School Library Association Media Release: Uplifting Stories – Book List

In a recent article in The Conversation entitled ‘A place to get away from it all’, researcher Dr Margaret Merga identified five ways that school libraries support student wellbeing. These were that school libraries:
• Can be safe places
• Provide resources for wellbeing
• Help build digital health literacy skills
• Support reading for pleasure
• Encourage healing through reading

In response to this important acknowledgement of the role that school libraries play in supporting the wellbeing and mental health of their school communities, the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) has produced a list of books, for all age groups, that offer uplifting and positive views of the world.

At a time when we all need support, to see the world we live in in a positive light and our lives as worthwhile and meaningful, this list, constructed by experienced school library staff, offers reading opportunities that are positive and uplifting.

School libraries are safe, inclusive spaces that support reading and learning of all kinds, whose staffs have the specific knowledge and expertise to recommend the right book at the right time.

You can download the full Media Release here

Download the Uplifting Book List here

SLAV Online Book Club – August 11th 2021 – Strategies and Titles to Engage Reluctant Readers

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss strategies and titles that have worked with reluctant readers. As we discussed in the meeting, there is an important difference between readers who are reluctant because of barriers to reading (low literacy levels, learning difficulties, etc.) and readers who are simply reluctant to read, despite being good readers. Readers who need to be encouraged and engaged. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

Below is the hugely diverse and broad list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on September 9th 2021 to discuss Culturally Diverse books.

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Books for Reluctant Readers
Subjects/ formats of current interest –
DK Guide to Rocks and Gems
Science Comics, I Survived Series are good non-fiction graphic novels
Magazines
Non-Fiction Choose Your Own Adventure
Almost anything about cars
World War 1 & 2 nonfiction
The “Who is…?” and “Who was…?” biographies
Sporting/Athlete Biographies
Secondary – AFL and Cricket biographies are popular
Non-Fiction about sustainable living is really popular with secondary students
Younger format Biographies such as the Little People Big Dreams
All things Minecraft – guides and fictional stories to support the world building
National Geographic Weird but True
Dylan Alcott Biography
Anything about Skateboarding
We’ve had some interested in books about the share market
Recipe Books
Anything diary related is also popular.
We have had a huge resurgence in reading Stephen King novels (Secondary students)
Horror
Choose Your Own Adventure
True Crime

Strategies shared
Borrowing out both an audiobook and text version of the same book can be a great support. We’ve done that for struggling readers that want to take part in our Readers Cup challenge
Create a List of Dyslexia Friendly Books.
We’re trialling a Read Aloud option with our Year 9 boys who struggle. So far it’s working well with the boys keen to start each week… and others in the larger reading cohort wanting to join
We are doing the Premier’s Reading Challenge and we have a “quick reads” trolley with short and sharp novellas.
Build up a short story collection
For teachers: Jim Trelease’s The Read-aloud Handbook has great suggestions across all ages for books with a vibrant narrative voice(s). I’ve consulted it over the years — now in its 8th edition.
We have moved our books on film to the DVD stands
I’ve been working on pairing books with audio books that are exactly the same
My favourite thing to say “you won’t believe that will happen in Chapter 4” and the kids come back saying “OMG, you won’t believe it”.
Have Students recommend books. Display these face out with a tick on them (spine & front cover)
We do book chats in groups and students recommend books to other. The power of the friendship recommendation is strong.

Book Suggestions and Chat Discussion
Verse Novels
Steven Herrick
One and Also We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan
Love that Dog and Hate that Cat (great read aloud)
Bindi by Kirli Saunders

Graphic novels can be helpful
Alex Rider
James Patterson
Maximum Ride
Macbeth
Bartolo
The I Survived Series by Scholastic
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone
New Kid by Jerry Craft

