Fun with Learning Blog

Free PDFs: Book Response Templates


Responding to literature is an activity children will be asked to do throughout their school lives. One way to do this is to write a book review, and I have suggestions for kids who want to do that at The Book Chook.

Today I want to share another kind of book response for kids, this time in the form of three different PDF templates I’ve created. They are available for free to parents, teachers and librarians who want to use them with kids.


The first PDF template is in colour, as you can see in the image just above, and has a cute little puppet asking kids guiding questions about their book inside comic-type panels. They can choose to use text or drawing to respond, or use a combination of both. You can download Book Response 1.


The second PDF template is similar, but in black and white. Again, kids can choose to use text or drawing to respond, or use a combination of both. Because it’s black and white, stylistic decisions are completely up to them. You can download Book Response 2 here.


The third PDF template is in colour. It is landscape rather than portrait, again uses comic-type panels with kids responding in drawings/text as desired. There is more emphasis on making connections to text in this template. You can download Book Response 3 here.

Check out all my free PDFs on this page.




Tips for Helping Children Select Books

Tips for Helping Children Select Books

There are many ideas we can use when helping our kids select books. Making sure children have access to as many libraries as possible is a great start!

Other tips include: helping our kids start their own book discussion group or club, suggesting children swap books with friends, reading other people’s opinions of books, asking a librarian for advice, browsing books in a library or book store, discovering other books by an author the child liked already, flicking through a random book to check out the ratio of text to pictures, font size, reading the blurb at the back, reading the first page, opening to any page and using the five finger test to determine if the book is too easy, too hard or just right and using websites like What Should I Read Next?

With quite young kids, we tend to focus on clues like too big, too hard, too easy etc, after lots of discussion, demonstration and practice in how to determine those things. What is also key is making sure children see us as readers ourselves, and people they can share their own joy of reading with.

If you are a parent, teacher or librarian who works with kids, I have created two PDF posters which are pictured below:

  1. Book Selection Infographic (for older primary kids) which you can download for free here: Book Selection Infographic.

Book Selection Infographic Image

2. Book Choice (for younger kids) which you can download for free here: Book Choice.







Free PDF Poster for Book Week 2017

Children's Book Week Poster imageHere’s a poster I made to remind people that Children’s Book Week 2017 is coming soon! If you’re a parent, teacher or librarian who’d like to grab a copy and print it, you’re welcome to download it here: Book Week Poster Escape.

You might also be interested in other things I’ve created for Children’s Book Week 2017. In Ideas for Children’s Book Week 2017, you’ll find whole class projects, discussion topics and learning resources that teachers and others might find useful when exploring the Children’s Book Week 2017 theme, Escape to Everywhere, with kids.

In Activities for Children’s Book Week 2017 there are lots of prompts and suggestions for activities that could provide a spark for children and help them engage with books, learn, create, think, and have fun during Children’s Book Week 2017 in Australia.

Check out all the other free PDFs on my website here.




Free PDF Bookmarks – Children’s Book Week 2017

Image of bookmarks on PDF for Children's Book Week 2017. In conjunction with my huge list of activities you can try with children to explore the Children’s Book Week theme, Escape to Everywhere, here’s a free PDF I made for parents, teachers and librarians who work with kids. Simply download the PDF below, print, then have children cut, decorate with a picture of their own in the blank areas of a bookmark, then glue any two together. Laminate if available.

Download: Book Week 17 Bookmarks PDF. Or check out all the free PDFs I have made.


Free PDF for Book Week 2017, Setting Free the Books

Free PDF, Setting Free the BooksIn conjunction with Ideas for Children’s Book Week, 2017 at The Book Chook, I’ve created a free PDF booklet for kids. It seeks to engage them in thinking about a possible scenario where a school principal decides to lock up all the library books. Inside you’ll find comic strip illustrations and text, plus room for kids to record their responses.

This PDF is available for free here to any parent, teacher or librarian who would like to explore the Children’s Book Week theme, Escape to Everywhere, with their kids.

Check out all the PDFs I offer on my PDFs page here.

Free PDF Travel Brochure

Image of Travel Brochure for KidsChildren’s Book Week in Australia begins August 20, 2017. This year the theme is Escape to Everywhere! At The Book Chook, I have detailed some ideas to help parents, teachers and librarians celebrate explore that theme with kids in Ideas for Children’s Book Week 2017.

