The White Fox

Published by Barrington Stoke Ltd. Authored by Jackie Morris.

Recommended for: Year 4.

Suggested length of study: 3 - 5 weeks.

Download the full scheme of work

Sol and his father live in Seattle, miles away from Alaska, the place Sol was born. When Sol’s father tells him about the Arctic fox who has been spotted at the dockside, he is determined to find it.

Why the book was selected

The book is supportive to those still developing reading fluency but, as the text is multi-layered; the children’s life experience and levels of emotional literacy will allow them to engage with the text at a deeper level. Growing levels of emotional maturity will enable them to empathise with the main character and his situation and to reflect more deeply on the wider issues raised in the text.

About the author

From at least the age of six Jackie Morris wanted to be an artist. She watched her dad drawing a picture of a lapwing, making a bird appear on a piece of paper using only a pencil, and thought it was some magic that made this happen. So there and then she decided to learn how to conjure birds from paper and colour. At school she would get told off for drawing and dreaming. After college,she worked in magazines and books for seven years, for The New Statesman, New Socialist, Independent, Guardian and Radio Times. She also designed cards and calendars for Greenpeace and Amnesty International and fell into children’s books by accident. She moved to Wales just before starting her first children’s book, Jo’s Storm, by Caroline Pitcher and has lived in the same small cottage ever since.

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.

Text potential

Lessons for this book

Before Reading

Hook

What Would You Do?

An introductory question to explore together.

Orientation

Seattle to Alaska

Building background knowledge about the setting of the story.

‘They say the eyes are the window to the soul.’

Close looking at the eyes on the front cover.

During Reading

First Encounters

The Day the Fox Came

Reading chapter one using echo reading to support fluency.

Pages 1-8

Sol Circle of Life

Using a graphic organiser to gather information about Sol from Chapter Two.

Pages 10-17

Dad

Looking at events from Sol’s dad’s point of view.

Pages 20-22

‘No one’s going to shoot your fox, boy.’

Using readers theatre to support fluency and deepen understanding of character.

Pages 27-32

Road Trip

Exploring the illustrations and the effect they have on the reader.

Pages 33-46

Coming Home

Reading to the end of the book and using a graphic organiser to make connections.

Pages 47-84

Literature Circles

Using literature circles to explore personal responses to the story.

Required reading: Whole book

Digging Deeper

Space Between (Neelands 2015)

Exploring the changing relationship between Sol and his father.

Required reading: Whole book

Investigating Vocabulary: Wild

Exploring positive and negative connotations of the word wild.

Required reading: Whole book

Releasing the Fox

Creating a scene to explore character emotions at a key moment in the story.

Pages 51-55

Dialogue

Investigating punctuation used to demarcate direct speech.

Required reading: 9, 50, 62, 63

After Reading

Review and Reflect

Key Quotations

Finding quotatons which reveal the themes of the story.

Required reading: Whole book

Exploring Themes

Identifying themes in The White Fox.

Required reading: Whole book

Summarising the Story

Studying the blurb and relating it to the whole story.

Required reading: Whole book

An Illustration Walk

Returning to the illustrations in the book and reflecting on what they add to the story.

Required reading: Whole book

Naming the Fox

Choosing appropriate names for the fox.

Required reading: Whole book

Writing Opportunities

The Story of the White Fox

Writing a version of the story from the point of view of the fox.

Required reading: Whole book

Poetry

Using the illustrations to inspire poetry writing.

Required reading: Whole book

White Fox News Report

Writing a news report about the journey of the fox.

Required reading: Whole book

Wider Learning Opportunities

Research: Arctic Fox

Learning about the Arctic fox and its environment.

The Art of The White Fox

Using watercolours to paint a white fox.

Resources

The Eye of the Wolf

Published by Walker Books Ltd. Authored by Daniel Pennac.

A classic, essential read by master storyteller Daniel Pennac, with a new foreword written by Michael Morpurgo. The wolf has lost nearly everything on his journey to the zoo, including an eye and his beloved pack. The boy too has lost much and seen many terrible things.

They stand eye to eye on either side of the wolf’s enclosure and, slowly, each makes his own extraordinary story known to the other…

The Dog That Saved Christmas

Published by Barrington Stoke Ltd. Authored by Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Mike Byrne.

Jake is different from the other kids at school. He struggles when routines change and people’s emotions are so hard to understand. Christmas can be even worse and often the festivities are just too much to bear.

But when Jake finds a little dog lost in the street he unlocks a connection he’s never had before. Together Jake and Susan form a special bond that helps him to understand the world around him, changing his life for the better. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+

The Ice Bear

Published by Graffeg Limited. Authored by Jackie Morris.

Themes of tolerance and understanding and taking care of the world’s wild creatures run through this beautiful and magical story set in icy lands. A bear cub is stolen and given to a childless human couple.

The Guardian: Fantastic Arctic Fox

Article about an Arctic fox that walked from Norway to Canada.

Visit resource

The Guardian: Arctic fox under threat

A photographic report about threats to the survivial of the Arctic fox.

Visit resource

The Guardian: Climate Change

A report about the imapct of global warming on the Arctic fox’s natural habitat.

Visit resource

Young People's Trust for the Environment

Fact sheet about the Arctic fox.

Visit resource

World Wildlife Fund

Fact page about the Arctic fox.

Visit resource

Jackie Morris's blog

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National Poetry Day Liz Brownlee The Snow Fox poem

Free to download a poem about a Snow Fox from Liz Brownlee.

Visit resource