Everyone has a dog story?

I’ve been mulling over the dog theme for some time. Every child has a dog story. Some will be positive and others negative, verging on the frightening. As you’ve probably noticed the man and I have a dog.


Toffee has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, she sleeps on the bed, almost controls our every waking moment, it’s like having a toddler in the house. In the nicest possible way of course.

A dog on the bed is not the ideal scenario and no she is not meant to be there. She dutifully lies on her bed at night, angelic as ever, pretending to be asleep. When the dulcet tones of my husband’s snores reverberate around the room she tip toes over to our bed, and carefully tucks herself into the crook of my legs.

Other happenings have further prompted this post. Murray Ball, the creator of Footrot Flats, passed away this week. Footrot Flats was iconic. From the mid-seventies to the early nineties, the Footrot Flats comic strips were one of the first things we all read in our daily newspapers. Yes, that was in the days when newspapers were worth buying and reading. Oh and of course the movie and that Dave Dobbyn song that never goes away.


Finally, a few days ago one of our very young neighbours, under five, asked the husband, what the ‘thing’ was on Toffee’s lead. The plastic bag dispenser. The husband attempted to explain what it was used for, to no avail. I have spent the last few days smiling every time I think about her reply. She said, “So it’s to wipe her bum!”

Hence I have decided that we need a dog themed piece of Juicy Writing. A challenge or three for me. I’m going to attempt to draw some caricatures! Give you exemplars that can be used from Year one to eight and templates for publication at those levels, that can be downloaded.

So here we go. The exemplars I’ve written are a bit hit and miss. When you pitch an exemplar at an audience or should I say class, for it to have the required effect you must know your class well. I don’t know how many times, especially earlier in the teaching year where I’ve had a “Well that was a waste of time moment”. Good luck, any feedback would be gratefully appreciated. I’m still learning how to get it right.

Dog stories exemplars

We all have a recipe for teaching writing. In an attempt to avoid lack of engagement or to be honest, help the pencil chewing brigade, this is my formula. I’ll make it brief.

  1. Share purpose
  2. Share exemplar
  3. Discuss theme, children share ideas
  4. Collecting ideas, write class exemplar somewhere, I simply love taking over a whiteboard.
  5. Collect words, write a class created word list on the whiteboard?
  6. Clear up any grey murky areas,  make sure the ones who never listen, understand.
  7. Independent work
  8. Conference with each student, yes it is possible to do this without self destructing!
  9. Everyone publishes, no exceptions

Now for the good stuff, templates for publication. Version 2 for younger students, version 1 for more enthusiastic writers, it’s up to you. Play around with it to suit your needs.

Dog stories v1 angry

Dog stories v1 happy

Dog stories v1 thoughtful

Dog stories v2 angry

Dog stories v2 happy

Dog stories v2 thoughtful

Ka kite ano. Happy teaching.













About SharynFlack

Wife, Mother, Teacher (Relief), Frustrated Writer, Part Time Artist, Problem Solver
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Free resources, Teaching Writing, Writing ideas, writng resources for teachers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Everyone has a dog story?

  1. Margaret Flack says:

    Hi Sharon, your blogs are so interesting, and informative.

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