As a teacher of gifted students in a pullout group setting that focuses in literacy I am always trying out new ways to extend and enrich these students. This week, in Year One, we looked at characters. The scene was set – we had just invented a machine that could travel inside books to meet […]Enriching a literacy lesson – character — Gifted Education Musings
Published by Thames and Hudson
Price $24.99 NZ$29.99
As we are overwhelmed with the news that there are more and more endangered animals in the world I wonder if we really know what they look like or how we can help them?
Who Am I? created by Tim Flach is a creative book that allows children to explore the world of endangered animals.
Each animal is described in easy to understand ‘who am I’ style clues alongside peek through pages that reveal parts of the animal.
Something that makes this book unique is the photography. Each animal has been exquisitely photographed either in sanctuaries or the wild and the eyes of each animal are hard to miss.
Some of these animals appear in a human like portrait style, bringing about more feeling to who these animals are and why we need to start to care more about them.
Tim Flach is a master photographer and author, capturing young children’s minds and hearts through curious clues and magical photography. At the end of the book there is also more information about each animal, where they live and how some humans are trying to raise them from the status of endangered.
This book has also been made in collaboration with Blackwell and Ruth, who have contributed over $5 million to non-profit organisations dedicated to social issues.
What can be done at home or in the classroom with this book?
How can pictures tell us more about an animal? Explore the focus on eyes in this picture book and why the animals have been photographed in this way.
How are clues created? Explore how the clues have been written in this book and create some of your own.
Science & Sustainability
Explore the life cycles of these animals and how the destruction of their habitat effects this.
How can we reverse the damage caused to these animals? Explore what is being done now and what can be done.
How do we effect these animals? Are there things we do in our lives that effect how they survive?
Reading this story with your child will help them to know that families come in all different shapes and sizes and because of that we are all shaped in different ways in how we look, feel and act.
The family hour by Tai Snaith explores how different Australian animals spend time together – frog dads sing, seadragon dads carry their babies in their pouch, echidna mothers feed their babies pink milk and Tasmanian devil families love to be noisy!
As we read through this book we had a laugh at some of the family antics, a hint of jealousy at some and a feeling of wonder with others. The animal world is so intricate and it is wonderful to read books like this one to make these facts much more fun for children.
The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke and Van T Rudd is a fun book filled with onomatopoeia, vibrant adjectives and outside active play.
As you read through this story the energy seeps out of the pages as the children tumble through the streets, run up and down hills and zoom along on their homemade bike.
The modern family comes in all shapes and sizes, with half-sisters, big brothers and step-parents. Some kids have a family tree, and others have a family forest! Created by the award-winning author Kim Kane and celebrated illustrator Lucia Masciullo, half-sisters, this gentle and witty picture book explores one such gorgeous family.
Everybody knows that wolves live in packs. But one little wolf cub dreams of setting off on his own adventure… all by himself! Will life as a lone wolf be everything he hoped, or will he miss the rough and tumble of the pack? This fun adventure story featuring a cute wolf cub teaches young readers about the value of friendship, showing how good friends can still be with you, even when they’re not!
A third of our planet is covered by trees so surely they should be something we know a lot about?
The wonder of trees by Nicola Davies and Lorna Scobie is an in depth book which explores the extraordinary diversity of trees, the animals that need them and the clusters of them around the planet.
Not only are the pages filled with easy to read information, they are also adorned with stunning illustrations which detail the leaves, bark, root systems and animals.
Many scientific names are included on each page, allowing children who otherwise may not be, exposed to scientific language.
The wonder of trees is a book to keep returning to as there is quite a bit of information to be absorbed. Although young children will love the illustrations, older children from ages 5 will enjoy reading pieces of the information which is organised in small clusters around the pages.
The book is also broken up into sections such as different types of forests, how people use the forest, what animals need, how trees grow and the different amazing parts they have for survival.