One of those ideas talks about an escape to a deserted island and asks children to imagine and think about that possibility. I’ve designed a travel brochure format where kids can record their responses, and it’s available as a free PDF to download here.

Check out all the PDFs I offer on my PDFs page here.

Free PDF, Easter Bunny Comic

Easter Bunny ComicHere’s a free PDF of a simple four-frame comic I’ve started off so that kids can finish it by adding the details they want – like speech bubbles, captions, other characters, background and any other details necessary to make a story.

This PDF is offered in relation to my Creative Prompt for Kids – Start with an Easter Bunny at

If you’re a teacher, parent or librarian who’d like to use this comic with children, go ahead and download it here.

You can see more of my free educational PDFs here.

Check out more of my Creative Prompt Series for Kids.

Free PDF Storytelling Script, The Hairy Toe

Storytelling Script, The Hairy Toe

Here’s an old story/traditional tale that has been used by storytellers to scare people for many years. I’ve retold it the way I remember it, but children may prefer to write and tell their own versions. If you’re a teacher, parent or librarian who’d like to use this story as a model for children who wish to become storytellers, go ahead and download it here.

If I were using it with a group of kids, I’d first make sure they became familiar with it after repeated re-readings. I’d probably collaborate with the kids over reading the script aloud as a choral piece. Then I’d discuss with them how best to tell the story to an audience themselves. Some kids will need to learn it by heart, and not want to deviate at all. Others will relax into the story and begin to think how to put their own stamp on it. I’d have the group look for parts of the story where they could use special effects, and build tension. Perhaps they might draw out the words “hairy toe”, and use a deep, drawn-out delivery for words like moan or groan. They might have a special voice and face for the old woman, and a different voice/face for the owner of the toe. As I’ve indicated, in that last sentence, tellers usually either grab the listener, or lunge toward a group of listeners to scare the daylights out of them.

This script is not Australian in origin, but certainly came to Australia in that amazing way stories do. I think it makes an accessible tale for students who want to learn to become storytellers, and celebrate Children’s Book Week – Australia: Story Country – in 2016.

If you’re interested in Children’s Book Week in Australia, check out my article, Children’s Book Week 2016 – Educational Activities.

Children’s Book Week 2016 Australia – Free PDF Book Quiz

BookQuizIMGChildren’s Book Week in Australia will be celebrated Saturday 20 August to Friday 26 August in 2016. It’s the 70th anniversary of the Book of the Year Awards this year.

The Book Week theme will be Australia: Story Country.

Don’t you love that theme! What wonderful scope it has for encouraging a feast of story sharing, and helping children understand that stories come from so many places. I have lots of ideas for teachers, parents and librarians who are itching to get started on Book Week, and will be publishing them at The Book Chook on April 18, 20 and 22, 2016.

Today I have a new free PDF for you – two pages of quiz with 10 questions to answer and 10 book titles to fix. It’s available for parents, teachers and librarians who would like to use it with kids. (It’s not available for someone else to take and sell etc. That would be breaking Australian copyright laws and I know you wouldn’t want to do that!)

If you’re going to use this quiz with kids to celebrate Book Week and Reading, go ahead and click on the image above left. You might also like to read Children’s Book Week 2016 – Resources. 


Find and Count PDFs, Christmas 2015


With Christmas fast approaching, those who work with kids often need to look for some kind of puzzle or colouring page that will keep children occupied for a few moments. If the activity can also help kids practise learning something, or visually discriminating, then great! Today I want to offer two PDFs I’ve made to those who work with kids: parents, teachers and librarians. There are little Christmas-themed items hidden in the two PDFs that kids need to count and record. Click on HowMany and/or HowMany2 to download to your computer.

The puzzles might be useful to print out for a long car trip, or a “busy” activity when a teacher must deal with something urgent and sudden. It might also make a useful model for children to go on and create their own visual puzzles – I used the clipart at PicMonkey to make mine.

If you’re interested in (slightly) educational Christmas-related activities for kids, check out A Sleigh Load of Fun Christmas Ideas for Kids at The Book Chook.