Years 5 & 6



With Term 1 very quickly coming to a close, I thought I would share the book we will be using in Term 2 now so teachers have time to purchase and prepare!

Term 2 will be different from anything we have done before.

We love that! We are all about pushing the norm! 

We will be using Annual 2 by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris.

We have selected 6 text which we will study for a week each.

So the 6 week time frame stays the same but we are using 6 different text types rather than a novel. It has been exciting to start the planning for this and I think you will all enjoy this change-up.

If you go to THIS PDF you can read where we would like you to purchase the book from, get the start dates, and most importantly register on the Google Form which is linked on the page.






64 teachers signed up for #NZreadaloud Term 1 2021.

I have closed the Google Form now so the teams can be organised.


Hey teachers!

The book I have selected for Term 1 is SS Penguin SOS by Adrienne Frater.

Yep, we are using the same book for Years 5 6 7 & 8.

Do you think the sinking of the Wāhine in 1968 is the worst New Zealand maritime disaster? Then think again!
This story will make a great beginning year focus with themes of family, courage and bravery, and strength in being yourself. Teachers have plenty of scope to use the text as a catalyst for integration across the curriculum. I will be sharing a grid in the next couple of weeks as a starting point for this.
Here is a link to One Tree House Publishing where you can order the book and find some teacher notes:
Here is a link to a very interesting interview Jesse Mulligan had with Sarah Johnston who has searched Ngā Taonga Sound Archives for memories of the sinking of the SS Penguin.…/nga-taonga-sound-archives…



What strange times we are in!

Despite it all, #NZreadaloud was designed for the online learning which we are doing at present; so let’s continue to connect our kids through one book!

The book I have selected is Sticking with Pigs by Mary-Anne Scott. We have used this book before (back in Term 3 of 2018) but it is a nice short adventure story which I know will appeal to all our students from Year 5 – 8.

We are starting our Term 2 book with pre-reading activities during the week of 18-22 May and the reading beginning on the following Monday 25 May.

HERE is the PDF with all the information to get you organised.

Registration has closed now – thanks everyone.


Kia ora koutou

The book we will be reading for Term 3 is ‘How to Bee’ by Bren MacDibble.

If you are keen to join us, beginning Week 3, please fill in the Google Form.

Once you have signed up, we will be in touch with all the relevant information. Watch this space for the chapter break down.


A story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live.

‘Sometimes bees get too big to be up in the branches, sometimes they fall and break their bones. This week both happened and Foreman said, ‘Tomorrow we’ll find two new bees.’

Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony’s grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.

How To Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.

Allen & Unwin Book Publisher

WINNER: CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2018
WINNER: 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature
WINNER: 2018 New Zealand Book Awards, Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction



The registration has closed – so thank to everyone who has signed up!

You will be contacted by a team leader soon ready for kick-off in Week 3:)


Hey #NZreadalouders!

The book we are reading for Term 2 is ‘Finding’ by David Hill.

We have decided to use this book across Year 5 – 8 this term.

There are eight sections to the novel, each written from the perspective of a family member of each generation. The author builds an honest, thought-provoking and credible picture of life in New Zealand. I love the way “the importance of the land on which the families live, and the river which runs through it, comes through strongly; the shared experiences – happy, sad, dangerous, amusing – help in developing a real sense of knowing the families and understanding the need for and importance of trusted friends and neighbours.”

You can read more HERE and HERE

There is a teaching resource HERE if you want to add it to your kete for this #NZreadaloud.

Here is the chapter breakdown for you (I have broken the story into chapters covering 7 weeks rather than the usual 6 as each generation derserves its own focus):

Week 3: 13 – 17 May: 1886 Aggie & 1897 Niall  (30 pages)

Week 4: 20 – 24 May: 1918 Duncan  (21 pages)

Week 5: 27 – 31 May: 1938 Florence  (29 pages)

Week 6: 3 – 7 June: 1957 Alan  (40 pages)

Week 7: 10 – 14 June: 1981 Ailsa  (41 pages)

Week 8: 17 – 21 June: 1999 Maggie (30 pages)

Week 9: 24 – 28 June: 2018 Callum  (36 pages)

Sunday the 27th of January 2019

I realise that all schools have varying start dates across January and February (some with camps thrown in) so this is a guide only to how you work things for your learners.

