Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy Activities

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy

Written by Lynley Dodd

Illustrated by Lynley Dodd

First published by Mallinson Rendel, 1983

Reissued by Penguin, 2005

This is Hairy Maclary’s first adventure by Lynley Dodd. It describes a little black Scottish terrier’s walk from his home at Donaldson’s dairy through a small town one morning. Along the way he picks up his doggy friends from their houses – Hercules Morse, Bottomley Potts, Muffin McLay, Bitzer Maloney and Schnitzel von Krumm. Illustrations show New Zealand house scenes, with fences, gardens and letterboxes all representing New Zealand living. The text is simple and repetitive, which makes it suitable and enjoyable for younger audiences.

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: RETELLING THE STORY (Drama)
NZ Curriculum Level 1

(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies
  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
Activity In groups, children could practise retelling the story as a dramatisation. This could be done in several different ways:
  • A narrator reads the story as the others act out the parts of the animals in mime.
  • Children may rewrite the story in their own words, which is then narrated and acted out.
  • Children create a play (written or orally) whereby each character has lines to say.
  • The story may be acted out completely in mime.

1. After reading through the story a couple of times, identify all of the characters in the story. Ask the children to find a space in the room and practise moving and acting like each character. For example:

  • How would Hairy Maclary move?
  • What about Muffin McLay – would his movements be the same or different to Hairy Maclary’s? Why would he move differently?
  • Can you make your body go like Scarface Claw on this page? And what sound would he be making here?

2. When children have had some practice, in groups they can go away and work on their dramatisation, which they would later perform to the class.

Taking it further
  • Try using musical instruments to add in some sound effects (links to Music)
  • Try dramatising some of Lynley Dodd’s other stories about Hairy Maclary (Drama)
  • Think about costumes / make masks for each character (Visual Art)
  • Perform to a wider audience – parents or school assembly (Drama)
Curriculum Links Drama
  • explore the elements of role, focus, action, tension, time and space through dramatic play (Level 1)
  • contribute and develop ideas in drama, using personal experience and imagination (Level 1)
  • share drama through informal presentation and respond to ways in which drama tells stories and conveys ideas in their own and others work (Level 1)
Applications for Level 2  and above Older children could dramatise this story for the purposes of performing it to young children. At Level 3 and above, they may begin to think about how they can use relevant technologies to enhance their performances – such as lighting or backdrops.

Activity 2: WRITING FROM A MODEL (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 The text in this book follows a very repetitive pattern, which can be used as a simple model for children to follow and write their own story.

Children may choose to make up their own characters, or use those from the Hairy Maclary story.

1. Look at the text and the way it is laid out. It may be helpful to have it all written up on one sheet so that children can see clearly how it flows. Notice patterns – repetition, rhyme. At Level 2, notice where the full stops and capital letters are.

2. Using this model, children have a go at writing their own story. (If children are making up their own characters, they will need to spend some time drawing and developing these first – at least a whole lesson could be spent on this).

The model would flow like this:

i.      Out of the _____ and off for a ____ went _______ from ________.

ii.         Introduce each character, in a layered effect, like the story

iii.        1 or 2 sentences about where they are going, what they do on the way

iv.        … when suddenly _____ they saw…

v.         “______” said _________.

vi.        Off with a _________ – list characters again, in same order.

vii.       … straight back _______.

3. Once students have drafted and edited their story, they can publish it

•       as a book

•           as a concertina story

•           as a slideshow

Taking it further Completed stories could be shared with young children – at school or at the local preschool (English/ Health)
Curriculum Links English
  • 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 some understanding of ideas within, across and beyond texts (Level 2)
  • 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)
  • show a developing understanding of how language features are used for effect within and across texts (Level 3)
Applications for Level  1 Level 1 learners could write their own Hairy Maclary story using the model more loosely: Off for a _____ went ________. Say where they went and what they saw. What scary thing happened? (they could learn that this is the ‘climax’) and then they ran back to _____.
Acknowledgements In her book ‘I’ve got something to say’, Gail Loane encourages teachers to borrow from authors and use their writing as models. Tell the children “We’re going to do a Lynley Dodd today!”

Loane, G. (2010). I’ve got something to say. Thames: Aries Publishing Ltd

Activity 3: LETTERBOXES (Technology)
NZ Curriculum Level 1, 2 & 3

(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies
  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
Activity The illustrations in this book show good examples of New Zealand front gardens and letterboxes.

1. Look through the illustrations and talk about the letterboxes in each picture.

•       Do any of these look like your letterbox at home?

Children may like to bring a photo of their own letterbox to show the class. Or a homework task could be to go home and draw their letterbox. Discuss the features of these letterboxes.

2. Establish that letterboxes like this are special and unique to our New Zealand culture.

  • How do people get their mail in other countries?
  • Why do you think we have different letterboxes than other countries?

(for example, UK has slot in the door because of lack of housing space and in winter it’s too cold to go out and collect the mail.)

  • At Level 3, students can explore how letterboxes have developed over time to better meet society’s needs.

3. In pairs or small groups, present children with a cardboard box which they will use to design and create their own letterbox. As a group, and then as a whole class, identify the features that the letterbox needs to have.

4. Plan the letterbox on paper.

  • At Level 1, this will be a simple drawing.
  • At Level 2, a more detailed drawing with labels to explain how features will work.
  • At Level 3, students should provide a detailed plan from different angles, with captions.

5. When children have planned their letterbox, they can begin making it. Use sellotape, glue, staples, string to attach, and paint it in chosen colours.

Then share and display. Students could even write letters to each other and post into their letterboxes.

  • Drawing/ photo of letterboxes at home
  • Internet access (at Level 3)
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Sellotape, glue, staplers, string
  • Paint
  • Paper for plans
Curriculum Links Technology
  • describe the outcome they are developing and identify the attributes it should have, taking account of the need or opportunity and the resources available (Level 1)
  • understand that technology is purposeful invention through design Level 1)
  • understand that technological outcomes are products or systems developed by people and have a physical nature and a functional nature (Level 1)
  • explain the outcome they are developing and describe the attributes it should have, taking account of the need or opportunity and the resources available (Level 2)
  • understand that technology both reflects and changes society and the environment and increases people’s capability (Level 2)
  • understand that technological outcomes are developed through technological practice and have related physical and functional natures (Level 2)
  • describe the nature of an intended outcome, explaining how it addresses the need or opportunity. Describe the key attributes that enable development and evaluation of the outcome (Level 3)
  • understand how society and environments impact on and are influenced by technology in historical and contemporary contexts and that technological knowledge is validated by successful function (Level 3)
  • understand that technological outcomes are recognisable as fit for purpose by the relationship between their physical and functional natures (Level 3)
Applications for Level 4 and above This activity could be taken further at higher levels. Students could create innovative designs and test and select different building materials which would best meet the requirements of the letterbox.