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Teaching Notes

The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild & Freya Blackwood



The following theoretical frameworks have been used to guide planning
1. Text Connections - Chambers
2. Four Resources model - Luke & Freebody
3. Higher Order Thinking - Bloom’s taxonomy
4. Multimodality- Callow
5. Reader Response theory – Rosenblatt

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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes

Literary elements Visual & Verbal choices in The Treasure Box - double page spreads counted after title page

Choices Teaching points Possible written response to text


Setting Visual - e.g Double page spread 10 shows the Discussion question: What country/region Create a word splash to build vocabulary
Emotional change in physical/temporal time do you think they are fleeing from? for later writing activities. Use different
Physical colours to identify aspects of setting,
Temporal Physical - changes over time, return to the What evidence have you drawn from the highlighting how writers use all three.
beginning text to support your idea?
Encourage attention to illustrations, or text
Temporal- Ripped paper: Burn books to from torn up text within the illustrations.
make the background, signaling that they are Different languages are represented in
walking away from their torn country. faded print backgrounds.

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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes
Ground: There is no resemblance of life or What time period do you think it is?
happiness that can be seen. Attention to clothing.
Seems that are walking into the unknown, as
there is no symbolisation that happiness is What might the author wish to convey
near. through the use of the foot prints? Why do
Colour of the paper: Signals what they are the tones change?
fleeing from (destruction). It also shows the
enormity of the situation and the level of
sadness and desperation.
Emotional - change in colour, change in
activities represented,

Verbal What is a home? Is it just a place to live? Mentor text


“Behind them, their houses burned” For weeks, they trudged through mud and
- image shows burning of rain. They slept at the side of the road,
words/knowledge under hedges, in ditches, huddling
- this line acts as a metaphor that not together to keep warm.
only physical homes were destroyed
but their culture, knowledge, way of Use the above text as the framework for
life etc. are all burned behind them students to play with author’s syntax.
For weeks, they trudged through mud and Discuss use of strong verbs. Vary settings
rain. They slept at the side of the road, under to those familiar to the student. E.g. the
hedges, in ditches, huddling together to keep playground, a shopping centre
warm.
For a short time, they pushed past
customers and clothes racks. They peered
over the counters, down escalators,
through the crowds, holding hands to stay
together.

Visual

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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes
Character/ All faces are looking forward, except for Why do you think the author has used After reading the full text, create a short
characterisation Peter - Peter feeling lost/sad about the past, blank facial expressions on all the adults? character description for Peter and his
others looking ahead to the unknown father.
Dull colour of clothing - represents poorness What effect might this have on the
of clothes and poorness of happiness children?
verbal
‘Peter and his father joined the others’
Plot visual Generate discussion around what emotions
Colours - suggest changes in story. are being represented.
Facial expressions
Use of line - e.g double page 4. Lines of Line suggests never-ending flow of people,
people as far as can be seen - represents the heading to unknown, walking off the page
large impact of the devastation.
Far away people are small - shows that the Track the presence of the book
line is long/never ending.
Verbal The act of burying the box sets up an
anticipation the boy will return. (suspense-
Story follows a simple plot line double page spread 9). Prediction, What do
1. Chronological order you think happens next? What makes you
2. Conflict - resolution, person against say that?
society
At conclusion of discussions - How would
this story change if Peter did not return?

Mood/ Visual
atmosphere Changing of colours: Strong emphasis on We might expect the people to be sobbing
smoke through the darker paper. with sadness. But the dazed look shows a
The bubbles of smoke (torn paper) shows disbelief of what has happened.
that the destruction is following the people,
even though they are leaving the war-torn
area.
Expressionless faces: Blank expression.
Verbal

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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes
For weeks, they trudged through mud and
rain. They slept at the side of the road, under
hedges, in ditches, huddling together to keep
warm.
The choice of words build the atmosphere
but what if other words were used (replace
trudged with traipsed).
Another word that drives tone is ‘ditches’
Symbol Visual Linden tree - often found in European town
Smoke - destruction, signal squares, symbol of stability and community
Clouds - darkness hanging over their head Linden Tree information

Linden tree - changes as emotional setting Books - education and knowledge can be
changes carried forward when material goods are
lost
Books

Foreign writing in the background

Pictures made out of ripped paper - easily
destroyed
Verbal

Style Visual Why has the author decided to use this


The images are layered and appear to be style to enhance the imagery?
super imposed as if taken from other books
to tell the story. Text-to-text: look at other books using this
style (Jeannie Baker), how does the collage
style contribute to the story?
Verbal Generate similes to describe Peter and his
Alliteration and comparison “Rarer than father at different stages of the story.
rubies, more splendid than silver, greater Play with alliteration.
than gold”. This was repeated in the book

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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes
and brings attention to the theme of
treasure

Vocabulary Visual

Verbal What does it mean to flee something? Why


“...Fleeing the city…” did the author use the word ‘flee’? Why did Mentor text activity-
they not use the word ‘leaving’? What are Peter chipped away at the frozen earth
other words that could have been used under the tree, and buried the box. Here,
instead of ‘fleeing’? it would be safe from bombs and fire.

‘Trudged, splendid and frail’- Go outside Use the author’s syntax to write two
“...They trudged through mud and rain…” and model the meaning of these words. sentences about how Peter retrieved the
“...Frail as butterflies…” Once modelled, discuss the actual meaning, box. Discuss verb selection to show rather
and get students to demonstrate other than tell.
words that could be used for the specific Clines – the discussions that are part of
word. cline work is critical to building
vocabulary. Provide students with a set of
Can plot exertion against enjoyment (axis related words and ask them to arrange
layout). Maybe get the students to plot these across a gradient.
their experience along the axis. Relate this
to an experience of their own (e.g.: sport, See for examples
PE, acting, swimming). https://eflrecipes.com/2014/03/18/clines/

Generate discussion on nuances of
meaning.
e.g. trudged, walked, strolled, ambled,
meandered, strode, paced – discuss implied
emotions in words.

Theme Visual Global Relevance to current events


Images of the displaced crowds has visual
relevance to forced migration events around
the world (Syria, Middle East)
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Monash University: The Treasure Box. Teaching notes
Verbal Possibilities to explore what treasure Students write 2-3 sentences using
Loss of place and family actually is and how it can be vocabulary generated in class discussion
defined/categorised. to explain their treasure and its
What is your greatest treasure? What is significance. (Text to self connection)
Continuity of culture valued and why?

Knowledge and understanding (book) Continuity -
Treasure is the book of the people that is
carried forward. Survival story of culture,
passing from one generation to another.
Son repeats his father’s words. Girl
identifies same valued objects.

Teacher Resources

1. http://astar.tv/post/how-to-analysing-visual-texts/
2. http://www.petaa.edu.au/imis_prod/w/Publications/PETAA_Book_Extras/w/Publications/PETAA_book_extras/tsottc.aspx

This resource has been created by Monash University Pre-Service Teachers(2017). Special thanks are extended to Clare Beveridge, Natalie Lescen
and Madeleine Kao.

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