We are all equal by P.Crumble and Jonathon Bentley

We are all equal.

Let’s shout it out loud.

We share hope and dreams, we’re equal and proud.

A book to make your heart sing, a book to teach others, a book to realise how similar we all are and a book to read again and again.

We are all equal by P.Crumble and Jonathon Bentley is a simple yet rich book in the message it sends to anyone who reads it – we are all equal.

The story and the pictures match perfectly as they show the differences that we have in looks but the similarities we have in feelings, the differences we have in how we do things but the similarities we have in emotions.

We are all equal by P.Crumble and Jonathon Bentley is a great book to share with young children as it can start a great conversation as to why we are all equal. It will put aside any prejudices children may have from learnt behaviour and it will open up a space to ask questions about the world and the people within.

We are all equal by P.Crumble and Jonathon Bentley is a must read for any home or classroom and there are so many things you can do with the book.

What can you do?

  • Draw your own picture of why you think we are all equal at school , home or in the community.

  • Explore times when people do not think they are equal – this could open up into a project for older students. They can examine an event which showed how people have shown hatred or mistrust for another group of people. Examine why this happened and if there was a resolution.

  • Explore why animals have been used in this picture book instead of people.

  • Go deeper into each page and explore what – in human terms – does each double page spread mean to us? Try and find links in your own lives and recreate pages for your home or classroom.
Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices

Visit me at Growing globally and socially conscious children on facebook today!

Advertisements

Another book about bears by Laura and Philip Bunting

Sick of books about bears?

Is your library shelf piling up with bears eating honey? Bears going on walks or bears getting cranky?

Then you’ll love this book!

Teachers who are looking into traditional or fractures fairytales will love this book as a great springboard to encourage creativity and problem solving when it comes to bears.

Can you imagine if the three bears weren’t in the Goldilocks story? Would Goldilocks still eat porridge? Would the setting still be in the woods? Would there still be bears and beds and a scary ending?

Children will love listening to the fourth wall being broken (another great lesson springboard) and wonder why bears are often chosen as a lead role.

So what did we do in our classroom with Kindergarten?

Children chose to either draw a story without bears ( goldilocks and the three lemurs) or draw things bears do in stories that they don’t normally do (another great lesson about anthropomorphism!!!)

You’ll love this book – story and illustrations!

Buy here now – click image of book

Another Book About Bears

Freedom machines by Kirli Saunders

She was small when she heard about them…the incredible freedom machines.

 

The incredible freedom machines is a beautifully written picture book that takes us on a journey of exploration, creativity and adventure into the unknown.

The machines this young girl seeks out are hard to come by but with perseverance and patience she finds one that is just right for her.

Once found she can escape the reality of the dreary life she lives behind fences and boundaries and seek places that smell delicious, taste like happiness and feel like home.

The incredible Freedom machines focuses in on the importance of imagination and the ability to find places to escape to when reality isn’t what we want it to be.

When I read this to the classes at school we found that the issues of children in refugee camps was something that came through in the illustrations by Matt Ottley — knowing that many of them would have to use their imagination every day so that life inside these camps would not get them down.

We loved the richness of the illustrations as the main character escapes her home and explores the big wide world.

The incredible freedom machines is a book to be read over and over, enjoying not only the flow of the story but also the deeper meanings within.

Koalas eat gum leaves by Laura and Phil Bunting

Do you actually know exactly what koalas eat?

Are you sure?

Perhaps you’d better read this to find out….

Koalas eat gum leaves by Laura and Phil Bunting is a fun filled book where you learn a little more than you bargained for about koalas.

We all know they eat gum leaves for every meal but one little koala is tired of these eucalyptus treats so he sets his eyes on something a little bit more delicious.

Not only will the young reader love the story, they will also enjoy looking at the extra messages within the pictures – the simple change of where the eyes are looking, the movement of the sun in the sky and the arm or leg movement to show something else the koala might be thinking.

Koalas eat gum leaves by Laura and Phil Bunting is a cleverly written story and despite it’s humour there are some lovely hidden messages to find and discuss after you have finished reading.

P.S. Don’t forget to stare at the end pages for at least 5 minutes!

What else can you do with this book?

RESEARCH

– What do koalas eat? Where do they live? Are they endangered?

WONDER

– What would happen if Koalas did eat human food as part of their diet?

THINK

– Why is the koala a national icon? Aren’t there any other animals worthy of this? Choose another animal that should be part of the tourist trail and convince others why.

INVESTIGATE

– How is ice cream made? Can you make your own ice cream? By making your own ice cream,not only are you cutting out the plastic container you are also using fresh and natural ingredients (go on, have a read of the back of the packet…)

CREATE

– Create some different Australian flavoured ice creams. Could you create some that animals could eat? You will need to investigate the diet of each animal .

Snail and turtle rainy day by Stephen Michael King

What is friendship? Do we all have a different view of what it is?

What is patience? Can patience be to someone what impatience is to another?

Snail and Turtle rainy day  by Stephen Michael King is a heart-warmimg story of friendship and patience.

