Christopher Cheng is an Australian children’s author who has written several very successful books.
In this teaching resource about narrative writing for primary teachers, Chris uses his story New Gold Mountain (Scholastic Australia), about the experiences of the Chinese on the goldfields in the 1850s, as the launching pad for a lesson.
In New Gold Mountain, the reader learns through the eyes of a Chinese boy, Shu Cheong, how hard the Chinese miners work when mining for gold. But they have a different way of life from the other miners and this causes much antagonism.
During his presentation, Chris provides teachers with a strong, clear model of how to set up and conduct an effective lesson about narrative writing using explicit and systematic techniques and incorporating modelled, guided and independent writing.
Filmed at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School at Gladesville, Chris works with a very responsive Year 5 class. In the interview conducted by the teacher, Chris answers questions about inspiring students to write; students putting themselves in their narratives; writing in the first person or third person narrative; and developing characterisation.