Free lesson plan, writing template and printable word-search puzzles for kids

out, picture book

Best suited to:

Years 2 – 4

KLAs covered:

English, geography, PDH (empathy)


  • what is a refugee?
  • what is an asylum-seeker?
  • why do people become refugees?
  • the journey of refugees: what happens when people leave their homes and seek safety in another country;
  • how it feels to be a refugee living in a country that is not your own;
  • safety and freedom: what do they mean and how do they feel?

Need to know:

  • this is the straightforward story of a little girl and her mother who have escaped conflict and danger, first on foot and later on a boat;
  • the story is told in the first person, by the little girl who looks to be aged between six and eight years old;
  • the little girl’s country of origin and the country she goes to live in are not mentioned by name but the illustrations suggest that she is Syrian and is living in Australia;
  • at the end of the story, the little girl’s father arrives to join his wife and child;
  • the danger, fear and feelings of being strange and different experienced by the little girl are mentioned but the story is essentially one of hope, happiness and new beginnings;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • discuss the cover. What can you see and what do you think the story will be about?
  • discuss the title. What does it mean? What does it make you think of?
  • discuss the colours that the illustrator has used on the cover. Why are two of the people drawn in colour?
  • discuss the word refugee: what does it mean? (a person who leaves their home country because of war or other factors harming or threatening to harm them or their family);
  • introduce the term asylum seeker (a refugee who enters another country and applies for asylum – the right to stay – in this other country);

Discussion Questions (after reading):

  • what did you think about the story? Did you like it? Why or why not?
  • what are some of the dangers and difficulties the little girl and her mother encountered during their journey?
  • how do you think the little girl felt when she and her mother were hiding in the forest and, later, when they were on the boat?
  • turn to the page where the little girl is under the desk. Why does she say she drops to the floor when there’s a loud bang? What might she be remembering/frightened of?
  • how does the little girl feel now that she is living in her new home?
  • what are some words that describe the little girl? Describe her physically but also her character. How do we know she is brave, happy, etc? Write the words the children suggest on the classroom’s whiteboard;
  • why do you think the book is called Out?


  • children write about their favourite part of the story and illustrate;
  • children write about how they felt when listening to the story and illustrate their work. What part of the story made them feel that way?  Why?
  • children re-tell the story using words and/or drawings;
  • sequencing activity: children retell the story using the format: First … Then … Next … Finally …
  • children draw a picture of the little girl and describe her, using the words on the whiteboard to help them. Remind children to describe her character as well as her appearance;

Your free, printable word-search puzzles and writing template

These free, printable word-search puzzles for kids are great for building and reinforcing the vocabulary used when discussing Out. They’re especially helpful for EAL/D students.

There are two different puzzles in this file to enable you to differentiate the activity according to the learning needs of your students.

Download and print our free writing template for use with the picture book Out here (PDF).

a flamboyance of flamingos
my name is not refugee
bee & me
lest we forget
the peace book