'Painting ghost gums in the desert' is a short story which is perfect for use in a mainstream or special needs classroom setting with teens, or in an ESL / EFL setting. It is written to meet the particular needs of young people who have lower literacy and reading skill levels than their peers. It is written to suit a reading age of middle to upper primary (elementary) but is appropriate for older readers. It can be enjoyed as a shared reading, read aloud or individual text. It is set in the Australian outback and can be used to support learning in English, Social Studies, art or history.