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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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  • English
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16 items - Showing 1 - 10

  • The race cover image.

    The Race

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Chris Tse

    illustrated by Ant Sang

    In this play, Chris Tse retells a traditional Chinese story about how the twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac came to be chosen and how their order was decided. All twelve of the Zodiac animals are characters in the play, although only six of them have speaking parts. 

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, The Arts, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: astrology, China, Chinese zodiac, competition, drama, fables, humour, legends, plays, signs of the zodiac, swimming, trickery

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • School journal level 2 may 2017 cover image.

    School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    PDFs of all the texts in this issue of the School Journal are available online as well as teacher support materials (TSM) and audio for the following:

        TSM Audio
    Stories The Amazing Humans    
    Plays The Race
    Articles Bugbix for Breakfast
    The Zoo Debate  

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Look inside this issue

    Bugbix for breakfast cover image.

    Bugbix for Breakfast

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

     by Bronwen Wall

    This article tackles a topic that many people feel squeamish about: eating insects. The writer explains that many people around the world eat insects as a normal part of their diet. 

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Science, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: bugs, cricket flour, diet, edible insects, entomophagists, entomophagy, environment, famine, food, health, insects, wētā, wild food

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    The amazing humans cover image.

    The Amazing Humans

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Renata Hopkins

    illustrated by Michel Mulipola

    "It was then that Mere noticed a little Zeelonite standing off to one side. The alien was watching them with a sad look on its face. At least, they thought it looked sad – it was sometimes hard to tell with Zeelonites. "

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: fantasy, humour, role reversal, satire, science fiction, space travel, zoos

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    The race cover image.

    The Race

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Chris Tse

    illustrated by Ant Sang

    In this play, Chris Tse retells a traditional Chinese story about how the twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac came to be chosen and how their order was decided. All twelve of the Zodiac animals are characters in the play, although only six of them have speaking parts. 

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, The Arts, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: astrology, China, Chinese zodiac, competition, drama, fables, humour, legends, plays, signs of the zodiac, swimming, trickery

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    The zoo debate cover image.

    The Zoo Debate

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Philippa Werry

    This article presents both sides of a debate: should we or shouldn’t we have zoos? It includes a short history of zoos and some suggestions for alternatives. It also includes lists of valid points for and against zoos.

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: animal rights, animals, change, conservation, debate, elephants, endangered species, environment, habitats, reserves, safari parks, sanctuaries, wild animals, wildlife, zoos

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • The zoo debate cover image.

    The Zoo Debate

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Philippa Werry

    This article presents both sides of a debate: should we or shouldn’t we have zoos? It includes a short history of zoos and some suggestions for alternatives. It also includes lists of valid points for and against zoos.

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: animal rights, animals, change, conservation, debate, elephants, endangered species, environment, habitats, reserves, safari parks, sanctuaries, wild animals, wildlife, zoos

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • Bugbix for breakfast cover image.

    Bugbix for Breakfast

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

     by Bronwen Wall

    This article tackles a topic that many people feel squeamish about: eating insects. The writer explains that many people around the world eat insects as a normal part of their diet. 

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Science, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: bugs, cricket flour, diet, edible insects, entomophagists, entomophagy, environment, famine, food, health, insects, wētā, wild food

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • The amazing humans cover image.

    The Amazing Humans

    School journal level 2 May 2017 cover image.

    by Renata Hopkins

    illustrated by Michel Mulipola

    "It was then that Mere noticed a little Zeelonite standing off to one side. The alien was watching them with a sad look on its face. At least, they thought it looked sad – it was sometimes hard to tell with Zeelonites. "

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: fantasy, humour, role reversal, satire, science fiction, space travel, zoos

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • Night light cover.

    Night Light

    Sj l2 may 2016 cover.

    by David Hill

    Illustrations by Scott Pearson 

    This article presents facts and phenomena about the moon, such as tides and phases of the moon. It’s a companion piece to “Cool Facts about a Hot Place” (School Journal, Level 2, October 2015). Together they provide a great platform for exploring the Planet Earth and Beyond science strand.

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2016

    Learning area: English, Mathematics and Statistics, Science

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: gravity, meteorites, moon, moon landing, phases of the moon, tides

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2016

    Publication date: May 2015

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  • Star man cover.

    Tunç Tezel: Star Man

    Sj l2 may 2016 cover.

    by David Chadwick

    Photographs by Tunç Tezel

    An interview with astrophotographer Tunç Tezel. His photographs appear in the October 2015 School Journal (Level 2). 

    Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2016

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: analemma, cameras, moon, photography, planets, solar eclipse, space, stars, Turkey, Tutulemma

    In: School Journal Level 2 May 2016

    Publication date: May 2016

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  • Thumbprints cover image.

    Thumbprints

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Serie Barford

    illustrated by Sheyne Tuffery

    "Mum left Sāmoa in 1952. To‘ono drove her to the harbour in a jeep abandoned by American marines."

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: change, difference, ethnic diversity, family, First World War, German ancestry, heritage, identity, immigration, individuality, internment, New Zealand history, poetry, race, relationships, respect, Sāmoa, Second World War, World War 1, World War 2

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • School journal level 4 May 2017.

    School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    PDFs of all the texts in this issue of the School Journal are available online as well as teacher support materials (TSM) for the following:

        TSM
    Stories How to Fall  
      Hushed  
      Origin Story (with fairy)
      Stitches  
    Articles Astrobiology: Finding Extraterrestrial Life
      The Fight to Vote  
    Play The Trial

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Look inside this issue

    Astrobiology cover image.

    Astrobiology: Finding Extraterrestrial Life

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Steve Pointing

    This article explains the work of astrobiologists and invites students to consider the possibilities of life beyond Earth. It asks what extra-terrestrial life might be like if it does exist. Could we be invaded by a dangerous species, or would the aliens be friendly?

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Science

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: aliens, Antarctica, astrobiology, extraterrestrial life, Fermi’s Paradox, Goldilocks zone, habitable zone, Mars, microbes, mystery, SETI (Search for extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, signs of life, survival

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    How to fall cover image.

    How to Fall

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Whiti Hereaka

    illustrated by Rebecca ter Borg

    "The rec centre’s packed. It’s like one big party, but Maia’s determined not to enjoy herself. Coming to see Aunty Emz’s derby game had been Mum’s idea. They needed a break from unpacking, apparently – although Maia’s pretty sure of the real reason: they needed a break from each other."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: anger, change, family, moving, relationships, roller derby, settling in, skating, sport, stress, whānau

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Hushed cover image.

    Hushed

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Paul Mason

    illustrated by Mat Tait

    "The door to the pod hissed open, and Tre stared at his new classroom, an uncertain flicker in his eyes. Children sat clustered around tables in small groups. In the centre of each lay a pile of building bricks, white as hospital walls."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: apocalypse, authoritarianism, brainwashing, escape, fantasy, fascism, freedom, future, futuristic fiction, identity, individuality, rebellion, science fiction, serial, society, speculative fiction

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Origin story cover image.

    Origin Story (with fairy)

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by David Larsen

    illustrated by Ross Murray

    In “Origin Story”, schoolgirl Moana has a surprise meeting with a fairy. As the fairy greets her and introduces itself, Moana is forced to suspend disbelief. Time is also “suspended” in a freeze-frame style, and Moana eventually realises that she has a chance – and the power – to change the course of events.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: choices, fairies, fairy tales, fantasy, humour, logic, modern fairy tales, origin stories, responsibilty, speculative fiction, superheroes, super powers, time

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Stitches cover image.

    Stitches

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Mary McCallum

    illustrated by Elliemay Logan

    "Before she threw back the covers, May’s eyes fell on the brand-new Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine, which stood black and gleaming like a cat on the dresser. How wonderful of Papa to buy it for her! He’d talked about nothing else since he’d brought it home: how many dresses May could sew in a week right here in her bedroom, how much money she could make, what a help it would be."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: class, dressmaking, economics, education, family, friendship, New Zealand history, poverty, relationships, responsibility, sacrifice, schooling, sewing, women’s rights,

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    The fight to vote cover image.

    The Fight to Vote

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Susan Paris

    "It's hard to imagine a world where women can't vote. Yet up until 1893, this was the reality. Not one country allowed women to have a say in their national government. In some parts of the world, it would stay that way for a long time. New Zealand was different. On 28 November 1893, women went to the polling booth for the first time. It was a famous victory – a radical change – but it didn't come without a fight."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: civil rights, democracy, elections, Kate Sheppard, New Zealand history, parliament, participating and contributing, petitions, Richard Seddon, suffrage, suffragettes, temperance, voting, Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), women’s rights

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    The trial cover image.

    The Trial

    School journal level 4 May 2017 cover image.

    by Bernard Beckett

    In this futuristic tale, readers will be confronted with a situation that has strong parallels with present-day moral dilemmas. “The Trial” provides opportunities for rich discussion about the concept of setting up a “new” society with clear rules and when the rules need to be questioned. 

    Series: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Learning area: English, The Arts

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: civil rights, colonies, court, drama, fantasy, futuristic fiction, laws, Mars, principles, rebellion, rules, science fiction, screenplay, society, space, speculative fiction

    In: School Journal Level 4 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

  • School journal level 3 may 2017 cover image.