Here is the chapter breakdown for Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand:

Week 2 ( 4th – 8th Feb): Pre-reading activities

Week 3 (11th – 15th Feb): Chapters  1-5

Week 4 (18th – 22nd Feb): Chapters  6-10

Week 5 (25th – 1st March): Chapters  11-15

Week 6 (4th – 8th March): Chapters 16-20

Week 7 (11th – 15th March): Chapters  21-25

Week 8 (18th – 22nd March): Chapters  26-30

Week 9 (25th – 29th March): Chapters 27-30

Thursday the 17th of January 2019

After much reading over the holidays I have delved back into 2016 for ‘Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand’ by Leonie Agnew.

Book Cover: Conrad Cooper's Last Stand

This book has stood out for me for a number of reasons. Firstly is the humour. Leonie’s style of writing from the point of a 10 year old boy incorporates many scenes in the classroom where everyone will be laughing at the poor teacher. There are so many opportunities for rich personal inquiry in this book. Our NZ Maori perspective is woven nicely throughout the book and especially the occupation of Bastion Point is a very important part of our history. The theme of standing up for what you believe in is critical as the exploration of various relationships is played out.

Please follow the link below for any teachers (you do not have to be Yr 5 & 6) who think this book would be suitable for their learners.

The chapter breakdown will be posted shortly.

Registrations have now closed

Friday 13th of July 2018

The Yr 5 & 6 #NZreadaloud12 is ‘Between‘ by local author Adele Broadbent.

Written in the first person, it investigates the tensions within the life of a 10-year-old boy who is just beginning to find independence, while looking closer at his own family and wondering about the missing pieces.

 Olly is a good kid, living with his Mum in a regular town, somewhere in New Zealand. He’s got two best friends, Egg and Loon, and his mum’s sister Aunty Clare spends more time at his house than he would like. Olly is an regular boy, and loves soccer and pranks – and the Supernatural.

 He feels drawn to Martha Mischefski’s house, which has a sign outside saying, ‘Spiritualist. By appointment only’, and this odd attraction only deepens after they make eye contact at the supermarket one day.

 Martha herself is also well-drawn. On the outside she looks like every old person who entertains the kids of their neighbourhood by doing inexplicable things (in Martha’s case, pushing rubbish in a shopping trolley) and maybe yelling occasionally. But actually, there is nothing ‘mental’ about her – except that she can predict the future accurately. 

 Olly starts to become concerned about Martha when she realises something bad is going to happen to him, and calls and seeks him out to make sure he is warned. He has a series of near-miss accidents at his day camp, and thinks he is through the worst. But is he?

There are a lot of strands to this plot – the relationship with his mother is in a phase of change, he is learning more about his father who passed away before he was born, he is being bullied, his relationship with his friends becomes strained and there is a new friendship, a mature one, with a girl called Azara who he meets at day camp.’ – excerpts from The Sapling.

Please fill in the registration form below to register:

Registrations close 27th July.

After much deliberation the Yr 5&6 book for Term 2 is ‘Dawn Raid’ by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith.

“You’re having an amazing family holiday, one where everyone is there and all 18 of you are squeezed into one house. All of sudden it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and there’s banging and yelling and screaming. The police are in the house pulling people out of bed …”

It’s 1976 in Cannon’s Creek, Porirua, and the first McDonald’s in New Zealand has just opened. Like many 13-year-old girls, Sofia’s main worries are how she can earn enough pocket money to buy the go-go boots that are all the rage, and if she will die of embarrassment giving a speech she has to do for school! It comes as a surprise to Sofia and her family when her big brother, Lenny, talks about protests, overstayers and injustices against Pacific Islanders.

Sofia’s political awakening comes when police start storming homes early in the morning looking for immigrant overstayers and terrorising families. But they seem to be targeting only Pasifika people. Through her spirited diary entries, we join Sofia as she navigates life in the 1970s and is inspired by the courageous work of the Polynesian Panthers as they encourage immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights. In fact some of the Polynesian Panthers were interviewed and feature as real characters in the book.

This is the 28th book in the excellent My New Zealand Story series which brings to life significant events in our history as seen through the eyes of fictitious child diarists. The legacy of the dawns raids continues to affect families across New Zealand and the Pacific and Sofia’s story is a fascinating and important read for 9+ (


To register please fill out the google form below. Registrations close Wednesday the 9th of May.

