When words fail us

10 - 11 years
Ideas to help your child practise their literacy skills - with you, and online
Boy reading with father

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 5-6 curriculum include:

  • understanding that facts can be shown in visual forms and in written words.

It’s easy to help your child practise this skill as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Read visual texts

Encouraging reading books is important, but there’s another kind of literacy that’s important too – reading visual texts such as maps, diagrams, symbols and charts. It takes time and practice to become confident at this kind of reading, so find opportunities when you can ask your child to:

  • look up a place on a map – eg a possible holiday destination, or a place mentioned in a book or TV show
  • give you directions as you are driving (if you have a GPS, your child can give directions using the ‘overview’ of the route, but not the step-by-step view – that would be cheating!)
  • find information in brochures
  • use catalogues to research and compare different products
  • look up timetables and plan itineraries
  • check a ‘fact’ that they’ve heard or read.

Your child may prefer to use the internet for some of these tasks, and that’s fine too – we all need to be able to find information on the internet (and judge how reliable it is). Just make sure that your child is able to do things ‘the old fashioned way’ as well!

Go online

For online reinforcement, Responsible fishing in Western Australia will give your child practice at:

  • using charts to find information
  • writing persuasively.



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Last modified
7 April 2020