Lesson video

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Hello, my name's Mrs. Smart.

Welcomed this English unit.

In this unit, we are going to be exploring a text called "Mirror" by Jeannie Baker.

It's one of my favourite books so I cannot wait to share it with you.

In this lesson you will need an exercise book or some lined paper, a pen or pencil to write with and a ruler or some sorts of straight edge.

If you don't have any of those things with you right now, just pause the recording and get yourself ready.

In this lesson we're going to start with an introduction to the text followed by an introduction to the author.

Then I'm going to expand a little bit of the context of this book.

We'll end today's lesson with your independent tasks.

Here is the front and the back cover of the texts we are going to be exploring in this unit.

The name of the text is "Mirror," the writer and the illustrator is Jeannie Baker.

With thanks to Walker Books for granting permission for us to use this book.

We are going to be thinking about the genre of this text.

Let's just recap what the word genre means.

Repeat after me.



The definition is, a style or category of art, music or literature.

Synonyms or words that have a similar meaning are text type, category, style and in a sentence, we could use it like this; biographies are a popular genre of book.

We're also going to be making some inferences.

We are going to infer from the pictures.

Let's just recap what the word infer means.



Well done.

The definition is, to work something out from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.

So often I think of it a little bit, like being a detective and looking for clues, working things out from the clues that you find.

We're going to be using the images in the text to work out some information about the story.

Synonyms are deduce, conclude, reason.

And in a sentence, we could use it like this; I can infer how a character feels from their actions.

Before we look inside the book, let's have a careful look at the front and the back cover.

Maybe we can infer something about the story based on the images.

Could we work out where this story takes place? Who is involved in this story? Have a look carefully at the front cover and the back cover and write down anything that you can see and anything you can infer or work out from what you can see.

Pause the recording and write down your ideas now.


Let's see what I identified.

So first of all, I noticed a child on the front cover sitting in a window and it looks a little bit like a boy, I think.

Maybe that's the main character of the story.

Then I saw the moon in the sky, but the sky isn't completely dark yet.

So I worked out that, that must mean it's either dawn, so very early morning or dusk.

So just becoming nighttime.

Then if you look really carefully, you can see lots of tall buildings or skyscrapers.

This made me think that probably the setting is a city because I can see a city landscape.

And then also I can see little strip of bluey green water.

So this city must be either on a river or maybe next to the sea.

I also noticed a little animal here on the roof.

And when I first saw it, I thought it was a cat but actually I looked really closely.

And I think it might be possum.

I wonder if you've ever seen or heard of a possum before? They are animals commonly found in Australia.

Maybe, the story takes place in Australia.

Let's wait and see.

Now let's have a look at the back cover.

What can you see? I saw, again, a child sitting in a window.

I saw a richly decorated buildings so I can see the brick is sort of a terracotta, brownie-orangy colour.

And there's lots of beautiful pattern on the building and interesting shapes carved into it.

And it looks a little bit like a tower.

I can see a mountainous desert landscape.

There's mountains in the background.

The ground looks very desert-like sort of earthy or sandy maybe from the colour, but I can see some squares of green that maybe that's people's gardens or maybe it's fields where they're growing crops.

Again, I saw a moon that the sky isn't completely dark so I thought it must be dawn or dusk.

Now here, the title it's not written in English it's written in Arabic script.

And I can't read Arabic but I do recognise the script is Arabic.

And then lastly, I identified a large bird here, a white bird.

It looks a little bit like maybe a heron or I know that if this story is taking place in North Africa I know that there are storks found there.

Quite commonly which are large white birds.

So maybe it's a stork and maybe this parts of the story takes place somewhere in North Africa, maybe Morocco.

Now you've had a chance to explore the front and the back cover of this book.

Hopefully that's going to help you answer these questions.

Which genre do you think this text is? Can you infer what this text is about? Here, are some sentence starters to help you write your answers.

I think the genre of this text is, because, and try and explain why you think that.

Maybe you think it's a story.

Maybe you think it's a nonfiction information text.

Maybe you think it's a biography.

What do you think? And then can you infer what this text is about? Remember infer means, can you work out what this text is about? Maybe what's going to happen, where it takes place, who it involves.

Use this sentence starter to help you.

I think this text is about, because, so when you try and explain why you think that.