The chapter breakdown for Dawn Raid is as follows:

(This text is in diary format so instead of page numbers I’ve given the diary dates instead)

Wk 2 (7-11 May) Pre reading activities

Wk 3 (14-18 May) Sun 20 June – Sat 3 July

Wk 4 (21-25 May) Sun 4 July – Wed 21 July

Wk 5 (28 – 1 June) Thurs 22 July – Tue 10 Aug

Wk 6 (4-8 June) 11 Aug – Tue 14 Sept

Wk 7 (11-15 June) Wed 15 Sept – Tue 19 Oct

Wk 8 (18-22 June) Wed 20 Oct – end (I did not include the historical notes in this as entirely up to you how you work these in with your class)

Saturday the 27th of January

Here is the breakdown for the Yr 5/6 book Awatea’s Treasure by Fraser Smith

Week 1: 12-16 Feb Ch 1-3 (20pp)

Week 2: 19-23 Feb Ch 4-6 (25pp)

Week 3: 26-2 Mar Ch 7-8 (22pp)

Week 4: 5-9 Mar Ch 9-10 (18pp)

Week 5: 12-16 Mar Ch 11-12 (18pp)

Week 6: 19-23 Mar Ch 13-end (22pp)

Registrations close tomorrow team!

Monday the 15th of January

For all those teachers who are savouring the last few weeks of the holidays and are looking for something to read then you might want to pick up ‘Awatea’s Treasure’ by Fraser Smith. This is the term 1 #NZreadaloud10. This book won the NZ Post 2017 ‘Best First Book Award’ and there is an article in the Sapling about the whakapapa of Awatea’s Treasure.


‘Awatea is staying in the country with his grandparents and uncles – next door to Mrs Carol’s house, said to be haunted. Awatea’s uncles challenge him to spend a night there, but can he do it? Meantime, they go to stay at the beach, where he meets the Rumbles and their talking parrot, Carrot. Awatea and Carrot go exploring, and Carrot takes Awatea to a hidden treehouse, reveals a secret and treasure and teases Awatea’s uncles. When Awatea returns home, he realises an uncle has set up Mrs Carol’s house to make it seem haunted. So Awatea turns the tables and plays a spooky trick of his own.’

Registrations have closed for Term 1

Saturday the 15th of July

The term 3 book for #NZreadaloud9 is ‘The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain’ by Julie Lamb


‘Summer Rain is, more-or-less, your average pre-teen girl. She’s also a bit of a tomboy and the class clown, preferring the company of the boys to the girls. Her father works in the city, and stays there during the week, so she mostly lives with her frugal grandfather. So frugal, in fact, that he’s taped over the light switches to conserve electricity, doesn’t believe in indoor plumbing, and sends Summer out each week to pick up scraps from the neighbours to feed the chickens.

Except they have no chickens.

Then her grandfather gets himself a new girlfriend. A woman with a dubious past and a string of ex-husbands. Summer knows her grandfather has money – he’s just too stingy to spend it – so could Macy be lining him up to be her next ex-? If so, something’s got to be done.

Luckily, Summer’s grandmother works in the crystal store, and her assistant Apple has more than a trick or two up her sleeve. Can they brew an un-love potion? Meanwhile, the popular, nice girl, Juanita, seems to want to be her friend. Is she for real? And what if she finds out all the embarrassing stuff about Summer’s life?

There is humour aplenty, a female protagonist (as requested), and vocabulary and language features that dazzle.

Registrations closed

The chapter breakdown is as follows:

Wk3 (7 – 11 Aug) Chapters 1-7 (39 pgs)

Wk4 (14-18 Aug) Chapters 8-16 (39 pgs)

Wk5 (21-25 Aug) Chapters 17-26 (41 pgs)

Wk6 (28- 1 Sept) Chapters 27-36 (39 pgs)

Wk7 (4 – 8 Sept) Chapters 37-44 (37 pgs)

Wk8 (11-15 Sept) Chapters 45-40 (39 pgs)

This may seem a lot of chapters to cover per week but the chapters are very short being only 3-4 pages long.

Thursday the 20th of April

A huge welcome to any newcomers to #NZreadaloud!

After much deliberation the book selection for Term 2 is ‘Sinking’ by David Hill.



Conrad is determined to make it into the National swimming squad. He is busy training. His early mornings are taken up swimming and most afternoons he runs. One morning on his way to training Conrad is accosted by a strange old man who jumps out of the bushes and says weird, frightening things to him. Before Conrad can tell anyone what has happened he learns that the man is Bex’s grandfather, George Abbott. Bex is the new girl at school. Her grandfather is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s and Bex begs Conrad not to tell anyone about him. But George’s problem soon becomes common knowledge when he is seen by locals down at the river yelling. Later, the police are even called as the confused man is found wandering aimlessly in a distressed state.

