Possum Group - 16 to 19 August, 2016
The Olympics kicked off and the country watched with earnest! While Kitty Chiller may have her feelings of dissapointment, here at AELC we were quite satisfied with both the performance and Olympic knowledge of our Possums. We started with a look at (highlights of) the Opening Ceremony! The children were asked to name some of the Olympic sports and collect newspaper clippings they have seen. One clipping told the story of Mo Farah, an Olympic runner from Great Britian. During the 10,000 km marathon, Farah fell over as he ran. Showing great resilience he picked himself up and continued to run, and came FIRST! What an excellent show of bravery and persistence in the face of adversity. We also discussed some medal winners of Australia and naturally, Usain Bolt was talked about as a favourite athlete. We do enjoy seeing his big smile as he crosses the finish line!
We kept a tally of Australia’s medals and had our own competitions at Kinder. Long jump was a big favourite. We watched footage of Australian long jump athlete in action - Henry “The Frayne Train” Frayne to see how he performed. As the long jump competition went on, some realised they could perform better with an extra long run up. Everyone used their own personal technique to make it the furtherest that they could and beat their own personal bests. We expect by the next Olympics our Possums will be long jump experts!
Possum Group - 16 to 19 August
As a beloved AFL mascot (to some!) the Hawk was a strongly requested bird of study. Another bird of prey, the Hawk is a type of Falcon bird, And there are 270 different breeds of Hawk. One of the most interesting facts for us to learn is that Hawks live on every continent on Earth, except for Antartica. Some children quite rightly suggested it could be too cold. The Hawk have very strong talons, just like the Eagle, with a big curvy bill and very strong legs! The distinguishing feature of the Hawk which was discussed, is it’s excellent eyesight. What a handy tool to have! Hawks are known for being quite acrobatic in the air, which we compared to the Olympic sport. They eat frogs, insects, rats, snakes, rabbit or other bird.s They build their nests with twigs and branches, and some types of Hawk prefer to use the ground for their nests. We will be taking a short break from bird study due to the presence of the Olympics and to prepare for upcoming Father’s Day morning tea!
Possum Group - 9 to 12 August
Researching the eagle was certainly exciting! The Wedge tailed Eagle in Australia is our biggest “bird of prey.” We discussed the meaning of bird of prey, which is bird who eats other animals, and who is very regularly on the hunt! They like to hunt and eat (sadly) rabbits, wallabies, kangaroos, snakes, lizards, other birds, possums, foxes and cats! (Cats being a particularly distressing food item for us). Upon trying to discover an appropriate Eagle-in-action video, many quite frightening Eagle clips appeared! We managed to find a video of an eagle soaring and capturing a meal, and one of the Eagle’s quite unique squak-ish bird call. The most interesting thing to see was the way the Eagle swoops down and catches it’s prey within its sharp talons. An Eagle will create it’s nest in the fork of a tree with sticks, and only 2 eggs are hatched. Sadly only one Eagle chick will survive as the other takes all of it’s food!
Possum Group - 4 August 2016
To celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, the Possums were introduced to an indigenous story “Our Special Place on Country”. Using soft felt puppets, we told the story of and indigenous family Nan, Pop, Kiella and Mani.
We looked at indigenous symbols and their meaning, as well as the indigenous flag and the meaning of the colours. The children were invited to retell the story using the puppets and experiment with making the indigenous symbols in their art work and sand play. We aim to share with the children, the knowledge and stories given by Aboriginal elders and to foster a respect and understandings of Aboriginal culture.
Our Special Place On Country
One cloudy day Nan, Pop, Kiella and Mani went to visit their special place on Taungurung Country. They travelled up and down the mountains in their big red car to get to the Yea wetlands. Along the way it started to rain. As the sun began to shine, Nan pointed to the sky and taught the children their Aboriginal word for rainbow which is “brinbiil”. AS the walked through the wetlands, Pop showed Mani the kangaroo tracks in the dirt near the big she oak tree. Pop told him that the big line behind the foot print is the kangaroo’s tail hitting the ground. Pop rubbed his hand over the trunk of the tree and shared with Mani how their people traditionally made spears form the timber by using the branch of the tree. Nan walked with Kiella along the track close to the river. She pointed to the yellow flowers of the wattle tree and showed Kiella that it was a good time fish for eel! Nan told stories of being a young girl and going fishing for eel with her Dad using fishing lines. Nan shared with Kiella how her Grandmother would collect the wattle seeds and grind them on a grinding stone to make a powder like flour. She would add water to the powder, mix it together and then cook the damper on the ashes of the fire. Everyone started to feel hungry, so they found a spot under the gum tree. Pop pointed out the possum tracks on the ground as they sat down. He told the children that “walert” means possum in their Taungurung language. Nan unpacked the yummy damper for everyone to share. They all had a good feed of wattle seed damper with lily pily jam.