by John Marsden
A dark retelling of England overtaking Australia and the changes that accompany that invasion.
Reading Strategy 1: Access background knowledge.
Reading Strategy 2: Predict what will be learned or what will happen.
Reading Strategy 5: Make mental pictures.
Reading Strategy 6: Connect what you read with what you already know.
Reading Strategy 7: Determine the most important ideas and events and the relationship between them.
Reading Strategy 8: Extract information from text, charts, graphs, maps and illustrations.
Reading Strategy 10: Summarize what has been read.
Reading Strategy 11: Make inferences and draw conclusions.
Reading Strategy 12: Reflect and respond.
(1) Show students a selection of five pictures from the book without revealing the words of the story, and have them complete the Thinking Like An Author activity, including with their predictions one emotion that is evoked by each picture.
(2) Write the word colonization on the board, and have the students, in groups, come up with a definition using the Collaborative Summaries approach.
(3) Teach the Allegory PowerPoint.
(4) Read the book aloud, using a document camera (or scanned, projected pages) so students can see the pictures in detail. Pause after each page, asking students to write one sentence to explain what is happening in the story. Students should not focus on the literal meaning; instead they should interpret the deeper, allegorical meaning.
(5) Read two thirds of the book, and take a break, allowing students to review their sentences and complete the Thinking While Reading activity.
(6) Finish the book, and have students continue to work on their sentences started in step (4).
(7) Lead a class discussion, giving students an opportunity to share their predictions and discuss the differences between the predictions and what actually happened in the book.
(8) Have students’ complete the Picture Book Analysis activity in small groups.
(9) Ask students to identify specific illustrations in The Rabbits that they feel make allegorical references to colonization. Students may also identify certain words or phrases that make reference to colonization.
(10) Assign the Extended Metaphor Poem as an individual assignment.