The unit of work Neighbours explores the concepts of neighbourhood and being neighbourly through narrative, poetry and factual texts.

Texts used include the picture storybooks Amelia Ellicott’s Garden, written by Liliana Stafford and illustrated by Stephen Michael King, Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten by Bob Graham, and the Side by Side big book by Janet King.

The unit concludes with an introduction to Australia’s neighbourhood, the Pacific, to introduce our close international neighbours.

Dili kids. Photo by Kok Leng, Maurice Yeo, CC-BY-2.0

Above: Dili kids. Photo by Kok Leng, Maurice Yeo, CC-BY-2.0

Australian curriculum links

The general capabilities emphasised in the unit of work Neighbours are literacy, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability and intercultural understanding. This unit addresses the cross-curriculum priority Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia.

See how this unit relates to Australian Curriculum: English content descriptions and NSW Syllabus outcomes.


This unit provides opportunities to explore the ideas that:

  • good neighbours want to know and understand their neighbours
  • despite differences in how we live we have basically the same need for friendship
  • people have a responsibility to each other and their neighbours
  • thinking can be influenced.

Teaching and learning activities

  1. Introduce the unit
  2. Being a good neighbour; meanings in poetry and song
  3. Stories about neighbours
  4. Neighbours: Australia and the Pacific, factual texts and neighbours in need

For the teacher

Philosophy with young children — A classroom handbook (scroll for order form) can help teachers develop students' skills of questioning, conceptual exploration and reasoning, using storybooks. Amelia Ellicott’s Garden and Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten are featured. Use a lesson plan (.pdf 158 kB) for Amelia Ellicott’s Garden.

To support values education, a copy of Side by Side has been distributed to all Australian primary schools. Download Teacher notes (.pdf 608 kB) and additional teaching and learning activities. Consult the National Framework: Nine Values for Australian Schooling for shared values that reflect our commitment to a just society. The NSW Department of Education and Communities has information on friendship.

Screen Australia provides an interactive map of Australia and the Pacific region. Travel in the region to learn about amazing transformations in Pacific Stories.

Note that print downloads do not include updates applied online, including curriculum changes over time and should be used with caution:    .doc 979 kB    |    .pdf 373 kB    |   Copyright