Barrington Stoke Series
Other Suggestions

Guinness Book of Records
Factopedia
Amulet Series
Wings of Fire Series
My Hero Academia (Manga) The Boy Who Became a Dragon: Bruce Lee Story – Jim Di
Onjali Rauf, The Boy at the Back of the Class (refugee story).
Jack Heath’s short stories 200, 300 minutes of….
All Manga
High Interest Publishing – Canada – can be great for VCAL seniors, Literature Circles, class novel. Short snappy novels.
Horrible Histories
The Little Bookroom’s Recommendations for Reluctant Readers
Tried and true: Wonder Compendium by R.J Palacio (a boy I taught once said “This book feels like it’s reading itself to me”).
George Ivanoff’s Survival Series
Science Comics, I Survived series are good non-fiction graphic novels As well as: They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, The Best We Can Do by Thi Bui
Dropping In by Geoff Havel
Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
Biographies such as the Little People Big Dreams and the DK books. Students don’t have to commit too much time and can be used as a launching pad for more
Wonder is great and there are a few other titles that we market as ‘read alikes’ such as Ugly by Robert Hoge.
Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey
Anh Do’s Series – Wolf Girl, E-Boy, Sky Dragon all work well with Year 7 struggling readers
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Real Pigeons Fight Crime Series – by Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood – this is being adapted for an animated series on Nickelodeon
Primary School: try the Little Gem books by Anna Zobel they’re also good for children who have dyslexia. Billie. B. Brown and Hey Jack by Sally Rippin. School of Monsters by Sally Rippin
Our Australian Girl Series
Anything by Raina Telgemeier, Babysitters Club
Leigh Hobbs Old Tom which is a compilation of 4 to 5 picture books also works well with EAL readers. It is simple but looks like a big fat book.
The Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore is really popular with year 7 and 8 boys. Also Ultimate & Classic Football heroes books are very popular with boys who don’t usually like to read
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is great for older readers
Babysitters Club very popular. Start with the Graphic Novels and then show them the actual novels . Under 150 pages, good size text and easy language.
Anything by Gary Paulsen
F.L.Y. Financially Literate Youth is a good one for finance interests
Neal Shusterman – Unwind, Dry Lex Thomas – Quarantine good for reluctant but capable readers
Once Series by Morris Gleitzman
Dork Diaries, Tom Gates, Geronimo Stilton/Thea Stilton, and Adventure Time books also good for reluctant and/or EAL kids + early teens
I have students wanting to read about real stories / murder mystery e.g. OJ Simpson
Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Geek Girl got one of our reluctant readers started. Also agree with verse novels
Keeper of the Lost Cities’ Series by Shannon Messenger great for Harry Potter fans
Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson is very popular. More inclusive books seem to work with our school community.
Quick Reads that connect to their interest area – Soccer (Ultimate Football Heroes)
Parvana is also available in Graphic Novel
My son loves The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander’s
Daughter couldn’t put down Highway Bodies by Alison Evans
Anything Roald Dahl is really popular in my school at the moment
Scythe by Neal Shusterman walks off the shelf after book talking
My little sister started reading more in Year 12, she has read: My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Lonely Castle in the Mirror, Before the Coffee Gets Cold, and Convenience Store Woman. But not sure how some of these would do in high school libraries
We have had a huge resurgence in reading Stephen King novels with reluctant readers…the more horror the better
We had a book called ‘Crime Time: Australians behaving badly’ that was a collection of chapters timelining the history of Australian criminals. That was very popular when students were aware of it! Not so recent, but goes back to Ned Kelly times etc.
Risk by Ferris Fleur with students who don’t identify as readers. Mysteries such as One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
Great Escape by Felice Arena is great to get kids interested in historical fiction.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Minecraft novels appeal to players
Five Nights at Freddies Series is based on a video game. Quite scary.
We’re bringing in more Legend of Zelda Manga into the collection for the primary school children
D&D is very popular
Gamer trilogy by Chris Bradford (short, gritty, dystopian video gaming future). Chris Bradford, amazing author
Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane & Marion Roberts also appeals because it breaks up the text
The Road to Winter by Mark Smith is very popular for year 9 very topical and fast moving. Any student that liked Tomorrow when the War Began by John Marsden will love it!!
None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney
Red Eye Series, scary, thrilling, horror
They Both Die in the End Adam Silvera
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Making Friends by Kirsten Gudsnuk
Heartstopper GN Series by Alice Oseman
Reluctant readers have shown to like or seek books like Bro – similar background Lebanese
This is Where it Ends Marieke Nijkamp
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is moving through our Year 8’s at the moment.
Carousel by Brendan Ritchie is popular
Wilder Girls by Rory Powers
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – I would recommend for year 8-9 and good year 7s
After Wings of Fire – for primary, junior sec – The Dragon Prince by Aaron and Melanie Ehasz
Animorphs Graphic Novels
Warriors GN
Lumberjanes GN
This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield
Kids are loving medical supernatural mysteries – Whisper/Weapon, The Program/The Treatment/The Remedy
A Trio of Sophies by Eileen Merriman is another one that I’ve had success with for students who have liked the one of us is lying series
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
We can’t keep Fleur Ferris books on our shelves, always being borrowed.
Lightfall: the girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert is another good graphic novel
Robert Cormier’s novels: oldies but goodies. We all Fall Down for Year 9+
Starters and Enders has had a resurgence at my school
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Attack on Titan!! Love them
Manga readers are not reluctant and highly sophisticated in my view.
Manga most popular in my school – shelves always empty
Dog Man is really popular and really funny – Dav Pilkey
Captain Underpants, Toffle Towers, Nat Amoore’s books, Dog Man are all good humour
I know that there was a written anthology of short stories around “Attack on Titan” Manga, however I don’t know what reading level it is.
The Tokyo Ghoul manga series also has some companion novels, I have had some students use them as a bridge
Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Mercy Watson for the Preps and Year 1s
Atticus Von Tasticus by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King
I have found the kids who read Manga are often interested in Art/Gaming so have spent money on the ‘Art of Manga’ and some have moved onto these nonfiction
The Bolds Series by Julian Clary
Some manga that’s popular in primary: Spirited Away, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Haikyuu!, Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card, Yuzu the Pet Vet, Chi’s Sweet Home,
Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB series and Henderson’s Boys series
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is funny too
The Funny KId by Matt Stanton series for lower/mid primary
Don’t Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer is very funny.
I agree that our Manga readers are thinkers and will happily bridge to a chapter book if it complements what they are reading in their Manga.
I think we often focus on “wide reading” and this lends to us trying to move readers “off Manga” rather than the skills of the student or the content of the Manga.
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
A Million Things by Emily Spurr – more adult but mature readers would probably like it too
Marley and Me by John Grogon
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DeCamillo is good
Aussie Nibbles, Bites, Chunks collections.
Pawcasso by Remy Lai
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter
Middle Grade Read -Living Next Door to Doctor Death – Spider Lee. Great short cliff hanging chapters. Both boys and girls love it.

