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.
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.
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.
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)
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!!