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Text Teaching Notes

Teaching notes are available for Text YA titles where this symbol appears openbook. These comprehensive and free resources, created by experienced and practicing educators, enhance students’ engagement while promoting key English skills.

  • Text teaching notes are designed to embrace shared curriculum values. The learning activities aim to encompass a range of forms and include a focus on language, literature and literacy. Where appropriate, they include the integration of ICT and life skills.
  • VCE teaching notes are aligned to the VCE English, EAL and Literature study designs and address in depth the relevant Areas of Study for each Text title currently on the English, EAL and Literature lists.  

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Titles with English, EAL & Literature Teaching Notes
Perfect for classroom discussion
    A Winter's Promise

    A Winter’s Promise

    Christelle Dabos and Hildegarde Serle
    Themes:Fantasy romance, strong heroine, epic fantasy
    Reading age:13+
    The Finder

    The Finder

    Kate Hendrick
    Themes:dealing with grief, self-acceptance, road trip, family
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Art of Taxidermy

    The Art of Taxidermy

    Sharon Kernot
    Themes:dealing with death, coping with grief, friendship
    Reading age:13+
    Australian
    Amal Unbound

    Amal Unbound

    Aisha Saeed
    Themes:own voices, world literature, multicultural stories, south asian literature
    Reading age:9+
    The Peacock Detectives

    The Peacock Detectives

    Carly Nugent
    Themes:Friendship, understanding adults, self-confidence, independence
    Reading age:9+
    Australian
    The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls

    The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls

    Adam Cece
    Themes:friendship, funny stories, self-acceptance, weird stories
    Reading age:8+
    Australian
    Kids Like Us

    Kids Like Us

    Hilary Reyl
    Themes:Autism, French teens, American teens, friendship, coming-of-age, Proust
    Reading age:14+
    Reckoning

    Reckoning

    Magda Szubanski
    Australian
    Nine Days

    Nine Days

    Toni Jordan
    Australian
    Saving Marty

    Saving Marty

    Paul Griffin
    Themes:Friendship, Animal rights, Bravery, Coming-of-Age
    Reading age:9+
    The War I Finally Won

    The War I Finally Won

    Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Themes:Friendship, Social Skills, Adoption, WWII England, Coming of Age, Dealing with Abuse, Friendship, Family Life, LGBTQIA
    Reading age:10+
    Wilder Country

    Wilder Country

    Mark Smith
    Themes:Dystopian, Coming of Age, Refugees, Australia, Dystopia, self esteem & reliance
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Beautiful Mess

    Beautiful Mess

    Claire Christian
    Themes:Mental Health, Teen sexuality, LGBTQIA, Suicide, Romance, Friendship
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Undercurrent

    The Undercurrent

    Paula Weston
    Themes:Dystopian, Technology, Paranormal, Thriller, Romance
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Gaolbird

    Gaolbird

    Simon Barnard
    Themes:Australian history, Convicts, True Stories, Tasmania, Sailing, Birds, Pirates, Illustrated
    Reading age:9+
    Australian
    Marsh and Me

    Marsh and Me

    Martine Murray
    Themes:music, friendship, overcoming fear, cultural differences
    Reading age:9+
    Australian
    Ballad for a Mad Girl

    Ballad for a Mad Girl

    Vikki Wakefield
    Themes:Mental Health, Peer Pressure, Coming of Age, Friendship, Family, Ghost story
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Still Life with Tornado

    Still Life with Tornado

    A. S. King
    Themes:art, domestic violence, family, coming-of-age, mental health
    Reading age:14+
    Survivors Club

    Survivors Club

    Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
    Themes:holocaust, survival, love, family, war
    Reading age:12+
    The Book of Whispers

    The Book of Whispers

    Kimberley Starr
    Themes:friendship, history, courage, love, religion
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Elizabeth and Zenobia

    Elizabeth and Zenobia

    Jessica Miller
    Themes:friendship, imagination, courage
    Reading age:10+
    Australian
    When Friendship Followed Me Home

    When Friendship Followed Me Home

    Paul Griffin
    Themes:resilience, grief, family, friendship, identity, animals, cancer
    Reading age:9+
    The Road to Winter

    The Road to Winter

    Mark Smith
    Themes:survival, honour, friendship, love, refugees, dystopia
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The War that Saved My Life

    The War that Saved My Life

    Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Themes:adventure, family, identity, disability, friendship, history, WWII
    Reading age:10+
    Waer

    Waer

    Meg Caddy
    Themes:identity, survival, honour, sacrifice, friendship, guilt, courage, grief and loss
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Iris and the Tiger

    Iris and the Tiger

    Leanne Hall
    Themes:friendship, family and legacy, art, surrealism and creativity, cross-cultural identity, adolescence, magic and imagination
    Reading age:9+
    Australian
    The After-Room

    The After-Room

    Maile Meloy
    Themes:adventure, mystery, cold war, friendship
    Reading age:11+
    Inbetween Days

    Inbetween Days

    Vikki Wakefield
    Themes:coming-of-age, friendship, escape, love
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    How to Be Happy

    How to Be Happy

    David Burton
    Themes:depression, friendship, sexual identity, suicide, academic pressure, love, adolescent confusion
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Another Day

