Theme: My Family

This unit is all about the core subject of families. Stories referenced include one about hugging parents, tales of sibling rivalry, dealing with break up, grappling with rules and restraints. There are a mixture of fantasy (Pinocchio) and real life scenarios.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.


Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 1
Let’s Get Wet
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Describe the Picture
Use onset and rime to make short e word families (e.g. -ed: red, bed & -et: get, wet). Write about the fun things you like to do with your family. Do you think Ned and Ted are brothers or friends? Discuss reasons for your answer. Worksheet #1:
Read and Draw
Zip Stage 1
Oh No!
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
How does mum help the little boy telling the story? Worksheet #2:
Describing Words
List all the ways your family members help you. Work in pairs to complete Worksheet #1:
Sorting Words
The boy in the story gave his mum a big hug. How do you show your family you love them?
Zip Stage 2
My Big Sister
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Answer the question at the end of the story giving reasons for your answer. Worksheet #2:
Making Contractions
Write about the things your family likes to do in summer, autumn, winter and spring. Work together in a small group to complete Worksheet #1:
Syllable Sounds
Draw your family and write something special about each person.
Zip Stage 2
What Did I Hear?
(Vowel Digraphs
Easy Readers)
What do you hear that is the same or different to what the child is hearing in the story? Worksheet #1:
Middle Sounds
Worksheet #2:
Writing a Job List
Write or draw how your parents/carers help you get ready for bed then share with the class. Create a card for someone in your family telling them why you love them.
Zip Stage 3
Nobody Loves Me
(People Like Me
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write about the reasons why you love each member of your family. Discuss why it is important to say sorry if you upset your family members. Create a poster of all the people who love you.
Zip Stage 3
Before, I was Bad
(People Like Me
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write a recount about a time when you had to say sorry to a family member. In a small co-operative group, discuss the nice things you do for your family members. In two columns, describe and draw Trish’s ‘bad’ and ‘good’ behaviour.
Zip Stage 4
Pinocchio
(Timeless Tales)
Multiple Choice Questions & Worksheet #2:
What Happens in what Order?
Worksheet #1:
Which Word?
Write an argument text using the title You should always tell the truth. Use the Pinocchio (found here) script as Reader’s Theatre. Design an ‘Island of Fun’ that your family would love to visit.
Zip Stage 4
Jack Likes Jam
(People)
General Worksheet #2:
Ways to Stop Crying
Brainstorm synonyms and antonyms for the word ‘like’. Write about a time when you helped a member of your family. Complete General Worksheet #1 then read answers to an audience. Draw a timeline of your family’s special events.
Zip Stage 5
Tortured by Fairies
(Comedy)
List, in order, the things the family did to prepare for the party. General Worksheet #1:
Birthday Party Word Find
General Worksheet #2:
Write your own story or verse
In a small group, discuss party games then explain them to an audience. Create a party food menu for each member of your family.
Zip Stage 5
Accused
(Mystery)
Predict what you think happened after the story finished. List rhyming words for cake and put each in a sentence. Make a list of ten of your family rules. Orally explain reasons for choices for General Worksheet #2. General Worksheet #1:
Guilty Feelings
Zip Stage 6
The Old House
(Scary)
General Worksheet #3:
Feelings Profile
General Worksheet #1:
Sneaky Synonyms
General Worksheet #2:
Write a Sensory Poem
Discuss ways older children look after younger family members. Design a family tree of your immediate and extended family.
Zip Stage 6
Talent Quest
(Fantasy)
Create a cause and effect chart for the main events in the story. Identify rules for adding ‘ed’ using words from the story. General Worksheet #3:
Be Who You Want to Be
General Worksheet #2
and/or
General Worksheet #4
General Worksheet #1:
Inventing Ideas
Zip Stage 6
Midnight Raiders
(Mystery)
Describe the relationship between Jenny and Max. General Worksheet #1:
Checking For Homophones
Write a story about doing something without your family knowing about it. Jenny calls Max ‘Squirt’. In pairs, talk about your family’s nicknames. General Worksheet #2:
Pack a Summer Suitcase
Zip Stage 7
The Big Sister
(People)
Explain how Morgan is feeling on each page of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Silent Letters
Recount a time when your family faced a health crisis. In pairs, discuss things you can do to help a sick family member. General Worksheet #2:
Design a Family Crest
Zip Stage 8
A Hug for Harriet
(People)
General Worksheet #2:
Finding Her Mood
What are proper nouns? Use words from the story to explain your answer. Write the instructions to a game that you play with your family. General Worksheet #1:
Mood Survey
Research the physical and emotional benefits of hugging.
Zip Stage 8
Sitting on Sophie
(Comedy)
Locate examples of figurative language in the story e.g. hit the jackpot (idiom) & face like a horse (simile). General Worksheet #1:
Add a Letter
Write a recount about your family’s best Christmas Day. General Worksheet #2:
Hobby Hunting
General Worksheet #3:
Clock Design
Zip Stage 8
Meg’s Mum Can’t Fly
(People)
General Worksheet #1:
Attempts to Fly
General Worksheet #3:
Vocabulary Building
Recount a time when you were proud of a family member. Explain to others the special talents of each member of your family. General Worksheet #2:
Different Ways to Fly
Zip Stage 8
The Wonderful Wacky Walnut Trick
(Fantasy)
Use evidence from the text to describe Alice Matilda’s family members. What is alliteration? Compose interesting sentences using examples of alliteration. General Worksheet #2:
Magic Spells
In pairs, complete General Worksheet #1:
Word Play
Write a letter to an older family member telling them why they are special.
Zip Stage 9
Fractured Fairy Tales
(Comedy
Advanced Library)
List the story elements Grandpa got right and wrong in his retelling of the Cinderella story. Worksheet #1:
Fractured Antonyms
Worksheet #2:
The Formula of Fairy Tales
Complete Worksheet #1 Extension Activity (2nd dot point) then read aloud to an audience. Worksheet #2
Extension Activities
Zip Stage 9
The Blog Monster
(Comedy
Advanced Library)
Explain why you think George said the final sentence in the story. Worksheet #1:
Using Slang
(Task 1)
Worksheet #2:
Writing a Description
Worksheet #1:
Using Slang
(Task 2)
Worksheet #2
Extension Activities
Zip Stage 9
Nan
(People & Values
Advanced Library)
Find evidence from the text to write a detailed description of Nan before her diagnosis. Worksheet #1:
Adding Adverbials
Worksheet #2:
Alzheimer’s Awareness
Creatively present a tribute to an older family member e.g. poem, song, slide show presentation. Summarise in detail a family member’s serious medical condition e.g. asthma, diabetes.
Zip Stage 9
Mimi’s Gift
(People & Values
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Expand Your Vocabulary
(Task 2)
Worksheet #1:
Expand Your Vocabulary
(Task 1)
Recount in detail a difficult experience you faced involving one or more family members. Present an oral report about how the concept of a nuclear family has changed over time. Worksheet #2:
The City of Light
Zip Stage 9
The Best of Both Worlds
(Family & Friends
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #2:
Character Web
(Tasks 1 & 2)
Worksheet #1:
The World of Abbreviations
Worksheet #2
Extension Activity
Create a slide show for children about strategies to cope with divorced parents. Worksheet #1
Extension Activity
Zip Stage 10
Sisters
(Family & Friends
Advanced Library)
Explain how Maddie is feeling about Bella on each page of the story. Worksheet #1:
Sisterly Synonyms
Worksheet #2
Extension Activities
Worksheet #2:
Dealing with Peer Pressure
(Tasks 1, 2 & 3)
Design a brochure for teenagers about the dangers of alcohol.


