If you're teaching Australian texts at a high school, AustLit is an excellent source of biographical and (particularly) bibliographical information on the Australian texts included in high-school syllabi.
From anyone of our work records, you can find
AustLit, in short, allows you to map your route through the vast, amorphous landscape of Australian writing.
See also the The Anthology of Criticism designed to support the teaching of Australian literature at both secondary and tertiary levels. The Anthology contains 75 full text scholarly articles on authors and their works, and selective bibliographies on each included author to assist with the discovery of other relevant, authoritative, secondary material for teaching and study.
As well as the main database, AustLit also groups records into specialised datasets, allowing targeted searching of certain categories. Some of the research datasets that are of particular use to high-school teaching include:
Explore the AustLit Research pages for some great research-based encounters with Australian literary and storytelling activities; various trails in the BlackWords collection and the Teaching with BlackWords page; and the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages: an online collection of illustrated stories in Aboriginal languages from the Northern Territory.
Access The Anthology of Criticism for key critical articles on popular and frequently taught texts and authors.
Reading Australia Resources
AustLit partnered with Reading Australia to create a series of fascinating information trails about Australian works for the Copyright Agency funded project Reading Australia. These trails provide a rich journey through resources that help students and teachers get to grips with the texts. Below are direct links to trails aimed at Secondary Students.
For Senior Secondary Students, see here.
AustLit Lesson Plans
In 2017 AustLit began creating lesson plans and guides to using AustLit as a resource in classroom teaching. These resources will help you make the most of your school's access to AustLit. Many lesson plans are currently in development, the following are currently available:
Australian Speculative Fiction: A series of lesson plans on teaching speculative fiction in schools, written for AustLit by Lindsay Williams and Kim Wilkins.
BlackWords Lesson Plans: a guide to using BlackWords and indigenous texts in the classroom.
Challenging the "Terra Nullius of the Mind": a lesson plan and exploration around Henry Lawson's 'The Drovers Wife' and Leah Purcel's rewriting of the story and a work for theatre.
Classic Australian Children's Fiction: A collection of lesson plans developed by Anthony Shaw, this set includes lesson plans for older works published from the 1940s to the 1960s, as well as contemporary texts, which explore classic Australian landscapes and spaces in children's fiction.
Teaching with Fantasy: The Teaching with Fantasy lesson plans are the result of Professional Development event hosted by AustLit in February 2018. A detailed lesson plan is currently available for Sean Williams' young adult fantasy novel, The Stone Mage and the Sea. Lesson plans are forthcoming for the following authors: Alison Goodman; Ambelin Kwaymullina; Anthony Eaton; Isobelle Carmody; Jodi McAlister; Kim Wilkins; and Maria Lewis.
Australian Gothic Theatre: A collection of resources and lesson plans for introducing or supporting the study of Australian Gothic Theatre through the plays of Angela Betzein, written for AustLit by Bryce Berrell.
Digital Literacy and Database Competency in the Classroom: A series of lesson plans that use the AustLit database to guide students through progressively more complex research tasks. The lesson plans encourage digital literacy and database competency in the contained space of the AustLit database.
Finding Teaching Resources
Teachers also have the capacity to construct your search to retrieve only those records that contain teaching resources. Teaching resources includes teachers’ notes curated from the web, links to Reading Australia content, and AustLit-developed resources, lesson plans and exhibitions. From the advanced search page, simply select the option 'Teaching resources available', and select additional search criteria if required.
The advanced search page gives you even more control over your access to the database's contents. Using our advanced search function, you can perform targeted searches, searching for authors by gender, birth date, or cultural heritage, and searching for works by genre, publication date, or language.
You can also use the advanced search page to set up specific searches across the breadth of AustLit's content.
For example, did you know that AustLit has records for
Visit the Help page for video guides and tutorials on searching and reading AustLit records.
The Gallery below includes resources from specialised areas of research that can help teachers address the three Cross-Curriculum Priorities and the seven General Capabilities objectives of the Australian Curriculum.
The Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia priority provides a regional context for learning in all areas of the curriculum. It reflects Australia’s extensive engagement with Asia in social, cultural, political and economic spheres. For more details on the Australia and Australia's Engagement with Asia priority in the Australian Curriculum.
AustLit Research Projects
Three AustLit research areas provide useful background about Australia's relationship with Asia.
– Asian-Australian Children’s Literature and Publishing provides information about fiction for children that is set in Asia, represents Asian-Australian cultures and experiences, or is published in selected Asian languages.
– Australian Literary Responses to 'Asia' tracks literary responses by Australian writers to that diverse region called 'Asia'. It includes information on works about, set in, or in some cases, containing references to or images of countries in Asia, North East Asia, South East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Papua New Guinea. It does not cover the Asian diaspora, for example, Indians in Fiji.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works by Asian Australians, works including Asian themes and settings as well as other resources to help teachers with class preparation.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures priority provides opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. For more details on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders priority.
AustLit Resources :
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works by indigenous writers or about indigenous communities as well as other resources to help teachers with class preparation.
Recent Works :
External Resources :
The Sustainability education priority is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. For more details on the Sustainabilty priority in the Australian Curriculum.
AustLit Research Projects
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works that include themes relating to sustainability and the environment as well as other resources to help teachers with class preparation.
Ethical understanding involves students building a strong personal and socially oriented ethical outlook that helps them to manage context, conflict and uncertainty, and to develop an awareness of the influence that their values and behaviour have on others. For more detail on the Ethical Understanding section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works including ethics based themes to help teachers with class preparation.
Intercultural understanding involves students learning about and engaging with diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect. For more detail on the Intercultural Understanding section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works featuring multiculturalism and immigration as well as other resources to help teachers with class preparation.
Personal and social capability involves students in a range of practices including recognising and regulating emotions, developing empathy for others and understanding relationships, establishing and building positive relationships, making responsible decisions, working effectively in teams, handling challenging situations constructively and developing leadership skills. For more detail on the Personal and Social Capability section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works featuring themes of personal and social capability as well as other resources to help teachers with class preparation.
ICT capability involves students learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment. For more detail on the Information and Communication Technology section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works featuring digital technologies.
Recent Works : Computers and New Technologies
Literacy involves students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts. For more detail on the Literacy Capability section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works featuring literacy and communication.
Numeracy involves students recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully. For more detail on the Numeracy section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works featuring numeracy
Critical and creative thinking involves students thinking broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school. For more detail on the Critical and Creative Thinking section of the Australian Curriculum.
The links below give examples of searches pertaining to works focused on critical and creative thinking
The Australian Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students by delivering a relevant, contemporary and engaging curriculum that builds on the educational goals of the Melbourne Declaration. The Melbourne Declaration identified three key areas that need to be addressed for the benefit of individuals and Australia as a whole.
They enable the delivery of learning area content at the same time as developing knowledge, understanding and skills relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia and/or Sustainability. Incorporation of the priorities will encourage conversations between students, teachers and the wider community.
The general capabilities play a significant role in the Australian Curriculum in equipping young Australians to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.
In the Australian Curriculum, capability encompasses knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions. Students develop capability when they apply knowledge and skills confidently, effectively and appropriately in complex and changing circumstances, in their learning at school and in their lives outside school.
The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities, as shown in the figure above. Explore the gallery for more information on how AustLit can help teachers address these capabilities.
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