Paul O’Leary: Overseas Adventures

July 9, 2014 in Comprehension, Primary School, Work Books

Come with Paul on a trip to 5 countries, including Cuba and its Spanish history. In Paris he frets about missing his mother in the Louvre. In Ireland he finds the first of the two wells at Kildare and Glendalough and he has a dream about Druids. In Wales there’s another well, this time like a star and it has healing properties like Lourdes. In England he visits Sherwood Forest and has a dream about being Robin Hood who is chased by the Sheriff. He imagines what it would be like in King Arthur’s time at Glastonbury and he witnesses modern day Druids doing a ceremony at Stonehenge. Last but not least is London where he goes to the usual tourist places.  Historical fiction meets modern day travel seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy.

Available now as a prepaid ebook (PDF)for $5. Email Michael for an invoice and EFT details.

On Kindle:  for US$2.95




Review by Larak Jhampa:

You may read this book in two ways: as a fictional story on travel and adventure, or as an informative travel guide. Whichever way you go, you are going to find it both entertaining and worth your money. I read it…as I was interested (in) Cuba,  France, United Kingdom…and I was not disappointed in the least. 

If you pay close attention, you will also get some little tidbits and insights about the culture and society of these countries, again something that is not readily available in most tour guides.

Eg. Paul flying around the Eiffel Tower like a bat then meeting up with Quasimodo at Notre Dame.

Review by MA:

If I had to write a travel book, it would not have been half as interesting as this, as he describes his travels to Havana and Europe – London, Paris. The moment I opened this book, I felt I was already in my favourite haunts, walking through those great museums, and fascinating places as I joined Michael on his travels. I felt I was re-reading the same tale as he did, taking me through The Tale of Two Cities. I felt the same pulsation and excitement as he felt in the middle of the night just thinking of those adventures. Alas! I have been able to revisit those places through this book and inhale the same air as though I were here in person.


Paul O’Leary: Trouble on the Farm

May 6, 2014 in Comprehension, Primary School

This is Paul’s story from when he arrived in Melbourne from Broome. No sooner are his family back at Glenroy, than his mother finds work in Sunbury, in the north-west. It’s too far to commute every day so Paul’s family is going to live on a sheep farm. The first troubleshot is Lassie chasing the sheep. Harry employs a dog whisperer to help them out. The second troubleshot is getting to school as there’s a busy road to cross. The third troubleshot is they only have one car so have to organise themselves for school, shopping and the Scouts. The fourth troubleshot and conflict of the story is Paul’s inability to read his Kindle. He’s too tired from doing all his chores like bringing in the wood. He keeps falling asleep every time he lays down. The fifth troubleshot is they only have an enclosed wood heater to heat the house. The sixth troubleshot is a a bushfire and how Paul helps out to save his grandparent’s house.

And there’s comprehension questions and answers.

Sample or purchase Paul O’Leary: trouble on the farm

on Kindle:

for US$2.99 or a pre-paid ebook/PDF for  $5. Contact Michael who can send you an invoice with the EFT details.


Review by Marion Lovato:

This next edition of Paul’s adventures…is another enjoyable book. I really like the way the author depicts the family working together, (and) not only in good times.

Training Lassie so Grandpa won’t get mad at her for chasing the sheep; keeping watch while fire threatens their homes; adjusting to life on a farm are all examples of this.

Paul still has his dreams which are very vivid and colorful. Many good examples of behavior and values are provided for boys around the age of 12. I also liked learning some of the history of the area where Paul and his family are living.


Review by MA:

This book is very dynamic. It shows Michael’s innate gift as a writer as he captures that dynamism taking the reader onboard as he himself moves. 

Every sentence in this book sets off a spark of readiness, as though we are on a perpetual caravan journey



The Journal of Paul O’Leary: from the city to the outback

November 29, 2013 in Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Work Books

The Journal of Paul O’Leary: from the city to the outback is about a 10 year old boy who leaves Melbourne for Broome, in Western Australia, 4,000 km away. Reading Age: 10-12

This story has a conversational narrative recorded by a boy who was less articulate with language and study than with sport and boys’ games – his favourite pastime. He is a typical boy who had a close relationship with his mum and dad and friends. Not forgetting Lassie, his dog. And his desire to do well in all he tackled. The journal maintained a steady pace with credibility and engaged me.

Sandra Finger Lee, editor.


