As the country’s teachers dive into Term 3, the not-for-profit Copyright Agency is calling on 60,000-plus teachers of English and Media to back Australian stories and authors in the classroom.
“Term 3 is traditionally the time for teachers to choose the novels and other texts their students will explore in 2015,” says Copyright Agency’s Zoë Rodriguez.
“We want teachers and librarians to teach Australian stories. So, to make their job easier, Copyright Agency has set up the Reading Australia website, featuring teaching resources for Aussie books.”
“We developed the website and the resources with the specific aim of getting Australian literature back into primary and secondary classrooms,” says Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund Manager, Zoë Rodriguez.
In a recent survey, 200 teachers rated the resources as either “quite high” or “very high” in quality, while 87 per cent said they were more likely to teach the books on the Reading Australia website because of the availability of the teaching resources.
Teachers resources have been developed for both new classics, such as Oscar winner Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, as well as old favourites such as Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career and Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi.
For primary teachers, resources are available for books such Libby Gleeson’s The Great Bear, Sonya Hartnett’s The Silver Donkey, My Girragundji by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor and Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner.
Resources include classroom activities, assessments and links to the new Australian curriculum. High profile authors and artists, such as David Berthold, Melissa Lucashenko, Malcolm Knox and Alice Pung have also written personal response essays about the secondary books.
“The First 200 list of works on the Reading Australia website was chosen by the Australian Society of Authors’ Council after considerable debate and discussion,” Ms Rodriguez says.
“Teacher resources have so far been developed for 21 titles (10 primary, 11 secondary) in partnership with the Primary English Teaching Association of Australia, the Australian Association for the Teaching of English and the English Teachers Association NSW, with another 20 secondary resources already commissioned and due on the website before the end of this term.”
“It’s a tremendous commitment to Australian authors, publishers, teachers, students and general readers. We feel Reading Australia will put adored, but sometimes forgotten, Australian books back on people’s radars, beginning a whole new love affair with some of this country’s finest authors.”