What We Are Reading/ Adult Reading
Migrations and Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (YA)
The Dressmakers of Yarrandarra Prison by Meredith Jaffe
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Paris Library by Janet Skelian Charles
Locust Summer by David Allan-Petale:
The Deep by Kyle Perry
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
Lonely Castle In the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (YA)
Penguin Bloom by Bradley Trevor Greive
Before You Knew My Name – by Jacqueline Bublitz
Who Gets To Be Smart by Bri Lee
Songlines – Lynne Kelly
Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Women and Other Monsters by Jess Zimmerman
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Nemesis by Roth
The Golden Age by Joan London
Silent Footsteps by Sally Hepworth
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

 

 

 

SLAV Online Book Club June 17th 2021 – Speculative Fiction

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss speculative fiction. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated. We have an additional resource the What If List (generously shared by Susan La Marca) that you are welcome to download and use.

Below is the list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Wednesday August 11th 2021 to discuss titles for engaging reluctant readers.

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Titles Discussed 

Dry by Neal Shusterman
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Game Changer by Neal Shusterman
The Sky So Heavy
After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson
How to Bee by Bren McDibble
Wasteland by Susan Kim
Rain by Virginia Bergin
Future Girl by Asphyxia
Slated by Terry Teri
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi
Hive, Zero Hour and Rogue by AJ Betts
Wool by Hugh Howey
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
Virozone by Sarah Cole
Gone Series by Michael Grant
Monument 14
Whisper by Chrissie Perry
Left-handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
All Rights Reserved
The End of the World is Bigger Than Love by Davina Bell
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Road the Winter Series by Mark Smith
The Secret Runners of New York by Matthew Reilly
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Monuments and Rebel Gods by Will Kostakis
Proxy by Alex London
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Disruption and Corruption by Jessica Shirvington
Lock In by John Scalazi (For older readers yr 9/10)
Matched by Alie Condie
1984 by George Orwell
A Wizards Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody
Coraline and The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
When we are Invisible by Claire Zorn
Highway Bodies by Alison Evans
Host by Stephanie Meyer
Noughts and Crosses by Marjorie Blackman
Obernewton by Isobelle Carmody
Warcross and Wildcard by Marie Lu
The Gilded Ones by Naomi Forma
Lifelike by Jay Kristoff
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
Seahearts by Margo Lanagan
Ink by Alice Broadway
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

What We Are Reading

The Convict Valley: The Bloody Struggle on Australia’s Early Frontier by Mark Dunn
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Julia Gillard: Women in Leadership
Vox by Christina Dalcher
The Last Survivor by Tony Park
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart
The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair
Last Boat Out of Shanghai
Curse So Dark and Lonely Trilogy by Brigid Kemmerer
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

Upcoming Events to Celebrate in Your Library

There are two important events coming up in the calendar you can celebrate in your school library, both of which are fun and easy with wonderful ready made resources for you to access.

