Using Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum

Using Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum

There is a key element that can unite all areas of the Australian Curriculum whether it be content areas, cross curriculum priorities or general capabilities. Let us explore this key – Picture Books.

Research has long shown the correlation between higher academic achievement and children who read daily for pleasure. However, the benefits of engaging regularly with quality literature extends well beyond academic achievement. It has also long been recognised that literature can be a powerful tool for developing children’s social and emotional well-being.

Literature can provide role models for children as well as a context for discussing morals and values. Children’s literature can also be used to extend children’s knowledge and understanding of themselves and those who may be different culturally, socially or historically.

With this examined briefly, we can begin to see how a well selected collection of children’s literature, coupled with sound practice, has the potential to provide a strong linking thread across the Australian Curriculum.

Encouraging Response

When working with picture books it is important to consider how the listeners or readers are responding to the text. It is important to let go of any notions of control to direct the responses and input of children. But rather let the discussion free flow so that children are given the opportunity to develop their oral language skills in a non-threatening environment.

Building a Picture Book Collection

Choosing age-appropriate material is vital to the success of language and literacy development in your students.

I have taken the hard work out of finding such books, by creating a list of book recommendations that are suitable for each Primary School grade listed in the Australian Curriculum. I have even linked each book to their most relevant curriculum areas although you will quickly see that many of the books address multiple curriculum requirements.

You can find these lists here:
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Foundation Year
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 1
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 2
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 3
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 4
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 5
Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 6

Well selected and used picture books can be powerful tools for educators. The magic of literature includes elements such as: helping children view others as equal members of society, promoting a more positive sense of self, helping children learn about the world, helping to cope with stress, providing insights into problems, and the list could go on.

When these elements are viewed in line with the Australian Curriculum it is clear to see that well selected and carefully used children’s picture books can and should be a vital key used by educators to unlock the Australian Curriculum, making the content more manageable for teachers and students alike.

Do you use picture books in the classroom? If so, I’d love to know some of your favourites for the grade you teach! Feel free to tell me by leaving a comment below.

Happy Teaching!!


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Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Foundation Year

Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Foundation Year

Every teacher can testify to the engagement received by their students when offered to be read a story. Whether it be from a picture book or novel, stories bring so much enjoyment to children’s lives. The added bonus is that they can also be great tools for linking various content areas of the Australian Curriculum.

I have gathered a list of books that I highly recommend for Foundation Teachers to use as they are teaching to the Australian Curriculum throughout the year. I have sorted these books into curriculum content areas but you will quickly notice that most of the books link to other content areas making them great tools for the time-poor Australian Teacher. (please note the following list contains affiliate links)


ABC Animal Jamboree
Alison Lester’s ABC
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
Hooray for Fish!
Kangaroos Hop
Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books
Ten Scared Fish
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania

Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks!: The Story of the Three Bears as Told by Baby Bear (Other Side of the Story (Library))
Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten!: The Story of Little Red Riding Hood as Told by the Wolf (Other Side of the Story (Library))
Seriously, Cinderella Is So Annoying!: The Story of Cinderella as Told by the Wicked Stepmother (Other Side of the Story (Library))
Trust Me, Jack’s Beanstalk Stinks!:: The Story of Jack and the Beanstalk as Told by the Giant (Other Side of the Story (Library))

Fairytales Gone Wrong: Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf!: A Story about Spreading Germs (Fairytales Gone Wrong)
Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again (Bonnie and Ben)
Don’t Pick Your Nose, Pinocchio!
My Village: Rhymes From Around the World
What Rhymes With Sneeze?
Yummy: My Favourite Nursery Stories


Measurement and Geography
Comparing with Cats (Animaths)
Measuring with Monkeys (Animaths)
Perfect Square
The Shape of Things
Today Is Monday

Number and Algebra
Counting Chickens
Everybunny Count!
Joey Counts to Ten
Line Up, Please!
None the Number (The Hueys) (The Hueys)
Out in the Ocean
Splosh! (Splosh!)
Ten Blue Wrens: And What a Lot of Wattle!
Red Car, Red Bus
TIP TAP Went the Crab
Spots: Counting Creatures from Sky to Sea


Biological Sciences
That’S Not a Daffodil!
We’re Getting a Cat!
First Lift-the-Flap First Q&A: How Do Flowers Grow? (Lift the Flap) [Board book]

Chemical Sciences
The Three Little Pigs (Picture Books)
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing

Earth and Space Sciences
The ABC Book of Seasons (The ABC Book Of …)
George Flies South
Hold on Tight
Penelope the Mountain Pigmy Possum
The Rainy Day (Picture Books)
Thunderstorm Dancing
A Year on Our Farm [Paperback]


Alma and How She Got Her Name
The Family Book
Family Forest
Fancy Nancy’s Marvelous Mother’s Day Brunch
Grandad’s Magic
Grandpa Green
Hello From Nowhere
Important Things
Just the Way We Are
Me and My Family Tree
Me and You
More People to Love Me
My Dad Thinks He’s Funny
Nanna’s Button Tin
Remembering Lionsville: My Family Story
Sam and His Dad
Shoes from Grandpa (Shoes from Grandpa)
The Treasure Box
Who’s In My Family?: All About Our Families
Why I Love Summer


How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tim Rath
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
The Very Brave Bear by Nick Bland
The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland
The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Let me know if you have any other suggestions to add to this list by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you!!

Happy teaching!


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