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Is Courage Safe?

What does it mean to be courageous?

Whilst studying Sonya Hartnett’s The Midnight Zoo, students will come across many examples of courage. But at the start of Hartnett’s story, courage is called “the least safe thing in the world.”

By looking at real-world examples of courage, exploring Hartnett’s text, and reflecting on your own ideas, students will demonstrate their understanding of what it means to be courageous.

Each team will write, edit, and publish a fable on courage in a school anthology, which will be presented to local members of the community who have acted courageously.


Key tasks


  • Text exploration. Students will explore The Midnight Zoo to consider how courage is portrayed and the difficulties that acting courageously can pose. They will consider analogous real-world examples of courage and determine whether courage really is 'the least safe thing in the world.'

  • Fable creation. Students will study well-knwon fables and observe patterns in plot and language devices. They will use their learnings to draft and write their own fable, telling a story of courage based on an experience or person in real life

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

English - The Midnight Zoo

Year 7



15 - 20 lessons

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