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Hello everyone, it's Mr. Brown with another English lesson for you.

So, let's go for it.

Okay, so, our learning objective is to infer meaning from images.

And this is our second outcome of this unit.

In this lesson, you'll need an exercise book or a piece of paper, a pen, a pencil, something to write with, and your brain.

We're going to start with a writing warm up, and then we are going to be reading The Viewer.

And yes, you read that correctly.

We are going to be reading The Viewer, diving into the book today.

And then we're going to be answering questions on the text.

So let's start with the writing warm up, and we're going to be recapping what we already know.

Simple and compound sentences.

A simple sentence has a main clause.

And remember, a clause has a verb.

A clause is a group of words that contains a verb.

A compound sentence has two main clauses joined together using a coordinating conjunction.

And our coordinating conjunctions are, and, but, or, they are the three coordinating conjunctions.

What I'd like you to do is to write a compound sentence about the opening of The Viewer using and, but, or or.

Over to you.

Off you go.

Okay, let's see some of those compound sentences.

I have gone for an and compound sentence and it reads like this.

The curious boy moved purposely from object to object.

That's the main clause, isn't it? But then I'm going to join another main clause with an and.

And seemed determined to find something worthy of collecting.

Here is a but compound sentence.

The broken shards of sharp glass should've been enough to warn off the boy, but he refused to leave empty-handed.

And when I'm doing a but sentence, I always remember this.

This helps me to remember what a but sentence does.

A but sentence is either going from a positive to a negative or a negative to a positive.

My sentence is definitely a but sentence that starts with a negative, the broken shards of glass should've been enough to ward off the boy.

There's broken shards of glass.

That should have been enough that he'd just left.

He should've seen that warning sign, but he refused to leave empty-handed, that's how a but sentence works.

And now, an or sentence.

The determined scavenger knew he had to find something soon, or he would be hunting for treasures in the dark.

So, when you're using an or sentence, you're saying that if the first thing doesn't happen, the second part of the sentence will happen.

So I'm saying if he can't find something soon, he'll be hunting for treasures in the dark.

Okay? Inferring meaning from images.

And infer, that means to form opinions and conclusions about something using clues and your reasoning skills rather than explicit statements.

It's kind of detective work.

We do this a lot when we're doing guided reading.

We use a clue from the text and we use that to be able to work out our opinion of what we think might be happening or might be about to happen next, that's called inferring.


The Viewer by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan.

This is all we have seen from inside The Viewer.

Until now.

Let's go for it.

We are now going to go inside, I'm going to read you the start of The Viewer.

Tristan was curious from birth.

This is not to say that he was different from other babies, in fact, he was rather ordinary.

But from the moment he opened his eyes, he seemed to be examining the world.

As he grew older, Tristan would wander from his parents' house, to be found hours later, miles away and always alone.

Staring up at a cloudless sky, gathering autumn leaves in a city park or crouched by the seashore peering at some long-dead life form washed up there.

Okay, first page.

What information have we learned from the first page of text? What do we know? Well, first of all, and the big one, because we haven't said this 'til now, we know the name of the boy.

We know his name is Tristan.

And we know he's curious, which is something that we'd already inferred, hadn't we? When we used that image from the opening of him in the scrapyard, that he was very curious.

We know that he likes to be examining things, just like we said, he was examining things in the scrap yard.

Staring, gathering, peering, there's lots of looking and collecting.

Lots of looking and collecting going on on this first page.

Now, here we are, where we wrote the opening, in the scrapyard.

One place, attracted Tristan more than any other.

The city dump stretched over acres of drifting sand, a vast crescent littered with detritus of a careless people.

But to Tristan, the dump was nothing short of a museum.

Every afternoon he searched for interesting objects to take back to his room until curiosity led him to examine them again, as if they might reveal another world.

So we know that Tristan loves going to the city dump or scrap yard, as you might call it.

Where there is a vast, it says a detritus.

What's a detritus, do you think? Detritus is waste or debris of any kind.

And we looked at the word debris, didn't we? Waste or debris of any kind is detritus.

And this page gets across the point that to many people, this would just be a scrapyard.

A city dump.

But to Tristan, it's a museum full of all these objects that he wants to examine and take home.

One afternoon, as Tristan scavenged through piles of rubbish, he came upon the most remarkable find of all.

A curious box.

Fashioned from dark wood and burnished metal and covered with detailed engravings, its lid was locked tight.

Tristan ran his fingers over the indecipherable names and patterns, sensing fascination and dread.

He picked the box up and carried it home.

Later that evening, Tristan left the dinner table early, eager to return to his room to figure out how to unlock the box.

Yet the moment he placed it on his desk, the latch snapped open.

He very carefully raised the lid.

The musty odour of entombed air escaped from the dark space inside.

Okay, lots of vocabulary that might be new to us there so let's go through a couple of them.


Burnished is to polish something metal.

So we know that there is some metal on top of this box that he's discovered.

Engravings are marks cut or carved into a hard material.

I always think of engravings on, perhaps, a ring, you might have engravings on a ring, or engravings on wood, but they are marks that are carved in.


Indecipherable, it's hard to say, isn't it? Indecipherable means you are not able to read or understand it.


Entombed means trapped or buried within something.

So in here it talks about the entombed air inside the box.

And this is the image of the box that it gives us on the next page.

Tristan's pulse raced.

Oh, we can make that text bigger for you there.

