The Rabbits: Part 2

Image from The Rabbits, with Assessment caption

Assessment objective

As a class, or in groups, develop a mind map about the story The Rabbits, by John Marsden and Shaun Tan.

Video of the story is available below.


The Rabbits is a partly allegorical fable about colonisation, told from the viewpoint of the colonised.

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organise information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the centre of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added.

Your students may suggest any or all of the following, depending on their ages:

  • family
  • loss
  • dispossession
  • The Stolen Generations
  • displacement
  • wisdom
  • women
  • health
  • [sense of] place
  • kinship
  • languages
  • knowledge
  • Aboriginal English
  • connection [to land]
  • environment
  • oral history
  • The Dreaming
  • petroglyphs (and other visual forms of communication)
  • song, dance, storytelling, ceremony (and other ways of performing communication)
  • bush foods and medicine
  • interdependence
  • technology (designing, making and appraising: weapons, tools, baskets, etc)
  • science (seasons, astronomy)
  • land management (firestick farming, propagation)
  • introduction of hard-hoofed (strange and new) animals’ destruction of food sources
  • remains (middens, carbon-dating)

Write these on the back of “post-it” notes (so that they can be placed word/s side down).


  • Select one of these as the topic for writing a unit of work that could be used on your next professional experience placement.Assessment
  • Identify the key concepts of the story.
  • Explain briefly why you chose a particular concept.
  • Explain why you placed the concept where you did, on the concept map, in relation to the main concept (describe its distance from the main concept).

Related content

Cover of The Rabbits by John Marsden

The Rabbits: An allegory of colonisation

Activity: Read the story about the way rabbits have invaded and taken over a country.

Read More


Marsden, J & Tan, S 1998,  The Rabbits, Thomas C Lothian, Port Melbourne, Vic.