Audience: Early Stage 1 and Stage 1
Submitted by: Cheryl Bridge
Cartwheel comes to a new country to be safe, but everything around her is strange. She cannot understand what
people are saying and she doesn't feel like herself anymore.
This book, by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood, explores the power language has to make us feel included and safe, like a blanket. As Cartwheel's confidence with the language grows, and she learns to weave words together, she doesn't feel so foreign anymore.
1. Show students the cover of the book, with title, and ask what their feelings and thoughts are about the book before reading.
2. Read the book. Complete a range of comprehension activities, including role plays and matching sentences to illustrations, focusing on the European girl, Cartwheel with her orange blanket and Cartwheel with her blue blanket.
3. Review initial responses to the book and compare them to how students feel now, after having read the book.
4. Discuss how Cartwheel and the local girl are different and how they are similar. Ask: Why do people act differently? What do we have in common? How can you show a new student respect?
4. Jointly list with the students what Cartwheel was good at. Also describe what she did to be a friend to the local girl.
5. Repeat activity with actions of the local girl. Describe what she did to be a friend to Cartwheel.
6. Students draw pictures on square paper of ways their friends are important to them. Create a ‘blanket’ with the pictures.
7. Assist students to plan a blanket for a new student to the school. Why would the blanket be important? Would it be equally important for all new students?
8. Students jointly create a blanket that would welcome a new student to the school.
Note: Additional activity ideas can be located here.