This A3 size book will be enjoyed by children not only for its information but also the intricate illustrations. It’s one that can be used to explore areas of science, discuss sustainability and wonder about the world that the trees which surround us support.
Many students find studying grammar a chore – because of the way it is taught and the wonder of – do I really need this?
This book, The Australian students guide to Writing and Grammar by Claire Duffy, is a very concise yet easy to use book about grammar and writing for students who need to know a little bit more in their own time.want to know more.
The Australian students guide to Writing and Grammar by Claire Duffy provides students information about basic grammar and skills in writing before it delves into how to be a writer who can write creatively, persuasively and analytically.
Examples are provided throughout each chapter and the language used talks to the students in a friendly and easy to understand manner.
I loved the nerd corners for the extra fact and the tables filled with accessible information about different types of writing.
This book doesn’t ask the reader to do anything except read the information provided. There are no tasks to complete or quizes to fill in. I think because of this students will return to this book when they are unsure of any aspect of writing and grammar, knowing it is a place they can read, learn and do in their own time.
I know that I will be using this to revisit some of the writing techniques not only in my own writing but in the lessons I teach.
Highly recommended for teachers and students as it fits nicely into a bag, is simple to use and very informative.
Do you remember when you had more fun playing with a box than the toy that can inside it?
Have you ever watched young children play with an abandoned box for days on end?
The Box Cars by Robert Vescio and Cara King is a delightful picture book that shows young readers the fun they can have with boxes!
We meet two best friends – Liam and Kai who are experts in making different types of box cars and racing them around the local park. It isn’t until one day that they notice someone watching them that they realise how special friends and imagination are.
Soon enough – with a bit of problem solving – their duo becomes a trio and even more box filled fun takes place!
Simple yet brightly lit illustrations by Cara King fill each page and clearly show the emotions of the children as they play. They give a sense of freedom with imagination and nature at the heart of every page.
The story delves into the wonders of imaginative play and friendship and the problems that arise when we need to consider the needs of every one around us.
The Box Cars will open up the opportunity to get children outside with their imaginations instead of inside in front of a screen. It will encourage discussions about friendships and help children to see wonder in the simple things!
So what else can you do with this book?
Grammar – Look at the different types of verbs used to describe how the characters do different things throughout the story. Replace these verbs with different or more plain verbs and see how the story changes.
Visual literacy – Every page is a whole page illustration except for one double page spread when Eve is not in a box car. Why is this the only page that does this?
Design and Make – Build something of your own out of a box that could serve a purpose in the school playground. Create plans before it is made and outline the clear purpose.
Toys in the past – explore how children made toys of their own in the past. What materials did they use and how did they make them?
Have you ever wondered what life is like out in the desert of Australia where the Spinifex grass grows and the stars shine all over the night sky?
Through the eyes of two cute hopping mice – Lucky and Spike – you and your young readers will see what they get up to each night as they search for food and escape from hungry predators!
Every night Lucky and Spike enjoy the spinifex seeds leftover from the local women who grind them to make bread but as we find out, they are not the only ones who are in search of food.
Lucky and Spike need to use their quick legs to escape a hungry feral cat and a barking owl but with the help of the camp dog and the sharp spinifex grass, they escape.
Norma Macdonald’s illustrations highlight the colours of the desert and the people who live there. The animals are full of life and we can see their movements over the pages as they hop, fly and run throughout the night.
There is so much to enjoy about this book and so much to learn, it is a must for anyone interested not only in the diverse landscapes, people and animals of Australia, but also the need for better solutions for native species.
The hopping mouse lives in Australia in small pockets of sand dunes, grasslands, gibber plains, heaths and open forest .
They are on the vulnerable species list and are closely monitored by different conservation groups around Australia. Feral cats are a huge problem due to their ability to hunt the mouse with little detection. Other feral animals who roam free also play a role in the degradation of soil and small grasses – needed to provide safety and shelter.
Lucky and Spike is a fun book to read for younger children but also one which can be used for older readers to explore further into different desert animals.
