Blog Post 2: Lesson Plan for Victor Kelleher’s Taronga

One of the novels I considered using for my book review was an Australian young adult novel entitled Taronga by Victor Kelleher. I found the premise of this novel to be really interesting but I was unable to find an ebook version so I chose another novel. However, the themes, ideas, and characters of the novel are still very interesting to me and as a prospective future teacher I thought it would be interesting to develop a conceptual lesson plan about the novel.

One of the main themes Taronga is the often tenuous relationship between human life and the natural world. This theme of man vs. nature has been featured throughout literary history, so I would definitely include in my lesson plan having students research writings, poems, and novels from the past that also identify the battle between the human world and the natural world. Through these novels and poems from the past I would ask my students to compare and contrast the depictions of the human vs. nature struggle seen in those novels when put up against Taronga

Another way I would create a lesson plan surrounding Taronga is that I would play of the sense of realism that the novel creates in it’s setting and plot surrounding the destruction of the natural world. I would have my students do research on the effects of global warming, deforestation, pollution, war, and other forces that are pushing the natural world on Earth to the brink of destruction. By giving the students an opportunity to explore the real-world context for the themes and concepts that Taronga poses, I would hope it would help them gain a better understanding of the importance of the natural world and help work towards solutions for future generations of people instead of ignoring these pressing issues and just hoping they will go away.

Australia is country that features some of the most beautiful and inspiring natural environments and animals. As a novel, Taronga really focuses on these elements of Australian life and therefore would be the central topic of my lesson plan for young adults reading this novel. I would have my students research and present their findings on the history of the human vs. nature theme in literature as well as researching and presenting real world issues surrounding the destruction of the natural world.


Work Cited

Kelleher, Victor. Taronga. Penguin Books Australia, 2013.

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