discussion.

  • What happened in the story?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • Where is the story set?
  • Have you heard another story like this one?

In groups of three ask students to compare The Terrible Plop and Chicken Licken using a Venn diagram (PDF, 101KB). On one side they list words to describe Chicken Licken and on the other, words to describe The Terrible Plop. The groups record words that apply to both books where the circles intersect. As a whole class compare responses.

  • What is the same in both texts?
  • What is different?

(ACELT1577)   (ACELY1651)   (ENe-10c)   (ENe-2A)

Innovating on the text

Students are read Night Animals by Gianna Marino.

Discuss the text with students and check if they know of similar texts. The Terrible Plop and Chicken Licken are re-introduced.

Now lead the class to discuss The Terrible Plop and ask if they could think of a similar story but with a different noise. Record the responses which might include:

  • The Terrible Roar
  • The Terrible Sneeze
  • The Terrible Cough
  • The Terrible Hiccup
  • The Terrible Whisper
  • The Terrible Snore.

Add these ideas to the print wall.
(ACELY1645)   (ENe-8B)


Rich assessment task

Students are asked to write a narrative using a different ‘terrible’ from the word wall. This can be done on blank paper or if required a scaffold (PDF, 102KB) may be used. Assess by observing the structure used and correct sentence formation. Encourage students to use words from the word wall developed throughout the unit.
(ACELY1651)   (ENe-2A)