Comprehensive Teaching Materials
Cop & Robber: Teachers’ notes for contemporary thriller novel for grades 5-9, dealing with ethical dilemmas, forgiveness, resilience, family, the law, trust, belonging, running, motivation and other themes.
Teacher-librarian Mia Macrossan says in her review of the book: ‘This fast-paced edge of your seat thriller has suspense and action by the bucket load, but because this is Tristan Bancks writing you get much more than cheap thrills. The characters are immediately believable and relatable. I particularly like Nash’s sort-of friend Griff, his online gaming pal and sometime running companion. He is a masterful combination of the extremely irritating served with goofy charm. Tristan uses humour as well as conflict to add light and shade to his story. He uses Nash’s dilemma to explore complex themes of loyalty, love, honesty, and especially forgiveness. This makes it such a satisfying and memorable read, but beware, once you start it you will drop everything until you’ve finished it. I recommend the excellent extended teacher’s notes which give a deeper reading of the book.
Ginger Meggs: A resource for teachers of Middle to Upper Primary (years 4 to 6), offering creative writing tips with a focus on visual literacy. Themes include humour, Australian culture and imagination.
Teacher-Librarian Sue Warren said ‘Kids and adults alike will thoroughly enjoy these fresh new stories . . . and, most certainly, will find the illustrated comic strip style timeline of Ginger’s history that follows absolutely fascinating. I have definitely enjoyed the laughs these new stories have provided over this very wet Easter weekend and have been plotting a celebration in our library for Meggsie’s centenary as well as offering our students the opportunity to showcase their comic creation skills. You definitely won’t want to miss out on this superbly presented commemoration of an Australian icon.’
Nit Boy teachers’ resources feature quiz questions, writing exercises, exploration of key themes like family, friends, courage and diversity. There’s also an interview with the author sharing the inspiration, writing and research process, and colouring pages to make learning fun.
Detention: A comprehensive teaching resource that covers the key themes of refugee experiences and statelessness as well as class, privilege, empathy, compassion, family relationships and human rights. The book is being picked up for stage four study (years 7 & 8) but it’s suitable for readers 10+. Here’s what teacher-librarian and blogger Megan Daley, Children’s Books Daily, has said about the book. Her year 7 students are studying it in term 4 this year.
You can also access these short videos on how I wrote the book.
‘Detention is a raw and authentic exploration of human connection. An unlikely union, Dan and Sima are confronted with some life-altering decisions as they are thrown into a very dangerous situation. The novel challenges readers to think about the complexities of a world that deems what is ‘moral’ and what is ‘legal’ as being polar opposites. It is affirming in its representation of a younger generation able to grapple with such contradiction and to stand up for what is right, and leaves readers with a sense of optimism that things might change. Tristan’s writing is gripping, his characters all-too real and his symbolic use of the Australian landscape is a powerful weapon he wields to make his readers look more closely at the world around them. In the classroom context, Detention is ideal for study in the 12-14 year age range. It has strong ties to the Australian Curriculum and its contemporary themes add a level of connection for both students and staff which will lead to discussion, debate and analysis.’ More…
The Fall: Teaching notes filled with insights into the inspiration, personal stories and filmic imagery in the novel. Activities around key themes including resilience, rites of passage, family relationships and dealing with difficult emotions. Worksheets to help students with story structure and creating narrative drive in their writing.
Two Wolves: Comprehensive teaching notes for this tense middle-grade novel (age 10-14) exploring morality, self-perception, the power of Nature and the slipperiness of truth. Curriculum Areas: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding.
On the Run (US edition of Two Wolves): Comprehensive teaching notes for this tense middle-grade novel (age 10-14) exploring morality, self-perception, the power of Nature and the slipperiness of truth. Curriculum Areas: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding.
Tom Weekly series: These teaching notes are packed with fun, engaging creative writing ideas for the classroom. They give insight into the writing of a story in the first book in the series, My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up and a storystarter for students to create their own work. They’re formatted, designed and illustrated for activities to be projected directly onto the smartboard.
Mac Slater, Coolhunter series: These notes and activities look at issues relating to consumerism, creativity, individuality, environmental awareness.
Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space: Space travel, web 2.0, space science, book trailers and don’t forget the non-fiction section and quiz at the back of the book.
Change the World in Five Minutes Every Day at School: The notes for this world-changing SBS series contain fun and inspiring ideas for delivering lessons on community action, environmental issues and how students can make their own films on issues that they care about. You can watch the film here.
Writing Tips for Kids Videos
Check out my series of free 1-2 minute Writing Tips videos for the classroom or the keen kid writer.
Author Talks in Schools
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is speaking about storytelling and creativity. I run workshops and talks about my books at festivals, conferences and schools in Australia and around the world, hopefully inspiring kids, teens and adults to read and create.
To check my availability for Queensland-based school / library talks and workshops you can email Sandie at Speakers Ink. My Speakers Ink page is here.
NSW and VICTORIA
For information and availability on Sydney and Melbourne-based school / library talks and workshops, you are best emailing Booked Out or see my Booked Out page here.
OTHER STATES / INTERNATIONAL
For information and availability on other interstate and international school / library talks and workshops, you are best emailing me here.
I worked with Tristan at the Bardon Young Writers Workshop. He was inspirational, exciting and engaging. It was a memorable and productive week for our upper primary students from numerous schools. Tristan shared lots of quality writing tips. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
Thanks Sandra. Much appreciated. I had a great week. It's so well organised and a brilliant bunch of young writers. Looking forward to doing it again next year. Hope all is well in the world for you. T.
We thoroughly enjoyed Tristan's talk to our students in years 3-6 today. The students heard lots of inspirational tips to assist them on their own writing journey. It was an engaging worthwhile educational experience for our students and would highly recommend Tristan as a speaker.
We have many students who can't wait to read "Two Wolves"
Thanks Mary Anne. So good to hear. I'm glad they're into 'Two Wolves'. Would love to hear the reviews once they've read it. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.