Out by Angela May George (Published by Scholastic Australia) is a sad yet heartwarming story about a young refugee girl who has settled in a new country with her mother.
This beautiful story follows how the girls feels in her new home and the fears she still faces because of what she has been through.
Owen Swan’s illustrations provide the gentle and moving touch needed to really allow the reader to feel like they are moving along with the girl and feeling what she is feeling.
I shed a tear at the end of this story.
This week is Refugee Week and really, we should always be thinking of the refugees that are in Australia and those who want to be in Australia. Many hold terrible memories like the young girl and her mother and need support to start fresh.
I hope that you can share this story with others, showing the refugees are not the enemy but just like you and me. They too need love, support, friends and family. They too hold memories of fear and hope.
So how can we embed this into the curriculum?
Before you read:
- Why are two people in colour on the front cover and the rest in black and white?
- What might out mean?
- Back Cover: What does it mean ‘ I’m called an asylum seeker but that’s not my name’ ?
As you read
- What does Brave mean to you?
- Have you ever felt like the girls running on page 2?
- Imagine feeling as isolated as the boat in the ocean scene.
- When do you feel free? What does feeling free mean to you? How does this differ from the girl in the story?
- Does this story have a happy ending?
After you read
- Older students could write a recount/ diary entry remembering a time when they felt fear – if they cannot recall an event they can imagine it.
- Find images of Refugees & asylum seekers. Link emotions to their faces.
- Dramatise different emotions linked to different situations in the story. Show a picture in the story and ask children to freeze an emotion.
- Write a persuasive letter to the government outlining why we need to accept Asylum seekers.
- Have a debate about asylum seekers in Australia.
- Look at the picture of the girl and mother huddled together on the boat – list how they are feeling. Think of a time you have felt like this.
- Which stories would you tell if you were on a very long journey without any technology?
- Can you find out about another language? Create your own simple welcome brochure for your own community.
- Link this book to other books (The happiest refugee by Anh Do, Mirror by Jeannie Baker) compare and contrast the different stories of these young children.
- Research statistics on the number of refugees in Australia. Compare this to other countries around the world.
- Find out where refugees have settled in Australia. Use tables to show this information.
- Why are people refugees? Find out the different reasons someone may be a refugee.
- What is a refugee? What is an asylum seeker? What is an immigrant? FInd out and compare differences.
- Discover different popular music from different lands. How do people enjoy this music. Compare and contrast the different music.
- How can we make our community more welcoming for those who are new to Australia?
- Could you catch a fish with just two simple materials such as a shoelace and a hook? Shoelace and a button? Think of as many combinations as you can from two objects that you have on you right now.
- Why do we have refugees in this world? Can we rid the world of needing to have refugees? Are there different types of refugees?
- What does it mean to be BRAVE? How can we be BRAVE? Do we need to be BRAVE?