Theme: Living in a Community

This unit includes stories and activities about different aspects of the local community such as schools, libraries, emergency services, shops and businesses, community services/programs, sporting clubs and more.

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
The Magic Paint Brush
(Stories from Long Ago
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Grammar/Spelling Focus
Write about why it is important to help others in our community. In pairs, research a community organisation that helps those in need e.g. the Red Cross. Paint or draw a picture of something that could help people in your local community.
Zip Stage 3
Wheels of Speed
(Imaginary Worlds
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
What’s the Order?
Worksheet #1:
Imagine you found something special in an old junk shop. Write a story about it. Role play the wrong and right way to behave when you are inside a shop. What kinds of shops are in our community? Make one by decorating a cereal or shoe box.
Zip Stage 4
The Exterminator
General Worksheet #2:
There’s More Than One Way to Kill a Mouse
List occupations that end in or and er (e.g. plumber, actor) Write a narrative about a different funny experience for an exterminator. Use old phone books to discuss the best ads and why they stand out. General Worksheet #1:
One Problem Leads to Another!
Zip Stage 4
Who Will Save Fluffy?
General Worksheet #1:
Who Tried What?
Complete General Worksheet #2 then put each word into an interesting sentence. Write a recount about a time when you needed help from someone in the community. Talk about the ways you can help your neighbours and how they can help you. Design a poster about calling 000 in an emergency.
Zip Stage 5
Create a cause/effect chart for the events in the story. Study silent b words (as in climb). General Worksheet #2:
It Gets Worse
Role play situations that require emergency services. General Worksheet #1:
View From a Tree
Zip Stage 5
Time to Own Up
General Worksheet #1:
You Need an Alibi
Explore the rule for plural nouns ending in f e.g. thiefthieves. Imagine you are a private detective. Write an advertisement for your services. Present an oral report about the Neighbourhood Watch program. General Worksheet #2:
Stolen Goods
Zip Stage 6
General Worksheet #2:
Before and After
General Worksheet #1:
Pronoun Hunt
General Worksheet #3:
Retell the Story
In pairs, complete
General Worksheet #4:
First Aid Kit
Research the types of emergency services in the community.
Zip Stage 6
Subway Hero
(True Tales)
Describe why and how Everett Sanderson saved the little girl. General Worksheet #1:
Exclamation Marks
General Worksheet #4:
Positive Impressions
General Worksheet #2:
Who is Your Hero?
Present answers to Activity 5 to an audience.
General Worksheet #3:
Design a Medal
Zip Stage 7
The Caped Crusader
General Worksheet #1:
Heroic Mishaps
Study the comparative and superlative form of adjectives e.g. brave/braver/bravest. Complete General Worksheet #2 then write a story about your life as a superhero. In a small group, brainstorm a list of real life ‘caped crusaders’ in the community. Interview someone in the community who helps others e.g. nurse, police officer.
Zip Stage 7
Jamie’s Secret
General Worksheet #2:
Recalling Words
General Worksheet #1:
The Right Words
General Worksheet #4:
Great Teachers
Role play situations where an adult in the community helps a child/children. General Worksheet #3:
Keeping Secrets
Zip Stage 8
Two Hours From Town
General Worksheet #1:
Meddling with Metaphors
Locate homophonous words in the story e.g. drawer (pg 2) - draw. General Worksheet #3:
Outback Emergency
Work together to complete General Worksheet #2. Research the community services available to people in remote areas.
Zip Stage 8
Meg’s Mum Can’t Fly
General Worksheet #1:
Attempts to Fly
General Worksheet #3:
Vocabulary Building
What is a marathon? Write an information report about it. Present an oral report about a sporting event in your local community. General Worksheet #2:
Different Ways to Fly
Zip Stage 9
The Magic Shop
(Fantasy and Sci Fi
Advanced Library)
Describe the positive and negative events Gip’s father experiences in the Magic Shop. Worksheet #1:
Powerful Prefixes
Worksheet #2:
The Magic Sword
In pairs, design a business plan for an unusual type of shop to be built in the local shopping centre. Worksheets #1 or #2
Extension Activities.
Zip Stage 9
The White Mouse
Advanced Library)
Use evidence from the text to explain why Nancy Wake was called the ‘White Mouse’. Worksheet #1:
Know Your ‘-isms’
Task 1 and Challenge Activities
Worksheet #2:
The Women of WW1
Present responses to the Extension Activity from Worksheet #2 to an audience. Worksheet #1
Task 2 and/or Extension Activity
Zip Stage 10
The Missing Angel
Advanced Library)
Write a brief synopsis of what is happening for each sub-heading used in the story. Worksheet #1:
Identify the Missing Letter
Worksheets #1 & #2
Extension Activities
Worksheet #1
Task 3
Worksheet #2:
Profile of an Artist

Assessment Ideas

  • Generate a spelling list of names of buildings that provide community services such as: fire station, library, town hall, hospital, police station, school, church, kindergarten, medical centre and post office.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Identify an example of each of the buildings from the spelling list as a proper noun e.g. St John’s Hospital.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing sentence structure.
  • 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 stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Design a certificate of appreciation for one of the characters from the on-line stories.
  • Create a chart that displays a timeline of events from one of the on-line stories.
  • Write narratives using the following topics:
    Police Emergency!
    My Life as a Fire Fighter
    The Day the Ambulance came to School
  • Complete the statement: When I grow up, I would like to help the community by...
  • Make a list of interview questions for a member of the emergency services.
Oral Language
  • Perform a song/play/poetry reading for a local hospital /aged care facility/kindergarten.
  • Present an oral report about the importance of a chosen community service.
  • Invite a member of the emergency services to speak to the class. Prepare relevant questions in advance.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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