#CarlyMillsANewWorld #bookcampaign #booksontourpr #day5

With respect to the themes of women’s rights, adventure, immigration, social philanthropy, communities in the past and present, Australian history and people of influence in Jane Smith’s Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl series, we will be exploring scenes from the book, A New World and re-creating some of what it was like back in 1841 with the likes of Caroline Chisholm. Students will be able to reflect on their favourite parts and utilise their creativity, research and even artistic skills through drama, art or digital production. 

*Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl: A New World, written by Jane Smith, published by Big Sky Publishing, May 2020.


Key Curriculum Areas


Australian communities – their past, present and possible futures

The role that a significant individual or group played in shaping a colony (ACHASSK110)

Australia in the past and present and its connections with a diverse world

Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children (ACHASSK135)


Discuss how language is used to describe the settings in texts, and explore how the settings shape the events and influence the mood of the narrative (ACELT1599)

Create imaginative texts based on characters, setting and events from students’ own and other cultures using visual features, for example, perspective, distance and angle (ACELT1601)

Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts (ACELT1608)


Age Range –

8 – 12 years


Discussion / Research –

  • Time travel: What era would you like to visit and why? What do you think it was like for women in the 1800s? Think about education, work, social issues, clothing, technology, attitudes, etc.
  • Carly Mills: How do you imagine she felt visiting the big city on her own? How do you imagine travelling back in time has changed her view on the world, as is was then, and as it is now? Complete a Six Hats chart on Carly’s time in the past.
  • Caroline Chisholm: Who was she, and why was her work so important in shaping our country? What does her quote mean, ‘I never can imagine that Almighty God sent females into the world to be cooks and housemaids all their days.’? Why do you think she only saw her children on weekends?
  • Dangers and immigration: What dangers existed in 1841, for immigrants, and for young women in particular? What do you know of the convicts and other migrants that came to Australia from Britain? Create a poster inviting immigrants to Australia.
  • Other important characters: The book mentions contributions from Governor Gipps and Charles Dickens. What do you know of these historical figures? Research and create a mind map or other visual representation of your findings.
  • Terms and facts: Find meanings to terms such as ‘colonial’, ‘pioneer’, ’emigrant’, ‘humanitarian’, ‘convicts’, ‘bushrangers’. What other related terms and facts can you find out about this period in time? What have you learned from the Historical Note at the back of Carly Mills: A New World?

Re-creating a Scene from Carly Mills: A New World

Materials –

Refer to the notes and discussion points on the Carly Mills website

Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl: A New World Book #1 by Jane Smith

Choice of visual representation can include:

  • Short Recorded Play
  • Role Play with props
  • Slideshow Presentation with images and text
  • Puppet show
  • Stop Motion Video

Possible Scenes to Re-create:

  • When Carly puts on the shawl for the first time and discover Custom’s House and meets Caroline Chisholm
  • Getting to know Caroline Chisholm
  • Cleaning up the derelict shed and sleeping on a straw mattress, living on bread and milk, surrounded by rats
  • At the wharf greeting immigrants – where Carly and Dora step in to help a woman who had her purse stolen and the men are preying on her vulnerability
  • Working at the farm in Parramatta as servants under the supervision of Governor Gipps

Directions –

  1. Choose your style of visual re-enactment and appropriate materials needed.
  2. Refer to the Carly Mills teacher notes to think about the facts, feelings, props, scenery, script, etc you wish to include.
  3. Write a plan, script or storyboard including the organisation of plot or narrative, building of sets or acquisition of images to suit your presentation.
  4. Record / act / create your presentation, edit, and share it with your friends!

With thanks to my special helpers, Miss 7 and Miss 10, here is our example stick puppet and diorama video presentation…


You can find some more fabulous resources, learn all about the real and fictional characters in the Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl series, and even try a fun quiz at the Carly Mills website!

Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl: A New World is available to purchase at Big Sky Publishing| Booktopia

Reference: Australian Curriculum

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