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Literacy Activities

Six Word Stories

'Six Word Stories' are a great way for students to discover just how much can be understood with only a few words. Older students may also appreciate discussion around Ernest Hemingway's Six Word Story "For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn."

Teaching notes:

Six Word Stories: Lower Primary (PDF 233KB)
Six Word Stories: Lower Primary (DOCX 148KB)
Six Word Stories: Primary (PDF 238KB)
Six Word Stories: Primary (DOCX 150KB)
Six Word Stories: Secondary (PDF 255KB)
Six Word Stories: Secondary (DOCX 148KB)

Read Aloud

Schools can invite parents, carers, grandparents and community members for 'Read Alouds' in playgrounds, libraries and classrooms. Students can read aloud at home too.

Teaching notes:

Read Alouds (PDF 204KB)
Read Alouds (DOCX 137KB)

Catch-a-Reader

Reading is a lifelong activity, people of all ages read! 'Catch-a-Reader' gets students to draw pictures or take photos of people they 'catch' reading. Digital technology and media can be used to make posters to display around the school.

Teaching notes:

Catch-a-Reader (PDF 210KB)
Catch-a-Reader (DOCX 142KB)

Read for Australia - Friday 8 September 2017

'Read for Australia' is a national simultaneous reading event celebrating reading together and involving parents, carers and the broader community. Schools can invite guests to a reading event in their school, or organise visits to local community centres, nursing homes and pre-schools.

The 2017 'Read for Australia' books are:


The Snow Wombat
, written by Susannah Chambers and illustrated by Mark Jackson, Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2016


Go Home, Cheeky Animals!
written by Johanna Bell and illustrated by Dion Beasley, Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2016.

Both books have been shortlisted for the 2017 Children's Book Council Award for Early Childhood books.

Auslan translation:

View the 2017 Read for Australia Auslan translation (only available during National Literacy and Numeracy Week)

Poem in your Pocket

Encourage imagination and inspire students to write a poem using the poetry workshops below (or your own method) as inspiration. Keep a 'Poem in your Pocket' and share with family and friends during National Literacy and Numeracy Week.

Teaching notes:

Poem in your Pocket (PDF 196KB)
Poem in your Pocket (DOCX 133KB)

The Great Book Swap

Support Indigenous literacy through a book swap. The 'Great Book Swap' is organised by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. All you need to do is swap one of your favourite books for someone else's – for a gold coin donation. For more information and to participate, visit the Indigenous Literacy Foundation book swap page.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition

Entries for the 2017 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition have closed. The 2017 awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday 1 September in Gunnedah, NSW. Stay tuned to our social media accounts for the announcement of all the winners later in 2017!

2015 Poetry Workshop – Primary with Lorraine Marwood

Thank you to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards for organising the workshop.

Watch well-regarded Poet Lorraine Marwood conduct a poetry class with Year 3 students. Students learn about the beauty of poetry and the techniques used as they learn how to write their own incident poems, line by line.

2015 Poetry Workshop – Secondary with Lorraine Marwood

Thank you to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards for organising the workshop.

Watch well-regarded Poet Lorraine Marwood conduct a poetry class with secondary students. Students learn about the beauty of poetry and the techniques used as they learn how to write their incident poems, line by line.