In my career as a teacher, I wanted to go beyond just teaching kids English and maths and expose them to essential life lessons that I have only come across recently. Coming out of MTeach (University of Melbourne), I realised how much I have missed out on and how better equipped I would be if I learnt these back at school.
So, I thought about the best method of teaching without sounding preachy. One of the approaches I thought of was teaching through narratives and storytelling; this triggered me to collect three sets of books that could facilitate meaningful discussion with my students.
Also, I realised these were perfect books to tackle the added strands in the new Victorian Curriculum replacing AusVELS; metacognition, building resilience and wellbeing have been emphasised.
Here are the three books I have added to my collection:
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett illustrated by Jon Klassen
Story about an epic journey of digging for treasure and coming out with a change in world view. Themes covered include imaginative possibilities, growth mindset, resilience and having-a-go attitude.
Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts
Story about a rebel who does not fit into the traditional classroom structure, finds his niche and becomes a great inventor. It is a great story that teaches kids to become square pegs in a round hole.
Dust by Colin Thompson
Story that juxtaposes lives of children suffering famine in Africa and negligence of the privileged. Teaches global perspective and builds great awareness through critical literacy.
Some of the Victorian Curriculum Links:
- Analyse and evaluate ethical issues, recognising areas of contestability
- Identify the bases of ethical principles and ethical reasoning
- Engage with the challenges of managing ethical decision making and action for individuals and groups
- Cultivate open-mindedness and reasonableness.
Personal and Social Capability:
- recognise, understand and evaluate the expression of emotions
- demonstrate an awareness of their personal qualities and the factors that contribute to resilience
- develop empathy for and understanding of others and recognise the importance of supporting diversity for a cohesive community
- understand how relationships are developed and use interpersonal skills to establish and maintain respectful relationships
- work effectively in teams and develop strategies to manage challenging situations constructively.
Critical and Creative Thinking:
- understanding of thinking processes and an ability to manage and apply these intentionally
- skills and learning dispositions that support logical, strategic, flexible and adventurous thinking
- confidence in evaluating thinking and thinking processes across a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts
English: (Below is based on level 2 but this text can be used at all levels)
Literature and context
- Discuss how depictions of characters in print, sound and images reflect the contexts in which they were created
Responding to literature:
Expressing preferences and evaluating texts
- Identify aspects of different types of literary texts that entertain, and give reasons for personal preferences
- Personal responses to the ideas, characters and viewpoints in texts
Compare opinions about characters, events and settings in and between texts