20 - 30 minutes

Students will engage in a shared reading of the Western Australian children’s story, Jinormous Jack.


This is an introductory lesson to the text, Jinormous Jack (see Recommended Resources, below). This book is readily available in the Ningaloo region, however may be difficult to find outside of this area. You may need to contact the visitor centre in Exmouth to obtain a copy if unavailable in your local area.

You may wish to have a map of Western Australia available to be able to indicate to your students where the Ningaloo Reef is (the setting for the story).

Western Australian curriculum

Science Science understanding Biological sciences ACSSU211
Science Science understanding Biological sciences ACSSU017
English Literacy Interacting with others ACELY1646
English Literacy Interpreting, analysing, evaluating ACELY1658
Humanities and social sciences Knowledge and understanding Geography ACHASSK031



  1. Discuss with your class the cover of the book, Jinormous Jack.
    • What type of book do you think it will be? (informative, fiction, persuasive?)
    • What do you think the book will be about?
    • Who do you think the main character/s will be?
  2. Read the introductory text to students. Discuss with students’ what sort of an animal do they think a whale shark is – Is it a whale? Is it a shark?
  3. Where is the Ningaloo Reef? Have any students visited the Ningaloo Reef? What do they recall of their visit?
    • Optional – alert students to hidden turtles throughout the story – see if they can find them.
  4. Read the first page of the story with your students. Discuss the way the story has been written. Do students think this will continue? Have they changed their mind about the type of book it is or what it is about?
  5. Continue reading story. Upon conclusion of your reading, recap the discussion that was had prior to reading the story –
    • What type of book? (Fiction, but also informative.)
    • Was the book about the topic discussed prior to reading the story?
    • Was the main character who you anticipated? Were there other main characters? Who were they?
    • What sort of an animal was Jack? (a whale shark, which is a type of shark or cartilaginous fish) 


6.   Ask students to draw or write about the secret hideouts that they think the whale sharks visit when they are not at Ningaloo Reef.

7. Invite students to share their work in groups or to the class.


Recommended Resources

Barrymore, J. 2005, Jinormous Jack. Little Aussies, Fremantle, Western Australia.


jinormous jack, literacy, Ningaloo Reef, whale shark, fiction book, Coral Bay, Exmouth, bungarras