Students in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 have been studying the Aboriginal Dreaming Story of “How the birds got their colours”. This week, they are investigating birds. Our playground is currently well-populated with large crows (or ravens?) and the students have been enjoying (or being blamed for) their hilarious antics: tossing scraps out of the bins, stealing shiny rocks from a memorial garden, and frog-marching pigeons out of the playground.
I found some fascinating Youtube videos that demonstrate the intelligence of crows, as they complete an exercise involving a three-step plan, and then an eight-step plan.
Crow intelligence – multi-step tool action test
Are crows the ultimate problem solvers? – Inside the animal mind – BBC
Smart crow uses cars to crack nuts in Akita, Japan near Senshu Park
Remember Aesop’s fable of “The crow and the pitcher”?
Causal understanding of water displacement by a crow
This week, students in Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 are learning about a local Gundungurra Aboriginal Dreaming story of Mirragan and Guranggatch, which tells of the creation of the Nepean River, Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves. It was first recorded Europeans in the early 1900s by RH Matthews. We are watching this Photo Peach slideshow, which uses the art from a school-created “big book” from 1995. The beautiful artwork is by Mrs Bagnell, with one mural panel by a former Penrith PS teacher, Mrs Martin.
Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students have been reading the Aboriginal Dreaming story of Pheasant and Kingfisher, in a big book version by Catherine Berndt & Raymond Meeks.
We used a Google Images search to locate online photographs of Australian pheasants and Australian kingfishers. The additional descriptor of “long tail” helped us find images of kingfishers “with firesticks stuck in their bottom”.
We discussed why images of peacocks (not Australian!) and lyrebirds turned up in the pheasant image seach, and why kookaburras turned up in the kingfisher search. We then used Youtube to locate examples of a pheasant saying its name, “Bookbook”, as in the story, and a kingfisher saying “Bered-bered”.
Common pheasant making quick repeated sounds while taking a walk
Pheasant – common pheasant bird call
Pied Kingfisher catching fish in split second – BBC wildlife
The next week, we moved our investigations into factual information on Australian birds:
Before Book Week, Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students were investigating the Aboriginal Dreaming story, Why the emu cannot fly. We found many versions of this story, including the picture book, Winin: why the emu cannot fly by Mary Charles & Francine Ngardarb Riches, and translated by Bill McGregor from the original Nyulnyul language. In this version, Emu is in dispute with a brolga.
This first Youtube version involves a crocodile and some Aboriginal hunters:
Talking Country: Worla [Why the emu cannot fly]
The following variation of the tale involves a brush turkey, and was created in claymation by young students at another school (some spelling errors):
Dinewan the emu and Goomble gubbon the brush turkey [Why the emu cannot fly]
This week, the students are studying factual information about emus, using books such as Emus by Caleb Whitehorn, in the Springboardseries, Feathered giants: the way of the emu by Henry G Lamond, and Emu by Claire Saxby & Graham Byrne.
Our research will be enhanced by the following Youtube clips:
Emu hatching from an egg – beautiful HD footage from start to finish
And, just for a bit of fun:
Rod Hull and Emu – How to groom an emu [Hudson Brothers’ Razzle Dazzle Show]
This week, Class KB retold the Aboriginal Dreaming story of Mirragan and Guranggatch to create a new Photo Peach slideshow using the art from a school-created “big book” from 1995. The beautiful artwork is by Mrs Bagnell, with one mural panel by Mrs Martin.
Mirragan and Guranggatch
Then Class 1/2St retold the Aboriginal Dreaming story of The first sunrise, with art from another school-created “big book” made by Mrs Bagnell, this time from 1994.
This presentation to the teacher-librarians of Granville District, followed by a practical workshop, looks at how teacher-librarians can work with students to create book trailers to enrich learning, maximising the engagement of students in literacy activities. Applications used to make trailers will be looked at and discussed, also how they can be used as a resource in a school library and in classrooms, and how they can help promote reading.
The kookaburra who stole the moon: retold by Class 1/2Sa
*BRAINSTORMING (using Circle Time) – consider audience, theme, length, 30 images *STORYBOARDING (using a book rap template) – small groups *WILL YOU USE PHOTOS (“Creative Commons”), drawings, cutouts, puppets, toys, claymation, or actors in dress-up box clothing? *UPLOADING – to Photo Peach or other Web 2.0 facility – Flickr slideshow, PowerPoint/Keynote, podcast/Youtube, IWB Notebook software? *EDITING, and adjusting timing to the selected music *SHARING with the wider community – monitor incoming public comments regularly, or close them off.
* RAP RESOURCES (NSW DEC) for making digital stories and book trailers
* ‘iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare: Stage 1 students create digital stories’ in Scan 30(2) May 2011, pp 4-5.
Stage 1 students narrate how they inquire, learn, create and share with ICT and Web 2.0 to produce online Photo Peach slideshows at Penrith Public School. View the article online HERE. The Photo Peach slideshow featured in this article is recently restored, and now located at photopeach.com/album/18cw2b6.
* ‘Have blog, will storyboard!’ in info@aslansw Issue #2, May 2010, pp 5-8.
Stage 2 students at Penrith Public School created storyboards and PowerPoint digital stories as resources to support Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students working on the Bear and Chook books rap, which ran during the subsequent term.
* ‘Circle time: maximising opportunities for talking and listening at Penrith Public School’ in Scan 26(4) November 2007, pp 4-7.
Circle Time is a structured framework for social and emotional learning which promotes a positive class ethos. Moving from class teacher back into the school library, I incorporated Circle Time and information skills into a range of collaborative literacy and ICT activities, including book raps.