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Australian Government | Go to the Literacy and Numeracy Week home page


Teaching notes and all activities are available on the Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy pages.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week (NLNW) is an annual event promoting the importance of literacy and numeracy to future learning, life participation and work opportunities. This year Digital Literacy is being included as part of the week to raise awareness of the importance of digital literacy as one of the foundation skills for the workforce in the 21st Century. 

Literacy Activities

Six Word Stories

‘Six Word Stories’ are a great way for students to explore 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.”

Read Alouds

Schools can invite parents, carers, grandparents and community members for ‘Read Alouds’ in playgrounds, libraries and classrooms. Students can practice reading aloud at home too.


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.

Read for Australia – Friday 2 September

The 2016 ‘Read for Australia’ book is My Two Blankets, written by Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood. It was the Winner of the 2015 Children’s Book Council Award for Picture Books. There will be a video recording with Auslan translation available during NLNW.

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

Poem in your Pocket

Encourage imagination and inspire students to write poetry. Keep a ‘Poem in your Pocket’ and share with family and friends during National Literacy and Numeracy Week.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition

The 2016 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday 2 September in Gunnedah, NSW.

Video excerpts of poetry workshops conducted with primary and secondary school students provide a supporting resource and are available on the literacy page.

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.

Numeracy Activities

Who won it?

‘Who Won It?’ uses statistics in sport as a means of exploring data analysis. The activity centres on a contest between students to discover the final winner of a fictitious championship in two sports, the Australian Rules football and Rugby League football. ‘Who won it?’ introduces students to statistics and their practical application outside the classroom.

Which Way?

‘Which way?’ comprises four spatial activities focusing on directional language. Students are encouraged to think logically, utilising a variety of tools to find their way and to guide others. From the pages of a book, around your classroom to the great outdoors, the choice is yours!

Thinkers are Winners

‘Thinkers are Winners’ is a series of strategy games designed to focus on the development of logical thought, mathematical reasoning and the ability to explain your thought processes. Play the games to discover the winning strategy and unlock the mystery.


‘Catch-an-Idea’ is your chance to catch a maths moment! Whether you’re indoors or outside, looking at patterns or playing sports, in the kitchen or in outer space; maths helps make sense of the world! Students photograph a mathematics moment, caption it and share it (digitally or as a poster around the school). For example, take a photo of someone measuring ingredients, tiling a roof or a football player kicking a goal. Math is everywhere!

To see what others are doing or to find out where maths can take you, head over to the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers website.

Digital Literacy

CS First

CS First is a free Google resource for students to learn about coding. There’s something for everyone! Students use computer science to complete projects on different themes, from fashion and design to storytelling, friendship and music. Students can try them all, or make an account and save a bigger project.

CS Unplugged

CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. CS Unplugged is for students of all ages and computer abilities. The activities introduce students to Computational Thinking through concepts such as binary numbersalgorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers. Importantly, no programming is required to engage with these ideas!

Code Club Australia

Code Club Australia is a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club is about fun, creativity, and learning through exploring.

Code Club Australia creates projects for volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs. The projects teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. To access Code Club’s wonderful resources, see if there is a Code Club in your area or set up a new Code Club at your school! Register your Code Club and access the great resources. There are new projects every school term. Students will progress and learn as they use their imaginations and creativity.

eSafety Resources

The eSaftey website has a range of online cyber safety resources available for primary and secondary students. eSafety activities teach students critical digital skills and promote discussion about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers. There are also standalone lesson plans for primary classes designed to build a range of skills, knowledge and behaviours in students that will help to keep them safe online.

Code Club Australia and the eSafety resources are supported by the Australian Government.

2015 Activities

Read for Australia

The Read for Australia books from 2015 were:

  • Banjo and Ruby Red
    Written by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
  • The Stone Lion
    Written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Ritva Voutila

Getting the Message

Your class can learn how maths is used to help transmit messages between two people, even when someone is trying to sabotage the mission! Details about this activity are on the Getting the message page.

Maths in your pocket

Learn how to create impressive works of art using shapes, symmetry and maths! Templates to create these great shapes and videos explaining how to make a trihexaflexagon are available on the Trihexaflexagons page.