Are you looking for a great classroom book, filled with fantasy and adventure *and* classroom discussion potential and opportunities for thoughtful learning activities? Then you can't go past Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda.
Rowan of Rin introduces us to Rowan - a shy and relatively timid herder of creatures known as bukshah. When the bukshah's water source dries up suddenly, Rowan - and the other residents of the village of Rin - search for answers. With no other options, they send a band of villagers up the nearby mountain to see what is happening.
Through a strange turn of events, Rowan finds himself on the journey up the mountain, despite the warnings about the perilous journey and his fear of the fabled dragon lurking at the top.
Rowan of Rin is a great book to use from Year 4 and older. Although the language is relatively simple, the concepts can be quite advanced allowing for older students to take an in-depth look at the book.
Rowan of Rin especially deals with what it means to be brave. Rowan does not feel that he is brave, while he feels that those around him demonstrates of all the qualities of valour and bravery. As you progress through the journey up the mountain, Rowan realises that there are different types of bravery and that people who look brave on the outside maybe hiding fears inside.
When students have finished discussing bravery, learning activities might include creating definitions of what it means to be brave, creating lists of people or characters who they believe are brave or researching different types of bravery awards.
This book is also a great addition for any class examining fantasy stories. There are many elements of a fantasy story within Rowan of Rin. These include an invented society; the village witch; an invented animal which Rowan looks after; a journey which requires a number of people; riddles to solve; and a mystical beast at the final hurdle.
Students can compare Rowan of Rin to other fantasy stories they have read or seen - including movies, television shows or picture books. They might choose to explore a certain element of fantasy stories and create lists of books or stories which share that element with Rowan of Rin
There are three teacher resources for Rowan of Rin as well as a resource bundle available through Galarious Goods.
The Comprehension and Vocabulary teaching resource allows students to take an in-depth, chapter by chapter look at Rowan of Rin. Students can answer a range of comprehension questions, explore vocabulary or engage with deeper questions as they work their way through the book.
The Character and Setting teaching resource takes a look at the characters of Rowan of Rin, their characteristics and how they relate to each other. It also explores some of the settings of the book, including the places significant to the journey up the mountain.
The Whole Novel teaching resource encompasses the entire novel of Rowan of Rin. It includes reader response, retell, themes, discussion questions and creative activities.