This is a wonderful story about a boy named Paul, from Paul’s perspective. This would make it more enjoyable for children of this age to read. Being from the US I learnt some different words for things used in Australia. And the dreams Paul had were made quite vivid by the author.

Marion Lovato, reviewer.


…Impressions will change inevitably as he grows up…precious memorabilia from the future. Plus there’s an account of a most fascinating experience of the outback in Australia.

MA reviewer.


…A charming story tracing Paul’s journey. He has a great imagination, always wanting to explore. He finds friends and adventures everywhere and his father encourages him to keep a journal. Recommended if you want to relax with a detailed life of a 10 year old.

Robert Gillman, teacher, reviewer.


A story of the great outback of Australia and a growing up 10-year-old. A wonderful story about 10-year-old Paul, as he with his father finally joined his mother into the great outback of Broome.

The description of the outback of Australia is really great, since I have experienced a part of the great outback myself and learned to love it. Such wonderful colours, no other country has.

And Paul’s dreams? Well, you really have to get the book to find that out…

G. Sedlmayer reviewer



There are comprehension questions for each of the 20 chapters.


It is available now for $2.99 on Kindle

FREE at Kobo and Smashwords

and print on demand at CreateSpace for US$7.53 plus postage.

The A5 paperback is available for $20 plus $6 express post.

Also available as an eBook for $5 – 2017 special. Email Michael for the invoice.



5  My Last Days in Melbourne.

I was really tired by the time I arrived home and lay down before tea. Dad woke me about 6 pm with some of his spaghetti bolognaise. He let me work on his laptop afterwards but only for an hour. I used my notes and my workbook to do a timeline, and searched on the Internet for anything missing. I didn’t finish but there was always tomorrow.

There was also an email from an Andrew in the Scouts. This is a list of their activities:

Scouts in Broome is a unique outdoor and lifestyle focused adventure full of camping, campfires, hiking, orienteering, rope bridges, swimming, rafting, billy-cart racing, learning how to build really cool and amazing stuff (pizza ovens, floats, bows and arrows, snare traps, tee pees, and so on and so on …), also learning to stretch your imagination and learn and understand how ‘stuff works’ …. You get to make water rockets, plant your own veggie garden, learn about aboriginal culture and bush medicine, learn to handle snakes and reptiles (if your game), learn to survive in the bush with little or no food or gear …. Also engage your creative side by painting a sunset, making a sand castle, build your own 3d creation out of marshmallows and kebab sticks, sing songs and entertain with skits and plays and take part in our scouts got talent challenge.

 Yup just your normal raft up the Fitzroy with the croc’s and set up your tent in the reception of McDonalds …. or cruise around town in a double decker bus learning the history of our wonderful town. Taking part in the Anzac day parade in uniform, sitting down with the old war veterans and learning of their tales, hopping on board one of the navy ships for an under-deck privileged tour of the operating boat, or simply walking along Cable Beach and picking up rubbish from behind the sand dunes with the ranger.

Wow. It sounds really great and Dad was impressed as well. And  they meet on Tuesdays.


Dad has been busy packing up heaps of boxes and has lined them up outside under the verandah so they’ll stay dry. He has written on the outside of each box what’s inside and what is fragile. He hopes the removalists keep this in mind though he has wrapped up everything carefully. He’s used some doonas to wrap the crockery in. I think he’s done 50 so far which means we have an awful lot of stuff.

Dad has now packed his printers and the binder away so no more printing and binding of orders. He’s found a printer in Broome and has already put in an order as a school has ordered a book. He told them he won’t be up for another three weeks and they seemed okay with that.

We’re allowed six suitcases on the plane between us so I have to figure out what to take and what I want to wear before we leave. Most of my books I’ll leave behind or give to the op shop. That goes for my old clothes too, especially those I’ve outgrown.

I had a large garbage bag for the op shop. Each day I tried on some old clothes and if they didn’t fit, into the garbage bag they went. The same for my shoes. Dad said to take one good black leather pair, a  pair of sandals, and to wear my runners on the plane.  Being hot and wearing sandals all the time is my kind of heaven. I wonder if there are any snakes around and I’ve heard there are crocodiles in the mangroves so I’ll stay away from there.


Computer Walkabout (years 5-6)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Comprehension, Primary School, Walkabout series


Computer Walkabout is a workbook to assist students with computer skills.

