Activity for ‘Papa’s Jandals’

Papa’s Jandals

by Kate Moetaua

Papa’s Jandals is a hilarious story about Junior and his Papa’s treasured jandals. Cheeky Junior is always stealing his Papa’s enormous jandals, which fit his big feet perfectly as well. However, one day he loses them and sets off around town to try to find them, knowing that he will be in lots of trouble if he has lost them for good! Just when it seems like he has looked everywhere, he finds Papa’s jandals in the most unlikely of places! This is a story about families working together and having fun, with a real Pacific Island flavour. The story is cleverly illustrated using bright, cartoon images by Bruce Potter, which perfectly support the hilarious text.

This book was nominated for the collection because of the authenticity of its story and characters – for example, Junior’s “energy”, as well as the jandal-wearing Grandad and his special relationship with his grandson.

Please note that these activities are suggestions which have not yet been trialled. We welcome any feedback on how they play out in the classroom (see the feedback section).

Activity: MY FAMILY (English)

Curriculum Level 1 & 2 (see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
  • managing self
  • participating and contributing


This story provides a humorous description of a Samoan family. Children can use the story as a starting point for talking and writing about their own families. In this activity, they will write character descriptions of their own family members, which they will put together to create a book called “My Family”.1. Read and enjoy the story together.

2. After reading, talk about the “characters” in the story: Junior, Papa, Mama, Uncle Tumu, cousin Pene, Aunty Aki, cousin Nika, Uncle and Aunty.   Ask:

  • does the family in this story remind you of your own family at all?
  • in what way/ or in what ways are your family different?

3. Organise the children into pairs, and spend some time talking about their own families.

Clarify that “family” can mean lots of different things to different people. It might be their immediate family – parents, brothers, sisters etc…, or it might extend to grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. Some people also consider close family friends or neighbours as family too.

4. Once children have spent some time talking, ask them to choose 1 person in their family that they would like to write about – write down their name at the top of a piece of paper, and draw a picture of them underneath.

5. Show the children how to write a character description. The description of Junior at the beginning of the story is a great example of this:

Junior was a very cheeky brother. He had a huge smile and a wild crop of curly black hair. He was the only boy in the family and he never did any jobs around the house. Every night after dinner, he always had a sudden urge to go to the toilet. We all knew he was avoiding the dishes. So, we always left him the dirtiest, crustiest pots and pans for when he finished on the toilet…

Look carefully at this model, and establish the following “formula” for writing a character description:

Firstly, write about what they look like/ physical description.

Secondly, write a description of something they “always do” – an example of what their personality is like.

6. Children can begin to write character descriptions about their own chosen family member.

They could go on to create a book called “My Family”, with a picture and character description on each page.


  • paper
  • pens, pencils, felts etc

Links to other books in PPBC

Papa’s Donuts by Kate Moetaua 

Tane Steals the Show by Lino Nelisi

Sione’s Talo by Lino Nelisi

The Pipi Swing by Sarona Aiono-Iosefa

Fiapule by Catherine Hannken

Selafina by Catherine Hannken

Sole! Goes to Rotorua by Fata and Paula Letoa

Sole! White Sunday by Fata and Paula Letoa

The Wooden Fish by Tim Tipene

Living with Aunt Sasa’e: a family in Western Samoa by Hélène Tremblay

– these stories all show different types of families working and living together

Curriculum Links  English  Listening, Reading and Viewing

  • recognise that texts are shaped for different purposes and audiences (Level 1)
  • recognise and identify ideas within and across texts (Level 1)
  • recognise and begin to understand how language features are used for effect within and across texts (Level 1)
  • recognise and begin to understand text structures (Level 1)
  • show some understanding of how texts are shaped for different purposes and audiences (Level 2)
  • show some understanding of how language features are used for effect within and across texts (Level 2)
  • show some understanding of ideas within, across and beyond texts (Level 2)
  • show some understanding of text structures (Level 2)

Speaking, Writing and Presenting

  • recognise how to shape texts for a purpose and an audience (Level 1)
  • form and express ideas on a range of topics (Level 1)
  • use language features, showing some recognition of their effects (Level 1)
  • organise texts, using simple structures (Level 1)
  • show some understanding of how to shape texts for different purposes and audiences (Level 2)
  • select, form and express ideas on a range of topics (Level 2)
  • use language features appropriately, showing some understanding of their effects (Level 2)
  • organise texts, using a range of structures (Level 2)

Other Ideas

  • Talking and writing about funny family experiences (English)
  • Come up with some other solutions for fixing a hole in the roof/ or another use for jandals (Technology)