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Kangaroo, Possum, Platypus and more!

Students annotate images of Australian native animals using vocabulary from supplied word banks.They write short sentences and deliver a short speech about a chosen Australian native animal.
Stimulus #1: 
Images of Australian native animals from the Library’s online collection
Stimulus #2: 
Select Specimens From Nature of the Birds Animals of New South Wales Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne. N.S.W. Newcastle New South Wales 1813

Text Type


  • Students develop vocabulary to describe Australian native animals. 
  • Students select an image of an Australian native animal from the State Library of NSW and write a short imaginative piece in which the animal is the main character 
  • Students plan and present a short speech introducing the character to the class 

Background notes for Teachers

Learning Intention

Students are learning to:

  • communicate with peers and known adults in informal ways
  • compose simple texts

Success criteria

Students will be successful when they can:

  • respond to a visual illustration
  • describe an Australian animal
  • write a short description
  • share their writing with the class in the form of a short presentation


Preparation for Activity 1

Print out sets of labels (- see attachment in Student Activity 1 Labelling.) Cut and place each set in a plastic bag, envelope or container. You may add additional labels for the students to use.

You will also need to have a selection of Australian native animal images printed out for the students to label.  This may be competed as an individual or group activity. You may use images from the following collection:

Select Specimens From Nature of the Birds Animals of New South Wales Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne. N.S.W. Newcastle New South Wales 1813

Student Activities

Labelling activity

Create a word list to label pictures of Australian native animals.

Number of set tasks: 3

Imaginative writing

Browse images of Australian native animals and select your favourite to write about.

Number of set tasks: 2

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum: English K-10

A student:

  • communicates with peers and known adults in informal and guided activities demonstrating emerging skills of group interaction
  • composes simple texts to convey an idea or message ENe-2A
  • recognises some different purposes for writing and that own texts differ in various ways ENe-7B



Respond to and compose texts

  • deliver short oral presentations to peers (ACELY1647) 
  • describe an object of interest to the class, e.g. toy, pet


Respond to and compose texts

  • create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge (ACELY1651) 
  • identify and use words around the classroom and in books during writing
  • compose texts using some sight words and known words
  • compose texts on familiar topics using pictures and graphics to support their choice of words
  • experiment with basic visual, multimodal and digital processes to represent some simple ideas expressed in texts and to convey experiences  ICT


Respond to and compose texts

  • compose texts for known audience, e.g. self, class, other classes, parents  
  • compose texts using drawings and other visual media to create meaning

In Early Stage 1 students must study examples of:

  • visual texts
  • media, multimedia and digital texts

Across the stage, the selection must give student experience of:

  • an appropriate range of digital texts, including film, media and multimedia

Learning Across the Curriculum

General Capabilities:

  • creative and critical thinking
  • literacy