So what else can you do with this book?
Look at the final page in this story and read what Norma has written about feral cats. Explore the different organisations who are trying to cull these creatures and the different ways they are doing this.
Visual Arts and Artists.
Explore the art works by Norma MacDonald and other books she has written ( Spinifex Mouse by Magabala books)
Find the verbs used to describe how the animals move around. Create a list of other verbs these different animals might use during the night and then during the day.
Research further about Spinifex Hopping mice and Barking owls.
Discover how cats become feral.
Join my facebook groups if you like!
Christmas has just passed and perhaps your house is now filled with excess toys and packaging.
Over summer we have been talking about toy quality and how some last, while others don’t, which toys are great to have and which ones we will forget about in one week.
From this we have decided to write letters to toy companies and asking them to make changes to the material toys and their packaging is made out of.
I have done this in class with a group of Year 2 students so any age group can follow the following formula to make a letter be read and replied to.
Here is a suggestion of how to get children to enjoy writing letters to companies of their favourite toys…. It’s simple and allows the children to still enjoy having toys – but gets them to think about how small changes can make a big difference!
Dear (Try to find the name of the CEO),
- Talk about why you love their toys and all of the things you like to do with them.
- Give them a suggestion as to how these toys could be changed so they have less of a devastating effect on the environment.
- Tell them that you hope you can see a change and you are looking forward to a reply.
- Sign off and add a return address.
Can you inspire your child to write a letter to a company asking them to make a change for the good of the world?
I’ve just finished reading Wundersmith: The calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.
This is the second book in the Nevermoor you won’t be able to put down.
Morrigan is still living in Nevermoor and is finally part of a society filled with many other people who have gifts – just none like hers. Read along as Morrigan navigates school, tries to make new friends and of course encounters adventure and danger along the way!
The characters, especially Morrigan are so real, so alive and in so many ways relatable to everything that you are unsure of or proud of in your own life.
I loved this book – can’t rate it highly enough.
Buy it for someone who needs some extra magic and another wonderful book in their collection! Ages 10 and up!
We’ve had a lot of laughs whilst reading ‘Yours troolie, Alice Toolie ’ by @katejoltemple
You don’t need to have met either character before to enjoy the conversation between two classmates who have been made to write letters to each other because of a huge fight they had.
Letter writing between two enemies could not get any better!
The format of this story is fun – the font, the doodles on each letter entry and the honesty of how kids really see the world.
Letter writing may even make a comeback….you never know.
A great book to read and an even better book to use in the classroom to instigate some fun letter writing!
What can you do with this book?
- Write some letters between classmates or friends. You can use the post and integrate learning about the Australian postal system or just post the letters in a made up box in the classroom.
- Investigate the best way to capture and store a ghost. Compare this to the method Alice and Jimmy used. Which way is better?
- Learn about where and why emoji’s were invented. Create some that you think may be needed in the future.
- What is eco glitter? Create a list of all the things you love using that are not so eco-friendly. Are their alternative products out there that will not harm the environment?
- Do you think another letter writing book could come out of this one? Write down some future ideas for Alice and Jimmy if there was to be a second book (it may not be letter writing – could it be something else?)
Do you have a child who does not like to sleep?
Have you ever wondered what your evening would look like if the dark never came?
I know we’ve all wished it, especially on those wonderful summer days.
The rabbit, the dark and the Biscuit Tin by Nicola O’Byrne is a cute story about a little rabbit who does not like going to bed and wishes that the evening never – ever came.
But little does he realises that without night time, many living things suffer.
The rabbit, the dark and the Biscuit Tin by Nicola O’Byrne will teach children about the need for night and day, and the animals and plants that need it.
The illustrations are vibrant and the pop out towards the end will amaze young readers.
The rabbit, the dark and the Biscuit Tin by Nicola O’Byrne is a perfect story for those children who do not like bed time as after this book they will come to appreciate just how important it is!
