Problem and Solution in Comprehension

The Koala Who Could (Amazon Affiliate link) by Rachel Bright is a lovely rhyming text that tells of Kevin the koala and his journey from 'I can't' to 'I can'!

Kevin loves the comfort of his lofty position high in the gum tree. He would love to play with his animal friends on the ground, but the thought of leaving his tree is just too much.  He

...was never too keen to try anything new. 

He has a series of excuses for his friends as to why he should stay in his comfort zone. Your students could find these and list them out.

Whatever the reason, ultimately the text presents a problem - Kevin is essentially stuck up a tree. 

This book is perfect for exploring the concept of a growth mindset and changing can't to can. I think it also provides for a worthwhile discussion on how life can change for the better after a devastating event - remember, poor old Kevin had his house destroyed. What seems like a complete change of life as you know it can result in new ground to explore - quite literally!

Problem and Solution

To help learners comprehend what they read, they need to understand the structure that authors use to create their stories and how ideas are connected. 

One top-level structure that a writer will use is problem and solution. There may be one or many in a text. Most often the characters will solve the problem. 


The comprehension strategy of questioning may help learners find the problem and solution in a story. As they read, they may ask themselves:
  • Who are the characters?
  • What do the pictures tell me about the characters and storyline?
  • What is happening in the story?
  • What will happen next in the story?
  • How did the characters change in the story?
  • What problems were encountered in the story? Who solved them and how?
Older students may identify that indeed it was Kevin's mindset that was the real 'problem'. The tree being a physical manifestation of his refusal to consider other ways to live.

Help students develop questioning skills so that they can reveal the 'problem and solution' in texts they read. Recording some pictures or ideas from some shared reading you do as a class will help this development.

We would love to provide this poster and worksheet to you from Google Drive: Problem and Solution Comprehension Poster and Worksheet

We do hope you love this gorgeous text written by Rachel Field and illustrated by Jim Field, as much as we did. If you would like a copy of the book, please consider using our Amazon Affiliate link: The Koala Who Could

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