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Instructional Series

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

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  • English
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  • Mathematics and Statistics
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  • Nature of science
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  • Engage with science
  • Use evidence
  • Stories
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17 items - Showing 11 - 17

  • Rocks and sea

    School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    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 The Force  
    Plenty of Room  
    Ship's Captain
    Poems River Swimming
    Articles Balancing Act  
    Sharks  
    Talking to the River

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: June 2018

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    Balancing act cover

    Balancing Act

    by Tricia Glensor

    For the past four years, Stavros Kyriakides has created sculptures along Wellington’s wild and windy south coast. His artworks are distinctive. They use only natural materials – and there’s no glue, nails, wire, or concrete holding them together. Instead, Stavros relies on the laws of physics.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, The Arts, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: art, artworks, balance, centre of gravity, coast, creativity, debate, different opinions, forces, found objects, gravity, laws of physics, physics, sculptor, sculpture, self-expression, Stavros Kyriakides, Wellington

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    The force cover

    The Force

    by Renata Hopkins

    illustrated by Matt Haworth

    Egged on by his brother, Harper works through his fears of jumping off the bridge into the water. "Do or do not. There is no try."

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Health and Physical Education

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: bullying, courage, family, fantasy, fear, fiction, holidays, imagination, independence, managing self, relating to others, rites of passage, rivers, self-belief, siblings, Star Wars, swimming, Yoda

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    Plenty of room cover

    Plenty of Room

    by Sarah Johnson

    illustrated by Dylan Horrocks

    The story of a girl adjusting to life with a new sibling. "Sometimes I just want to be alone. Know what I mean? It’s good. Gives you a chance to think. I don’t like hanging out with other people all the time. I need space. So you can imagine how I feel when Dad tells me Sharon’s having a baby."  

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Health and Physical Education

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: babies, blended families, change, extended family, family, housing, humour, managing self, new baby, overcrowding, relating to others, relationships, siblings, whānau

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    River swimming cover

    River Swimming

    by Lynley Edmeades

    illustrated by Ned Barraud

    “River Swimming” is a beautiful poem that captures the imaginative, make-believe world that children inhabit. The setting is a day out at the river. While the adults sit and drink tea on the river bank, the children race each other in an imaginary lane pool and become mermaids, remembering to keep a safe distance from the taniwha upstream. The poem is rich in imagery and movement. It draws on the pleasures of picnics, swimming, and the beauty of the natural world. The poem would be useful for a poetry reading.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: childhood, family, figurative language, imagery, imagination, make-believe, memories, metaphor, outings, picnics, poetry, rivers, swimming, verse

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    Sharks cover

    Sharks

    by Alison Ballance

    illustrated by Gavin Mouldey

    This article provides information on sharks, focusing particularly on sharks found in New Zealand waters such as great white, rig, and deep-sea sharks.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: adaptation, by-catch, camouflage, chimaeras, conservation, eagle rays, endangered species, fish, great whites, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), predators, rays, rigs, sharks, skates, stingrays

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    Ship's captain cover

    Ship's Captain

    by Fraser Smith

    illustrated by Daron Parton

    "Ship's Captain" is the story of two boys learning how to live off the land and sea. Nan is a larger-than-life character, steeped in knowledge of bush lore and rongoā (Māori medicine). Pop is a gentle background force, who teaches the boys how to build a whare raupō. The lessons the writer learns go beyond bush lore; the story explores the value of knowledge that is passed down through generations, the pleasures of living simply, and the importance of being "the captain of your own ship".

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: bushcra, camping, childhood, culture, family, grandparents, holidays, identity, kaimoana, knowledge, life skills, Māori, managing self, memoir, memories, rongoā, whānau

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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    Talking to the river cover

    Talking to the River

    by Clare Knighton

    “Talking to the River” tells the story of a farmer and a group of engineering and computing students from Victoria University of Wellington who collaborate to gather data about river pollution and publicise it. River pollution is a topical issue, and “Talking to the River” provides an example of people dedicated to making a difference. The article explains the impact cows can have on rivers and the importance of being able to accurately measure levels of river pollution. The university students overcome several challenges to create a prototype monitoring device that is fit for purpose. The reach of the project is extended exponentially by creating an app that tracks river improvements and allows users to upload photos to a website.

