It is Storybook Sunday over at Paula’s Place. I thought I might indulge my love of children’s literature, and in particular the work of Australian authors and share a great book with a history theme.
Lizzie Nonsense by Jan Ormerod
The story is set in the Australian bush and shows the daily life of a family of pioneers. Lizzie is always daydreaming and imagining things and Mama is always saying it is “nonsense.” The story focuses on the things Mama, Lizzie and baby do while Papa is making a long trip to take sandalwood into town.
The pictures are stunning, and give a real sense of the isolation of the bush they live in. Many Australian animals are featured in the bush scenes.
The book is great for showing students what life for pioneers looked and felt like. It shows how different it is to most of our lives now.
Links to the Australian Curriculum History
Year 1 – Present and past family life is the main theme for the content of this year level. Lizzie Nonsense fits in really well with this content. Lizzie’s Mama and Papa have very different roles to each other, influenced by the time and place they live in. The clothing the characters wear is also typical of the time and place of the story.
Year 2 – Part of the knowledge and understanding strand talks about the impact of changing technology on people’s lives. Lizzie Nonsense illustrates the technology in use in pioneer days, and students could discuss how this story might look different if it were set in a different time period.
Year 5 – Even though this is a simple text, aimed at junior primary students, it is worth considering reading it as part of a study of colonial life. This is the emphasis of the year 5 history content.
Explanation and Communication – This part of the Historical Skills strand asks students to develop historical narratives. Lizzie Nonsense is an example of a historical narrative and is a good text to use to introduce the idea of a fictional story set in the past.
I hope you take the time to seek out and enjoy Lizzie Nonsense, it is a gorgeous book and a simple story that shows the life of pioneers in the Australian bush through the eyes of a child.