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Students annotate images of Australian native animals using vocabulary from supplied word banks.They will 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

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Macquarie Collectors' Chest

Caption on bottom

To download the Macquarie Collectors' Chest transcript, click here

Text Type

  • Informative: Students develop vocabulary to describe Australian native animals.
  • Informative: Students select an image of an Australian native animal from the State Library of NSW website and write a short description about it.
  • Informative: Students plan and present a short speech describing an Australian native animal of interest to the class.

Student Activities

Labelling activity

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

Number of set tasks: 1


Deliver a short speech about your favourite Australian native animal.

Number of set tasks: 1

Activity notes for teachers

Show students a number of images of Australian native animals from the resource list. Ask students to identify the body parts of each animal. Extend students language by asking them to describe each body part.  For example: claws.  What type of claws? Sharp claws. Print these words and phrases on cards and used them to label photos or pictures of Australian native animals.  Display these in the classroom.  Students will use these when completing their activities.

Activity 1 requires the students to label an image of an Australian native animal using vocabulary from the word bank .  The word bank is located as a download  for Student Activity 1.  You may add additional labels for the students to use. 

Preparation:  Print out sets of labels. Cut and place each set in a plastic bag, envelope or container. 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

The TAL & Dai-ichi Life (Earl of Derby) collection of natural history watercolours is is an important part of the Library’s collection of images of Australia’s natural history produced in the first century of European settlement. 

Use a image from the above collection to model the construction of simple sentences to describe an Australian native animal.

Preparation: Locate the website The TAL & Dai-ichi Life collection of natural history watercolours  on computers for the students to browse. Ask them to select an image that they would like to write a sentence(s) for. 

Students deliver a short speech providing information about an Australian native animal.  The students may use the sentences they prepared in Activity 2.

They should:

  • describe its physical appearance
  • explain where it lives
  • explain what it eats

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