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: Year 4

Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 4

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 Year 4 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)


Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones
I Am Different!: Can You Find Me?
Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook
A Report (Pick a Picture, Write)

Famous Five: Five On A Treasure Island: Book 1 (Famous Five)
Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Whistling Caves: Book 1 (Adventure Island)

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom


Measurement and Geometry
Ernest: 10th Anniversary Edition
Pigs on a Blanket: Fun with Math and Time (Reading rainbow book)

Number and Algebra
30 Million Different Insects in the Rainforest
Ten Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Endangered Species in the Animal Kingdom (Big Countdown)
How Big is a Million? (Picture Poster Books)
Anno’s Magic Seeds

Statistics and Probability
Do You Wanna Bet?: Your Chance to Find Out about Probability


Biological Sciences
Cat on the Island
Finding Home
Gorilla (Life Cycles)
Leaf Litter
One Small Island
Owl (Life Cycles)
Ten Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Endangered Species in the Animal Kingdom (Big Countdown)
Life Cycle of a Tree (Life Cycles)


The Rabbits
Amazing Expeditions: Journeys That Changed The World
Avoid Being A Convict Sent To Australia! (The Danger Zone)
Barney and the Secret of the Whales (The Secret History Series)
Beth: The Story of a Child Convict
Birrung the Secret Friend (The Secret History Series)
Fortuyn’s Ghost
The Mayflower
Our Australian Girl: Meet Grace (Book 1)
Our Australian Girl: A Friend For Grace (Book 2)
Our Australian Girl: A Home For Grace (Book 4)
Our Australian Girl: Grace And Glory (Book 3)
I Wish I’d Sailed with Captain Cook
Meet… Captain Cook
Little Wooden Horse
The Mostly True Story Of Matthew & Trim
My Name is Lizzie Flynn: A Story of the Rajah Quilt
The Paddock (Walker Classic)
A Penny to Remember (Making Tracks S.)
The Unlikely Story of Bennelong and Phillip
What Was The War Like, Grandma? (Walker Classic)
What’s Your Story?


Gary Asks for Help by Nyasha M. Chikoware
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright
A Handful of Buttons by Carmen Parets Luque
A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary
Hey Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
A Rainbow of Friends by P.K.Hallinan
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

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!