  • 20 weeks of lessons along with typing practice.
  • a dictionary of computer and Internet terminology.
  •  answers to the word searches (not on Kindle version) and questions.
  • suitable for years 5-6 and older
  • Available as a PDF book via email for $5. Email Michael for an invoice with prepayment details.
  • OR on Kindle at Amazon for US$2.99 without word searches.

Year 5 English curriculum: creating texts

4. Use a range of software including word processing programs with fluency to construct, edit and publish written text, and select, edit and place visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1707)

Year 6 English curriculum: creating texts

4. Use a range of software, including word processing programs, learning new functions as required to create texts (ACELY1717)

The eBook is $5 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as an attachment. Email Michael for an invoice which will have EFT details.

Manual begins with a dictionary of computer terms.


Review by Milando:

A very thorough textbook and dictionary for computer newbies.

If you have an obscure computer-related term that you don’t understand, you can look it up here , and the book won’t disappoint you. Even though it’s written keeping Windows XP crowd and kids in mind. all the things mentioned here (such as keyboard shortcuts, descriptions of computer-related terms, etc.)are very much valid even for users of newest Windows version and equally helpful to adult computer users as well!…


Sorry it’s been so long to get back to you. VERY detailed. Great lesson ideas, covering a huge amount of needed skills. The intro (what you know) might be too detailed eg. about the history etc. especially for primary schools, but otherwise THANK YOU!!!!!

Miss Karen Eakin

Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School



Review byBookReaderon August 29, 2015

It is more or less a computer textbook cum dictionary and quite an exhaustive one at that. Suffice it to say, if you have an obscure computer-related term that you don’t understand, you can look it up here, and the book won’t disappoint you. Even though it’s been written keeping Windows XP crowd and kids in mind, all the things mentioned here (such as keyboard shortcuts, descriptions of computer-related terms, etc.) are very much valid even for users of newest Windows version and equally helpful to adult computer users as well! In fact you get much more than a traditional computer dictionary here, because most of the definitions are more than one-sentence long. Take for example this one: it does not just tell you what computer hardware is, but also about the different varieties of computer hardware available along with the descriptions of each.


Review byMA on November 14, 2015

4.0 out of 5 starsThis book is an easy step by step guidance and written with an end …

This is a practical handbook for those who want to increase their navigational skills through word processing and the internet. This book is an easy step by step guidance and written with an end to educate people in this area.


An example:  Lesson two

 Typing Exercise = copy and paste
Begin a new file by opening up Word and clicking on the envelope icon under File or click on File then New then Blank document.
Call it Nathan’s story. Type the following onto your computer
Nathan was awakened by the sun streaming into his bedroom. He listened intently but could hear no sounds coming from the rest of the house. He found his clothes from yesterday and, after putting on shorts, shirt and hat, made his way to the kitchen, which was separate from the house.      He was careful tiptoeing out the back wire door, but the wind caught it and pulled the catch out of his hand. It banged. His heart hammered and he held his breath, waiting for a shout or pounding footsteps. For the moment he wasn’t able to move.                      Nothing.
To save, <Ctrl> + S = Save.  You will be prompted where to save it so choose under your folder or to your floppy disk. Name the file Nathan’s story.
Highlight the first paragraph by dragging your MOUSE over the paragraph—click on “Nathan” and hold down your left mouse until you get to “house”. You are   going to copy and paste it to the end of the story. If you make a mistake, start again.
Use <Ctrl> + C to copy. Then place your cursor below the word Nothing.
 <Ctrl> + V  to paste it. It should be repeated at the end.
 <Ctrl> + Z will Undo Paste. Your text should now be as you first entered it.
Highlight the first paragraph again by dragging the MOUSE over the paragraph. You are going to copy and paste it to the end of the story again.
Now use your MOUSE and click on the Menu toolbar Edit.
Click on Copy to copy the text.                     Position the cursor with your MOUSE after the word  ‘Nothing’.
Click on Edit then Paste to see the paragraph repeated.           Click on Edit then Undo Paste to undo what you copied.

Continue the story into your file called Nathan’s story.

Slowly, he staggered up from the step, catching his breath.

“Phew, that was close,” he thought. “Where did that gust come from? Maybe there’s a storm brewing. Just my luck when I’ve been offered a chance to go fishing later on. It isn’t fair! First, my father, and now a storm, maybe like the one that took Father’s life.”

Suddenly he didn’t care if anyone had heard him.

