Based on the book Mattland by Hazel Hutchins, this activity allows students to draw connections with the text.


  1. During the read aloud of the book Mattland the teacher asks guiding questions for students to make comments, predictions, and connections. Some questions may be:
    - “Why do you think Matt is having a hard time in the new neighborhood? Do you have any similar experiences?”
    - “What do you think Matt would include next?”
    - “What would be something you want to include in your world?”

  2. In small groups (either teacher-assigned or student selected) of 2-3 students, students are provided with hula hoops and various materials in the nature to create their own “mini-worlds”. Photo documentation of students’ creations are kept for future reference.

   3. Each group presents to the class their mini world through photos and explain the different features and what the different
       materials represent in their mini worlds.

   4. The creations may be used as subjects for a writing piece.

Suggested resources:

The book Mattland by Hazel Hutchins hula hoops, materials found in nature (i.e., leaves, branches, etc.)

We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.



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