In terms of genre, content and style, The Half-Child is accessible to mature students in Year 10 studying in a teacher-directed learning context, though probably best suited to English students in Years 11 and 12, especially those studying crime fiction genre or undertaking humanity studies in Asian Studies, Geography or Modern History. He notes that studying The Half Child will enable students to satisfy the Cross-curriculum priority Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia.
Michael’s teaching notes outline a variety of ways in which The Half-Child can be studied to address both the language and literature requirements of the Australian Curriculum (English), and provide teaching and learning activities to address a range of specific learning outcomes.
The notes also suggest different levels on which The Half-Child can be studied as an independent text or in conjunction with other texts, namely:
- Close study of text
- Critical reading
- Comparative study
- Genre study
I particularly like Michael’s suggestion that the novel’s “complex content will also accommodate teaching strategies underpinned by broad thematic or conceptual approaches. Ethics and Justice, for example, would function as a plausible theme to be explored in and through the narrative.” Michael’s other ideas that could be examined through a thematic study of The Half Child include:
- Deception & Corruption
- Wealth & Power
- Social & Professional Facades
- Culture & Thailand (in conjunction with other texts linked specifically to Thailand e.g. Bangkok Hilton, documentaries).
A comparative study between The Half-Child and the miniseries Bangkok Hilton? — Bring it on, I say!
Heartfelt thanks to Michael for having developed this fantastic resource, and for allowing me to make it available as a free download here: Teaching Notes_HALF CHILD.