    School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    PDFs of all the texts in this issue of the School Journal are available online as well as teacher support materials (TSM) for the following:

        TSM
    Stories Kōpūwai and the Clever Girl  
    Who Froze Farrell Flint?
    New Boots  
    Poems Thumbprints  
    Memoirs Alvin and Me  
    Articles Becoming a Martian
    Designed for Good
    Interviews Haritina Mogosanu: Starryteller  

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Look inside this issue

    Alvin and me cover image.

    Alvin and Me

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Chris Tse

    illustrated by Peter Campbell

    "A week before Alvin arrived, I got summoned to the principal’s office. I was a good kid. I never got into trouble. I was sure I’d done nothing wrong. But still, I couldn’t help worrying..."

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: Cantonese, change, Chinese New Zealanders, culture, difference, embarrassment, ethnic diversity, friendship, heritage, identity, individuality, race, relationships, respect, responsibility

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Becoming a martian cover image.

    Becoming a Martian

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

     by Clare Knighton

    illustrated by Gavin Mouldey

    “Becoming a Martian” is a challenging article that considers the possibility of humans living on Mars. The article begins with the concept “We have exploration in our DNA.” After reminding us of what humans need to survive on Earth (oxygen, water, food, and shelter) the writer explores each of these in relation to Mars, providing factual information about the planet, explaining the challenges of living there, and offering possible solutions.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Mathematics and Statistics, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 3

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: astrobiology, astronauts, astronomy, challenge, colonisation, environment, exploration, extreme conditions, Mars, science, space, space stations, space travel, survival, water

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Designed for good cover image.

    Designed for Good

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Philip Cleaver

    The New Zealand environment has been badly affected by introduced pests such as rats, stoats, and possums. “Designed for Good” follows the process of developing an effective and humane trap to reduce these pest populations. The article tells the story of the project, from the first “That’s it!” moment through to the production of thousands of traps, which are now in use throughout New Zealand.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Learning area: English, Science, Technology

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: conservation, design, ecological sustainability, ecology, environment, ideas, innovation, introduced species, native bush, pest control, pests, possums, predator-free New Zealand, predators, prototypes, technology, traps

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Kopuwai and the clever girl cover image.

    Kōpūwai and the Clever Girl

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    retold by Brian Potiki

    illustrated by Scott Pearson

    This story is from Rapuwai, an ancestral iwi of Ngāi Tahu. It is set on the banks of the Mata-Au/Clutha River, in Otago, and comes from a time long ago when moa roamed the land and giant tuna swam in the rivers.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: challenge, cleverness, Clutha River, Kōpūwai, legends, Māori traditional stories, Mata-Au, monsters, myths, Ngāi Tahu, Otago, Rapuwai, trickery

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    New boots cover image.

    New Boots

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Tim Jones

    illustrated by Andrew Burdan

    "Charlie’s own pack was fine, but he was hungry, and his new boots pinched. Plus his mates were way ahead, having a great time – and here he was stuck at the back with Mr Ngaia and the new kid."

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: anger, bullying, family, friendship, kea, managing self, narrative, outdoors, relationships, respect for others, responsibilty, scouts, tramping

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Starryteller cover image.

    Haritina Mogosanu: Starryteller

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Clare Knighton

    Meet Haritina Mogosanu: astrobiologist, science communicator, president of the Mars Society in New Zealand, and “starryteller”. In 2012, she was commander of the first New Zealand mission to the Mars Desert Research Station in the United States.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: astrobiology, astronauts, astronomy, challenge, colonisation, environment, exploration, extreme conditions, Haritina Mogosanu, interviews, Mars, Mars Desert Research Station, space, space travel, survival, science

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Thumbprints cover image.

    Thumbprints

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Serie Barford

    illustrated by Sheyne Tuffery

    "Mum left Sāmoa in 1952. To‘ono drove her to the harbour in a jeep abandoned by American marines."

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: change, difference, ethnic diversity, family, First World War, German ancestry, heritage, identity, immigration, individuality, internment, New Zealand history, poetry, race, relationships, respect, Sāmoa, Second World War, World War 1, World War 2

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text

    Who froze farrell flint cover image.

    Who Froze Farrell Flint?

    School journal level 3 May 2017 cover image.

    by Johanna Knox

    illustrated by Toby Morris

    Minnie Sharp, detective, is the narrator of this science-fiction story. The setting is a futuristic research centre on Mars. Minnie has a mystery to solve following the discovery of a frozen scientist in the Cryogenic Storage Room. As she interviews the other scientists working in the laboratory, Minnie is gradually able to build a picture of what might have happened. 

    Series: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: bacteria, cryogenics, deduction, detectives, ecological sustainability, fantasy, future, humour, Mars, mystery, science fiction, scientists, whodunnit

    In: School Journal Level 3 May 2017

    Publication date: May 2017

    Order this text