The Pebble in My Pocket
Why the book was selected
The science curriculum for Year Three includes learning about rocks which can be linked to aspects of physical geography. The Pebble in My Pocket is a book which covers difficult concepts using the familiar object of a pebble. Meredith Hooper uses metaphor to make the subject matter accessible while using terminology which will extend the children’s vocabulary. The use of movement verbs to describe all aspects of the journey of the pebble will lead into dance and poetry work. The rich illustrations work well with the text to support the reader.
Links to National Curriculum in England
This sequence of work covers the following elements of the English National Curriculum for years 3 and 4
- develop positive attitudes to reading, and an understanding of what they read, by:
- listening to and discussing a wide range of non-fiction, in this instance, a narrative nonfiction text organised in chronological sequence.
- reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes
- using dictionaries to check the meaning of words that they have read
- increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books
- identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books
- discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination
- understand what they read, in books they can read independently, by:
- checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding, and explaining the meaning of words in context
- asking questions to improve their understanding of a text
- drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
- predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
- identifying main ideas drawn from more than 1 paragraph and summarising these
- identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning
- retrieve and record information from non-fiction
- participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
Take One Book focuses on developing depth of reading comprehension. However, the language study interwoven through the reading lessons and writing opportunities included in this sequence will afford the opportunity to cover elements of the Writing Programmes of Study.
- physical features: volcanoes
About the author
Meredith Hooper was born in Australia, where she lived until she won a scholarship to study history in Oxford. She began writing after spending time recovering from polio in childhood and has done it ever since, saying, ‘Writing inspires my eyes and drives my thinking. Writing is hard, and joyful.` Her special interest is in writing about the history of science. Her work as an Antarctic specialist has taken her on trips to the continent, and she was awarded the Antarctica Medal by the US Congress in 2000. As well as being shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, her work has appeared on TES Information Book and Australian Children’s Book of the Year shortlists
About the illustrator
Chris Coady trained in Illustration at Manchester Polytechnic. His career has included working as a concept and background artist in animation working on children’s television shows. As a freelance illustrator, he has worked on books such as The Illustrated Sherlock Holmes, Red Riding Hood and The Drop in My Drink.
A note about lessons
Our lessons are organised as meaningful chunks of learning. Most of them will fit a standard 45 minute to 60 minute session. However, some of them are shorter and others will run for a series of linked sessions. It is anticipated that you will not teach all the lessons. Select those that suit the needs of your class and add them to your personalised plans.
Lessons for this book
Exploring ‘talking’ pebbles.
Using Teacher-in-Role as a hook into the book and an opportunity to introduce vocabulary in context.
Active exploration of movement verbs and their meanings.
Creating a scaled timeline of the earth’s geological history.
In this fluency lesson, the children will use Echo Reading as a strategy to support independent reading.
Modelling strategies to clarify unfamiliar vocabulary using a Think Aloud.
Using Cloze Procedure to support comprehension..
Ordering mixed up lines and reading aloud.
Using choral reading to model fluency.
What have we learnt?
Creating a glossary to accompany the book.
Using drawing to explore the meaning and purpose of similes.
Required reading: 2, 4, 6, 10
Using close reading to identify verbs used to describe the movement of the glacier and learn about personification.
Required reading: 20
Learning about how water shapes the landscape.
Required reading: Whole book
Review and Reflect
Creating a storyboard to show the journey of the pebble.
Required reading: Whole book
Bringing the elements together to stage a performance of the book.
Writing an instant verb poem.
Writing a diary in role as the pebble.
After researching different types of rocks, the class work collaboratively to create a class book or display about rocks.
Wider Learning Opportunities
Finding out more about what a geologist does.
A Rock is Lively
An informative and beautifully illustrated book about rocks.
The Street Beneath My Feet
Take a journey down through all the layers of the earth until you reach the earth’s core then come out again on the other side. A fascinating concertina book which children will pore over for hours.
The Rock Factory: A Story About Rocks and Stones
An accessible and engaging look at rocks and stones.
What does a geologist do?
A wealth of resources for teaching about rocks and fossils can be found here
A free colouring geology map of the UK and Ireland.
A lesson plan for investigating different types of rock using chocolate
What is a rock?
iGeology is a free smartphone app that lets you take over 500 geological maps of Britain wherever you go to discover the landscape beneath your feet. Available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Kindle Fire.