– Science: A great resources for Early Stage One and Stage one when looking at day and night.
– Literacy: A great resource to use for creative writing – what could you place in a biscuit tin?
– Life cycles and animal habits – why do they need day and night? Which animals would not survive without one or the other? Which animals have had to adapt to city living because we have too many lights? (Sustainability, STEM, Science, Geography)
Sick of books about bears?
Is your library shelf piling up with bears eating honey? Bears going on walks or bears getting cranky?
Then you’ll love this book!
Teachers who are looking into traditional or fractures fairytales will love this book as a great springboard to encourage creativity and problem solving when it comes to bears.
Can you imagine if the three bears weren’t in the Goldilocks story? Would Goldilocks still eat porridge? Would the setting still be in the woods? Would there still be bears and beds and a scary ending?
Children will love listening to the fourth wall being broken (another great lesson springboard) and wonder why bears are often chosen as a lead role.
So what did we do in our classroom with Kindergarten?
Children chose to either draw a story without bears ( goldilocks and the three lemurs) or draw things bears do in stories that they don’t normally do (another great lesson about anthropomorphism!!!)
You’ll love this book – story and illustrations!
Buy here now – click image of book
You have his mark Mia, between your shoulder blades. The dirrarn (black cockatoo) is your totem. Your jarriny (conception totem) totem
I adored this book so much so that I read it twice.
Mia, a young indigenous girl lives on the coast of Western Australia in a remote town surrounded by bush land, water holes and hot red dirt.
She lives with her family, which includes her grandparents, but feels lost between the culture and traditions of her past and the present world she lives in.
But Mia feels the past so much more than her brother does. She feels the pain of the he injured animals and smells danger and freedom on the wind.
The story revolves around Mia rescuing a black cockatoo who has been injured by her thoughtless brother.
We learn about the beauty of persistence, following your beliefs and believing in the power of positive actions.
We also learn the importance of listening to the past, embracing culture and tradition yet looking towards the future.
Black Cockatoo will not only entertain readers from ages 9-13, it will also teach them about owning their beliefs and standing up for what they know is best.
Black Cockatoo would be a great book if o study as a class group as the Jaru language is scattered throughout the story-in context-so readers can learn how to speak this indigenous language from The Kimberley.
As Australians we need to eEmbrace more of our indigenous languages and teach not only those with indigenous heritage but also those who don’t.
Black cockatoo by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler is a beautiful story and I hope that it can be shared with many more children!
It wasn’t a carnivorous plant.
It wasn’t a venomous snake.
It wasn’t a bristly wolf or a deep ravine.
It was worse. Much, much worse.
If you love an adventure and a bit of alliteration then you will love Beware the deep dark forest by Sue Whiting and Annie White.
Rosie is off to find her dog Tinky who has run off into a forest full of scary things. With only bravery in her backpack, Rosie is determined to find it – despite warnings from her Grandmother and Father.
Teacher’s will not only love reading this story to their class because it is a wonderful story, they will also love it because of the literacy devices!
There is alliteration
There are so many great adjectives of varying degrees
And there is a great plot to engage with.
The illustrations are a great way to explore visual literacy – look at the colours, Rosie’s expressions and the use of different types of font.
We have loved reading Beware the deep dark forest by Sue Whiting and Annie White and thinking of many new ways we could describe the snakes, plants and wolf!
Check it out now:
Have you ever had an idea that you just couldn’t get rid of?
Have you ever tried to make something work and it just wouldn’t?
Take a hold of this board book – for readers young and old – and find out more about these inventors who not only changed the world but surprised themselves with the amount of persistence required to finally come up with the invention they did!
We meet Cai Lun from AD 105 who invented paper, Johannes Gutenberg from 1439 who invented a printing press so more books could be read by more people.
Leonardo DaVinci the great artist, Thomas Edison the man who created electricity, Louis Pasteur and his world changing vaccinations, Marie Curie and her persistence to explore a strange blue rock which ended up being one way to fight off cancer and the Wright brothers who created the first aeroplane.