 

 

 

 

The Great Book Swap

The Great Book Swap is a fantastic way to celebrate reading locally, learn more about Indigenous languages and culture, while raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Schools, workplaces, libraries, universities, book clubs, individuals and all kinds of organisations can host a Great Book Swap. The idea is to swap a favourite book in exchange for a gold coin donation.

This year, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation are aiming to raise $350,000! By registering to host a Great Book Swap at your school or library, you will be actively helping them gift 35,000 new, carefully chosen books to children in remote communities across the country. Yo can find resources and register HERE.

NAIDOC Week 2021 

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. Find out more about the origins and history of NAIDOC Week.

Each year, there is a different focus city for the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony. The focus city, National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards recipients are selected by the National NAIDOC Committee.

Local community celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged and often organised by communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces.

Have you thought about organising a NAIDOC event in your Library? A few suggestions about how you can celebrate NAIDOC can be found on this website.

The learning resources available to all students through the NAIDOC website are invaluable for teachers and students and can be foudn HERE. 

SLAV Online Book Club March 24th 2021 – Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our second book club meeting for 2021 to discuss books that are useful for exploring issues of emotional and mental wellbeing with our students. Some of the titles discussed are useful resources, others are novels that explore characters dealing with issues around their own emotional and mental wellbeing, or that of a friend or family member. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

Below is the list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Wednesday May 19th to discuss Graphic Novels.

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Picture Books/ Younger Readers/ Middle Grade

Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt
Angry Arthur by Hiawyn Oram
Tabitha and the Raincloud by Devon Sillett
I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds
No One But You by Douglas Wood
The Whirlpool by Emily Larkin
Jump by Andrew Plant
Good Night Ivy Bright by Ben Long and Andrew Plant
Willy and the Cloud by Anthony Browne
Mr Huff by Anna Walker
The Don’t Worry Book by Todd Parr
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Talking About Feelings by Janine Sanders
Me Time by Jessica Sanders
When I’m Feeling Angry by Trace Moroney
Hey Warrior by Karen Young
The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
Blue Flower by Sonya Hartnett
The Elephant by Peter Carnavas
Smiling Mind Series Books
What To Do With a Problem by Kobi Yamada
Trying by Kobi Yamada
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
The Sad Book by Michael Rosen
Jetty Jumping by Andrea Rowe
Sick Bay by Nova Weetman
Edge of Thirteen by Nova Weetman
Secrets We Share by Nova Weetman
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
All of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels are very popular with Year 5-7s.
The Little Wave by Pip Harry

Older Readers and Young Adults

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
Hero At Dunkirk (My True Story Series) by Vince Cross
Fighting Invisible Tigers: Stress Management for Teens By Earl Hipp
Leave Taking Lorraine Marwood
The Odd Ones Out by James Rallison
The Worry Less Book by Rachel Bryan
History is all You Left Me by Adam Silvera
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Darius The Great is Not Ok by Addib Khorram
Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B by Teresa Toten
The Dead I Know by Scott Gardner
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling Wai Chim
Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim
Good Selfie by Turia Pitt
The Sad Ghost Club – graphic novel by Lize Meddings
The Teenage Guide to Friends by Nicola Morgan (other titles The Teenage Guide to Stress
The Teenage Guide to Life Online)
The Awesome Power of Sleep
Blame My Brain
More Than a Kick by Tayla Harris
Paper Cranes Don’t Fly by Peter Vu
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
The REsilience Project: Finding Happiness through gratitude empathy & mindfulness by Hugh Van Cuylenburg
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Tobias Iaconis, Mikki Daughtry
Zac and Mia by A.J Betts
Helicopter Man by Elizabeth Fensham
Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman
Cracked by Claire Strawn
How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
Unexpected Find by Tony Ibbotson
Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian
The Thing About Oliver by Debra Kelly
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dana McAnulty
Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr
To This Day by Shane Koyczan
The Gaps by Leanne Hall
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

What We Are Reading
The Loudness of Unsaid Things by Hilde Hinton
Angel of Waterloo by Jackie French
The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley
Infinite Splendours by Sophie Laguna
The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
The Breaking by Irma Gold
The Dutch House by Ann Pratchett
The Dry by Jane Harper
Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Online resources

During this time, there are many lists being shared that can help you find quality resources to support online learning in your school.  We look for institutions that we know produce reliable and authentic information, and are collating a page of links to resources, guides and useful information HERE for ease of access. We will continue to update this page as we find new resources to share.

