Languages & multicultural education resource centre 150 Palmerston Street, carlton

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150 Palmerston Street, CARLTON

Tel.: (03) 93491418 Fax: (03) 93491295


The following titles are available for borrowing from the Resource Centre.

Folktales and picture books

Baker, Jeannie (1998) The story of Rosy Dock. Red Fox, Milsons Point, NSW.

A white woman brings a foreign plant, rosy dock, to her farm in Central Australia. Beautiful collages give a dramatic interpretation of the desert landscape.

Unit of work:

Deconstructing Rosy Dock unit of work:
An animated short film (10 minutes), produced by Film Australia is also available.
Germein, Katrina (1999) Big rain coming. Roland Harvey Books, Port Melbourne.

Set at Minyerri, a remote Aboriginal community south-east of Katherine. Old Stephen predicts rain is coming, but not until everyone has endured a long, hot week.

Glass, Anne (1979) Tjuma stories from the Western Desert: traditional Aboriginal stories. Aboriginal Arts Board, North Sydney.
Kessler, Cristina (1995) Muhamad’s desert night. Gollancz, London.

Muhamad is a Tuareg boy, herding goats in the Sahara.

Malbunka, Mary (2003) When I was little, like you. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW.

Mary Malbunka, an Anangu woman from Papunya, west of Alice Springs, remembers with fondness family outings in the bush, mischief at school, games with her friends, outwitting authority figures and generally mucking around with other kids. Listening to her grandmother’s stories, she learnt the kind of practical skills that traditionally grandmothers have always taught.

Teachers’ notes available at:

Moss, Miriam (2005) This is the Oasis. Frances Lincoln, London.

A celebration of an oasis and its importance to the plant, animal and human life that surrounds it. Includes factual information about deserts.

Porter, Anneliese (2005) The Outback. Illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft. Magabala Books, Broome, WA.

A poem of praise for the outback describing the diversity of desert life and its many seasonal changes.

Papunya School (2001) The Papunya school book of country and culture. Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW.

The authors, members of the Papunya Community, 200kms west of Alice Springs, detail the effects and changes which white settlers brought to their country and the Anangu people.

Extensive teachers’ notes available at:


Lowe, Pat (1992) Yinti desert child. Magabala Books, Broome, WA.

Illustrated short stories, based on the true stories of Jimmy Pike.
Norrington, Leonie (2002) The Barrumbi kids. Omnibus, Norwood SA.

Dale and Tomias are best friends. Tomias’s ancestors have lived at Long Hole since the Dreaming, and Dale’s grandfather was the first man to settle there. The arrival of a new ‘boss man’ at the Long Hole shakes the community up.

Staples, Suzanne Fisher (1991) Daughter of the wind. Walker Books, London.

Shabanu and her older sister live in the Cholistan Desert of Pakistan, where the family breed camels and live according to Islamic law. When disaster wrecks her sister’s wedding plans, Shabanu becomes betrothed to a much older man.

Information books

About deserts, desert climates and drought
Bender, Lionel (1997) Heat and drought. Wayland, Hove.
Drew, David (1992) Alone in the desert: the science of survival. Rigby, Port Melbourne.
Ganeri, Anita (1993) How to survive in a desert. Simon & Schuster, London.
James, Ian (ed.) (1998) Deserts. Cherrytree Press, Bath.
Jennings, Terry (1999) Drought. Belitha Press, London.
Lye, Keith (1996) Dry climates. Wayland, Hove.
MacQuitty, Miranda (1994) Desert. Collins, London. (Eyewitness guides)
Malone, Pat (2001) Desert rain. National Geographic, Kew, Vic.
Timberlake, Lloyd (1985) Famine in Africa. Watts, London.
Watts, Claire (2004) Heat hazard: drought. Raintree, Oxford.
Life in the desert
Al-Mawad, Diana (1996) School in a desert. Addison-Wesley, South Melbourne.
Baker, Lucy (1997) Life in the deserts. Two-Can, London.
Breeden, Stan (1995) Growing up at Uluru Australia. Steve Parish Publishing, Fortitude Valley, Qld.

Edwards, Jason (2003) Desert journal. Thomson Learning, Southbank, Vic.

King, John (1992) Bedouin. Wayland, Hove.

Levelle, Keren (1990) Hoosta! The story of camels in Australia. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Sydney.
Lucas, Judy and Barlow, Alex (1997) Wangkangurru of the desert. Heinemann Library, Port Melbourne. (Aboriginal peoples series)
Oliver, Narelle (1999) Sand Swimmers: the secret life of Australia’s desert heart. Lothian, South Melbourne.

Teachers’ notes available at:

Perez, Belle (2001) People live in the desert. National Geographic, Kew, Vic.
Rochegude, Anne (1983) Tarlift, Tuareg boy. Macdonald, London.
Savage, Stephen (1996) Animals of the desert. Wayland, Hove.
Scoones, Simon (1993) The Sahara and its people. Hove, Wayland.
Thompson, Liz (1998) The Anangu of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Heinemann Library, Port Melbourne.

--------------- (1998) The Ngaanyatjarra of the Gibson Desert. Heinemann Library, Port Melbourne. (Fighting for survival series)

Wright, Catherine (1988) On the camel track. CDC, Canberra.
The environment and environmental issues: teaching resources
Brodie-Hall, Serena and Mottram, Olivia (2004) Environment & the world. Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic.

Changing landscapes: integrated teaching units. (2003) PETA, Newtown, NSW.

Fox, Mark & Olga (2005) Discovering the environment. Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic.
Guy, Roslyn (1999) Look Global: global perspectives in the upper primary classroom. Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic.
Nicholson, John (2000) The state of the planet. Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW.

Teachers’ notes available at:

Rabley, Stephen (1990) The green world. Macmillan, London (Macmillan dossiers)
Reid-Nguyen, Rebecca (1999) Think Global: global perspectives in the lower primary classroom. Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic.
Trioli, Rosalie (2000) Go Global: global perspectives in the secondary classroom. Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Vic.
LMERC also holds some pictures and picture sets of desert landscapes and peoples.

Official UN website for the International Year of Deserts and Desertification

Australian Dept of Environment and Heritage website for the IYDD, with ideas for activities.

Global Education website with links to resources, teaching activities and case studies.

Very useful page of links, compiled by SA teacher, Jackie Miers. Links are suitable for teachers and primary and lower secondary students, and include webquests, units and teaching activities.

This International Association of School Libraries page provides links to Internet (and print) resources related to deserts and desertification, as well as resources for this special year.

Global Learning Quests:
Desertification: Engulfed in a sea of sand (lower secondary)
Deserts: Hanging on to life (upper primary)

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