Hosting lesson plans & teaching materials for the Worlds Next Door anthology from FableCroft

Posts tagged ‘Rowena Cory Daniells’

Free story downloads

These stories are provided freely for educational purposes only. They are intended for use in conjunction with the book they were published in, Worlds Next Door (FableCroft Publishing). Please respect the rights and livelihoods of the author, artist and publisher in your use of work from this website, and please consider purchasing a copy of the book (available in print, epub and pdf – electronic versions not quite in the shop yet, so please email fablecroft at gmail dot com if you are interested – site licensing for schools is also negotiable).

A Wizard in Trouble by Paul Collins

Enid and the Prince by RJ Astruc

Genevieve and the Dragon by Angela Slatter

Ghost Town by Pamela Freeman

Slugs and Snails by Jenny Blackford

Tabitha by Rowena Cory Daniells

The Best Dog in the World by Dirk Flinthart

The Trouble with Fifi by Launz Burch

Through the Break by Jen Banyard

Guest Blog: Rowena Cory Daniells

A Fun Project for upper primary school students or high school students.

Step One. Ask the students to bring in their favourite children’s picture books from before they were old enough to read.

Discuss all the different types of picture books and techniques used. (Have examples of these books yourself in case they don’t bring them in).

Repetition – (The House that Jack Built) Repeating certain words on each page so that the kids can anticipate the words.

Hooks – put a question on odd numbered page, answer on even.

Text – Giving clues with the illustrations so that the kids can guess the words. Using word balloons to augment the text. Using words in inventive ways, eg. if there’s a giant, making his words really big. If someone gets shrunk down, making their words smaller and smaller until they are hard to read.

Using fold outs or fold upsWhere is Spot.

Turning it into a playWhen Daddy Cooks.

Hiding things in illustrations Animalia, Where’s Wally.

Creating a book from photos – eg. Danger Ted (teddy bear) around the house. Oh, no. Danger Ted has to rescue the cat. It’s fallen in the washing machine!

Step Two. Now set up an opportunity to pair the older student with a Year One or Prep student. Have the older student interview the younger one to find out their likes and dislikes so that they can write a story specifically for that child, a story that the child can ‘star’ in, a story that the child could almost read (eg little text, repetitive text).

Step Three. Then have the older student plan a short children’s book for their young friend. It needs to be no longer than 8 pages. It needs to open with a question or problem or adventure, that the younger child solves. Have the older student use one (or more) of the techniques mentioned above to make the picture book interactive and fun.

Step Four. Give them feedback on their book, or have them break into groups and give each other feedback.

Step Five. Now that they have feedback, then can write and illustrate the book. (Supply an 8 page template using actual paper, or a template on computer which they drop their text into and scan their artwork and drop it in). If they are working on real paper they can do collages with photos from magazines, or use material/s collage. (Remember this is for small children so the drawings can be very simple cartoons as long as they colours are bright).

Step Six. Once the book is completed it will need a title, a front cover and a back cover blurb.

Step Seven. They take the finished book and read it to the child. If the text is simple enough the child may be able to read it back to them.

Because the story is short and the illustrations are simple, and because they have the examples of books that they remember from childhood, this task doesn’t feel daunting. It is also very satisfying to have a completed book and to read it to their young friend, who will love it, because it is a book about them.

Rowena Cory Daniells is devoted to her family (husband and six children) and writing. In her spare time she has studied each of these martial arts for five years, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Iaido, the art of the Samurai sword. She writes for adults as well as children. Her new fantasy series is called The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin.

Activities for Tabitha

Josh thinks the new girl, Tabitha, is pretty great, and when he finds out her father is a famous cartoonist, that’s even cooler! But Tabitha is hiding something big and nothing is as it seems…

Two suggestions by the author for teaching opportunities:

1. The animation aspect

2. The ezine aspect

Why not collaborate between the English and ICT and/or Visual Arts departments to design an integrated unit working on narrative and animation, or non-fiction writing and ‘zine creation?


Ask the kids to brainstorm a list of their favourite movies, then find out which ones used CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and find out which company did these graphics. eg. WETA in New Zealand.

(A lot of studios show up on a Google search. Students could look up where they might study 3D animation.)

Lastpixel (Western Australia):

AArons CGI:


Teaching materials online:

Webquest: Stop-Motion Animation… Taking It One Frame at a Time!!!

Animation Lesson plan –

Tutorials on 3D animation –

Simple animation lesson:



Investigate the purpose and design of ezines before students (individually or in teams) create their own. (This task could be integrated further with Science or Society & Environment or HPE learning areas, with the content being related to work in other subject areas – particularly applicable for Year 6 or 7 classes or schools utilising curriculum mapping or integrated units).

Some possible lessons/units you might consider adapting for your class.

Upper Primary/Early Secondary

Advanced students: