The Value of NCACL’s Online Resources for Teachers

The Value of NCACL’s Online Resources for Teachers

Today I needed to find some Aboriginal children’s books about dogs.  Not only that, I needed to find out some interesting information about these books as well. I turned to the NCACL site because I knew that it would give me an excellent description of the books I had in mind, as well as lots of linked information.

I thought about when I was a student teacher and how time consuming it was to find the right resources. Well, that was so long ago that the internet really wasn’t a thing! Nowadays though if I had to find some engaging and educational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material for teaching purposes, I could do no better than to use the online resources that NCACL offer.

For instance, if I was looking for an amusing and engaging story book, I might find the picturebook series by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley! Every book in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource section of NCACL is accompanied by three sections of information: The subjects in the book, a detailed annotation, and teaching resource links. It is far more than you would get on an ordinary library information page.

Let’s take the example of Go Home Cheeky Animals by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley.

A teacher usually plans the unit of work from home. Before they go to their local or school library to look at the books, it is better for them to check out resources online first to decide whether they are useful or not for their unit of work. If only I had known about NCACL in those days!

So, when I look at the subjects for Go Home Cheeky Animals, I find out that the story covers numerous topics (animals, behaviour, climate, humour, literary devices, seasons, weather, and Tennant Creek) which give lots of options for classroom discussion. I then look at the annotation section and see that there is a detailed portrayal of the story along with a description of the various funny antics within the book.

Following this I notice that teaching resource links include: Teacher Notes and Activities, ABC kids You Tube Video of the story with Jack Charles, Mrs Judd in the Library You Tube clip, an Interview with Johanna Bell about the process of writing the book, an ABC Late line article, ABC News article, a NSW HSIE Guide to picture books in Geography, and a P-3 Literature Preparation Teaching Sheet. There is plenty of material here to get a new teacher started in the right direction.

Well, I am sold on it! Not only on the book but on NCACL, which exists through the generous and dedicated work of a team of volunteers. It is physically located below the library at The University of Canberra, and I have always been warmly welcomed and assisted with my current research by the very capable and kind NCACL team.

Janette Thambyrajah is a doctoral student at The University of Sydney. Prior to beginning her research she taught Primary School-aged students for many years. Her thesis is all about Aboriginal children’s books written in their heritage language and English.


See also:
Reviews and media coverage for the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource

A printable document containing information about the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander resource is available here. To promote the NCACL Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander resource on behalf of the National Centre, please use this document


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