The Battle: Fear Fighting Tasks for Young Battlers

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Drawing on the themes of overcoming fear and anxiety, bravery, friendship, perception and positive thinking in Ashling Kwok and Cara King’s The Battle, we will be focusing on some fun and effective strategies to guide children along the path to triumphing over their battles. Students will be able to identify their fears and take action towards a happier mindset through mindfulness, creativity, and artistic skills with these few activities.

*The Battle, written by Ashling Kwok, illustrated by Cara King, published by EK Books, June 2020.


Key Curriculum Areas


Literature and context

Recognise that texts are created by authors who tell stories and share experiences that may be similar or different to students’ own experiences (ACELT1575)
Responding to literature
Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)
Creating literature
Innovate on familiar texts through play (ACELT1831)
Health and Physical Education
Personal, Social and Community Health
Being healthy, safe and active
Name parts of the body and describe how their body is growing and changing (ACPPS002)
Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
Identify and describe emotional responses people may experience in different situations (ACPPS005)


Age Range –

4 – 8 years


Discussion –

Look at the cover of The Battle. What do you think this story is about? What do you think of the characters down the side? How do you think the boy feels and why might he be dressed in a knight suit?

Why might Edward be scared of going to school? What does he do to try make himself feel better?

What are you scared of? What kinds of things might you do to be brave? What could you tell yourself?

What are some good ways to make friends and be a good friend? How did the ogres and dragons help Edward feel safe enough to play?

What did Edward realise about his shield and armour in the end? Was it really there all along, and did he need it? How does he feel at the end of the story? Make a list of all the emotions Edward went through in the story – how many can you come up with?

Fear Fighting Task: Close your eyes and use your imagination to protect yourself from something that is scary. Once you’ve fought your battle, take it off – are you more brave now?


Materials –

‘A Guide for Knights’ poster

Identify the Fear: My body when I have fear template, pencils

Courage rocks: small pebbles, paint

Brave pendant: air drying clay, tools for stamping / engraving letters, to punch a hole, optional chain / necklace for wearing

Shield: Shield Template, coloured pencils, scissors



Directions –


Identify the Fear with Body Mapping:

Outcome – Your child will be able to better understand how their emotions affect the way their body feels, and thus, formulate strategies to regulate the anxiety.

  1. Talk with your child about WHAT the fear is. Talk about WHERE in their body they can feel it – ask them to touch these areas. An ache in the head, goosebumps on the arms, holding your breath, heart racing, butterflies in the tummy, shaky hands, etc.
  2. Use the body outline template to draw, write and point to the areas that they feel the fear. Draw clothes and colour in.


Courage Rocks and Brave Pendants:

Outcome – These tangible, concrete activities help children to cope with the fear by acting as a physical reminder to be brave, use their coping skills and be positive that the fear will not always last.

  1. Brainstorm some words or phrases that could be painted on the pebble / stamped on the clay as a reminder to be brave and use those coping strategies. Could be as simple as the words ‘brave’, or ‘have courage’, or ‘breathe’.
  2. For the courage rocks, simply create a design and paint! You can make as many as you like and your child could carry a different one each day.
  3. For the brave pendant, use a rolling pin to flatten out some clay. Cut the desired shape and use stamping letters or a thin tool to write and punch a hole. Allow to dry. Your child could carry this in their pocket or wear around their neck or wrist on a chain.
  4. EXTRA! Make some with your friends! Share your victories together!


Image Credit:


Create a Shield with a Mantra:

Outcome – Your child will be encouraged to think positive thoughts at their heightened times of anxiety with a mantra that is meaningful to them.

  1. Encourage your child to discuss when they need to show courage in their everyday activities. Brainstorm or find quotes or phrases that meaningfully apply to your child’s need to conquer a particular fear. Some examples might include, ‘be brave, be bold, be you’, ‘think happy and be happy’, ‘you’ve got this’, ‘never give up’, ‘today is your day’.
  2. Download and print the shield template, or make your own using cardboard. Get arty and creative with decoration.
  3. Write your favourite mantra on the shield. Cut out and display this where your child can read the mantra everyday and remind them to say it in their head over and over.



You can find some ‘battle-tastic’ teaching notes available on EK Book’s website. Click here!

Visit Ashling Kwok at her website |author website | facebook | twitter | instagram

The Battle is available for purchase from EK Books | Booktopia.

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Hayden’s Bedtime Clock Craft

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Hayden’s Bedtime Clock Craft

Combining aspects of bedtime routines, seeking comfort and telling the time, today we are going to create a piece that involves fine motor, mathematical and interpersonal skills. Using the literature to discuss the character’s feelings, and relating his routine to our own experiences, children will reflect a part of  their personal life through visual art, counting and telling the time. 


Early Years Learning Framework (birth to five) –

Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity – Children feel safe, secure, and supported.

Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing – Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.

Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners – Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials.

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators – Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.


Australian Core Curriculum Content Descriptions (Foundation to Year One) –


Responding to literature: Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)


Using units of measurement: 

Compare and order duration of events using everyday language of time (ACMMG007)

Tell time to the half-hour (ACMMG020)

Visual Arts

Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108)


Age Range –

3 – 6 years


Discussion –

Look at the cover of Hayden’s Bedtime. How do you think the boy is feeling, and why? How do you feel about going to bed? What does your bedtime routine look like? What time do you start getting ready for bed?

What might be some reasons for not wanting to go to bed? Have you ever been scared at this time of the night? Why? What might be a good way to overcome fears or worries at bedtime?

What same item do you notice throughout the book that is always near Hayden? Why do you think he likes this item? Do you have a favourite toy that helps you feel safe?

