in Giglets News April 25, 2022
As ever, the Giglets online library is growing and it now includes over 1,100 texts in 37 different languages, with over 410 available in English. This month we're delighted to give a deeper insight into one of our newest additions: 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare'.
'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' is a play script for younger readers. We've levelled it at Yellow Bird reading level (reading age 6-7, interest age 7-11). In this play script, two hedgehogs team up to teach a hare a lesson: don't judge someone based on appearances. The play script is made up of four scenes and includes three roles: two hedgehogs and one hare, meaning it's ideal for small groups of children to perform in the classroom.
The final play script is available in the Giglets library with supporting Higher Order Thinking Skills questions and automatically marked Reading Test Questions, ideal for building comprehension skills in the primary classroom.
The text has been in the works for several months now so we would like to give you an insight into how it made it from an idea to the shelves of the Giglets library, ready to assign to your pupils at the press of a button.
Writing and Editing
The Giglets library is shaped according to teacher and pupil feedback and requests. Following a very positive response from schools, teachers and pupils to the Giglets play script 'Abby and the Alligator', it was a priority to source another play script, this time for a younger audience.
The story of 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' fitted the bill nicely and was written by Susan Varney on the Giglets Content Team. Inspired by a Grimm's fairytale, Susan adapted the story into a play script that's suitable for younger readers. The original story was longer and included a gruesome ending. Nevertheless, it was the fact that the story included hedgehogs that appealed greatly to Susan who enjoys watching hedgehogs in her garden via her wildlife camera. She had previously spotted two very friendly hedgehogs that had a friendship not too dissimilar to that of Hedge and Hog in the story.
Susan and the rest of the Giglets Content Team reviewed the play script many times and edited the story and the language to ensure it was suited to the Giglets library. Initially, the story was entitled 'The Hare and the Hedgehogs' but it was decided that 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' better reflects that the hedgehogs are the main characters in the text. The Content Team even had to take on the roles of the hedgehogs and hare in a live performance to ensure the text flowed naturally and would work in the classroom.
Giglets recognises the vital role that illustrations play in terms of building pupil understanding and engagement. The illustrations for 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' were created by Graeme Nimmo, Lead Artist.
After reading the story, Graeme researched and then drew lots of hedgehogs and hares to get the characters just right, starting with the characters' heads first as these are so important for conveying emotions. The final hedgehogs had to be realistic, convey a sense of mischief and be suitably engaging for readers. Below, you can see some of the hedgehogs that were considered for the parts of Hedge and Hog. Graeme drew many more, but these were the favourites.
When the Content Team had identified a short list, Graeme spent a little longer perfecting the characters, exploring how they would look with different emotions and reactions. Can you guess which hedgehog made it into the final book?
While only one of the hedgehogs above made it into 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare', all that hard work was not in vain. You might spot one of the hedgehogs in another new Giglets text, 'Leapfrog'!
With the final characters chosen, Graeme then completed orthographic sketches which showed how the characters would look from different angles and perspectives.
Orthographic sketches which show the character from different viewpoints:
The final step was to create the scene illustrations. In 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' there is a bespoke main illustration for each scene, these showcase key events to aid pupil understanding and visualisation. Graeme did an initial sketch and line drawing (digitally) before colouring using software that mimics traditional media like watercolours and oils.
There was a lot of information from the text that needed to be included in the scene illustrations - the cabbages, the gate, the row of trees - and so Graeme had to position the characters and stage the images in such a way that the key information would also be shown. On occasion, changes were made between initial sketches and final illustrations. You might spot a dandelion clock in one image but not the next: this was removed because it was unlikely that a daffodil, crocus and dandelion clock would all be around at the same time of year.
Creating the main illustrations:
The Hedgehogs and the Hare in Class
We hope that teachers and pupils enjoy 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' and that it supports literacy teaching and learning (and drama too) in the classroom. We do our best to make Giglets a very dynamic resource that can be used to build comprehension, understanding and fluency as well as promote a love of reading both in school and at home. We're really happy with this new play script for younger readers and we can't wait to hear what teachers and pupils think of it!
Giglets in Your School
Have you explored 'The Hedgehogs and the Hare' with your pupils yet? If so, we would love to hear from you! You can tweet us using @Giglets.
If you're interested in accessing a growing online library of over 1100 texts in over 37 different languages, get in touch with us now to try Giglets for free! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for one of our free trial webinars.