Dad’s Takeaways Activities

Dad’s Takeaways

written by Melanie Drewery

illustrated by Christopher White

published by Mallinson Rendel, 2007

While on holiday at the beach, a family decides to have takeaways for dinner. The children try to guess what kind of takeaway it will be – fish and chips, burgers, pizza? It is eventually revealed that they will be digging for their own kaimoana (seafood) for dinner. This story conjures up classic kiwi images of summer holidays at the beach, playing and digging for shellfish, freedom and fresh air, with an environmental theme of only taking food for yourself, and leaving some for others. The illustrations support the New Zealand beach theme and New Zealand images can be seen throughout the watercolour pictures – a tyre swing, a couch on the deck, a flax kete, pohutukawa trees, grasses and driftwood.

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 1: SHELLS (Visual Art)
NZ Curriculum Level 1, 2 & 3

(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies
  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and texts
Activity The front and back inside covers of this book show beautiful images of shells from the beach. Children could use any medium to create their own shell images. In this activity, they use pencil and charcoal to notice and sketch the lines, shapes and shading of a variety of shells.

1.Spend time looking at the inside covers of the book. Talk about the different shells seen there and notice the lines, colours and shapes.

  • Have you ever seen shells like this at the beach? Which ones?
  • Can you name any of these shells?
  • Which ones do you think contained shellfish before they were opened?

2. Show children a variety of shells from the beach. Some will be similar to those in the book. Can the children match up any similar ones?

While examining the shells, encourage children to talk about lines and patterns, shapes and shades. How are the shells different? Similar?

3. Using a pencil or charcoal, model how to sketch a shell. Use short, soft lines. Show children how to use slightly darker lines and blend to create shadows and darker areas.

4. Invite children to choose 4 different shells they would like to sketch. Fold a piece of paper into 4 parts and sketch one shell in each.

  • Pencil, charcoal
  • Paper
  • shells
Taking it further
  • Use other mediums to create shell images – try printmaking or paint, crayon and dye (Visual Art)
  • At Level 3, students could begin to sketch shapes which overlap (Visual Arts)
  • Write descriptive sentences about each shell, or a poem (English)
  • Classifying shells – ask children to come up with their own criteria for classifying different shells (Maths)
Curriculum Links The Arts

Visual Art

  • share ideas about how and why their own and others’ works are made and their purpose, value and context (Level 1 & 2)
  • explore a variety of materials and tools and discover elements and selected principles (Level 1 & 2)
  • investigate visual ideas in response to a variety of motivations, observation and imagination (Level 1)
  • share the ideas, feelings and stories communicated by their own and others’ objects and images (Level 1 & 2)
  • investigate and develop visual ideas in response to a variety of motivations, observation and imagination (Level 2)
  • investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed and valued (Level 3)
  • explore some art-making conventions, applying knowledge of elements and selected principles through the use of materials and processes (Level 3)
  • develop and revisit visual ideas, in response to a variety of motivations, observation and imagination, supported by the study of artists’ works (Level 3)
  • describe the ideas their own and others’ objects communicate (Level 3)
Applications for Level 4 and above This activity could be done at any level. Students working at higher levels would be expected to develop and refine their work to an increasingly high standard. They should make deliberate choices about how they choose to represent their images.
Activity 2: BEACH HAIKU (English)
NZ Curriculum Level 2 & 3

(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies
  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
Activity While reading this story students may be reminded of a special time with their family or friends at the beach. In this activity they will learn to use Haiku poetry to write about their beach memories.

1. After reading the story, begin a discussion about students own memories of going to the beach. Share memories with a partner. When students report back to the class, they must share what their partner told them, in as much detail as possible.

While students are sharing, write up the activities they are talking about on the board.

(Things like: boogie boarding on big waves, collecting shells (maybe kaimoana), hunting in rockpools for crabs, starfish and sea snails, climbing sharp rocks, building sand castles, digging huge holes in the sand, writing in the sand with a stick, burying each other in the sand… and so on!)