He ran down to the beach and howled at the waves. He felt good

letting out his pain without having to act brave all the time.

He looked back up at the cliff and thought he saw movement.

“Hey!” he called out. “Stop!”

Maybe it was one of the local indigenous people. Mr. Ebden, his foster father, said to stay away from all the aborigines. Nathan didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot with his foster father, but he couldn’t understand why the Aborigines frightened Mr. Ebden so.

Save your new text by <Ctrl> + S = Save.

This time highlight from Suddenly through to “Stop!”

You are going to use the Alt key to copy and paste. The letters chosen are underlined e.g. E for Edit.

<Alt> + E = Edit from the Menu toolbar.

Then the letter C for Copy

Position the cursor at the end of the story.

<Alt> + E = Edit then P for Paste

<Alt> + E = Edit then U for Undo Paste.

Your text should be as you first typed it.

<Ctrl> + X will delete any changes you decide not to make.

Highlight the same section, then <Ctrl> + X. This will delete the paragraph.

You can then retrieve it by .<Ctrl> + Z.

Close your work (and Word) by clicking on the X button in the Title bar (the one at the top of the screen on the far right hand side)

* * *



Music Walkabout (years 5-8)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books

Second edition Nov.2012, checked 2013

Years 5-8 Follows the guidelines for the K-12 National Standards Yrs 5-8, Achievement Standard (4)c. identify and define standard notation symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression

Utilises the Internet for information and music.

Order via email to Michael . The eBook is $10 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Email for an invoice which will have EFT details.


An example: Lesson 2

1. word search.

2. Type this URL in your address window:


3. The shape of a musical note tells you its pitch (where is it is on the staff and how long it lasts. Read the first paragraph.   4. Copy the parts of a note here: 5. Scroll down to The Length of a Note.   6. Copy the most common note lengths here: 7. Read down to Exercise 1. 8. Do the exercises here and correct yourself. (Click on ‘Show Solution’). a. Ex.1 ———————————————————————- —————————————————————————– ————————————————————————–

9. – 10. deleted.

11.     Draw a staff/stave, place a treble clef at the beginning. Now add the following words to each note that you draw: (look back at your work on Length of a Note). breve=full note semibreve=half note crotchet=quarter note quaver=eighth note semiquaver=sixteenth note demisemiquaver=thirty-second note 12. – 13. deleted. 14. Search for The Simpsons characters 15. Choose any site that mentions characters. 16. Click on one of them. Make short notes on your favourites (choose 6): —————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— ——————————————————————————————————

17.     Search The Simpsons music

18.     Click on Simpson Crazy! The Simpsons song lyrics and mp3 downloads. (

19.     Scroll down then click on the quavers for The Simpsons main title theme (extended) 20. Click on Listen

21. Note the colours and swirls, etc.

22. Listen again and see if you can work out the duration – the rhythm and metre of the beat: is it even, mixed up, is it quick or slow? ——————————————————————————————-

23. Listen to Krusty the clown and comment as above. ——————————————————————————————

24. Choose two (2) more and comment as above (# 22). ——————————————————————————————— ———————————————————————————————


26. Design a poster that shows what you learnt regarding the length of notes and their names (see # 11).


27. Check your answers for the Duration lesson.

28. Display your poster.


Storyteller Walkabout Workbook

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Comprehension, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books


checked 2013.

The Storyteller Walkabout Workbook is now available at Amazon storyteller for US$2.91 (but no wordsearches).

Less Internet use, more of a workbook

A do-it-yourself practical kit for grade 6 and older students to learn about historical narrative,

Follows the Australian Curriculum on History:

year 6 – migration interview – e.g. at ACARA

Research a period of history (1946-1955) and then

· Write up the interview

· Including the writing of imaginative texts whereby students may describe the setting and the characters, develop a storyline and a conclusion.

· Conduct an interview with a migrant or someone who knew one from that era.

· 10 Blackline Master lesson with Answers

· utilises the Internet
Order via email to Michael .

The eBook is $5 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Word searches included plus the answers.

Email for an invoice which will have EFT details.


Review by Larak Jhampa:

Anyone who is interested in learning about the art of storytelling without any of the usual ‘talk down’ found in the books of ‘self-styled gurus’ should get this book. I have not seen a simpler writing style than this. The step-by-step methods are something a newbie can follow quite easily even if he has no previous knowledge with storytelling.