    Another Day

    David Levithan
    Themes:love, friendship, identity, mystery, relationships
    Reading age:14+
    We Are the Rebels

    We Are the Rebels

    Clare Wright
    Themes:Australian history, politics, migration, conflict, identity, women
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    Goodbye Stranger

    Goodbye Stranger

    Rebecca Stead
    Themes:friendship, relationships, love, betrayal
    Reading age:11+
    Adrift

    Adrift

    Paul Griffin
    Themes:intercultural understanding, environment, class, physical and mental survival
    Reading age:14+
    Afterlight

    Afterlight

    Rebecca Lim
    Themes:grief, friendship, identity, supernatural, love
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

    Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

    Martine Murray
    Themes:imagination, friendship, nature, identity
    Reading age:8+
    Australian
    Lullaby

    Lullaby

    Bernard Beckett
    Themes:identity, sibling relationships, guilt, philosophy
    Reading age:14+
    Havoc

    Havoc

    Jane Higgins
    Themes:dystopia, war, disease, friendship, survival
    Reading age:14+
    Hold Me Closer

    Hold Me Closer

    David Levithan
    Themes:homosexuality, friendship
    Reading age:14+
    A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen's Land

    A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land

    Simon Barnard
    Themes:Australian history, illustrated
    Reading age:10+
    Australian
    The Apprentices

    The Apprentices

    Maile Meloy
    Themes:adventure, mystery, cold war, friendship
    Reading age:11+
    All This Could End

    All This Could End

    Steph Bowe
    Themes:friendship, family, crime
    Reading age:13+
    Australian
    The Accident

    The Accident

    Kate Hendrick
    Themes:road safety, grief, friendship, coming-of-age
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Alex As Well

    Alex As Well

    Alyssa Brugman
    Themes:identity, LGBTQI, family, friendship, coming-of-age
    Reading age:15+
    Australian
    Fire in the Sea

    Fire in the Sea

    Myke Bartlett
    Themes:adventure, horror, fantasy, friendship
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Realm of Possibility

    The Realm of Possibility

    David Levithan
    Themes:verse novel, love, identity, LGBTQI
    Reading age:14+
    The Astrologer's Daughter

    The Astrologer’s Daughter

    Rebecca Lim
    Themes:supernatural, family, mystery, multiculturalism, bullying
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Minnow

    The Minnow

    Diana Sweeney
    Themes:grief, pregnancy, identity, friendship, coming-of-age
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Two Boys Kissing

    Two Boys Kissing

    David Levithan
    Themes:Love, identity, LGBTQI
    Reading age:14+
    August

    August

    Bernard Beckett
    Themes:free will and responsibility, humanity, destiny, philosophy
    Reading age:14+
    Zac & Mia

    Zac & Mia

    A. J. Betts
    Themes:friendship, cancer, survival, identity
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Genesis

    Genesis

    Bernard Beckett
    Themes:the future, artificial intelligence, human identity, philosophy
    Reading age:14+
    Jolt

    Jolt

    Bernard Beckett
    Themes:friendship, moral dilemmas
    Reading age:13+
    Girl Saves Boy

    Girl Saves Boy

    Steph Bowe
    Themes:friendship, loving life, facing adversity
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    Bird

    Bird

    Crystal Chan
    Themes:grief, identity, family, friendship
    Reading age:11+
    All The Green Year

    All The Green Year

    Don Charlwood
    Zero Hour

    Zero Hour

    Leon Davidson
    Themes:World War I, Anzacs on the Western Front
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    The Byron Journals

    The Byron Journals

    Daniel Ducrou
    Themes:counter-culture, indie music, surfing, sexuality
    Reading age:15+
    Australian
    Stasiland

    Stasiland

    Anna Funder
    Australian
    Stay With Me

    Stay With Me

    Paul Griffin
    Themes:love, identity, friendship, class, crime
    Reading age:14+
    Gool

    Gool

    Maurice Gee
    Themes:overcoming evil, society, racism
    Reading age:11+
    Salt

    Salt

    Maurice Gee
    Themes:overcoming evil, society, racism
    Reading age:11+
    Wintergirls

    Wintergirls

    Laurie Halse Anderson
    Themes:anorexia, health, adolescents, friendship
    Reading age:14+
    Will Grayson, Will Grayson

    Will Grayson, Will Grayson

    John Green and David Levithan
    Themes:homosexuality, friendship, depression
    Reading age:14+
    Sarah Thornhill

    Sarah Thornhill

    Kate Grenville
    Australian
    Burning Blue

    Burning Blue

    Paul Griffin
    Themes:friendship, family, identity, mystery
    Reading age:14+
    Queen of the Night

    Queen of the Night

    Leanne Hall
    Themes:fantasy, identity, friendship, love
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    This Is Shyness

    This Is Shyness

    Leanne Hall
    Themes:adventure, romance, friendship, alienation
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Impossible Knife of Memory

    The Impossible Knife of Memory

    Laurie Halse Anderson
    Themes:grief, identity, family, friendship, coming-of-age
    Reading age:14+
    Julius and the Watchmaker

    Julius and the Watchmaker

    Tim Hehir
    Themes:time-travel, adventure, fantasy, steampunk, friendship, identity
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    The Bridge

    The Bridge

    Jane Higgins
    Themes:dystopia, adventure, mystery, friendship
    Reading age:14+
    The Beginner's Guide to Living

    The Beginner’s Guide to Living

    Lia Hills
    Themes:grief, love, philosophy, sex
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Kinglake-350

    Kinglake-350

    Adrian Hyland
    Australian
    Mister Pip

    Mister Pip

    Lloyd Jones
    Every Day

    Every Day

    David Levithan
    Themes:identity, love, mystery
    Reading age:14+
    How They Met and Other Stories

    How They Met and Other Stories

    David Levithan
    Themes:Short stories, love, identity, LGBTQI
    Reading age:14+
    The Unidentified

    The Unidentified

    Rae Mariz
    Themes:friendship, social networking, peer pressure, identity
    Reading age:13+
    The Apothecary

    The Apothecary

    Maile Meloy
    Themes:adventure, mystery, cold war, friendship
    Reading age:11+
    Dig 3ft NW

    Dig 3ft NW

    Sarah Murgatroyd
    Themes:explorers, history, survival
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    The Billionaire's Curse

    The Billionaire’s Curse

    Richard Newsome
    Themes:adventure, mystery, friendship, wealth
    Reading age:10+
    Australian
    The Good Daughter

    The Good Daughter

    Amra Pajalic
    Themes:friendship, freedom, migrant life
    Reading age:13+
    Australian
    Five Parts Dead

    Five Parts Dead

    Tim Pegler
    Themes:mystery, family/friendship bonding, grief
    Reading age:12+
    Australian
    The Firebird Mystery

    The Firebird Mystery

    Darrell Pitt
    Themes:adventure, mystery, friendship, steampunk, action
    Reading age:9+
    Australian
    Angel Creek

    Angel Creek

    Sally Rippin
    Themes:friendship, adventure, beginning high school
    Reading age:8+
    Australian
    Chenxi and the Foreigner

    Chenxi and the Foreigner

    Sally Rippin
    Themes:artistic freedom, Tiananmen Square
    Reading age:13+
    Australian
    The Watcher in the Shadows

    The Watcher in the Shadows

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Themes:mystery, adventure, friendship, ruiz zafon
    Reading age:14+
    The Midnight Palace

    The Midnight Palace

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Themes:good and evil, honour, adventure, ruiz zafon
    Reading age:13+
    The Prince of Mist

    The Prince of Mist

    Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Themes:good and evil, friendship, facing fears, Zafon
    Reading age:13+
    First Light

    First Light

    Rebecca Stead
    Themes:friendship, standing up for your beliefs, overcoming hardship
    Reading age:9+
    Liar & Spy

    Liar & Spy

    Rebecca Stead
    Themes:identity, anxiety, friendship, family, mystery
    Reading age:10+
    When You Reach Me

    When You Reach Me

    Rebecca Stead
    Themes:friendship, time travel, conscience
    Reading age:10+
    The Broken Shore

    The Broken Shore

    Peter Temple
    Australian
    All I Ever Wanted

    All I Ever Wanted

    Vikki Wakefield
    Themes:identity, friendship, family, class
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    Friday Brown

    Friday Brown

    Vikki Wakefield
    Themes:friendship, identity, homelessness, grief, coming-of-age
    Reading age:14+
    Australian
    The Lieutenant

    The Lieutenant

    Kate Grenville
    Australian
    The Half-Child

    The Half-Child

    Angela Savage
    Australian

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Teaching Notes Authors

Gillian Birrell is an English and Humanities teacher at Princes Hill Secondary College in Victoria. She has previously taught at St Leonard's College and Highvale Secondary College. Gillian has a Master of Teaching from the University of Melbourne, in which she specialised in literacy development and the teaching of Shakespeare through drama.

Louise Bourke is currently Head of English at Geelong College in Victoria where she also teaches English and Literature. She has a Masters of Education and has held positions as a VCE assessor, a member of the VCAA text advisory panels for both Literature and English and a member of the VCE English exam setting panel. She has previously been Head of English at a large Catholic School in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and taught English in government schools in the Western suburbs.

Jill Fitzsimons is the Curriculum Leader at St Columba’s College and is a VCE English teacher. Jill was previously English Learning Leader at Whitefriars College and has taught at Genazzano FCJ College, Loreto Mandeville Hall and Mackillop College, Swan Hill. She has worked as a VCE English and GAT assessor and has presented workshops for VCE English teachers. Jill has also appeared on ABC Melbourne’s Sunday School program for VCE students and has written a variety of study guides for VCE English and Literature.

Sarah Mirams taught English and history at Sunbury Secondary College for sixteen years, and worked as a history curriculum consultant at the Museum of Victoria and Heritage Victoria. She is the author of several history textbooks for primary and secondary students. Her sole-owner consultancy, Past and Future Perspectives, specialises in historical research, environmental history, commissioned histories and history education. Sarah was awarded her PhD  in 2011, and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Monash University School of Philosophical, Historical and Social Studies.