Activity Introduction

Great writers have a large vocabulary and know exactly the right word to choose to describe something very specifically. Practise word choice to take your writing from good to superb, exquisite and exemplary.

This is a good activity for kids to complete independently.

Ideal for: Upper Primary Ages 10-12


  • think and connect

Time required: 40 minutes

Curriculum connections: English, Visual Arts, Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Tips for Parents and Carers

Young kids often do not develop a highly specific vocabulary for expressing their emotions and describing how they are feeling. However, this is an important aspect of growing into a healthy teenager and adult, and something that is growing in focus in kids’ education.

Always encourage your kid/s to be open and honest with their emotions and state of mind. Try not to make judgements or downplay the feeling when your kid/s feels brave enough to express it to you.

Encourage kids to use ‘me’ and ‘I’ statements, focusing on themselves rather than others. For example, “She hates me” is more useful as “I feel like she is always mean to me because of…”, because it helps create a pathway to address the root cause of the problem and feeling. 

If kids are struggling to use their words, ask them to assess their bodily sensations. Is their chest heavy? Do they feel hot? Are they shaking?

Always ask “What can I do to help?” or “What do you need from me?” rather than offering your own thoughts straight away. Sometimes they will know the answer but are feeling overwhelmed, or they are just seeking your support and reassurance. Sometimes kids just need to vent.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required

[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

About the book.

Where Happiness Hides, a picture book by Anthony Bertini, with illustrations by Jennifer Goldsmith. This is a story that shows there is a silver lining in every dark cloud. Anthony Bertini himself explains the project beautifully:

“This book will offer hope. It will be free to everyone in the world to read and enjoy as many times as they want. Yes, it is a children’s picture-book, and the story reflects what we tell our children every day: happiness can be found in simple things. But it is more than that. It is something we tell ourselves in times of hardship and worry. It is a story that helps all of us remember what is important.

“Right now, COVID-19 is forcing us to look for joy and happiness in the least obvious places. We know in our hearts that it is found in the small things. It is always there, hidden in plain sight.”

Where Happiness Hides offers us, through simple and succinct storytelling, a reminder of how these moments of happiness can be found. 

Thanks to the publisher, Dirt Lane Press, you can now receive free shipping (normally $12) by ordering the book directly through the Dirt Lane Press book shop by clicking here and entering the coupon code 8BQF7MD during the checkout process.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Student Worksheet

Specific Vocabulary - Activity Instructions

Great writers have a large vocabulary and know exactly the right word to choose to describe something very specifically. Practise word choice to take your writing from good to superb, exquisite and exemplary.

Step 1. Read Where Happiness Hides.

Step 2. Authors can express subtle shades of meaning through specific word choice. In the diagram below, whilst words of the same colour are all synonyms in a simplistic sense, they have slightly different meanings, and are used with different intentions, the further out the wheel you travel.

Using your dictionary, look up the meanings of the following words. Write down the definition and your own definition in your own words. You can view the emotions wheel on the web here.



Your definition








Step 3. Choose two of

- or - to view worksheets

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