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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.

Instructional Series

Welcome to the English medium literacy instructional series teaching and learning resources for years 1 to 8.

Example resources
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  • Stories
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23 items - Showing 1 - 10

  • Breathless cover.

    Breathless

    by Bernard Beckett

    illustrations by Michel Mulipola 

    Breathless is a fictional, first-person narrative about a boy who suffers from asthma. His friends use humour and adventure to help him cope with the disappointment of not being able to play an important rugby game because of his illness. 

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2016

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  • Diary of a wild boy cover.

    Diary of a Wild Boy

    by Brando Yelavich 

    Diary of a Wild Boy is a true, first-person diary account of how 19-year-old Brando Yelavich circumambulated the New Zealand coastline on foot and, for the most part, alone. 

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 5, 6

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2016

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  • Bok choy cover.

    Bok Choy

    by Paul Mason

    illustrations by Ant Sang

    This seemingly simple historical story carries an important message about discrimination. It is set in a goldmining town in Otago during the 1860s gold rush. Jacob’s mother is glad to buy bok choy (Chinese cabbage) from Ah Sum, but Ah Sum’s presence brings out the worst in their neighbour Mrs Bishop and her son, William. William taunts Ah Sum and leaves Jacob feeling confused about his loyalties. When Jacob slips into the river while fishing, it is Ah Sum who rescues him. The story shows how Jacob becomes aware of the realities of Ah Sum’s life. The ending is left open for readers to infer the longterm impact of Jacob’s encounter with Ah Sum.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2015

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  • Marcus thomas cover.

    Marcus Thomas: New Zealand Caveman

    interviewed by Susan Paris  

    Marcus Thomas: New Zealand Caveman presents an engaging account of why Marcus took up caving. His passion for caving as a child led him to contact the New Zealand Speleological Society, and he has gone on to explore many of New Zealand’s longest and deepest caves. The article is structured as an interview, with the interviewer’s questions forming the headings.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 5, 6

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2015

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  • In the end cover.

    In the End

    by Mal Peet

    illustrations by Andrew Burdan

    When Billy was a young man in 1912, he saw his town torn apart by strikers and strike breakers as workers fought for their rights in the
    goldmining town of Waihī. Years later, Billy is fighting in the trenches in Europe and has become friends with another Waihī man, Don. But Don’s memories of the strike are very different from Billy’s. In a graphic novel format that is set during both wars, dramatic events lead to a revelation that changes the way Billy and Don think about “sides”.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Publication date: January 2014

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  • Explorers of the sunrise cover.

    Explorers of the Sunrise

    by Jeff Evans and Damon Salesa 

    Polynesians have travelled vast distances in canoes for more than three thousand years, resulting in many settlements across the Pacific.
    In “Explorers of the Sunrise”, the first article recounts a recent voyage from New Zealand to Rapanui and back, using traditional navigation
    methods. The second article describes Polynesian travel, from the earliest migrations to modern-day air travel.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 5, 6

    Category: Non-fiction

    Publication date: January 2014

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  • Quake rattle and roll cover.

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll

    by Sarah Wilcox

    When the Christchurch Cathedral lost its spire in 2011, it was the fourth time it had been toppled by an earthquake! This book explains why we have earthquakes and how they are measured.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Learning area: English, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2013

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  • The bittern cover image.

    The Bittern

    by Diana Noonan

    The Bittern has been adapted as a graphic text from the story of the same name in School Journal 3.1.09. Both versions tell the story of Henare Kāretu, who, in an effort to protect the habitat of the bittern, refused to drain the wetland on his farm.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Learning area: English, Science, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2012

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  • Severe weather cover image.

    Severe Weather

    by Sarah Wilcox

    This article defines, describes, and explains severe weather events and is accompanied by photographs, maps, and diagrams to illustrate the topic. Severe Weather uses the features and structures of informational text in ways that give opportunities to teach the students to use text structure as an important support for comprehension. Students can also use the text as a model for their own informational writing.

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Learning area: English, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2012

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  • Just kidding cover.

    Just Kidding

    by Marisa Maepu

    This story gently and implicitly explores the theme of bullying and provides opportunities for students to consider strategies for dealing with similar situations. Told through the eyes of a narrator, it portrays the tensions between Henry and Sefa but also focuses on the importance of maintaining personal integrity. The decisions taken by Henry and Sefa can be compared and discussed, with some analysis of the consequences. The story also deals with the responsibilities of those noticing bullying behaviour around them. 

    Series: School Journal Story Library

    Learning area: English, Health and Physical Education

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Publication date: January 2012

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