Each person has a story of persistence, courage and self belief.
They all wanted to find an answer and with lots of hard work they did.
This book is perfect for younger readers who do have gifts but don’t quite have the resilience to persist with something when it gets hard.
By looking at people who haven’t achieved fame or fortune immediately (a big problem with social media in this modern age) we can show children that simply trying a new method when the old method doesn’t work can make a huge difference in achieving our goals!
You can talk about the illustrations with really young readers, read the words and have discussions with junior readers and use as a springboard into more in depth research for older readers.
We have loved reading this book – the illustrations really added a lot more fun to these individuals lives for the board book readers in our house. It’s always wonderful to learn more about inspiring people who have made a real difference in the world!
We hear about Palm Oil a lot and the devastation it can cause to rainforests.
But how do you talk to children about this so to empower them to make the right decisions?
Check out this graphic that shows you how the big companies are still harming the environment with their gathering of Palm Oil : https://issuu.com/greenpeaceinternational/docs/final_countdown_pages_lr_greenpeace
Talking about Palm Oil
- Look at the list of the big companies that are still causing harm to many rainforests with their consumption of Palm Oil.
- Open your cupboard and see if you have any products of this brand OR owned by this brand
- Together list alternatives to a favourite brand of yours – can you by it from someone else? Can you make it? Can you live without it?
- How can you raise awareness of this?
Here are some ideas:
Make a graph to show to percentage of rainforest left in the world.
Learn about the different animals who live in these rainforests.
Learn about the people who live here – what is happening to them?
Try and find some recipes so you can make your own cosmetics, chips or chocolate bars!
Big brands to avoid —–
L’Oreal owns: Maybelline New York, Garnier, Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, BioMedic, Vichy, Biotherm, Shu Uemura, Kiehl’s, Soft Sheen-Carson, Redken, Matrix, Kerastase, Giorgio Armani, Inneov, Sanoflore, CCB Paris, Dermablend, The Body Shop, Skinceuticals, Ralph Lauren, La-Roche-Posay, and Yves Saint Laurent.
Nestle owns: https://www.nestle.com.au/brands
Pepsico owns: http://www.pepsico.com.au/brands/
Charlie’s adventures in South Africa by Jacqueline De Rose-Ahern and illustrated by Sophie Norsa.
Have you ever wanted to visit South Africa but the thought of the long flight with small children was too much?
You will either be satisfied just reading this book or will be more inspired to head on over there after reading the adventures young Charlie has with his family in South Africa.
As you follow Charlie’s journey you will learn a little of the local lingo, meet the animals that live on the savannah, walk through the city, taste the local produce, dance to some music and of course help Charlie to solve the riddles in order to find hidden treasure!
After Charlie visits a new place in South Africa, he receives a clue which he needs to hold onto in order to solve the final riddle.
The characters talk about a map which they use to move around South Africa and I would recommend pulling out a map so children can see where they might be travelling to as they visit different places.
There is an added bonus in this story – a postcard at the back! Children love reading postcards and this one is blank, leaving space for children to write their own thoughts about this mini holiday!
Charlie’s adventures in South Africa is part of series of travel books for children (which I haven’t’ read, but would be interested in seeing as it is a different way to ignite interest in other countries and its people.) In Jacqueline’s other books he visits Australia, Hawaii and England.
Teacher’s will also love this book as it looks at a country in a different way – through the people and the eyes of a child. It will encourage an interest in maps and perhaps ignite some postcard sending!
What can you do in the classroom?
– We looked at where South Africa was on the world map, then where is was in Africa.
– As I read the book I showed matching images from South Africa – to make connections.
– As I read I asked the children to listen to and look for clues.
– After we read the children in Kindergarten drew what they thought Charlie saw on his adventure. You can see below what they have drawn and written.