I believe one of the most important lessons in the book is lesson #2. It explains how to frame stories based on 1950’s people…

I was always in awe of historical fiction authors due to the way they could magically create authentic worlds based on time periods set centuries ago. Now I know their secret formula, thanks to Mr. Mardel’s book.

In short, you are going to learn everywhere from where to go to start your research, how to organise your research and turn them into stories, etc.


An example: Lesson 3: 1940s.

A word search.

LOG ON to the Internet.

2.          Search for 1945 in Australia.

3.          Click on the Wikipedia site.

4.          Answer these questions as you work through the years from 1945 to 1949.

[Hint: each successive year is at the top of each entry e.g.  1946 in Australia –   just click on it to open it.]

i.  Who signed the UN Charter in 1945?


ii.  Which political party led Federal parliament between 1945-1949?


iii.  Who was the Prime Minister from 1945-1949?


iv.  When was the Holden car launched?


v.  Which Australian was President of the United Nations General

Assembly in 1948?


vi.  Who was given the vote in Federal elections in 1949?


vii.  When was Australian citizenship established?


5.  Write the URL for 1949 in Australia.


page 18.

7.          Read: What kind of things did go on there?

Well, for a small child … I guess I would be bored now, but as a small child, a lot of interesting things went by…One of the more interesting things was the weekly visit from the corporation dray…  The dray with a big, old horse in front would come down our street and there would be in front of him two men with big brooms and they would sweep up the gutters and the rubbish from the gutters into little heaps and also other horse manure from other callers in the street, and they’d put them into little heaps, then …the old horse coming along would plod along. His driver would walk along side the horse and the horse would stop at each little heap and the driver would shovel the contents into the big dray and then the horse would start plodding again up the street. They did that week after week. The driver took a lot of pride in the horse from memory and a lot of brass giblets hanging down and, and they jingled as they went along, and I was very much attracted to those horses. Then of course the milkman came twice a day. In the mornings I missed him because he came early, but there was an afternoon delivery. The baker called with a horse cart and once a week the rabbito man came. He sold rabbits and he’d come down the street singing out, ‘Rabbito’, and his cart would be a little cart festooned with rabbits hanging …on the side, and if you bought a rabbit with three pence he would chop off the head and skin it. It’d be cleaned beforehand, and then we would have perhaps have rabbit stew that night, [with] perhaps a bit more over for the next day.

8.  Write these questions in your Storyteller journal for later use:

i.  I wonder if we could begin by you describing for me the         house in which you were born, or in which you spent your         early life.

ii.  And the street itself, what was that like? What kind of people lived       in that street?

iii..  Were you exceptionally poor or was everyone around you poor?

iv..  What did your parents hope for you? What was their expectation       of what would become of you and what sort of education you       would have and so on?

From Tape 1 of the Australian Biography, interviewer Robin Hughes on 18 Oct 2000 retrieved 1 April 2008 from

[No longer retrievable.]


9.     In the cities and towns of Australia Clydesdale horses were a common sight in the streets. The sound of their familiar “clip clop” indicated the arrival of a beer  delivery, the ‘milko’, the greengrocer, the baker, etc.

Carlton beer deliveries started about 1864 and finished when motorised trucks   took over just after the Second World War.


10.   Who else besides milkmen used horses to deliver their goods?



11.  i.  On an A4 size poster, divide your paper into four (4) parts.

ii.  List  four (4) people who made home deliveries by horse and     cart.

iii.  Illustrate each one in the four (4) sections.


12.  i.  Check your answers for Storyteller: Lesson 3.

ii.  Display your poster.

* * *

End of Lesson 3


Growing your own (year 6)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Primary School, Science, Sustainability

Sustainability in the 21st century part 2: Growing your own

For year 6:  second edition c2011 updated 2014.

A do-it-yourself kit for  students to research, choose and grow their own food at home or at school or in their communities.

less Internet use, more of a workbook.

Do you want a resource that covers the Australian curriculum of science?

Do you want a do-it-yourself practical manual where students do their own research?

Do you want your students to learn about Permaculture and no-dig gardens?

Do you want ten reproducible lessons?

Then Growing your Own could be your answer.

Year 6 Achievement Science Standard
By the end of Year 6 students plan investigations to answer questions relating to simple cause-and-effect relationships. When carrying out investigations, they collect relevant data and apply the concept of a fair test. They reflect on the processes that they have used and demonstrate an awareness of science inquiry methods in their work. They represent data and knowledge using introductory scientific language and graphical representations.

