India Dark Curriculum Support

 India Dark is suitable for students aged 13 – 16 years (particularly year 8). India Dark is also a valuable novel for teachers who want to incorporate themes about Asia in their classrooms. India Dark incorporates all five elements of the learning goals of The National Statement for Engaging Young Australians with Asia in Australian Schools.

Click the download link below for a PDF of teacher’s notes for India Dark. These notes were prepared by Judith Way & Helen McIntyre and include many activities with a focus on the study of Asia:

To watch a televised interview of KIrsty discussing the novel at the Bangalore Literature Festival in India visit:




India Dark in schools

Comments from teachers about India Dark in the classroom:

  • India Dark would be suitable for Stage 4. In the English classroom, India Dark would work well in units that focus on narration, historical fiction, character and thematic studies. There’s a variety of sources about Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company available on the Internet. After reading the novel, students could research the troupe and events that the novel is based on. Sections of India Dark could also be effective in stimulating class discussions and debates on children’s rights and moral dilemmas.

    India Dark could also be a useful resource across KLAs. It offers insights into Australia before World War I, India pre-independence and could also be used for mapping activities.
    Lauren Sims, NSW
  • This is a text that would lend itself to study by Year 9 and 10 students. Younger students might struggle with some of the language and ideas, and some of the concepts are for an older audience. India Dark is a rich text.
    Anne Sim, Dromana Secondary College, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
  • While this story is highly entertaining and interesting it also serves as an excellent way to engage young people in history. This novel could act as a springboard into further historical research, looking at issues of child labour, life in Australia in the 1900’s, forms of travel, the state of the world in the 1900’s, as well as the rule of the British Empire and India before independence.

    The novel also looks at issues such as adolescence, friendship, betrayal, truth, and relationships. For the more dramatically inclined students, one could also research the forms of plays and skits that the troupe performed and look at presenting them or writing their own. Costumes and music could also be explored. With so many element in this novel that can be explored there is a huge chance that you will be able to engage even the most hard to inspire of students.

    Nicole Chettle, Smithton High School, Tasmania
  • This text is an intriguing one and would make an excellent unit for Stage 5 students dealing with physical and emotional journeys, or ones dealing with exploring the courage needed in difficult situations.
    Jane Dean, The Forest High School, NSW
  • The novel effectively explores issues associated with lies, betrayal, secrets and friendship and could raise debates within the classroom. This is a very engaging read either as a class text or as part of a wide reading unit.
    Gersha Shteyman, Kesser Torah College, NSW