Are you teaching Australian Animals as a unit this year? Then you are probably looking for some rich text recommendations for Australian Animals to explore with your class!
The best thing about this topic is that lots of hybrid fiction/non-fiction books have been written. Hybrid books are fantastic for linking facts with fiction texts, and also for learning that fiction books can still give us facts about an animal
You can use these texts as the hook to engage your students, help students learn the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts and introduce hybrid texts, use them as whole-class researching tools while recording facts for students to use (I didn’t expect my Year 2 students to be able to note-take, but you may), or just for fun and learning about Australian animals!
When reading, you may look for classifying information, information about appearance, movement, habitat, diet, lifecycle, and more, while taking notes for your learning wall that your students can refer back to if you are culminating in a writing task. There are so many learning opportunities with these amazing books!
Our recommendations are:
- Steve Parish Storybooks (written with Rebecca Johnson), such as Cranky Crocodile. The series cover land-based animals, reptiles, and ocean animals as well. As a bonus, real photographs are used.
- Searching for Cicadas by Lesley Gibbes. This non-fiction picture book is a beautiful blend of cicada facts and Australian childhood memories. Facts are highlighted in ways similar to a nature journal and the story is rhythmic and a delight to read.
- Shy the Platypus is an old classic by Lesley Rees, and follows the story of a baby platypus in her nest, growing up, encountering humans, and more. It is a short book, with some topic vocabulary to unpack, particularly in the early years. There is a lot to learn about platypuses from this book.
- Blossom Possum by Gina Newton (a marine biologist, zoologist, etc), a retelling of Chicken Little for Australian audiences. It has great pacing, common Aussie phrases, and repetition. Be warned: there is a fight between animals at the end and a minor threat of being eaten – read first to check this is ok for your students.
- Samantha Wheeler book series, including Mister Cassowary. Mister Cassowary is a fabulous family mystery, woven with facts about the world’s most dangerous bird!
- Christopher Cheng books. These are amazing books with a fictional narrative on one page and informational text on the opposite page. Check out Python and Wombat.
- Claire Saxby books are also a combination of fictional narrative and information text. Dingo follows the day of the dingo, and is complemented by facts throughout. The images are beautiful but different.
All of the book selections can be found for sale online, and you can also find many read-alouds on YouTube.
Looking for Australian Animal information and reading? We have a collection too!
FIND THEM HERE!
⭐ Australian Animal Information PowerPoint with Real Photos
⭐ Australian Animal Reading Comprehension – Koala FREEBIE
⭐ Australian Animal Information Report pack
⭐ Australian Animals Information Report – Koala Pack
These reading passages include comprehension questions and are great exemplars of information texts at this level. Students will love learning about the six different Australian animals.
⭐ Australian Animal Reading Passages – Years 1/2
Looking for links to Aboriginal perspectives?
Why not try these resources?
For a slightly older audience, but easily differentiated. This is the perfect Dreamtime Story to tell alongside information about the emu.
⭐ Aboriginal Astonomy – Emu In the Sky Dreamtime Story and Information text
What are the animals doing at different times of the Aboriginal calendar? Find out with these informative colouring pages.
⭐ Aboriginal Seasons – Animal Colouring Pages | NAIDOC