Tell me your story

confirming identity and engaging writers in the middle years

Janet Dutton, Jacqueline D'Warte, Joanne Rossbridge, Kathy Rushton

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Identity texts are oral or written texts that reveal some aspect of a student's own life and experiences. They have been used successfully to support the development of language, literacy and especially writing. By embracing and confirming the student's home language and personal story, identity texts lead to greater student engagement and better learning outcomes.

Tell Me Your Story suggests a range of pedagogical approaches for working with students in the middle years, illustrated with real-world examples showing how they can be implemented. It combines practical teaching strategies with suggestions for confirming student identity, especially with children from a range of cultural backgrounds.
Each chapter has a particular focus so readers can select the approach that best negotiates and affirms student identity in their own classrooms. Much of the book stems from research projects into identity and literacy conducted by the authors in contemporary Australian classrooms. They explain and demonstrate how to make links between schools and communities, which further engages students.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewtown, NSW
PublisherPrimary English Teachers' Association (PETAA)
Number of pages134
ISBN (Electronic)9781925132465
ISBN (Print)9781925132458
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018



  • English
  • literacy
  • writing
  • EAL/D
  • identity
  • middle years of schooling
  • middle years pedagogies
  • cultural heritage
  • creativity

Cite this

Dutton, J., D'Warte, J., Rossbridge, J., & Rushton, K. (2018). Tell me your story: confirming identity and engaging writers in the middle years. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teachers' Association (PETAA).