Reading Enriches Learning: Values

Looking for interesting ways to introduce values education?

Reading Enriches Learning: Values provides online student-centred activities based on engaging texts. The activities are designed to promote understanding of the nine values for Australian schooling. The books have been carefully selected for a range of interests and abilities: for younger readers (years 2-4) and older readers (years 5-8).

About values education
The Federal Government's National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools explores societal values as a fundamental aspect of becoming an active and valuable member of the community. It provides a guide to a more rounded approach to education that addresses the need for students to build personal character traits that will equip them to interact successfully in an increasingly complex society.

The nine values for Australian schooling are:
  • Care and Compassion
  • Freedom
  • Doing Your Best
  • Fair Go
  • Honesty and Trustworthiness
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Understanding, Tolerance and Inclusion

For more information, visit the Values Education for Australian Schooling website

About Reading Enriches Learning: Values
One approach to teaching values in our schools is through literature. Australian children's literature provides a versatile and relevant medium for a focus on values as it explores the many facets of human nature and challenges the reader to consider what it means to interact with oneself, one's peers and the larger community. The breadth of issues explored by contemporary writers is testimony to the significant role literature plays in helping us examine our actions, beliefs and attitudes in an increasingly global society.

The literature-based activities on this website provide teachers and students with starting points that will help them make connections between the values presented in the selected books and real-life contexts. They offer a number of pathways to explore different values and text styles covering reading levels and interests across the middle primary sector to the upper end of middle school. There is something here for students from the ages of eight through to fourteen and beyond.

Activities have been organised to focus on the specific values reflected in the selected books. This flexible approach can support one identified pathway that focuses on one value or multiple pathways that support an exploration of more than one value through a single book. Deeper exploration of a particular value is possible through the study of more than one text, as many of the values are represented across different books. The organisation of the texts into middle primary and middle school categories provides a general recommendation; however, teachers are encouraged to look beyond a specific level to select books that address different levels of ability and interest.

The following icons are used to describe the activities:

Activities designed for individual students to complete independently.

Activities designed for small groups of students to work collaboratively, with an expectation that each group member makes a contribution to the group product.

Activities designed for all students in the class to participate in. This may include individuals or small groups contributing work to the larger activity.

Activities that aim to extend or enrich students' learning by providing real-life contexts that engage them with the wider community beyond the classroom.

Barbara Braxton has been teaching for 33 years and her passion is developing literacy through literature, particularly using books to connect kids with their own worlds and the possibilities within these. For ten years she has been a teacher librarian and has received a number of awards for her work in this field. She is the author of several books for teachers including the popular Quizzard of Oz. Visit or contact her at

Jennie Bales has worked as a teacher librarian for over 20 years in northern Tasmanian schools. Her passion for children's literature and interest in inquiry- and resource-based learning has been fundamental to program delivery within and beyond the library. She has presented at state, national and international conferences relating to inquiry learning, literature and ICTs. In 2005, Jennie was named the 2005 Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year.

Curriculum Corporation, Assessment for Learning, De Bono, E 1976, CoRT Thinking I-IV, Pergamon Press, London. Murdoch, K 1998, Classroom Connections: Strategies for integrated learning, Eleanor Curtain Publishing, Armadale, Vic. Pohl, M 2000, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, Hawker Brownlow Education, Vic.

The selection of Internet addresses (URLs) provided was valid at the time of publication. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, some addresses may have changed or ceased to exist. Dead links can be reported by email.

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