LisaHillSchoolStuff's Weblog

'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Australian Curriculum Recommended Books

This site is a place for teachers to share recommendations for children’s literature suitable for

    • the Australian Curriculum English Literature strand
    • teaching content in the History and Science strands (and others as they become available)
    • supporting the three Australian curriculum priorities
      • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
      • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
      • Sustainability

To make a recommendation please provide

  • the title, author, and publisher & ISBN if possible, and
  • the year level/s for which it is suitable, and
  • any suggestions you have for the book’s use. 

(Of course, we all know that many books can be read at all year levels, but to be of use to busy teachers, especially primary teachers who have no librarian in the school, the list will aim to assign a book to a year level.)

Please try to provide this information in a form that means I can simply copy and paste it into the page easily.

NB: I don’t do didacticism.  Authors’ values shine through their work, and I explore those values through discussion but I loathe books that have been written for the purpose of instilling morality or good behaviour.

NB#2 Please do not recommend any books that feature swearing.  I don’t care how prevalent it is in our society, most schools are still trying to teach children not to do it at school, and normalising swearing in the books children read just makes that job harder.

If you click on the links you will be taken to the Fishpond online bookseller site where you can read a description of the book.  Please note that if you then buy the book, I get a miniscule commission, which helps to defray the annual cost of running this site without adverts.

I foresee that this page will spawn sub-pages, but will start off here and see what happens…

English Literature Strand

Foundation (Prep)

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen (Puffin) See ACARA Work sample
The Very Hungry Caterpillar) by Eric Carle (Puffin)

Y1 & Y2

Values Education: Making Friends

Reggie, Queen of the Street (Picture Puffin) by Margaret Barbalet
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey
Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey (I use this to explore how the other kids exclude her as well as her joyful determination to be herself).

Values Education: Courage and Determination 

Shutting the Chooks in by Ann James

Priority: Sustainability

Clancy and Millie the Very Fine House by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood (This is also a book about friendship, but it’s a powerful book for exploring consumerism).

Y3 & Y4

Priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Shake a Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod
Savannah Dreams by Lolla Stewart and Elaine Russell  (a deceptively simple book which is rich in opportunities for discussing traditional and contemporary Aboriginal life)
Pigs and Honey by Jeanie Adams (I use this to show Aboriginal perspectives in a Y3&4 unit about farming and food production, see the unit under Goodies to Share, and also the flow chart under the Aboriginal Perspectives Menu).
Kip by Christina Booth (This is a good one to use for Thinking Skills.  Students can do a Venn diagram showing city noises and farm noises. )

Y5 & Y6

Values Education

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo (I use this to discuss the Knightly Virtues, and whether they are still relevant today.  This is the only version I would recommend for this age group.)

Priority: Sustainability

Extreme Adventures: Killer Whale by Justin D’Ath (also useful for exploring courage, determination and initiative).  The rest of the series also features environmental themes.

Reggie, Queen of the Street (Picture Puffin S.)Sunday ChutneyClancy and Millie the Very Fine HouseShake a LegSavannah DreamsSir Gawain and the Green KnightPigs and HoneyKip

Update: July 13

Jo Sherrin from the NT has contributed a terrific list of recommended books which you can download from here:

Jo Sherrin’s Literature_list

Thanks, Jo!

12 Responses to “Australian Curriculum Recommended Books”

  1. Audrey Nay said

    Lisa, Everyone of the books in this section deserve to be included IMHO
    Values education

    • Lisa Hill said

      Hello Audrey, thanks for your input, it’s very encouraging, and the links are great.
      Yes, will add these to the list… ASAP but not tonight, I’ve been doing reports all afternoon and now I’m off to watch Masterchef!

  2. Audrey Nay said

    Some of the best books on sustainability around include:

  3. Jo Sherrin said

    Hi Lisa,
    I have a couple of titles for specific year levels that my colleague and I have been compiling so will list them as follows
    Transition/ year 1
    Pamela Allen Our Daft Dog Danny Alliteration Descriptive language Verb forms Tenses (Author focus)
    Leonie Norrington Look See, Look At Me Indigenous themes
    Rosemary Sullivan Tom Tom Indigenous themes website

    Year 2
    Beth Raisner Glass Noises at night Poetry
    John Birmingham Oi! Get off our train Author focus Persuasive text

    Will try and email you the list so you can add them to the growing list under year levels.

    • Lisa Hill said

      Hello Jo, this is great – I have been flat out making wikis for my students this weekend but I will try to add these links above some time during the week.

      • Jo Sherrin said

        Hi Lisa I am currently working on my literature focus for library lessons in term 3 using our whole school AC planning template and using the shortlisted books to tie in with Children’s Book Week. I also have the list of suggested books for the classroom teachers however am not sure how to email them to you – I am searching for a contact me tab somewhere.

  4. […] Australian Curriculum Recommended Books […]

  5. Diane Dewbery said

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us (me) newbie teachers


    • Lisa Hill said

      You’re welcome, Debbie – and thanks for dropping by. I am off to the History Teachers Association conference in Adelaide soon but am hoping to find the time to put up my latest lot of units when I get back so keep an eye on the site for updates. Lisa :)

  6. AElliott said

    Thanks so much for this list. I’m currently studying Bach of Education and need to select a suitable text for my next assignment!

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