Teacher’s notes for Rainbow Jackets

Like its companion volume, A Glassful of Giggles, this book is full of fun with quirky  characters and magical moments in everyday settings. The stories lend themselves to telling, reading aloud and dramatisation, but their rhythms, rhymes and illustrations will also give support and confidence to young, independent readers.


  • Combine maths, science and art/craft 
  • Give each child a bubble-blower (made from a twisted garden-tie) and access to some bubble-mixture.  
  • Encourage the children to observe the bubbles they are blowing. 
  • Compare sizes; bigger, smaller, tiny, middle-sized. And shapes; sphere, circle, oval, elongated. 
  • Discuss what is inside a bubble. How it gets in there? What a bubble’s skin is made of? 
  • Ask the students to describe the colour of a bubble. Is it always the same colour? Can you catch a bubble: in your hand?  
  • In the bubble-blower? On paper?  
  • Add colouring to the bubble mixture.  
  • Use a straw to blow into the container. Once it has filled with bubbles, carefully place a piece of art paper over the top.  
  • How many bubble shapes can you count on the paper?

Charlie Forever

Charlie Forever
  • Borrow a microscope from the science lab and allow the students to examine a fly. 
  • Chart the life cycle, breeding grounds, number of legs.  
  • Discuss the compound eye of the insect.  
  • Compare with other insects. 
  • Use mime to act out the story.  
  • Role play the loss of a pet.  
  • Compare the dangers posed to health by germs carried by flies, with the harm that pesticides can do to the environment.

The Humptee Umbrella

The Humptee Umbrella
  • Read or tell this story, pausing each time the Humptee  Umbrella runs off.  
  • Ask the students to suggest a solution to Quarkum’s problem.  
    The open ending of this story can be used to stimulate the students’ own writing of a sequel or an alternative ending.  
  • Add an art element by asking the students to turn their stories into individual picture books or a joint book for the class library. 
  • Dramatise the story. Add more characters, new adventures, different solutions to the problems.

The Wirra Wirra Bird

The Wirra Wirra Bird
  • First read the story without showing the pictures. Ask the students to describe the Wirra Wirra bird. 
  • Draw it on the white/blackboard using their suggestons. Give each student a sheet of art paper and ask them to draw their own version of the creature. 
  • As a technology and enterprise project, ask the students to construct their own working model of a Wirra Wirra Bird.

I Can’t Find Any Socks

  • This story lends itself to the exploration of all sorts of maths language and concepts. Using the socks of class members, act out the story. When all the socks have ended up in the lost property box, do lots of sorting, matching, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. 
  • Set Mum’s ‘complaining song’ (page 47) to music. Make your own instruments to accompany the tune. Turn the whole story into a musical performance by developing tunes for the ‘Hurry up Newton’ chorus and the ‘Days of the Week’ refrain.