Join my facebook group – Growing Globally and socially conscious children – a closed group where we share ideas on how we can talk about big issues with young children through simple activities.
And join in on the Book Blog tour running this week!
Have you ever waited and waited for your birthday?
Have you been left to wonder and guess what gifts you might receive from your friends?
Something for Fleur by Catherine Pelosi and Caitlin Murray is a sweet story about Fleur the flamingo and a special plan her best friend has for her birthday.
We had a wonderful time reading this story. The illustrations are full of life and the story is so sweet.
Younger readers revelled in thinking about the clues offered in each letter Fleur the Flamingo received. They loved looking through the illustrations to see what the different characters were up to each day.
This book is a great way to introduce the use of adjectives and the skill of writing a letter to someone.
This is what we got up to in the classroom:
We wrote letters to someone we thought needed cheering up or someone we had never met – a child in detention or a child in hospital. It was really lovely to see what students wrote in these letters.
I also invited students to choose to write clues – which was aimed at the more competent learners as writing clues can be quite difficult.
What have you done with this story?
I am sure that most of the population love a piece of chocolate here or there but do we ever think about where it comes from?
A recent article discusses some major chocolate companies and their bid to decrease deforestation and child labour in key areas where cocoa is grown.
A lesson in the classroom or at home that involves chocolate is always a fun lesson
So how about:
What were you doing when you were 13 years old?
Did you ever consider leaving your family for a year to go to a village in another part of your country to teach some others how to read and write?
The courageous character in this story, My Brigadista year by Katherine Paterson, does just that.
Set in Cuba during 1961, the country has been fighting to become independent under Fidel Castro. And although there were many terrible things he did do throughout his rule (and the author does make this clear at points throughout the novel and at the end) he had a goal to make all people in his country literate.
Seen through the eyes of 13year old Lora, we learn about Cuba and the mission she takes part in.
I enjoyed reading about how she met the families, taught them how to read and write in the evening while helping out with the farm during the day. We see the world through her new eyes and feel the passion she has to want to help these people.
As a teacher I could feel this passion as I once travelled to Costa Rica to help in remote communities with work around the towns and also with English.
Lora’s story is possibly one which has not been told in this way before and I believe it is one for anyone studying the history of dictatorships, history of war and the effects it has on the people in the country and the vital role of literacy for everyone.
My Brigadista year by Katherine Paterson is a book for older readers.
I recommend this one for the classroom, perhaps read out loud as it may ignite volunteer work in some, a love of history in others and a wonder for what else is out there beyond our own suburbs.
And – come over and join my facebook group where we discuss how we can help our students and children understand and take action on these big issues!
Need some inspiration for this year’s CBCA Book Week? Check these out!
- How can we host a waste free Book week? Come up with ideas for costumes and decorations that create the least amount of waste in our school and community.
- Write a book review on one of the shortlisted books.
- Write down the name of a book that you treasure on a gold coin, book shape, pirate ship, image from book.
- Write a letter to the author of your favourite book telling them why you treasure it.
- Write a letter to someone to tell them you found treasure but you have been captured! Tell them where they need to go to find you!
- Explain why one book should win over the others
- Explore the protagonist in each story – which are animals? Which are humans?
- BOY by Phil Cummings- choose a story that you love and draw it as a comic strip or a whole picture without any words.
- Choose a book, write the name and the title on some decorated paper or shape and place in on the genre treasure map on display.
- What is treasure and can it mean different things to different people?
- Plot on a map where the authors of each of the shortlisted books have come from.
- Graph the winners of past CBCA awards: Male vs female, winners from each state etc.
- Draw a map of the library and plot where different books can be found.
- If you could buy ten new books for the library – what would they be and how much would they cost? Write a letter to your principal outlining why the school needs these books.
- Create a map of where you would hide treasure at our school and write down directions using the points of a compass and strides.
- Do not lick this book: How is a germ like a treasure? Draw a microbe and show why it is like a treasure!