I just wanted to show you the two pages together side by side.

This is what inside the box looks like.

Tristan's pulse raced.

The box was crammed with intriguing treasures, though all were designed to magnify, or focus, or illuminate.

So it's a box full of objects that are designed to help you see something.

And that brings me back to the scrap yard where we looked earlier on in our unit, didn't we? And we said, well, it's no coincidence that we're seeing everything through a television.

There's some glasses on the side.

There's some film reels.

It's all about looking and viewing.

What attracted Tristan most was an object that appeared to be an old toy.

A simple machine that a child might use to view pictures.

He picked it up and held it to his eyes.

It fitted perfectly, as if custom made.

Yet, through the machine's tiny lenses he could see nothing.

Searching the deeper recesses of the box, Tristan found three discs of thin metal, each framing a circle of black glass windows.

Each of them empty.

He inserted the first disc into the machine and held it to his eyes.

Still, nothing.

He pressed a lever at the side.

From somewhere deep within, a light began to burn.

A delicate machinery clattered and chimed.

The disc began to turn.

So we know here that Tristan has found an object that looks like an old toy and you hold it up to your eyes.

Now, this is actually called a View-Master.

And I even had a View-Master when I was younger.

I had a View-Master and you would hold it to your eyes and you'd click a little, kind of, switch on the side, and as you clicked it, it would move the disc in the middle, round one to the next picture.

Click again, and you'd see another picture.

And these were pictures, you know, this is a time before the internet, when you couldn't just go and view pictures from anything you wanted in the world.

So he's found one of those.

But when he put it to his eyes, there's nothing there, it's black.

He's pressed lever and then suddenly he starts to hear some machinery making a noise.

The disc turns.

And this time, and here's a picture of The Viewer, this time, one by one, strange images flickered into life.

At first, a scene of fearful chaos.

Then others.

More luminous and eerie.

So we know luminous means giving off light and bright in colour, and eerie strange and frightening.

So the images that he is seeing, and we haven't seen them yet, the images that he is seeing are quite scary and haunting and making him feel uncomfortable.

Should we have a look at some of the images? Are you ready? This is the first image that he saw when he looked through The Viewer.

Where even are we now? What do you think? It looks to me that, that is the sea at the bottom, that kind of dark strip.

And they are waves, you can see where it kind of goes up and down.

And there's this huge storm with a sunset in the very background and then the kind of moon and stars above, and this terrifying storm with so much lightning is raging over the sea.

And here is an example of some of the other images that he looked at.

So, I'm going to show you the images now, and what I'd like you to do is pause each time that the screen changes and you see new images, because I'm going to rotate them round for you so you don't have to twist your head like that.

Because, obviously, they would go round in his viewer.

So they're upside down, some of these now.

And I just want you to have a good look at each of the pictures and start to work out where these pictures might be taken, when they might be taken, and what's going on in each picture.

I'll do that one at the top with you now.

And it looks to me like they are dinosaurs in some kind of battle.

But this seems impossible because they can't be photographs of dinosaurs, because, well, we didn't have cameras back then.

So how old even is this toy? Interesting, okay.

Pause the lesson.

Have a good look at these images.

Take your time with this.

Off you go.

Now, here are some new images.

Same thing, pause, have a good look through each of them.

Take your time.

If you want to rewind and spend longer on a particular picture, absolutely do that.

And again, some more images for you to look at.

These are the three desks that Tristan had when he put them into The Viewer.

These sights left Tristan terribly afraid.

After removing the third and final disc, he put the machine away.

In bed, he descended into a restless sleep, all the while unable to dismiss the feeling of another presence in the room.

The next morning, Tristan could not stop glancing towards the machine, even as he left to go downstairs.

It sat upright on his desk, as if staring back at him.

Surely just as he had left it the night before? Okay.

And that is where we're going to take it up to.


A lot of things to think about.

I mean, certainly just on this page.

It's hinting, isn't it? That the machine is looking back at him.

It's like it's got his own life.

Definitely that last bit where it says, it sat upright on desk as if staring at him.

Surely just as he left it the night before? With a question mark, it's saying, that's where he left it, wasn't it? It's kind of leaving the door open that maybe, maybe this machine has some kind of presence or life force to it, and he says that doesn't he? He says, when he was in bed, he had a restless sleep.

He couldn't relax.

There was no rest, it was restless.

All the while, unable to stop thinking about there being another presence in the room.

Feeling that actually someone was there with him.

Intense, eh? Okay, over to you.

Look through the images from inside The Viewer again, by pausing and rewinding this lesson.

What adjectives could be used to describe the images? Now, there are so many images that I think you can't pick out one by one and go through each to describe the different things you're seeing.

So what I'd like you to do is just come up with images to describe all of them.

Okay? And just come up with adjectives to describe all of the images.

How do the images make you feel as the reader? So as we were reading that story, how did the images make you feel? What effect is Shaun Tan trying to have on you? And the last question I'd like you to answer is what would you do with The Viewer if you were Tristan? So if you were in this story, and it was you who had seen those images, what would you do with The Viewer now? Because we don't know, 'cause we haven't read the rest of the story yet.

What would you do with The Viewer if you were in his position? Okay.

So, this lesson we've done our writing warm up, we have read a huge chunk of The Viewer, and you are now about to start answering questions on the text.

Well done, everyone, a lovely lesson.

It was so nice to share that great book with you.

And I can't wait to share the rest of it too.

See you soon.