Assessment Ideas

Spelling/Grammar
  • Generate a family-related spelling list for students to learn using words such as: family, mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunty, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Write the plural form of words ending in ‘y’ e.g. family – families, aunty – aunties, baby – babies.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing knowledge of high frequency words.
Reading
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Complete a character profile about one of the characters from the on-line stories using the headings: Name, Other Family Members/Pets, Characteristics, Likes and Dislikes.
  • Design a story map of one of the on-line stories.
  • Create a chart that displays the similarities and differences of a family from one of the on-line stories to your own family.
Writing
  • Write recounts using the topics:
    The Best Day I Ever Spent With...(e.g. Mum, Grandpa)
    My Family’s Favourite Place
    The Family Holiday I’ll Never Forget
  • Write a narrative using the topic The Adventurous Family.
  • Write the recipe of your family’s favourite dish.
  • Design a family tree.
  • Research the countries of origin of family ancestors.
Oral Language
  • Hold a ‘family morning tea’ where students introduce their visiting family members to the class.
  • Present an oral report about the meaning and/or history of family names.
  • Role-play real-life situations where family conflicts need to be resolved.
  • Display and share information about items which have special significance to individual families.
Related Ziptales Activities:
  • Children in History Secret Journey – Describe the relationship between Billy and his father.
  • Children in History Runaway – Discuss how families can support each other through difficult times.
  • Make and Do Cartoon Craft (Hard level) – Create cartoon faces of your family; Magic Trick (Easy, Medium & Hard levels) – Learn a magic trick and perform it for your family.
  • Puppet Plays Worksheets: Script Ideas for Puppet Plays – Puppet play #3 - A Script for Sock Puppets.

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