 

Making a Nation & Federation: Australia

Federation

With the tension of the Federal Election behind us, parliament has reconvened and it’s that time of the year when study of Australia as a nation enters the curriculum.  Students study various aspects of Australia’s nationhood, identity and history particularly in Year 6 to Year 9 with the support of sites such as the Parliamentary Education Office.  This post contains a range of resources to further assist that study.

Federation Referendums – is a collection of 13 digital curriculum resources focusing on the rounds of referendums held in Australian colonies to decide whether they would federate to form a nation. It is organised into four categories – the referendums in overview; the 1898 referendums; the 1899 referendums; and the 1900 referendum in Western Australia. The collection includes interactive learning objects, photographs, artefacts and cartoons.

The Federal Parliament History Timeline is an interactive timeline that enables students to gain a perspective of the sequence of events surrounding Australia’s nationhood. It is easy to navigate and links to resources for further investigation.

Federation resource by History Teachers’ Assoc of Australia (HTAA) is an Australian Curriculum lesson plan directed at Yr 6 students. It is a full unit of work with links to resources.

Making a Nation by the Australian Electoral Commission are inquiry-based interactive modules designed for students studying the history of Australia’s democratic system at Year 9 and 10 levels. There is a wealth of information on the site and links to teacher resources

National Archives of Australia – Your Story, Our Story continues to develop as a resource and has two particularly good resources on the Constitution and Federation – Creating a Nation and Constitution for a Nation

BI vrroom browse topicAlso recommended is the Virtual Reading Room (VRROOM) of the National Archives. Step 1) Choose the topic ‘Our Democracy’ 2) Refine it to Constitution or Federation using the drop down options 3) Click ‘browse’. Register on the site (free) and login to save these primary resource files to your personal folder. This site is an excellent resource for student exploration.

ABC Splash presents Sir Henry Parkes’s Tenterfield Oration, a re-enactment and discussion of the speech at Tenterfied in 1889 which laid the foundations of the movement towards Federation. 14 minutes in length, it provides background to this historical event. Also from ABC Splash is Federation of Australia

National Film and Sound Archive is a site that takes time to explore but contains short historical clips that provide context and an historical perspective. See The Founding of Canberra for a reminder that in the early years of Federation, Melbourne was the national capital.

The Trove database of the National Library of Australia is a rapidly expanding historical resource containing primary source material such as books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more. In researching a topic such as Australia’s early days of nationhood, it provides access to newspapers of the day, and images that put meaning to an event.  To find resources: Select topic, refine by selecting sub-topic – browse.

Parliamentary Education Office provides an excellent range of videos about Federation and how the parliament works.Units of work Getting it together: From Colonies to Federation were developed by the Museum of Australian Democracy and split the topic into two parts, the Victorian story Victoria: Road to Federation and and the national story The National Story: Road to Federation.  Life at the Time of Federation is another unit of work that could easily be adapted to the classroom.

Federation Referendums – a collection of 13 digital curriculum resources focusing on the rounds of referendums held in Australian colonies to decide whether they would federate to form a nation. It’s organised into four categories – 1) referendums in overview; 2) 1898 referendums; 3) 1899 referendums; 4) 1900 referendum in Western Australia. The collection includes interactive learning objects, photographs, artefacts and cartoons.

A search of Federation on the National Museum of Australia site returns a very useful range of resources from the Citizen’s Arch and the story of William Farrer and Federation wheat

Road to Federation – is an easily accessible interactive telling the Federation story.  It’s suitable for student use.

Centenary of Federation is the story of Victoria’s role in the process of Federation and Australia’s early years as a nation. The site is no longer being maintained so there are some dead link, however, it is still a useful resource.

The resources on Federation Gateway are no longer being maintained. While there is still valuable information on the site, it’s recommended that at search of the Trove database will return a better result.

