The Girl from Barellan

story by Neridah McMullin , illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Learning intention: 

I am learning to compare two texts where characters and events are portrayed in different ways and discuss authors’ reasons. 


Success criteria: 

  • I can identify the target audience of a text. 
  • I can connect my personal experience to a text. 
  • I can explain reasons for authorial choices. 


Essential knowledge:  

  • Information about point of view can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Point of View. 


Prior to reading The Girl from Barellan, ask students if they’ve heard of the place Barellan. Have students predict where they think Barellan is. Use Google Maps or another map source to display the location of Barellan. If using Google Maps, zoom out to give context of where it is in Australia, then go to street view to show students what the town looks like. Afterwards, have students brainstorm words connected to Barellan, such as: 

  • Australian 
  • New South Wales 
  • Rural 
  • Small 
  • Farmland 
  • Hot 
  • Dry 


Invite students to find connections between their own locations and Balleran, such as whether they live rurally, whether they live in New South Wales, whether they live somewhere hot and dry. 


As a class, read The Girl from Balleran or listen to the audio recording. As well as the location, ask students what other familiar things from their personal lives they found in the text, whether it be that they have siblings around the age of Evonne at the beginning of the story, they play sports, they see a lot of pink and grey galahs or other connections. 


Ask students who the text was written for, and how they know. Sample answers may be: 

  • Year three students in Australia because it’s in The School Magazine 
  • “Us” because we have so much in common with the story 
  • Anyone who loves sport because it’s about a famous sports star 


View the International Tennis Hall of Fame webpage on Evonne Goolagong. Read with the class the first three and a half paragraphs, up to: 

Had Kurtzman not made the gracious and human offer, it’s likely her road to the International Tennis Hall of Fame would not have materialized. 


Ask students if they recognise the story. Students should realise it’s the same information as The Girl from Barellan. 


Ask students who the article was written for (the target audience), and how they know. Encourage them to look at the language used in the text. Sample answers may include: 

  • Adults because the words are harder 
  • Adults who read the news online because it’s on a website 
  • Sports fans because it’s on a tennis website 

Ask students to compare the language of the narrative to the language of the article and to give reasons for each author’s choice of vocabulary (different target audiences). Ask why the author from The School Magazine chose to tell Evonne’s story as a narrative. Encourage them to think of their own reading preferences. Guide students towards discussing how stories are good ways to convey information to children, and that it is more likely to capture their attention and allow them to retain facts than an article with complex vocabulary. 


Students complete a graphic organiser such as a Venn Diagram or T-Chart to compare the techniques of both the narrative and the article, writing down what they’ve learnt and ending with who the target audience is. A sample chart is below. 

Narrative Article
Written as a story Gives facts and history
Easier vocabulary Uses complex vocabulary
Starts with Evonne as a kid Gives background information about Evonne
Has illustrations Uses photographs
For kids For adults

Assessment as/of learning:  

Using The School Magazine back catalogue either via print or digital, take the children on a trip to the School Library and give them the task to identify two or more alternative  texts where characters and events are portrayed in different ways. Using Canva via the Digital Learning Selector, ask students to design and apply their knowledge of Point of View exploring their newly located texts through the Planning Whiteboard (Pros and Cons template)