According to Bex, George doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. Since the death of his wife George has been having episodes where he becomes confused and wanders off. He is drawn to the river where years ago his friend Ted drowned. Conrad is determined to help Bex, who he finds both annoying and intriguing. What he doesn’t realise is that getting involved in her family problems causes complications for him. In fact, by trying to solve the mystery of George’s obsession with the river, he is even putting his own life in danger.


Hill uses humour to explore the importance of loyalty to family, the development of friendships, and respect for others. Working hard to achieve success is prominent with the past affecting the future.

#NZreadaloud8S will run from Wk3 15th of May until Wk8 23rd of June

The chapter breakdown is as follows:

Wk3 (15-19 May) 1-5        26 pgs

Wk4 (22-26 May) 6-11      30 pgs

Wk5 (29-2 June) 12-16     29 pgs

Wk6 (5-9 June) 17-20       27 pgs

Wk7 (12-16 June) 21-24   24 pgs

Wk8 (19-23 June) 25-28   30 pgs

Teaching notes available

Please register below.

NOTE: Registrations close Tuesday the 2nd of May.

Wednesday the 11th of January

Welcome back to all existing #NZreadaloud participants and a very big welcome to any teachers who are new to the #NZreadaloud team.

The book selected for #NZreadaloud7 is ‘The Bold Ship Phenomenal’ by Sarah Johnson.


The Bold Ship Phenomenal is a story in two parts, running parallel to each other. Malachi is an 11 year old boy who is struggling with life. His mum has recently passed away, his dad is coping by disappearing into a shell, and he has been asked to complete a science project by the dreaded Mrs Green.

While he is walking along the beach – his favourite place to think – he finds a bottle with a ship in it. This is pretty cool in itself, but when Malachi discovers that the scene in the bottle changes, it becomes even more interesting. As the events inside the bottle change and develop, Malachi starts to think about how he could change his life outside the bottle.

He decides that he is going to go and join an environmental protest by stowing away in a truck and heading north – but things don’t go as smoothly as he had hoped. And I haven’t even mentioned the pig… (Goodreads)

There are a variety of conservation themes in this book that would make it a great starting off point for a science topic.  Some might be ‘Illegal Smuggling of Native Wildlife’ and ‘Do Protestors Make A Difference?’ and ‘New Zealand Native Animals’. Added into the mix, is a theme of ‘Loss of a Loved One’. There is also a little bit of magic and fantasy thrown in. The quality vocabulary used will extend students and plenty of avenues for personal inquiry.

Registrations closed on Tuesday the 31st of January.

CHAPTER BREAKDOWN will go like this:

Week 3: Pre reading activities

Week 4: Chapters 1 – 6 (37 pages)

Week 5: Chapters 7 – 13 (38 pages)

Week 6: Chapters 14 – 19 (37 pages)

Week 7: Chapters 20 – 27 (40 pages)

Week 8: Chapters 28 – 35 (37 pages)

Week 9: Chapters 36 – 43 (40 pages)

* It may seem like quite a few chapters and pages per week but the chapters are very short and the book is in large print.

Sunday the 17th of July

The amazing book for #NZreadaloud6 is …

‘Dunger’ by Joy Cowley


We will start Week 3 of Term 3 Monday 8th August and run through to Week 6 Friday 16th September.

CHAPTER BREAKDOWN will go like this:

Week 1: Chapters 1 – 4 (25 pages)

Week 2: Chapters 5 – 9 (25 pages)

Week 3: Chapters 10 – 15 (24 pages)

Week 4: Chapters 16 – 22 (27 pages)

Week 5: Chapters 23 – 28 (26 pages)

Week 6: Chapters 29 – 36 (29 pages)

* It may seem like quite a few chapters per week but as you can see from the number of pages that the chapters are very short.

For those who would like more information about the book please refer to these notes Dunger_Teaching_Notes

*Registrations close on Wednesday the 27th of July*


JOY COWLEY has an official website with links to all her many works.

Sunday the 1st of May

The #NZreadaloud5 deadline for registrations is fast approaching. Get registered for a term of connected and collaborative learning across NZ. Registrations close Friday 5pm 6th of May.

Wednesday the 20th of April

The book selection for #NZreadaloud5 has been made! I’m excited to announce that Des Hunt’s book Frog Whistle Mine is the focus for this term.