- Florette – How is a garden, plant or flower like a treasure? Draw your favourite outdoor space that is like treasure and explain why you need this treasure.
- Design a new library.
- Search for different paintings that are considered treasures. Do you agree or disagree and why?
Twelve Australian women who have shaped history and all from different eras and different walks of life.
In the last two years there has been an increase in books about women who have made a difference in the world but this book is a little different.
Focussing on only 12 women and covering each state of Australia, the short stories written about each woman give us some information about where and how they grew up and what inspired them to start on the pathway that made them famous.
Each story is short and engaging so younger readers will enjoy reading these stories and looking and the vibrant illustrations that match what the woman looked like and what she did.
The book has also included a more information section at the back of the book to help young readers or their parents and teachers to use websites that are trusted to give them reliable information.
We especially loved the final page in this book which inspired many of my young readers
So ask yourself:
What is my story going to be?
What will I do?
How will I change my world?
‘When I open a book, it opens a whole new world’
This time they are off to the library to explore new worlds, learn new facts and find comfort when life in the playground gets tough.
Liv loves going to school and has lots of friends – but we all know the playground can get busy and friends can get lost or want to play different things.
It is the day for Liv not to have anyone to play with but luckily the school library is open and within that space she can find comfort, new information and so many new worlds.
School libraries are such important parts of schools and it is so sad that so many schools are getting rid of these precious places.
Liv tells the reader about new worlds she discovers, new insects she never knew about and new ways to play with friends – and she shows us that reading with a friend can even be more fun!
Elizabeth Grocery writes these books with so much engagement within the writing and the illustrations. Children will get so much out of these books – friendships, self confidence and courage.
Young artists can admire the simple colour scheme used throughout the novel and take note of the wonderful books they can see Liv and Bowie reading.
The Liv on Life books are written by Elizabeth Gorcey but inspired by her young daughter – Liv and her amazement at the world.
So what else can you do with this book?
- Visit the library and borrow some books – of course!
- Create your own home library by ordering them into categories, authors or colours! Create some library cards for others to borrow or swap books with you and your library.
- Explore all the different things you can do at school if your friends are doing something else.
- Make a list of your friends and the things you like to learn about together.
- Make time to read every day
- Check out the other books in the Liv on Life series
How did the last eastern barred bandicoot on the Australian mainland end up living in a rubbish tip?
Based on a true story, Rohan Cleave and Coral Tulloch have created a picture book that teaches young readers about the plight of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the hard work of volunteers, conservationists and scientists to bring them back from the brink of extinction.
The story begins with some information about the Bandicoot, accompanied by delicately illustrated pictures. We learn how they live and grow, what they like to eat and their habitat.
Sadly we learn how humans have caused devastation to this once thriving population through the eyes of the Bandicoot.
The Bandicoots tell us that because of land clearing, fires, foxes and cats their numbers have drastically dwindled.
They tell us that because they have no where to hide in the once loved long grasses, they are easy prey for owls and feral animals.
The double page spread drawn by Coral Tulloch brings home the terrible circumstances these animals were in – life in a rubbish dump – the only place they felt safe enough.
Luckily a small band of dedicated people were able to save the last few of these Eastern Barred bandicoots and with hard work their population is on the rise in fenced reserves, safe from feral animals and land clearing.
This story, although long, is engaging and children will be happy to know that there is a happy ending – even if there is still a lot of work to be done.
Facts and a glossary are added to the end of the story and the endpapers are a fantastic tool for conversation!!
What else can you do with this story?
Ask students to find out about an endangered species and create their own picture book so they can teach others about it’s plight and how people are trying to save them.
Ask students : What would life be like if Eastern Barred Bandicoot’s disappeared? How would the ecosystem be effected?
And access some great teacher notes from CSIRO
Buy your own copy from Booktopia
Extra links for further study
Conservation volunteers: http://conservationvolunteers.com.au/what-we-do/threatened-species/eastern-barred-bandicoot/