Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear is a heartwarming little story about a teddybear who ends up at the garbage dump and is rescued by the garbage dump attendant with a whole host of other toys with whom he starts a whole new life adventure.
This book won the Australian Childrens Picture Book Award in 2005 and one unique feature of the book is that the photo illustrations depict the very same teddy bear that author Matt Dray who also worked as a garbage dump attendant rescued and took home and who inspired Dougal's story
The photo illustrations of this very same teddy bear are gorgeous appealing and poignant and speak to the hearts of readers young and old
I used this book with a variety of different grade levels and evolved 3 different very successful creative writing lessons
I encouraged children through their discussion and story writing to give expression to their feelings and emotional connections to their own toys
Detailed lesson plans are included in the uploaded file
(a) One of the creative writing lessons involves the children wrting a letter to Dougal and can include teaching points for young children such as basic introductory letter set outs with a salutation and a sign off
Children also had fun with developing their own fancy signatures .to sign a the end of their letters
(b)Another of the lessons involves children relating a personal story about one or more of their favorite toys
(c)The other lesson involved more of a story review with key questions to prompt reflection on important aspects of the story to consider and comment on in their reviews
One important overall theme to discuss with the children is Dougal's reflection at the end of the story where he considers that sometimes in life bad things need to happen so that good things can happen which translates basically as 'when one door closes another one opens ' .