2. Introduce students to the Haiku poetry form.

Haiku poetry is from Japan. The poems are very short – only 3 lines, and the lines do not rhyme. The first and third lines have 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables. The following rhyme is helpful for remembering Haiku form:

I am first with five

Then seven in the middle

Five again to end.

3. Show examples of beach poems written in Haiku form (see ‘Resources’ for some good examples – some are written by children).

4. Using the examples of beach activities written up on the board, have a go at writing 5 and 7 syllable lines as a class.

5. When students feel confident, allow them to move away and try writing their own lines with 5 and 7 syllables. Choose 3 which they feel fit together well to form their own Haiku poems.

Resources Haiku poems about the beach:
Taking it further
  • Publish and display poems alongside some beach artwork (see Activity 1 for possible link) (Visual Art)
  • Try out other poetry forms – cinquain, sonnet, limerick, ode (English)
Curriculum Links English

Listening, Reading and Viewing

  • show some understanding of ideas within, across and beyond texts (Level 2)
  • show a developing understanding of ideas within, across and beyond texts (Level 3)

Speaking, Writing and Presenting

  • 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)
  • show a developing understanding of how to shape texts for different purposes and audiences (Level 3)
  • select, form and communicate ideas on a range of topics (Level 3)
  • use language features appropriately, showing a developing understanding of their effects (Level 3)
  • organise texts, using a range of appropriate structures (Level 3)
Applications for Level 1 At Level 1, students could investigate more simple poetry forms, for example acrostic poems.
Applications for Level 4 and above This activity could be carried out at any level. As students progress through the levels, they should be able to show increasingly complex use of ideas, language features and structures in their writing.
NZ Curriculum Level 2 & 3

(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies
  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing
Activity In this story a family collect shellfish (paua, pipi and mussels) from the sea to cook for their dinner. Students can explore the laws surrounding the collection of fish and shellfish in New Zealand.1. After reading the story, refer back to the lines which talk about not eating all of the shellfish:
  • “Is that enough?” called Dad. “Oh yes,” Ngaio said. “Better leave some for tomorrow.”
  • “Ours to save, so there’s still some tomorrow,” added Dad.

Establish that they didn’t want to eat all the shellfish, so that there was more for tomorrow. Ask:

  • Could there be another reason why they didn’t want to take all the shellfish?

Look at the following lines:

  • “Not just my takeaways,” [Dad] said. “They’re yours, too.”
  • “Ours to share and treasure,” said Ngaio.


  • What do these lines tell us about shellfish in New Zealand?
  • How does this relate to the idea of not taking all the shellfish?

They are a precious resource to be treasured. We should not take too many – we should leave some for others to enjoy.

2. Discuss New Zealand’s fishing laws

  • What are the laws?
  • Who makes the laws?
  • Are the laws the same all over New Zealand, or different in different parts? If different, why would this be?
  • Are there different laws for different people? Why?
  • Why do we need to have fishing laws?
  • Who is responsible for ‘policing’ the fishing laws?

3. After initial discussion, students can move away in small groups to research answers to these questions.

See ‘Resources’ for a good web link.

4. Share findings with the class and summarise

  • Did everyone get similar answers?
  • Why/ why not?
  • Share personal views about the fishing laws – agree/ disagree? Why?
Taking it further
  • Email the Ministry of Fisheries to find out more information (Social Science/ English)
  • Create a debate agreeing or disagreeing about aspects of the fishing laws (Social Science/ English)
Curriculum Links Social Science
  • understand that people have social, cultural and economic role, rights and responsibilities (Level 2)
  • understand how people make choices to meet their needs and wants (Level 2)
  • understand how groups make and implement rules and laws (Level 3)
  • understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources (Level 3)
Applications for Level 4 and above At Level 4 and above, students will begin to explore how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability. They should begin to consider social factors, showing understanding of how people interact with natural environments and that this interaction has consequences. At Level 7, students may also begin to consider how perceptions of the natural environment differ and have changed over time.