How many numbers are seen on a clock face? Practise counting from 1 to 12. What does the big hand mean when it is pointing to the 12? What does the little hand represent? Show and ask the children to call out some o’clock times on the clock.


Materials – 

Paper plate

Coloured paper (we used black and orange for tiger colours)

Acrylic paint

Paintbrushes (thick and thin)

Paper fastener / split pin


Sticky tape (optional – for ears)


Directions –

  1. Paint your paper plate face as your favourite bedtime toy or animal.


2. If your toy has ears then cut out two ear shapes and stick them on the back of the plate.


3. With paint (or permanent marker, or even number stickers), write the clock numbers around the plate. *Tip: Mark a spot in the centre of the plate. Directly above the spot, start with number 12 at the top, then mark 6 in line with the centre spot at the bottom. Next write 3 to the right of the centre spot, and then 9 to the left of the centre spot. Fill in the other numbers in between.


4. Draw and cut out two arrow shapes, one larger than the other. Roughly measure the length from the centre spot to under the 12 to identify the length of the ‘minute’ hand.


5. Use the split pin to pierce a hole in each of the arrows. Thread the hour hand on first, then the minute hand. Pierce a hole on the centre spot of the plate. Push the pin through and loosely close at the back to allow for some movement.


6. Identify your own bedtime and move the hands to reflect this time. Take your ‘tiger’ clock, your favourite toy and your favourite book to bed!


Colour-In / Preposition Game Activity

Have a play with prepositional language and colour matching in this activity by asking children to colour in as per the directions.

For example, colour in a pink snail above Hayden’s head.

Colour in the gold ring next to Hayden.

Where is the car? It’s under Hayden’s hand, colour it green.

What is inside the covers with Hayden? Colour the tiger in orange.

*Click on the image to download and print.


Image of Hayden’s Bedtime illustrated by Brett Curzon. Written by Wendy Haynes. Read our review.



*Check out more terrific teaching resources for Hayden’s Bedtime.

Written and supplied by Vanessa Ryan at Educate. Empower.

References: Early Years Learning Framework, Australian Curriculum

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From the A to the E-Zine

As creators and educators in the children’s literature field we need support and up-to-date knowledge of the industry to help us continue, and succeed, on our writing and teaching journeys. With opportunities to have work published, profiles discovered and resources on hand, we applaud those generous literary magazines and e-zines that do just that.

imageBuzz Words accommodates to writers and illustrators, as well as editors, teachers and librarians. The e-zine features loads of opportunities to learn and share in writing tips and interviews, current competitions, conferences, courses and book reviews. Founded and run by the incredible Dianne Bates, Buzz Words is a thriving industry magazine.

For more information visit the Buzz Words website, Facebook page or contact Di at A full profile can also be found at the Just Kids’ Lit Directory.

imageCreative Kids Tales was founded by Georgie Donaghey with the motto, ‘Helping stories come to life.’ It is a fantastic website containing comprehensive tools, tips, events, resources and reviews to assist creators in the field on their journeys to publication. Subscribing to Creative Kids Tales will serve its members with access to a profile and opportunities to submit manuscripts for promotion.

Visit the website, Facebook page and Just Kids’ Lit Directory listing at the links.

imagePass It On is an online newsletter incorporating valuable information about the children’s writing and illustrating industry. Jackie Hosking is the editor of Pass It On and does a tremendous job of putting together a range of networking opportunities, resource lists, author and illustrator profiles and more.

Find out more at Jackie’s PIO website and Facebook page.

imageThe School Magazine is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, with a big event being held at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney! This wonderful Australian literary magazine for young readers is a vital resource for teachers, parents, students, authors and illustrators. Literally bringing the world of words to its readers, The School Magazine is lively and rich in content by offering different genres, activities, profiles, book reviews, fan mail letters and competitions. Available for subscription purchases and submission opportunities for emerging and established writers and artists.

Visit The School Magazine at their website and Facebook page.

imageJunior Books + Publishing, subsidiary of  Books+Publishing; Australia’s number-one source of news, events, bestsellers, awards, interviews, job advertisements and classifieds in the book industry. A subscription to their quarterly print magazine, newsletters and online access also includes pre-publication reviews of Australian books, with the Junior magazine focusing on children’s and YA books.

For more information please go to the Books+Publishing website or visit the Junior Books+Publishing Facebook page.

imageAlphabet Soup magazine was originally an Australian literary magazine aimed at children between six and twelve years old. Now a website and blog, it includes gorgeous book reviews, stories and poems, and artwork by kids, as well as creative writing tips, teacher resources, interviews and themed events and activities.

Find Alphabet Soup magazine at their website and Facebook page.

imageMagpies Magazine and The Literature Base are magazines created by Australia’s online subject guide to children’s literature; The Source. Magpies: Talking about books for children, is published five times a year. It includes reviews of current Australian and overseas books, relevant articles on children’s literature, interviews, and award and events information. The Literature Base is published four times per year, containing practical ideas for using books in the classroom as well as book lists, worksheets and reviews.

To subscribe please visit their website.

imageReading Time Online is a terrific online collection of Australian book news and reviews from The Children’s Book Council of Australia. It includes all the latest publications of quality children’s literature, as well as celebrating awards and events and a range of author and illustrator interviews. Personally, it is my go-to site to find the most recent book releases, plus I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reviewing for them, too!

Reading Time Online can be found at their website and the CBCA Facebook page.

If you know of any other awesome literary magazines or e-zines focusing on Australian children’s literature, then feel free to let us know! 🙂

And for my previous articles containing lists of amazing foundations that spread the love of literacy check the following links:

Dedicated to Literacy Foundations
In Literacy we Trust
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!