Students suggest explanations for observable changes and they predict the effect of environmental changes on living things. They compare different types of change in materials. They identify requirements for the transfer of electricity and describe one way that electricity can be generated. They describe how developments in science have affected peoples’ lives and identify examples where scientific knowledge is used in decision making.

Order by email with Michael .

The eBook is $5 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Email for the invoice which will have EFT details.

or from Amazon for US$2.99 (no word searches)




ByDebra Brandon December 4, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

It’s sad that the basic gardening skills of our parents and grandparents have been lost to the increased availability of grocery stores of convenience. But what ill you do in a time of economic collapse? Where would you get your food to feed your family? Who can you go to for advice if the internet is gone?

This book will help you to maintain and grow produce during uncertain and chaotic times or even for the novice who wants to start being self-sufficient to provide fruits, vegetables, and more.

There is advice for the proper soil conditions to grow the greatest crops of foods, recipes for making your own bread and so much more. It’s very hard to produce a harvest without knowing how to prepare the ground, use the correct fertilizer, the proper amount of light needed for each type of food, but this book will help you through all of that and more.

A great study guide, for not only a hobby but a lifestyle.



An example: Lesson 3

A word search on vegetables.


Companion planting is the planting of different crops close together (in

gardening and agriculture), on the theory that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity.

Companion planting is used by farmers and gardeners in both industrialised and developing countries for many reasons. ..

For gardeners, the combinations of plants also make for a more varied, attractive vegetable garden, as well as allowing more productive use of space.


3. Answer these questions:

i. What is companion planting?




ii. Where is companion planting used?




In China, the mosquito fern has been used for at least one thousand years, as a companion plant for rice crops. It hosts a special cyanobacteria that fixes

nitrogen from the atmosphere, and also blocks out light from getting to any

competing plants, aside from the rice, which is planted when tall enough to stick out of the water above the azolla layer.

Companion planting was practiced in various forms by Native Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans. One common system was the planting of corn (maize) and pole beans together. The cornstalk would serve as a trellis for the beans to climb while the beans would fix nitrogen for the corn. The inclusion of squash with these two plants completes the Three Sisters technique, pioneered by Native American peoples.



i. Question: Where was the technique first used?



ii. Look up the meanings of these new words e.g. cyanobacteria and azolla.





LOG ON to the Internet


5.        Go to this site:


6. Highlight the vegetables and save to your floppy disk or folder:

name it Vegetable companions.


7. Scroll down to Flowers.


8. Answer these questions:


i. Which flower beginning with M helps tomatoes grow?




ii. How do geraniums help?




iii. What are nasturtiums good for?




9. Scroll down to Trees.


Which herbs and flowers help apple trees?




10. i. search for Benefits of growing your own food.


ii. click on a site of the same name………

11. Write the reference in your Garden journal.

12. Scroll  down and answer these questions in your Journal:

i. What are four (4) benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables?

ii. How does growing your own food help with greenhouse gases (#3)?



13.      Using your list of Vegetable companions (see #6),

choose three (3) vegetables that would grow together e.g. tomatoes go            with carrots but not with beans.

14.     Make a table of your chosen vegies on a poster using the

headings on the site, omitting Scientific name and Attracts.

You need six (6) columns and four (4) rows so do it sideways (landscape).

Here is an example (in portrait):


Commonname Helps Helped by Repels Avoid Comments
Beans Corn,spinach, eggplant Tomatoesonions Nitrogen fixing


[NB. California Beetle is omitted under REPELS because this is an American site.]

15. Give your poster the heading Companion vegetables.

[Don’t forget to add where you found your information.]

16. Display your poster.


17. Check your answers with the Answer book for Lesson 3 Vegetables and make any changes in your Garden Journal.

18. Keep collecting empty 2 litre clear plastic drink bottles for your seeds.

* * *

Almost at the end of Lesson 3.

On the next page is a recipe for bread to make at home.



Walkabout Dreaming Aboriginal Australia

April 3, 2013 in Aboriginal History, Blackline Masters, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books

Update: Kindle edition US$2.99. The only difference between it and the ebook is that there are no wordsearches as they can’t be used on a Kindle. Other than that, it is 38 pages long with questions and answers. The sub title is A Short Introduction and the language is still easy. Go to


[second edition c2011, updated 2013]

A simplified version of Walkabout Dreaming for middle primary school students and adults.

