When Frank Was Four

Free lesson plan, writing template and printable word-search puzzles for kids

when frank was four, alison lester

Best suited to:

K – Year 1

KLAs covered:

History: Outcomes HTe-1, HTe-2 – Personal and Family Histories


  • children grow from babies to 7-year-olds;
  • as they grow, children are able to do more and different things;
  • children grow and develop in much the same way, whether they’re boys or girls and whatever ethnic background they come from;
  • children do all kinds of funny, clever, silly, adventurous things as they grow;
  • vocabulary and concepts: how a child was as a baby is how she was in the past, how she is now is how she is in the present;

Need to know:

  • the book is about all the different things a group of seven children do when they are different ages, starting with one;
  • the children – Nicky, Frank, Tessa, Celeste, Ernie, Clive and Rosie – are from different cultural backgrounds;
  • the double-page spreads are headed “One”, “Two”, “Three” and so on up to “Seven”;
  • the book was first published in 2006;
  • one page says “Rosie climbed Uluru”. Uluru is a sacred men’s site of great significance to Anangu men. Anangu traditional law forbids climbing of the rock. Alison Lester has acknowledged this;
  • this is a very simple text with 2-3 images per page and one sentence describing each image;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • show the children the front cover of the book and ask them what they can see;
  • read the title and show the children’s the author’s name. Discuss the meaning of the words author and illustrator;
  • tell the children that Alison Lester is an Australian author who has written and illustrated many picture books;
  • ask what the children think the book might be about;

Discussion Questions (during reading):

As you read, ask the children whether they have ever done any of the things the children in the book do.

Discussion Questions (after reading):

  • ask children what they thought about of the book. Did they like it? Not like it? Why? Which was their favourite page?


  • children complete a wordsearch using vocabulary from the story;
  • children write and/or draw a response to the story. They can draw or write about their favourite part or write about something they learnt from the story;
  • children complete a personal timeline showing themselves as a baby, as a toddler and now – as a child at school;

Free, printable word-search puzzles

This free printable word-search puzzle for kids is great for building and reinforcing the vocabulary used when you’re discussing When Frank Was Four. 

The puzzle is suitable for children in Year 1 and for children in Kindy/Prep/Foundation in the second half of the school year.

Free writing template

You can download and print our free writing template for use with When Frank Was Four here (PDF).

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