Theme: Celebrations

This unit includes stories about birthday parties, special events such as weddings and Christmas, amazing presents, even fairy tales involving happy endings and magic prizes.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.

Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 3
Poor Little Rich Boy
(People Like Me
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheets #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Write about the best gift you have ever received that wasn’t an object. Co-operative Group Task: Discuss the special things you do at Christmas time. Christmas is a religious celebration. What other religious celebrations are there?
Zip Stage 3
The Magic Suitcase
(Imaginary Worlds
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Three Wishes
Worksheets #1:
Definition and Word
Imagine you found a magic suitcase. Write a story about it. Discuss the birthday gifts you would get for your family if you had a magic suitcase. Design an advertisement for the best birthday present ever.
Zip Stage 4
Sleeping Beauty
(Timeless Tales)
Multiple Choice Questions & Worksheet #2: Who and What? Worksheet #1:
Which Word?
Write an imaginative story called
‘The Best Party Ever!’
Use the supplied script (found here) as Reader’s Theatre. Write or draw about different types of celebrations in the year.
Zip Stage 4
(Timeless Tales)
Multiple Choice Questions & Worksheet #2: Sequencing Events Worksheet #1:
Grammar Focus
Design an invitation to an unusual party (e.g. in space or under the sea). Create stick puppets of the characters and use them to retell the story. People bring gifts to a wedding. What other celebrations have gifts?
Zip Stage 5
Tortured By Fairies
Write a short sentence to describe Brad’s feelings on each page of the story. General Worksheet #1:
Birthday Party
Word Find
General Worksheet #2:
Write your own story or verse
Demonstrate how to play a chosen party game to the class. Create a menu of your favourite birthday party food.
Zip Stage 6
The Flower of Happiness
(Fairy Tales)
General Worksheet #1:
Snapshot of a Story Map
Study adding the suffix ‘ness’ to adjectives
e.g. happy/happiness,
General Worksheet #2:
Become an Author
Co-operative Cloze
General Worksheet #3:
Happy New Year!
Research special celebrations from other countries e.g. Carnaval
Zip Stage 6
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
(Fairy Tales)
Retell what the soldier did to discover the princesses’ secret. General Worksheet #1:
What’s the Word?
General Worksheet #3:
Disappearing Acts
Partner Activity
General Worksheet #2:
Let’s Dance!
Research dances used for celebrations e.g. bridal waltz - wedding
Zip Stage 6
The Fancy Dress Fiend
Use the times mentioned in the story to create a timeline of events. General Worksheet #3:
Mysteriously Missing Meanings
Write a mystery story using a party as the scene of the mystery. Partner Activity
General Worksheet #1:
Who Wore What?
Imagine a fancy dress party. Draw and describe an extraordinary new costume.
Zip Stage 7
Bill and the Kitten
Write about how Bill and the kitten feel about each other. Use examples from the story to study the digraphs ‘ir’ and ‘ur’. Write about the best birthday present you ever received. Collaboratively complete General Worksheets #1 & #2. Research the origins of the tradition of giving birthday presents.
Zip Stage 7
(Fairy Tales)
General Worksheet #2:
Character Study
General Worksheet #1:
Using Commas
General Worksheet #3:
Design an Invitation
Group Discussion:
How do you prepare for a party?
What other fairy tales end with a wedding? Explore origins of this.

Assessment Ideas

  • Make a list of words related to the theme for use as a spelling list e.g. party, birthday, wedding, anniversary, baptism, Christmas, celebrate, balloons, streamers, cake and presents.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Use the rule change y to i and add es to make nouns ending in y plural e.g. party/parties.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing the use of speech marks.
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Write a review for one of the on-line stories and include the following information: title, setting, main characters, favourite character, highlights, improvements and opinion of the story.
  • Write an alternate ending to one of the on-line stories.
  • Write recounts using the following topics:
    The Birthday Party I’ll Never Forget
    Our Best Family Celebration
  • Write narratives using the following topics:
    The Most Unusual Gift
    The Missing Birthday Cake
  • Write a recipe for a birthday cake suitable for a mythical creature e.g. wizard, giant, monster or fairy.
  • Design an invitation for a class/school celebration.
Oral Language
  • Present an oral report about celebrations from other countries/cultures.
  • Conduct a class celebration. Students plan the venue, food, decorations and entertainment for the day.
  • Use one of the on-line stories to present as Reader’s Theatre to an audience.
  • Interview a parent or grandparent about a memorable celebration in their life. Relate their story back to the class.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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