Using Sebastian Lives in a Hat to Write Recounts in Foundation / Year 1 (Lesson Plan)


Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson plan, students use the text ‘Sebastian Lives in a Hat’ to help them recount the events that have occurred into beginning, middle and end. The teacher then models how to write a recount, before allowing the students to do their own (with some scaffolding approaches included).

Links to the Australian Curriculum:

Foundation English:

  • (ACELY1646) (Elaborate content: sequencing ideas in spoken texts, retelling well known stories, retelling stories with picture cues, retelling information using story maps)
  • (ACELY1651) (Elaborate contents:  creating short spoken, written and multimodal observations, recounts and descriptions, extending vocabulary and including some content-specific words in spoken and written texts)
  • (ACELA1432) (Elaboration:   pointing to the letters and the punctuation in a text)
  • (ACELT1578) (Elaborations: identifying some features of culture related to characters and events in literary texts, for example dress, food and daily routines
  • (ACELY1674) Elaborations:  reading aloud with fluency and intonation. Combining different types of knowledge (for example word knowledge, vocabulary, grammar, phonics) to make decisions about unknown words, reading on, reviewing and summarising meaning.


Student Background Knowledge:

Prior to this lesson, students must have had an introduction to recount writing (structure) and tried to orally re-tell the events of another picture story book.

Teacher Focus:

  • Whole-child teaching approach
  • Inclusive need
  • Child development patterns.
  • Classroom management: students complete and focus on task with minimal disruption and completion within lesson time-frame.
  • Engage and motivate all students in a challenging and creative lesson.
  • Body language: Positive tone of voice and presence towards all students during entire lesson.


Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Listen to and respond orally to text.
  • Create a short recount text (beginning, middle and end).
  • Understand texts have different purposes.
  • Understand the correct use of punctuation (capital letters and full stops).
  • Identify and understand features of text (characters and themes).


Learning Environment:

  • Students sit on the mat quietly in front of the teacher.
  • Teacher has a large chair placed at the front of students’ mat.
  • Story book placed on whiteboard edge prior to reading to create stimulation and motivation.
  • Students sit four to each group of tables: two tables joined together. Promote discussion and sharing.
  • Title of story book written in large letters (Victorian cursive font ). Visuals placed in event order on whiteboard.
  • Students desks: writing books, grey leads and coloured pencils at the centre of desks


Lesson Plan Sequence:

Stage 1 – Introduction (20 mins)

Teacher: Explains lesson to students and starts with focus questions:

  • What do you think this book is about?
  • What is this book called (title)?
  • What is a wombat?
  • Where have you seen a wombat?
  • Where do wombats live?

Read the text aloud to the students.

  • During reading session, question what is happening in book by asking the students to connect events that are occurring in it to real life situations (increase engagement and motivation of lesson, referring to visual on whiteboard enhance meaning).

Conduct recount game: This is where a chosen student holds up cue cards with the words beginning, middle and end on them. The students then have to try and use words to describe what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story.

Model how to recount the main events in the story book by writing it on a large-format, dotted-thirds template on the board.

Stage 2 – Body of Lesson (30 mins)

Explain to the students that they are now going to write their own recount in their books and we are going to compare these at the end to see how we went.

Challenge the students by erasing some of the words that you had on the board. Explain to the kids that you will erase a few more as the lesson progresses to see how ‘GOOD’ they are!

Remind students about using lines, capital letters and full stops by showing them these on your text.

Students head off and begin writing their recount.

*** Teacher assistance: different child development patterns teacher writes headings: beginning, middle and end in writing books students can draw and write their recount.

*** Teacher assesses student understanding through observation and questioning.

Stage 3 – Conclusion (10 mins)

Shared time activity – teacher chooses four students to present their work to class. Benefits: raises students level of confidence even if they try.

Ask for 2 stars and a wish:

  • What are two things that the child did really well that you liked?
  • What do you wish that they could change to make it better?

Teacher conducts reflective activity with class by asking them stick and then colour in rating scale (e.g. Smiley, neutral or sad face. Or you could use a hand and the 5 fingers mean that they really understand how to do it and so on…)

Assessment Strategies:

  • Observation
  • Questioning
  • Completed recount (Used to moderate against writing rubric (VCOP))
  • Understanding and connection of visual, writing and explanation.
  • Anecdotal notes on students’ overall abilities: progress, achievement of lesson objectives.



  • Storybook: Sebastian Lives in a Hat by Thelma Catterwell and Jerry Argent
  • White board and markers
  • Visual images of characters
  • Large laminated, coloured cue cards
  • Writing books
  • Grey lead pencils
  • Coloured pencils





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