Includes 10 Blackline Master lessons, 64 pages in total and a picture story book list.  A workbook which has a small emphasis on utilising the Internet.

Year 3 Australian History new curriculum:

  • Who lived here first and how do we know?
  • How has our community changed? What features have been lost and what features have been retained?
  • What is the nature of the contribution made by different groups and individuals in the community?
  • How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?

Australian History year 4 achievement standard:

By the end of Year 4, students place some of the key events and people they have studied in chronological sequence and create simple timelines. Students pose questions about the past and locate relevant information from a range of historical sources. Students use a range of historical sources to examine the reasons for and impact of historical events. They use sources to identify different points of view in the past and the motivations of individuals and groups. Students explain the significance of events in bringing about change. Students compose historical texts, including narratives, using appropriate historical terms. They present their information using a range of communication forms (written, spoken, visual).

eBook is now $5 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as an attachment. Email Michael on for an invoice which will have EFT details.


Review by MA.

This is a good introductory book to teach (Australian) Aboriginal culture. It is composed of comprehensions, aboriginal words, bush tucker – food, etc. with a wide range of activities. I have picked up a few words myself as I was reading. (There are also) interesting Dreaming stories (e.g.) creation such as the story of black Crow and Eaglehawk. (It is all laid out) in an understandable manner without much complexity.



An example:  Lesson 2

Word search on housing.


2. Exercise: make your own bush shelter: you can make a prototype

(small version) in the classroom from recycled material.


i.         step 1: find two (2) sticks and lash or tie the ends together like a

tepee. You could cut a little out of one so that the other fits in it.


ii. step 2: find a longer stick and lash or tie one end to #1.

The other end rests on the ground.


iii. step 3: cover in the sides – if you were in the bush you would use

bushes with large leaves to keep out the wind and rain.





Why did the indigenous people of Australia lead a nomadic lifestyle?

Their lives were one with the land and everything that grew or walked upon it. They stayed in places where the food was plentiful at particular times of the year.



3. Check your word search with the answers from Lesson 2.

* * *


Here is a picture of  the back of a stone shelter from Tyrendarra via Yambuk in south-western Victoria.


[The stones are laid in a semi-circle, with branches and leaves on top.]


Walkabout Dreaming (years 6 & 7)

April 3, 2013 in Aboriginal History, Blackline Masters, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books

Revised edition 2017. Marketed 2018 onwards.
years 6 & 7

Achievement standard:

By the end of Year 7, students suggest reasons for change and continuity over time. They describe the effects of change on societies, individuals and groups. They describe events and developments from the perspective of different people who lived at the time. Students explain the role of groups and the significance of particular individuals in society. They identify past events and developments that have been interpreted in different ways.

• Individualised learning
• Internet access not required for all lessons
• Fewer URLs, more work space
• For non-indigenous students to appreciate the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
• 20 Blackline Master lessons
• Answers, Bibliography, Picture Story list, and Excursions for most states
• Over 120 pages in total
• Change of URLS posted online, major changes emailed
Checked Sep 2017.

Covers the Australian curriculum on History: Year 6:

· List the contribution of individuals and groups, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders…to the development of Australian society.

· Historical questions and research using a range of communication forms…

· Annotated time of Aboriginal rights in the 20th century (example at ACARA website).”
Order via email to Michael  on

The eBook is $10 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Email for an invoice which will have EFT details.
$40 hardcopy plus express postage, around $16.

An example: Lesson 3


1.        List the special ceremonies that your family celebrates.

E.g. Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter,

Jewish people celebrate Passover, Muslims fast during


_________________________ ______________________

_________________________ ______________________

______________________  ____________________  ____



Each religion has evolved a way of dressing for their special ceremonies.

Each religion has their special place and book.

[This is an indigenous message stick from the local Wurundjeri People at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne.]

A message stick is a form of communication traditionally used by Indigenous Australians. It is usually a solid piece of wood, around 20–30cm in length, etched with angular lines and dots.

Traditionally, message sticks were passed between different clans and language groups to establish information and transmit messages. They were often used to invite neighbouring groups to corroborees, set-fights and ball games.


Word search on ceremonial words.


The indigenous people of Australia had no common language.

Some say there were 250 languages for 500 different nations.