‘Set in Charleston, a gold-mining ghost town 30km south of Westport, Frog Whistle Mine is an exciting, beautifully written contemporary action adventure stories for children, with ecological themes. Twelve-year-old Tony has lived all around New Zealand, travelling with his nomadic Mum, and desperately wants somewhere to belong. When they arrive in Charleston, he is almost afraid to hope this might finally be the place, but is desperate not to be disappointed yet again. With a unique bush and coastal environment to explore, an interesting group of people to come to know – and a gathering mystery that starts from his very first night, when he finds out to his delight that he is to sleep alone in the bush in an old caravan …all the ingredients for a satisfying and exciting read are brought together, with some surprising outcomes.’  

This will run for 6 weeks beginning Monday the 16th of May and finishing Friday the 24th of June (Wk 3 – Wk 8).

The break down of Chapters is as follows:

Week 1 (16th – 20th May): Chapters 1-4

Week 2 (23rd – 27th May): Chapters 5-8

Week 3 (30th May – 3rd June): Chapters 9-12

Week 4 (6th – 10th June): Chapters 13-17

Week 5 (13th – 17th June): Chapters 18-21

Week 6 (20th – 24th June): Chapters 22-26

Please fill in the Google form in order to Register 

For all participants we recommend you join the Facebook Group:
For all the information you need about #NZreadaloud go to the blog:
For crowd-sourced examples of tasks which have been used during #NZreadaloud:

If you haven’t yet provided the Team with feedback about your #NZreadaloud4 experiences please take the time to do so now as we would love to find out how we could assist and improve things for you.

Friday the 5th of February

Thank you to all of you stunning teachers who are giving something new a go in your Literacy programme. Registrations have now closed for #NZreadaloud4. If you missed out please check back here to register early for next term’s text.

We are still short of some Team Leaders so please let me know if you are able to help out as it would make the load easier on all involved.

Team Leaders will have their lists shortly and they will advise you with your group code.

Monday the 11th of January
And the winner is …

Book Cover: Conrad Cooper's Last Stand

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew

Many thanks to Belinda Whyte for this suggestion and her multiple others. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to put forward suggestions of the numerous amazing books by our talented NZ authors. I thoroughly enjoyed the task of having to read so many books! Choosing just one to start the year was very difficult.

This book stood out for me for a number of reasons. Firstly was the humour. Leonie’s style of writing from the point of a 10 year old boy incorporates many scenes in the classroom where you will be laughing at the poor teacher. I thought our NZ Maori perspective entwined throughout the book and expecially on the occupation of Bastion Point was very important. The theme of standing up for what you believe in is critical as the exploration of various relationships is played out.

The break down of Chapters is as follows:

Week 1 (29 Feb. – 4 March): Chapters 1-4

Week 2 (7 – 11 March): Chapters 5-8

Week 3 (14 – 18 March): Chapters 9-12

Week 4 (21 – 25 March): Chapters 13-16

Week 5 (28 March – 1 April): Chapters 17-21

Week 6 (4 – 8 April): Chapters 22-26

If you are keen to participate in #NZreadaloud4CC please complete the Google Form below and I will be in touch with you all. Depending on the numbers, we will connect our classes via Edmodo groups.

Deadlines to register your class is Friday the 5th of February (Week 1, Term 1) and we will start on 29th of February (Week 5, Term 1) for 6 weeks.

Welcome all to the Yr 5 & 6 page for #NZreadaloud 2016!

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My name is Jemma Thorogood and I am a Year 7 teacher at Tamatea Intermediate School in Napier.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of the #NZreadaloud which has previously only been offered to Year 7-8 students. Co teaching a Yr 7 class with Kerri Thompson introduced me to a new way of looking at a literacy reading programme and I have never looked back!

#NZreadaloud uses the online platform of ‘Edmodo’ which is very user friendly and has a great supportive team of teachers behind it. Edmodo encourages students to collaborate and connect with each other while on their literacy journey.

I am looking range of book suggestions written by our amazing Kiwi authors with an interesting story line that appeals to both boys and girls and would provide opportunities for other learning areas. I will be going through your suggestions and selecting a book by the 11th of January 2016 – this will give us plenty of time for teachers to source the book, arrange our Edmodo group(s) and set up ready for our classes, ask any questions, and have our reading schedule sorted.

Deadlines to register your class is the 12th of February (Week 2, Term 1) and we are aiming to start on 29th of February (Week 5, Term 1) for 6 weeks.

I look forward to collaborating with you and your classes in the first #NZreadaloud for Year 5-6 students.

Please suggest a book!