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Bird of Paradise

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By David Clayton — Author

This original short story by David Clayton has great boy appeal. Set in Brazil, it centres on two top footballers who accept a challenge to play a match against a team of young boys from a poor village up in the mountains. One of the boys turns out to be a really talented player who will one day become a sporting superstar.


These teachers’ notes refer to the PRINT ONLY version of the guided reading leaflet available in Literacy Time PLUS for Ages 9 to 11, May 2008 issue.

Before reading

  • Find out if the children have read a story set in another country before.
  • Locate Brazil on a map. Show pictures of different areas of Brazil and explain what it is like to live there.
  • Discuss their favourite football teams, favourite players, why they are good, etc. Do any of them think they could beat their favourite player in a game?

Reading and responding

  • Read up to: ‘Within two hours it was sorted’. What is the first impression of Falcon? Why was João worried about going? What do you think will happen when the footballers meet Bird?
  • Read up until “You’ll be ready to come back by then!” What do you think the pilot means by this? How does Falcon persuade Carlos?
  • Make notes about Falcon’s feelings and thoughts as you read the story.
  • What does the area the footballers land in suggest about the standard of the young boys’ lives? How might this make the professional players think they will win?
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