    Series: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Science, Technology

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: algae, algal blooms, citizen science, collaboration, data, endangered species, environment, farming, fish, Grant Muir, monitoring, Pahaoa River, pollution, problem solving, prototypes, rivers, RiverWatch, technology, Victoria University, water quality, waterways

    In: School Journal Level 3 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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  • Counting kakahi cover.

    Counting Kākahi

    Connected 2014 L3 cover

    by Hannah Rainforth

    Scientist Hannah Rainforth investigated kākahi in the Whanganui River to find whether the evidence supports claims by local kaumātua that kākahi have nearly disappeared.

    Series: Connected 2014 level 3 - Why Is That?

    Learning area: English, Science

    Curriculum level: 3

    Category: Non-fiction

    Strand: Nature of science

    Capability: Use evidence

    In: Connected 2014 level 3 - Why Is That?

    Publication date: January 2014

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  • Sj level 3 april 2013 cover.

    School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Teacher support materials (TSM) are available for all the following texts in this issue of the School Journal:

        TSM
    Stories The River 
    Articles Nga Mahi a te Rehia Maori Games
    Tivaevae 

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: April 2013

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    Nga mahi cover.

    Nga Mahi a te Rehia Maori Games

    L3 cover image april2013.

    by Ross Calman

    “In early Māori society, games were played by everyone …” This report describes eight traditional Māori games and lists several more. 

    Series: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    In: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Publication date: April 2013

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    The river cover.

    The River

    L3 cover image april2013.

    by Paul Mason

    Leo has travelled from New Zealand to visit his father, who has a houseboat in England. Leo and his dad touch briefly on memories of earlier visits to England, when the family was still together and living in New Zealand. The river has changed since the earlier visit, polluted by a factory upstream. Leo’s desire to see the selkie he saw previously causes him to fall into the dirty river. Leo finds that to save himself, he has to “stop fighting the river”, and students may hypothesise that this realisation could help him deal with the changes in his life.

    Series: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 6

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: changes, houseboat, river

    In: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Publication date: April 2013

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    Tivaevae cover.

    Tīvaevae

    by Teremoana Hodges

    In this well-illustrated article, we learn about the origins, meanings, and construction of tīvaevae, the beautiful hand-sewn Cook Islands Māori bedspreads. The text provides opportunities for students to be exposed to and engage with the positive values that are associated with the concept of akano‘anga Kūki‘Āirani (Cook Islands culture). These are highlighted through the description of the time, hard work, and skill involved in making tīvaevae and the beauty of the finished product.

    Series: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Learning area: Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 3

    Reading year level: 5

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: Cook Islands Māori, tīvaevae

    In: School Journal Level 3, April 2013

    Publication date: April 2013

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  • Dive cover page

    Dive

    by Gina Cole

    illustrated by Elspeth Alix Batt

    Shelly is forced to brave sea snake infested waters when she drops her phone in the river. As it is Shelly's only way of contacting her Dad back in New Zealand, she has no other option.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 June 2018

    Learning area: English, Health and Physical Education

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: change, courage, childhood, divorce, family, fear, Fiji, managing self, memories, parents, relating to others

    In: School Journal Level 4 June 2018

    Publication date: June 2018

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  • School Journal Level 4 November 2016 cover image.

    School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    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 By the River  
    The World Will End, Said the Cat
    Fallen Leaves
    Mirror Image  
    Play Dashing Doggies  
    Articles The Great Ordinary: The Photographs of Edith Amituanai
    Te Kura Tuatahi: New Zealand’s First School  
    Poem At the end of the driveway  

    Series: School Journal

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Look inside this issue

    Book cover.

    At the end of the driveway

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    A poem by Tim Upperton, with images by Edith Amituanai

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Topics: change, children, community, growing, imagery, kids, photographs, photography, poetry, school

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    Te Kura Tuatahi: New Zealand’s First School

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Ross Calman

    Two hundred years ago, our first school opened at Rangihoua.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Non-fiction

    Topics: Christianity, colonisation, education, first school, Hongi Hika, missionaries, New Zealand history, Rangihoua, Ruatara, Samuel Marsden, school, te kura tuatahi, Te Pahi, te reo Māori, Thomas Kendall, values

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    The Great Ordinary: The Photographs of Edith Amituanai

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Hannah Sperber

    This article explores the work of a prize-winning West Auckland photographer whose work has been shown around the world. Edith Amituanai photographs the ordinary, everyday world around her, documenting it as a record for the future.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, The Arts

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Non-fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: art, cameras, change, community, culture, documentary, Edith Amituanai, environment, identity, neighbourhoods, Pasifika, photography, Sāmoa, students, visual arts

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    Dashing Doggies

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Sarah Delahunty

    It would seem the consultants know best.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: business, cooperation, costs, debt, dog walking, drama, economics, expenses, finance, financial capability, humour, interest, loans, loss, money, parody, plays, profit, teamwork

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    Mirror Image

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Julia Randerson

    illustrated by Peter Campbell

    Winner of the 2016 Elsie Locke Writing Prize

    "Rain spat at Meggie as she trudged home through storm-darkened streets. Being mocked at school for opposing the Springbok tour had put her in a black mood."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 4

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: 1981 tour, apartheid, change, conflict, courage, Elsie Locke writing prize, historical fiction, New Zealand history, protest, racism, rugby, South Africa

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    Fallen Leaves

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Paul Mason

    This historical fiction, set in 1845, is told from the point of view of a young Māori protaganist. Haora works in the printery at Kororāreka at the time when war was building between Ngāpuhi chief Hone Heke (Hone Wiremu Heke Pōkai) and the British troops.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: historical fiction, Hone Heke Pōkai, Kororāreka, New Zealand history, New Zealand Wars, Pompallier mission, Roman Catholic church, station, printing, race relations

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    The World Will End, Said the Cat

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by David Larsen

    This is a fantasy story with a serious flavour. The indirect unfolding of the story allows students to make their own way through the text, piecing information together as they go.

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 8

    Category: Fiction

    Related titles: Listed in TSM

    Topics: accountability, change, choice, decisions, fantasy, future, mystery, parallel universe, responsibility, risk, science fiction, thinking, values

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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    Book cover.

    By the River

    SJL4 Nov2016 cover image

    by Sarah Penwarden

    "School camp. Kenzie’s seen the photos from last year. It looks nice: little cabins clustered around a central dining hall; grassy paddocks with giant macrocarpas; picnic tables and a fire pit; a green river, deep and shady, with a slide and a swimming hole."

    Series: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Learning area: English, Health and Physical Education

    Curriculum level: 4

    Reading year level: 7

    Category: Fiction

    Topics: anxiety, camp, challenge, change, confidence, courage, fear, friendship, relationships, school, self-esteem

    In: School Journal Level 4 November 2016

    Publication date: November 2016

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  • The Story of Taranaki.

    The Story of Taranaki

    by Hone Rata, illustrations by Taupuruariki Whakataka Brightwell

    This traditional story, known by many iwi in the Taranaki area, tells how Mount Taranaki was once called Pukeonaki and stood in the centre of the North Island, close to Mount Tongariro. The two mountains fought over Pihanga, a nearby mountain. Tongariro won and Pukeonaki left in anger and grief, travelling to his present position and forming the Whanganui River on the way. The people who came to live in the region later named him Taranaki.

    Series: School Journal Level 2 August 2020

    Learning area: English, Social Sciences

    Curriculum level: 2

    Reading year level: 4

    Related titles: see TSM

    Topics: ancestor, battle, culture, legend, love, Māori, mounga, mountain, myth, Ngauruhoe, story, Pihanga, Pukeonaki, Ruapehu, storytelling, tale, Taranaki, Tongariro, traditional story, volcano

    In: School Journal Level 2 August 2020

    Publication date: August 2020

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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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