Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean Curriculum Support

Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean is a perfect text to support and enrich learning in literacy, critical and creative thinking, and intercultural understanding.

The stories are a rich resource and starting point for investigating South Asian culture and history. As an example of cross-cultural collaboration, the stories invite engagement on multiple levels. The balance of prose and graphically illustrated short stories mean readers of all abilities will find a point of entry in discussions about the book.

Ananda Braxton Smith and the Asia Education Foundation have authored an in-depth set of teachers notes. Click the link below the cover to download a free pdf of the resource.

In addition to the teachers’ notes, most of the contributors to the anthology have written blog posts about the book. There are also many blog posts on this website that relate to the writing and editing process plus the collaborations. Search the website under ‘Eat the Sky’ and ‘India’ to discover the many posts about the book.

Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean in schools

Comments from teachers about Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean in the classroom:

  • There are plenty of aspects for teachers to latch onto if this text were used in the secondary classroom and the cross-cultural nature of the anthology is perfect to engage with Australia’s place in Asia. It would work particularly well at Years 9 and 10.

    Blair Mahoney, Assistant English Coordinator, Melbourne High School, VIC
  • Wow, wow and wow.
    Secondary school teachers, this may be the only book you need for the semester. There are 17 thought provoking short stories in this collection. Some are prose and several are graphic, therefore they should appeal to even reluctant readers. So many issues to discuss, so many futuristic scenarios, places and inventions to imagine and elaborate on.
    Space does not permit a comment on every story – some left me bereft, some gave me hope – how will you challenge your students to engage with each one?
    Could your students collaborate and produce their own story?
    But wait, there’s more. There are notes by the authors and about the authors. All 20 of them. These lead to websites with background information and blogs and inspiration. Students could be set the task of selecting an author or illustrator to research and write about.
    The back cover invites you to “plunge in and enjoy!” I say, please do, and take your students with you.

    Lois Best, ESL, WA
  • As a writing teacher, this has immense value. Moulding ideas and editing are confronting activities for young writers, as they no doubt are for the most experienced author! Critical reading activities that combine the notes on the collaboration with the end product will hone students’ skill. The collection provides a set of stimulus pieces; students can read and reflect then create their own variations. It gives an excellent example of reflective writing, too, which sets the standard for the work – a skill worth practising!

    Michael Cruickshank, Hellyer College, Tasmania
  • The different perspectives on elements of life in these stories would provide great starting points for discussion of issues facing people in modern society and for the exploration of different stereotypes and assumptions. These perspectives would also serve as a strong basis for students’ own writing.
    I would recommend this text for use in the classroom at Year 9 or 10 level, and they would be particularly inspiring for single gender female classrooms, though the issues raised and the aspects of human experience explored are also suitable for mixed classes. As a collection, the text could serve as the basis for comparative writing, a focus of the new VCE study design, either by comparing the stories contained within the collection itself, or by contrasting specific stories with examples of the more traditional versions they are subverting. It would also suit analytical text response writing in its own right, as the strong thematic links between each of the stories allows developed discussion of the text as a whole.

    Anne Sim, Dromana Secondary College, VIC
  • The stories are weird, scary, rebellious, dark, but full of hope. They are a call to men for justice, to be responsible for their actions and change their attitudes to women. They are a call to girls that they can not only dream of a different life but actually live one.

    As a collection, Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean would be a great tool in the classroom, engaging students in lively discussion on the many issues that arise in the stories.
    Wendy Hancock, Upwey High School, Victoria