Background to the text
The first white settlement in the Gundagai area was in the 1820’s, with the town being gazetted in 1838.
In the early days, the area was serviced by bullock teams. With rough tracks, water to cross, floods and inclement weather on occasion, many a bullocky was forced to either wait or to seek help when teams became stranded or bogged. Poems were written at the time and were dedicated to the bullocky’s dog waiting on the tuckerbox while the master went to seek help. The story of one particular dog was further embellished in later versions by the bullocky having died and that the dog waited on the tuckerbox for the rest of its life for its master to return. Not a very bright dog.
There was a bullocky’s camp site near Gundagai.
The photo on the left is the statue that has been erected to remember the legend of the dog on the tuckerbox near Gundagai in NSW.
Look at the front cover of the text.
What kind of a life would it be for the bullocky travelling in Australia's outback before proper roads, to deliver goods to isolated farmers and people on the land.
What sort of a dog would be needed to travel with a bullock driver and the team of bullocks do you think? How would the bullock driver treat his dog?
If you spent many days and nights alone with a dog, what kind of relationship would develop? What would the dog be for the bullocky, when he had no-one else to talk to?
Read and Discuss
What do we learna bout Read the story.
What is a tuckerbox?
Why would that be an important part of equipment for bullockies.
Is this a true story? Which parts of the book are fact and which are fiction?
Let's revisit the checklist for historical fiction:
- The setting is a real location with a set time period. (Is this true of this story?)
- The characters are real people that could be real or made up. (Is this true of this story?)
- The plot is a mixture of made up events and events that really happened. (Is this true of this story?)
Do you think a picture book is an effective method of conveying factual information? Why or why not?
Has the illustrator been successful in bringing the early 1800's in Australia to life? What colours have been used and what colours have been left out? Why?
Draw two columns on the whiteboard.
Label one column Possibly True and the other column, Possibly Not True.
Where would you put the following items on the chart and give reasons why you think this: