School Visits

School Visits

This workshop on my winning children's book ‘Mrs Echidna's Dilemma' is presented as literacy integrated in a science unit. The subject matter relates to ‘life and living' in the current science curriculum - specifically, the life cycles and diversity of Australian animals, with particular focus on a monotreme (egg laying mammal), the echidna.

This program has been endorsed by a language and literacy lecturer at University of the Sunshine Coast.

All workshops are designed to incorporate diverse leaning styles:


  • Displaying and discussing the original artwork used in the publication (2 x prize-winning quilts) with their 2D / 3D illustrations.
  • Using PPT to enhance the illustrations whenever multimedia technologies are accessible in the school.


  • Reading of the story by the author - listening skills and modelling spoken language.
  • Incorporating singing / music - I encourage the children to make up their own songs about the animals encountered in the story.


  • The book itself is embossed, connecting the reader to the illustrations.
  • Using finger puppets in the review sections of the program. With younger children, actions are encouraged when singing the songs.
  • Craft activity (making a ‘paper bag' puppet) is demonstrated to consolidate knowledge gained in the session, and encourage further discussion on the animal. Template for this is given to the teacher for later use.













My book contains both a simple narrative, to engage the beginning reader, and factual reports on the opposing pages to encourage further engagement with the topic. The patterns supplied in the book will promote reading instructional text; the illustrations will support the interpretation for emerging readers. There is also a DVD with a professional reader modelling the language.

I have designed my programs to the level of the children:

  • P-1 concentrates more on the puppets, language activities and singing, with basic animal science.
  • Grades 2-3 - more time is spent discussing life cycles of the various animals, and also how the book was created. Puppets and some language activities / singing are included. How this story was written and illustrated is particularly requested in Book Week.  Click HERE for feedback from one teacher.
  • Grade 4-7 - greater emphasis is given to the editing process; how the story was written and edited and how the illustrations were created.  Original drawings and notes, and drafts of the book, are shown to the children to enable them to understand the process of writing / illustrating.  If requested, greater detail on animal life cycles can be included.
  • I have also adapted the program for ESL students up to grades 6-7, as presented to Toowoomba ESL students, using the ‘hear, say, read, write' approach. Worksheet templates are provided for later use.

The cost to schools is only $50 per session (i.e. a school ‘period'; 45-55 minutes) plus nominal fuel / travel costs. Single class sizes give a more hands-on session for the students, but combined classes of up to 50 children are acceptable. In the larger class sizes, not all children will have access to the finger puppets during those activities.

If you would like to discuss a visit to your school, please contact me.

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