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The White Fox / During Reading / /

Dad

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

Lesson length: 2 sessions

Lesson from The White Fox series

Required reading: Pages 20-22

Text potential

  • Inference opportunities: Character Inference
  • Writing opportunities: Diary
  • Narrative features: Narration: point of view
  • Narrative features: Narration: third person

Strategies used

  • Drama Strategies: Improvisation
  • Prediction

Purpose

The point of view is the angle from which the story is considered. Being able to see things from an alternative point of view is an important life skill. The children may find it easy to relate to Sol in the story because he is a child and less easy to understand the adult’s perspective.  In this lesson, they look at the situation from the point of view of Sol’s father. 

This lesson builds on the Circle of Life lesson.

Preparation

  • Copies of The White Fox, at least one per pair.  
  • Children will benefit from the, ‘No one’s going to shoot your fox, boy’ lesson in preparation.

Process

Begin by asking pairs to re-read pages 20 to 22. Ask:

  • If dad knew that Sol had been spending time with the white fox, would he have told him the news in a different way?
  • What do you think might happen to the fox now?

Read chapter four aloud to the class. 

Explain to the children that they will try and put themselves in dad’s position and imagine he is talking to a trusted friend about Sol at different points in the story so far. 

  • What would he say at the end of the first chapter? 

Pairs of children will work together to improvise dialogue. Encourage them to refer back to the text for support. Model dad’s speech. For example,

I do worry about Sol. He’s always on his own – still some folks are just happy with their own company. Maybe he doesn’t need friends. I really should take him to see his grandparents. He’d enjoy fishing with his grandpa. It’s just so hard going back there. He seemed pretty interested in that fox. I need to think about what to get him for his birthday. 

Pairs improvise their conversations in role. 

Repeat with a second conversation at the end of chapter four.  Focus on:

  • The journey to the docks.
  • The moment the fox looks at the boy (p25).
  • Dad finds out that Sol has been going to the dock every night. 
  • Sol asks to take the fox back home. 

Ask the children to complete a series of diary entries in role as Sol’s father based on the conversations they have had. The writing may take you into the second session before you go on to part two:

‘Will They, Won’t They?’ (Neelands 2015)

This strategy is a good way of predicting outcomes based on their knowledge of the characters. Divide a large sheet of paper into four columns. The first column is entitled ‘Possible’, and the children should list possible courses of action open to Sol’s father. Some possibilities are:

  • Take Sol and the fox to Alaska.
  • Organise for someone else to take the fox back home.
  • Say no to Sol.
  • Leave the fox at the docks and hope it finds its way home. 

Headings for the next two columns are Most Probable and Impossible. Now a discussion can take place around the ideas in the Possible section. Based on how likely they feel each response might be, ideas move into either Most Probable or Impossible. Pairs of children can now test out these ideas by improvising a short drama and continuing to deliberate on the outcomes. Finally, gather the class to agree on the outcomes they feel are most plausible and list these in the final column, Actual.

Final reflection

Revisit the diary entries and ask if the improvisations from the ‘Will They, Won’t They’ activity have prompted them to add anything else.

Key vocabulary

possible, impossible, probable, actual

Contributors

Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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