“Captain Moonlite”, Literacy In Schools


Captain Moonlite

A six-page unit of literacy tasks with reading, writing and Word Study, this is best for Grades 6, 7 and 8. It begins with an account of a well-known bushranger in the Colony of New South Wales. The height of his career outside the law was during the 1870’s. A great read and entertaining for young people as well as informative.

This item has a reading task with a range of expressions as part of the text that a competent reader of English needs to know. The writing tasks draw directly on the text for further study.

Who Uses Captain Moonlite

Parents can download and teach their own Year 6, 7 or 8 child with confidence. Let the text drive the lesson. Everything you need to teach is here or in the unit. A few hints are here:

How To Teach Your Unwilling Pre-Teen

This age group often (but not always of course) doesn’t want parents to teach them. So if you have this problem let your child do the reading on their own. A common problem is that the student doesn’t want their limitations exposed.

  • Sometimes just being in the room doing something else can help to overcome the obstacle. ]
  • You are needed to look over your child’s work when complete. This may make them uncomfortable. So if you sit with him or her during the writing tasks and work together I think this relieves your child’s unease.
  • You could discuss the historical document together. You could look at the map provided and go to a better map online and discuss what you see together.
  • The terms in the text and the meanings of words are also a good chance to be involved with your child in the unit.

A Similar Item

The Gold Rush is about the discovery of gold in Australia that culminated in the Gold Rush in Ballarat and Bendigo in the Colony of Victoria. It witnessed the Eureka Rebellion, the basis of money, and the social change it produced.




Captain Moonlite

Captain Moonlite is a six-page literacy unit for Grades 6, 7 and 8. It begins with an account of the career of a well-known Australian bushranger. He was foolish and reckless and so the account is entertaining for students.

The Story of Captain Moonlite

Andrew George Scott immigrated to Australia from Ireland in 1867. While taking on the guise of a respectable member of the community, Scott took the alias, Captain Moonlite, and began a career of harassing settlers and robbing banks. There is a scene in the story of 300 curious men on horses galloping after the police who were galloping after the gang.  Scott tried to escape the country on a luxury yacht that he bought with a bad cheque. The police stopped him, having chased the yacht from the shore by boat. Scott came to ‘a bad end’ as we say. In 1880 he was hanged.

Literacy Tasks


  • explain in their own words several phrases of interest
  • write other forms of words underlined in the text,
  • explain a number Australian and colonial terms from the text,
  • and explain why a bushranger would adopt an alias.

Who Uses Captain Moonlite

Best for Grades 6, 7 and 8, this unit of work can be worked through with adult guidance. Any parent can download, print and teach. I have taught using this package and made small changes so any non-teacher can use it easily.

  • A student at this level may need only one reading of the text.
  • Encourage the student to check back with the text if in doubt. It is not a memory test.
  • The student should try to deduce meanings of terms and words from the context first. Then go to a dictionary to confirm understanding.

A Similar Item

Walter Hunt, Inventor is an interesting account with literacy tasks for this age group.