Package 3-2: The Incredible Freedom Machines with Kirli Saunders

Watch Kirli Saunders, NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year 2020, proud Gunai woman and award-winning international children's author and poet read her story 'The Incredible Freedom Machines'. After listening, complete a fun activity based on the story.

Week 4 - Package 2 - Year 5 and 6 The Incredible Freedom Machines with Kirli Saunders

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.


Back up

  • Paper

Before your child starts

The book that will be read to your child today is ‘The Incredible Freedom Machines’ by Kirlir Saunders. Ask your child some of these questions after reading the title to them.

  • What do you think a freedom machine is?

  • What sorts of things might a freedom machine do?

  • Where do you think you could find a freedom machine?

Information about the author

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international children’s author and poet as well as a teacher, and emerging artist. She leads Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines

was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards and Highly Commended in Black&Write. Kirli's work has been widely published in journals, anthologies and public art. She has five forthcoming titles with Scholastic, Magabala Books and Hardie Egmont. Kirli is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). She is an esteemed judge for the Val Vallis Poetry Prize (2020). Kirli Saunders is the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020).

What your child needs to do

Your child will watch the video of Kirli Saunders reading The Incredible Freedom Machines. You can stop the video throughout and let your child explore the illustrations or ask questions about the story. Some questions you may like to discuss with your child at the end of the video lesson could include:

  • The main character visits many places in the story. If you had your own freedom machine, where would you like to go?

  • Discuss the difference between a figurative freedom machine, and a literal one. Why is freedom important to people?

  • Is the freedom machine experience real or imaginary? Why did the author choose this?

  • The setting for the story is important, how have the illustrator and author emphasised this?

  • The character remains unnamed in the story, why do you think this is?

What your child can do next

Now that your child has listened to the recording of the book they will be able to complete Activity sheet 1 found below. In this activity, children will need to think about creating their own freedom machine that will help to solve an issue facing Australia. Once they have designed their machine they will write a persuasive letter to the Prime Minister to explain why every town needs one of the machines to help make Australia better. Your freedom machine could help to solve an issue such as climate change, poverty or pollution. You may even think about solving an issue that can be identified in your own community.

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Your child may draw a picture of their own freedom machine, label the diagram and write a procedure about how to make it.

Activity too easy?

Create an advertisement to let the public know about your new invention. It could be a poster made with paper, cardboard or you could use a device such as a computer or tablet to create a digital advertisement for the radio, television or the internet.

Extension/additional activity

Your child might like to write a story about their own Incredible Freedom Machine, and its adventures in creating a better world.

Your child may enjoy investigating the map of Indigenous Australia found on the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website. You might encourage your child to think about the acknowledgement of Country your school offers and write a personal acknowledgement honouring the community you live in.

You can find out more about Kirli Saunders and her work through her blog and website.

Activity sheet 1: Labelled diagram of your freedom machine


Think about your own freedom machine. It could be based on a machine or object you already know about or you could use your imagination of what you want your freedom machine to look like. Start by drawing a labelled diagram of your machine, outlining the important features that help it solve a problem within the community.

Labelled diagram of my freedom machine

Name of freedom machine:

Draw your diagram below and label the important features.

Activity sheet 2: Letter to the Prime Minister


Write a persuasive letter to the Prime Minister outlining why every town in Australia should have one of your machines to help make Australia a better place to live.


Create an advertisement to let the public know about your amazing new freedom machine. You could use paper or cardboard to make a poster or use a computer or tablet if you have one available to create a digital advertisement for the radio, television or the internet.

Letter to the Prime Minister


Reason 1

Reason 2

Reason 3



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