Review Blog

May 29 2012

Literature to Support the Australian Curriculum: History by Fran Knight

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Pledger Consulting, 2012. ISBN 978-1-876678-26-5.
Highly recommended. The Australian Curriculum has teachers and teacher librarians all over the country busy implementing the new syllabus in their own schools. The history curriculum has been a focus for purchasing new nonfiction and fiction resources during 2012 and many teacher librarians have trialled the units.
Book sellers are cleverly packaging their resources into boxes according to the year level of the history curriculum, to help with purchasing and while this is helpful it still involves a lengthy process of previewing and selecting for teacher librarians. Some of the resources are great, with inspiring ideas and starting points for designing units that sit well with your school and students, but some are just collections of tedious worksheets that will kill an interest in any topic.
What was missing was a detailed bibliography of literature to support the teaching of history in schools until this publication came along. For me it was a 'just in time' discovery as I had started to collate my own literature list. Stories make a time in history come alive for students, a 'walk in their shoes' type of experience and this bibliography cites some excellent resources.
The book is divided into year levels from foundation year to year 10 and lists books in author order providing an annotation and extra information when applicable, such as teaching notes available on the internet. There is an excellent range of books to please most reading abilities and interests.
A large amount of the books would be in print with others available in most libraries. The list is up to date and includes such titles such as the Our Australian Girl titles, a popular series currently being read aloud by two of the teachers in my school and inspiring great student interest in the year 4 and 5 units. It is these types of experiences that will help develop a love of history and Fran's book is a must have purchase for every school library.
Jane Moore
Editor's note: The book can be purchased here.

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