An Unexpected Hero                

Chapters & Tasks


Feb 15-22nd

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Go to Flipgrid with your code: nzrahero19 and do the introduction task

After Ch. 2, design your Character Traits on Google Drawings and then Screencastify your thinking to post to Flipgrid.

Feb.25-March 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Flipgrid: Text Connections

Text exchange between Matt & his parents (

March 4-8

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Watch this short film about NZ conscientious objectors


Drawings due March 29th!

NG story about kids who visit NZ and go to a Kiwifruit farm

Video about life in NZ

What is YOUR family history? Find out before next week so we can share it in a Flipgrid topic.

March 11-15

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

White Feather info is in chapter 7!

Tweet the author!

Responses from the author:

Hi Laura and the students who sent questions.  I watched them all, twice and enjoyed seeing and hearing you. Thanks to your teacher for setting this up, she sounds like a special teacher,  you’re a lucky class! Many of you asked why I wrote the book and was it true. Matt and his family are from my imagination but Archie Baxter was a real person, born (and died at age 88) in New Zealand. One of his sons became a famous poet and humanitarian who was inspired by his father's courage, and that of his mother Millicent, who helped Archie get over the war and to write his own book, We Shall Not Cease, where he wrote about what happened. I did not learn about Archie at school. People like him can be hidden because of a country's shame about being so mean at the time. I wanted students to know about Archie and be proud of this country's peacemakers. I wasn't alone in this. Since the anniversary of that 1914-18 war, movies have been made and books for adults written about him, he is now a Hero to many more.  dhowa asked about the book's name: I chose it because both Archie and Matt turned out to be heroes in their own way but didn't try to be. Yes, I have since written two more books, see The latest one mentions some remarkable women from the US.    bcoll asked, (the first time I have been asked!) why give Matt a stutter?  People bully others for being different and often because the person is brave about being different and bullies are usually cowards so I guess they're jealous too. eglove, Elizabeth, thank you thank you!  for speaking clearly, I could finally get the name of your school, and for such great questions. Yes, it took many many hours of research (which I enjoy). And I do feel some personal connection to the story as I went to a small two teacher school in the country. My parents had a cat that watched Scrabble games.  I also like cows' peaceful nature, their curiosity and the way they just stare in space. Have I answered everyone?

This is a tricky chapter. We will have a discussion afterwards. Please go to Flipgrid to discuss what you think Matt should do with this information.

March 18-22

Ch. 9-11

March 25-29

Ch. 12 & wrap-up

↓  An Unexpected Hero Vocab Terms Below ↓

RSA Club - Royal New Zealand Returned & Services Association (like the Veterans of Foreign Wars [VFW] club buildings)

ANZAC Day - Like Veteran’s or Memorial Day. NZ website about ANZAC day

Netball - similar to basketball but there is no dribbling, no running with the ball, and there are 7 players on the court.

Pacifist - someone who believes in peace

“Conchie” - a derogatory term for a conscientious objector

Conscientious objector - someone whose conscience won’t allow them to fight in war.

Holidays - vacations

Paddock - a fenced field

White feather - a sign of conscientious objectors

Celt - of Northern European ancestry (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etc.)

Sedition - treason