On this page you will find information, lesson plans and activities suitable for children aged 3 - 8.
Additional resources, including information on our illustrator and child friendly videos, can be found at the bottom of the page.
This content has been developed for you to use PRIOR to the book being published. We will provide updated lesson plans / content after you receive a physical copy.
Please contact us if you would like a lesson plan on writing, designing and publishing the book, or if you would like an MCAV representative to talk to your students. We would love to chat to your class!
Email: book@mcav.com.au

Teachers Notes

Age Group:

Early childhood – Grade 2

Educator information:

The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria started when a farmer, in 1834, crossed the Snowy Mountains in search of fresh grass for his cattle. Since then, families across Victoria have taken their cattle to the High Country each year for summer grazing.
Originally started as a way of keeping cattle in good condition, the practice evolved as Cattlemen realized that the grazing cattle also helped keep the dense bush undergrowth under control, meaning a reduced risk of intense bushfire.
There have been on-going battles with the State Government to keep grazing licenses (many licenses have been lost) and the Cattlemen are now the only independent voice when it comes to better management of the Alpine National Park and State Forest, advocating and advising on a range of issues including feral animal control, weed management, retention of user-rights, bushfire management and much more.

Basis of the book:

The story is a true one, based on the combined experience of our Mountain Cattlemen during the 19/20 bushfires when more than 17 million hectares were burnt. During that time Mountain Cattlemen needed to quickly bring their cattle home from summer grazing, many losing stock in the process. Many were unable to feed their cattle after the fires, with roads blocked and access only available via helicopter.
The story looks at the history of the Mountain Cattlemen, but also the impacts of the bushfire. The loss of cattle, the depression that followed for many, and the circle of life continuing with the next season. It is told from the perspective of a seventh-generation narrator, a young girl who lives on the family farm with her parents and grandparents. Included in the links at the top of the page are additional book pages, with both draft text and illustrations. Please show these to students to help encourage title suggestions. We also have a short narrated video that outlays the story. This may be useful to play/show students.

The competition:

We want students to name our story because we want it to be a story that all ages feel like they have a connection to. This is a book about someone familiar – a family, a farmer, cousins in the city and everyone in between. Whether you submit one title suggestion per child, one per class or one per school is up to you. The top 5 entries will then be presented to the general public for a vote. Email your entries to book@mcav.com.au.

The prize:

The winning class/student class will each receive a copy of the book (all schools that participate will also be given a copy for the class library). President of the MCAV, Bruce McCormack, will visit the school to present to the winner and will read the story aloud. In addition, we would love the winning school to provide either a photo, illustration or spiel (or combination of all three) about the impact students feel the bushfire had on Victorians. This will be included in the publication, helping students take ‘ownership’ of the project.
Lesson ideas:

Show children the cover of the book & additional pages (see link).

Some suggested points to talk about PRIOR to activities to ignite student’s imagination:
- What do you think is happening in the cover picture?
- What can you see behind the cows?
- How do you think a bushfire might start?
- Why do you think the riders are doing with the cows?
- What do you think this book might be about?
- What do you think the book is called?

Activities: See links at the top of the page for downloadable content.

  • Horse colouring page (download available)
  • Aerial water bomb colouring page (download available)
  • Create a hand art campfire (activity instructions available)
  • Encourage students to talk together about any experiences they have with fire
  • For early years: Encourage students to set up a farm scene with toys, with orange and yellow cellophane used to demonstrate bushfire and blue cellophane to represent a dam/water
  • For older students: ask them to draw/write a scene showing a landscape before, and after, a bushfire
  • Invite your local CFA member to visit with students and explain what to do in the event of a fire
  • If appropriate, allow students to light a small fire outside. Encourage them to feel the heat, watch it crackle and notice the colours. Cook damper or marshmallows.



A draft of pages 9 & 10 provided by illustrator Tim Ide. More pictures can be found in the downloadable link above.