An Elder, Aunty Gracelyn (Smallwood, 2001) says there were 500 tribes and 700 different dialects. There were no books. The knowledge and beliefs were handed down through stories.

The stories were passed down by the Elders.

Word search on a corroboree.


4.        FIND some surviving indigenous words:

i.        Write them next to the words in the previous word search on the                previous page.

ii. IF you do NOT have Internet access, see if your library has this book or a similar one:

Reed, A.W. (2001). Aboriginal words of Australia. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

[You won’t find all the word search words in this reference so look for these words:]

Ankle _________ Nose __________

Arm ___________ Possum ____________

Ceremony ___________ Ochre red ______________

Sticks for clapping time _____________

Headband ___________ Reed_______________

Hunger __________ Necklace ____________

Messenger ___________White Women, two ____________

5. i Go to #14 on page 30  for your next task IF you CANNOT access the Internet.

ii. Go to #15 on page 30  for your next task IF you CANNOT

find the above reference at  #4.(ii).


LOG ON  to the Internet.

6. Use this site to find some words of the Kamilaroi People of

Upper North New South Wales



c. Note marked area: draw a rough outline of Australia in your Walkabout Dreaming journal and mark in the area of the  Kamilaroi country.

d. click on TO DICTIONARY.


find the words at #3.

7.        Translate some of the words from the word search puzzle at #3 on            page 20.

8.        Write out the Reference for your  language here:



[Hint: author or group responsible for URL. (year). Title or underlined. Retrieved <date you looked at it> from <the URL>.]

9. i. FIND a picture of an item listed above at #3.

[N.B. don’t forget the reference and write it in your Walkabout

Dreaming journal ]:

ii. Design a poster to display what you found –

write at least 20 words if you found that many.

[N.B. don’t forget to add the Reference at the bottom of your poster, plus your name as the author of this work.]



10.     Create three (3) sentences using at least three (3) words in each            sentence from your chosen LANGUAGE.

Write the English sentence first, then write the indigenous language







iii. ___________________________________________________


Check your answers to At Home: Ceremony and Clothing.

[clapsticks designed and made from mulga wood by women at Walalkira in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands, S.A. ]

* * *

End of Lesson 3


Peddling Wares to the Goldfields (year 5)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Colonial History, Comprehension, Primary School


This is an illustrated interactive story for Year 5 students to learn about the goldfields in Victoria and how people of the 1860s and thereabouts made their living supplying the miners.

The Year 5 curriculum calls for a study of colonial Australia in the 1800s.  What was life like for different groups of people in this period.

The idea for the story came from reading the diary of a great great grandfather who supplied the miners, one who was the manager of the mine at Creswick before the mining tragedy, and one who carted gold to S.A.

An examination is called for of significant events and people, political and economic developments, social structures, and settlement patterns.

Students may read the story all the way through or do their research at each point in the story. The Internet is a good place to start, as is the school library.  Thus students will be practised in doing research as well as comprehension.  At the end of the story there are answers and their references.

The eBook is $5 by cheque or EFT and prepaid. Email Michael for the invoice which will have the EFT details.

Now available on Kindle at Amazon for US$2.99


Review by Milando:

This book offers a very vivid and wonderful insight into the life and culture of people living around the time of (the) goldrush (19th century). As an Australian native, Michael Mardel has more than accomplished the job of a true patriot by bringing forth this sneak-peek about a rather forgotten time period. The dialogs as well as the general language and style…(are) a true reflection of the time (when) the story is set…and can be called absolutely realistic.


Review by MA

This book describes the life of diggers in Australia. Quite an imaginative feat, as this history unfolds through the eyes of a young boy when his father exposes him to the diggers. These accounts show not only the writer’s in-depth knowledge of history but his literary prowess as well. It is a befitting read for school children of all ages.



An example:

‘Father, you’re late! We’ve been saving tea for you and we’re really hungry.’

‘Sorry Patrick, I’ve been down at the Eastern Market in Bourke St. talking to wholesalers. I had to organise some supplies to be delivered on Monday so we can take it on our trip starting that day. Now you can eat and we’ll have peace and quiet while you chew with your mouth closed.’

[1.a.What hotel stood on the corner of Bourke and Exhibition St. where the Eastern Market was? __________________________________________

1.b .When did the Queen Victoria market begin? _____________________

1.c. Was there a Western Market and where was it?] _________________________________________________________