Pause the recording and write down your sentences now.

As I mentioned before, the author and illustrator of this book is someone called Jeannie Baker.

I'm going to tell you a little bit more about her now.

Jeanie grew up in England and she was the eldest of six children.

So she had five brothers and sisters, five siblings.

As a child, she enjoyed drawing, painting and making things so very creative.

She studied at art college and that's where she started to evolve her collage work.

She wrote and illustrated her first children's book while she was at art college.

And this was later published as "Grandfather." Maybe you've seen this book already.

She then moved to Sydney, Australia.

And the Australian environment has an enormous impact on her work.

Projects often take three to four years to complete.

So, it can take her three to four years from start to finish, to complete and produce a whole book.

Here, is some other books by Jeannie Baker that you might've seen before.

"Where The Forest Meets The Sea," "Circle" and "The Hidden Forest." As you can notice from the front cover, lots of her books are about the environment.

This is a little extract from the back of "Mirror." That explains what gave Jeannie Baker the inspiration to write or create this story.

"Mirror," the idea for this book came from my delight travelling in a country, very different from my own.

At the time in my own country, there was much political poisoning of attitudes towards foreigners and foreignness.

But travelling alone in remote Morocco, a woman's stranger myself, I was met with much friendliness and generosity from strangers.

The idea of the book was right there.

That outward appearances maybe very different, but the inner person of a stranger may not be a stranger at all.

Like each other, we live to be loved by family and friends and be part of a larger family, a community.

Inwardly, we are so alike, it could be each other we see when we look in a mirror.

The settings I chose for the families in the story of the Valley of Roses, famous for its Rose perfume in Southern Morocco and my home in Sydney, Australia.

The pictures started as drawings.

Using these drawings as a guide collages were made.

The collages were constructed layer by layer on a wooden baseboard using a combination of natural and artificial materials, such as sand, earth, clay, paints, vegetation, paper fabric, wall, tin and plastic.

The natural materials were preserved and fresh colouring added.

The completed collages were then photographed to be reproduced as you see here.

So the images that you're going to see in "Mirror," they're not images that have been drawn by someone or painted by someone they've been created by collage and then photographed.

So quite different from picture books that you might've seen before.

Here is a little extract from the beginning of the text that explains how the text works.

There are two boys and two families in this book.

One family lives in a city in Australia and one lives in Morocco, North Africa.

The lives of the two boys and their families look very different from each other and they are different.

But some things connects them.

Just as some things are the same for all families, no matter where they live.

And then that same text is written in Arabic, because generally people that live in Morocco, in North Africa speak and write and read Arabic rather than speaking, writing and reading English.

And the interesting thing about Arabic is you don't read it from left to right like you do with English.

You read it from right to left.

And you can see the very front of this book has both of those pieces of texts next to each other.

And then the book opens up and you see the story of the family in Australia and the story of the family in Morocco next to each other.

They are like a mirror image of each other.

Here's a map of the world to show you where Morocco and Australia are.

Maybe you can find them.

Have a look and see if you can find Morocco and Australia on the map.

How did you get on? So Morocco is a country in North Africa and it is there.

Can you see where the star has appeared? And then Australia is a very large country and Sydney, Australia is around there where that pink star has just appeared.

Using what you have learned about this story so far, I would like you to try and answer this question.

Why is the book called "Mirror"? Pause the recording and write down your answer now.

If you weren't sure why the book is called "Mirror" all will become clear in the next few lessons.

So that's a good incentive to watch on and watch the rest of the lessons in this units.

For your task today, I would like you to create a mind map of everything you've learned about "Mirror" and the author Jeannie Baker.

So that you can see how much you have learnt and how much you have remembered.

Here's an example that I started but I'm sure you could add a lot more to your mind map.

So you can see I've written the word "Mirror" in middle, because that's the title of the book that we are exploring.

I've included Jeannie Baker author and illustrator, Jeannie Baker from Australia 'cause I know that's where she lives although originally she was from England.

Australian environment impacts her work.

I know that lots of her books are about the environment in Australia.

Then this one's more about "Mirror" set in Morocco and Australia.

And the genre is a wordless picture book.

And that will all become clear in the next few lessons.

Congratulations, you have completed your lesson.

If you would like to please share your work with your parents or carer.

I will see you in your next lesson.