Image: The ‘Secret Premiers’ conference captured for the record. In order to secure the agreement of all the colonies to the Constitution Bill, urgent changes were made at this meeting of the six Premiers at Parliament House, Melbourne, from 29 January to 2 February in 1899.  Source: National Archives of Australia  [A1200, L16930]

Reading for Pleasure – Book Week and more

reading1

At this time of year the focus is on reading as we celebrate Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week.  It’s a time for author visits to schools, writing workshops, dressing up in favourite storybook characters – all with the purpose of developing a love of reading in our students.  In a world driven by technological developments that are changing the nature of future employment, the ability to read is an absolute necessity. The joy it brings is a bonus.

But how far do we go beyond dressing up and celebrating for this one week of the year?  How do we engage parents as key stakeholders in this process?  A movement in Sydney, Street Library Australia which is based on the US group Little Free Libraries aims to make reading front and centre by bringing it into family gardens.  Family involvement is key to a child’s success as a reader as its at home that habits are formed and established.

The National Library of New Zealand in their Services to Schools provide and excellent resource to support reading both at school and at home. Included on the site is Reading for Pleasure – a Door to Success where they advocate:

The benefits of reading for pleasure are far reaching. Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, evidence indicates reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health and learning outcomes. It also gives people access to culture and heritage and empowers them to become active citizens, who can contribute to economic and social development.

This site tackles reading from all angles and brings a bounty of resources together in the one place. It well worth exploring in depth.  Every child is a reader – it’s not an option.

New Australian STEM resources hub

abc-splash-stem

ABC Splash is a source of high-quality digital educational content specifically developed for the Australian learning community.  This week they launched the Splash STEM Hub which addresses “Science, Technology, Education and Maths” learning for students in Years Prep/Foundation to Year 10.  The site contains experiments, teaching ideas, and interviews with scientists, engineers in partnership with organisations such as CSIRO, RiAus and the Australian National University.  It brings real world science and people working in science and technology fields into the classroom.

To celebrate the launch of the new STEM hub, ABC Splash is conducting a prize draw that you enter by simply subscribing to the new STEM newsletter.  Two great prizes for the winners are three sphero rolling robots, one prize for primary and one for secondary.  What a marvellous incentive to sign up to receive what is a great prize in itself – regular science education news and updates!

All ABC Splash resources are free to watch and play at home and in school and are guaranteed to spark discussion and promote curiosity. The Splash portal is a world-class education experience for Australian students, and is packed with thousands of videos, audio clips, games and interactive tools.  Teachers and teacher librarians are especially encouraged to sign up for the primary, secondary and now the STEM newsletters.  Promote them to your students and their families, they’ll love them.

Primary sources and the ANZACS

WWI propoganda

The commemoration of the centenary of the Gallipoli Landing during World War I has stimulated an explosion in the digital content available online. Photos from family and institution collections contribute to a comprehensive overview of the period from the images on the battlefront through to the homeland and everyday life.

These images make possible a range of rich learning activities that can extend a student’s understanding of the experience of individuals and expose them to resources to explore further in their own time, for example:

  1. Use Ergo, State Library of Victoria – Australia and World War I to study topics such as enlistment, conscription, the homefront and propaganda supported by primary source artefacts including diaries.
  2. Document analysis worksheets designed and developed by the education staff of the [US] National Archives and Records Administration are an excellent resource for use with primary sources. These worksheets are not new and have been refined over time. They’re in a convenient .pdf format for use either online or as printed hardcopies. Worksheets are available for the analysis of a printed document, photograph, cartoon, poster, map, artefact, motion picture and sound recording. Highly recommended.
  3. It’s not news to any teacher to say that students love Google Images. A lesson in the Advanced Search function of Google Images is an opportunity to experiment with various search terms; with learning how to separate World War I from World War II images; how to isolate propaganda images; locate images relating to women; find images of a particular colour or from the region ‘Australia’ only. Use with Google Search Education lesson plans to enhance your own search skills and those of your students.
  4. The number of public institutions uploading resources to Flickr: The Commons has grown steadily over the years. As Creative Commons resources, students have a wealth of resources to work with. Once again, using a range of key terms such as ANZAC, Gallipoli, World War I, WWI, students can become familiar with this constantly developing database of original images.

This centenary year can be a launching point that introduces students to an authentic range of resources they can revisit time and time again……. now they know they exist.  Explore!