Activity for ‘Sole! Goes to Rotorua’

Sole! Goes to Rotorua

by Fata & Paula Letoa

The story of young Sole, who visits Rotorua with his family one day. The simple text and cartoon images by Tony Rush give the book great appeal for children.

This book was nominated because of its appeal for children, and its focus on a child who is involved in his Samoan culture.

Activity: SPECIAL FAMILY TIMES (English)

Curriculum Level 1 (see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
  • managing self
  • participating and contributing


 In this story, a young boy shares about a special time with his family when he visits Rotorua for a holiday. Young children can use the story to share about a special experience they have had with their own families.

1. Read the story together.

2. After reading, talk about the ideas in the book. The children may want to talk about visiting Rotorua themselves, or other places they have visited. Allow time for this.

3. Tell the children that now you want them to think of a special time that you had with your family

  • it does not necessarily have to be with mum and dad – it could be extended family members, or even family friends. Allow some thinking time, and then ask all children to very briefly tell you what that time was (this way you will ensure that all children have a scenario to think about).

4. When all children have thought of their special family time, take them through a visualization (this will help them to remember the time in more detail):

I want you to close your eyes and think about this special time you had with your family. Who was there with you? Were there lots of people, or just a few? Maybe it was just you and one other person? Say the names of the people who were with you (aloud).

Where were you? Were you at home, or were you going somewhere? How were you traveling – car, bus, walking, biking?

What was the weather like? Can you remember what season it was? What you were wearing?

Can you remember the things you did? Say the things you can remember doing during this special time.

Can you remember how you were feeling? Say how you were feeling at this special time with your family.

Why do you think it was such a special time? Was it the people that you were with? or the things that you were doing? Say why it was so special (aloud).

5. After the visualization, ask the children to open their eyes, go quickly to their tables and draw a picture of their special family time. Have paper, crayons, felts, pencils etc. ready on tables so that this can happen quite quickly.

6. When children have finished their pictures, ask them to share and talk about their picture with a buddy. Buddies should be encouraged to ask questions and get as much detail as they can about the picture.

7. Pictures could then be shared as a class, and students could go on to write a story about their picture. Encourage them to remember the details they remembered during the visualization, and try to include them in the story.


  • paper
  • felts, crayons, pencils etc

Taking it further

  • children’s edited stories could be turned into books, with illustrations on each page to match the text

Links to other books in PPBC

The Pipi Swing by Sarona Aiono-IosefaFiapule by Catherine Hannken

Selafina by Catherine Hannken

Talia by Catherine Hannken

Sole! White Sunday by Fata and Paula Letoa

Night Fishing for my Birthday by Tuala Malietoa

Papa’s Donuts by Kate Moetaua

Fishing with Spider Webs by Lino Nelisi

Ka’akapera Tikai by Lino Nelisi

Grandad by Aileen Periera

– all of these stories describe special times with family

Curriculum Links  English   Listening, Reading and Viewing

  • recognise that texts are shaped for different purposes and audiences (Level 1)
  • recognise and identify ideas within and across texts (Level 1)
  • recognise and begin to understand how language features are used for effect within and across texts (Level 1)
  • recognise and begin to understand text structures (Level 1)

Speaking, Writing and Presenting

  • recognise how to shape texts for a purpose and an audience (Level 1)
  • form and express ideas on a range of topics (Level 1)
  • use language features, showing some recognition of their effects (Level 1)
  • organise texts, using simple structures (Level 1)

Other Ideas

  • talking and writing about visiting another place (English)
  • map work – locating places on a map of New Zealand, or locating places in the wider Pacific (Social Sciences)