IMG_1174

My children and I loved reading this story. Not only does it explore friendship but also about patience and giving people time to feel comfortable when things are worrying them. Rainy days or sad moments in life might get you down but remember there is always a pair of gumboots, raincoats, hugs, friends and a warm cup of tea for after!

Stephen Michael King’s books are always vibrantly illustrated with small details and patterns  to search for while you are reading.

Knowing how to care for people is an important skill for everybody to learn and one which helps to make the world a better place.  This book really highlights the importance of care and patience.

We live in a world where we often expect people to just get on with it, not caring about their need to take things slowly during tough times.

As a society we need to slow down and take note of those around us and by instilling this in our children from a  young age by the way we talk to them we are skilling our world to be a better place.

So have a chat with your children about feelings, patience and care.

Of course sustainability and environment are a ket focus for me in this blog but without care from others, sense of community and a good sense of self all of these things may be pointless.

Here are some great links to sites that can help you help your children.

https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au

https://www.ruok.org.au/365-day-resources

 

Two Summers by John Heffernan and Freya Blackwood

Two Summers by John Heffernan and Freya Blackwood is a moving and informative story told through the eyes of a young boy who lives on a farm through abundance and scarcity.


Nature rules the lives of so many whose livelihood depend on the great cycles of nature causing great joy and also great distress.

As most of the population live in cities and suburbs of those cities we really need to take the time to appreciate what goes on on those farms and how much weather patterns plays a role in what the farmers can and can’t do with produce and live stock.

The young boy in this story is waiting for his friend Rick to come and visit him again over summer and is making comparisons to last year when  the river flowed, the green grass, the number of animals around and the extra time they have to put into the farm when the grass isn’t there for the animals to feed on. He hopes that perhaps Rick will bring some rain with him.

Two Summers is a beautifully written book with soft and emotive illustrations. You can feel the emotions of the family through their daily life on the farm and begin to understand what farming life is like when times are tough.

So how can you link this book with your children and family to make more meaning? 

Geography: Taking a trip to the countryside is so important but if it can’t be done there are many local farms that are often within an hours drive of a major city.

Take some time to see where your food comes from and learn how the amount of rain, the fluctuations in temperature and the pressure from large multinationals plays a role on the lives of the people who provide food for us.

English: Look deeper into perspective – how would you feel if you lived on a farm? How does this boy feel?

Science: Look at the rainfall and temperatures of a large farming area where your food comes from. How do you think this climate effects produce?

All i want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

All I want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke and Megan Forward is an uplifting story about a young girl’s belief in Santa and the power of Christmas Spirit.

fullsizerender

A family of farmers are about to celebrate Christmas but the farm is parched, the dams are dry and spirits are low. The watercolored illustrations  by Megan Forward highlight the dryness of the country.

Jane, a strong and thoughtful young girl is an inspiration to any youngster who is yearning for more presents for Christmas. Jane encompasses the true meaning of Christmas when she travels into town on a ‘long shiny train’ and asks Santa for one thing – rain!

All I want for Christmas is Rain is a melodic read and the illustrations add to the emotions of the family over the Christmas period.

Children from the country will understand Jane’s position and children from the city will gain some insight into the harsh realities of farming life in Australia. Perhaps even gain more appreciation for the places our produce comes from.

All I Want for Christmas is Rainis a great new story from New frontier publishing would be an excellent addition to the Christmas gifts – alongside many local and handmade toys, tickets to shows and love rather than more plastic things.

How does this link in with sustainability?

  1. Precious water. 

Review or learn about the water cycle. Link this knowledge of the water cycle to a rain map of Australia or the country you live in. Why do some areas lack rain? Look at the influence of mountain ranges, coastal living and the role major rivers play in the outback.

2. Where does our produce come from?

Using supermarket brochures, local farmers markets and and social enterprise networks; work out where they get their produce from. Is it sourced local? Interstate or from overseas?

3. How is different produce made and does it rely on water? 

A great project could be delved into under this banner and interchanged with different produce. (Links with numeracy, geography and science)

EXAMPLE: RICE.

Where is rice grown in Australia? Create a map of the rice growing areas.

How is rice grown? What is needed – create a timeline of rice growing .

How much water does it take to produce a bag of rice?

Is white rice a good crop to grow in some areas of Australia?

Is there a better alternative to this grain that may not rely on as much water?

Create a more sustainable way to grow rice or a better crop for our environment.

4. Christmas gifts

Write down a list of things you can give to others for Christmas that have less of an impact on the environment. This could be tickets to shows or places, handmade items.

The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Do you constantly check your phone for updates? Do you text at the dinner table? Do you tell your kids to wait a minute while you see what the latest is on instagram? Do you feel special when you get more than ten likes?

Sound like you?  You need to read this book!

img_2446

 

The fabulous friend machine by Nick Bland is a story about a chicken (see my next post on backyard chooks!) who becomes addicted to her phone. She was once quite social with her real friends, talking, laughing and playing BUT she discovers a phone and falls in love with the screen and the instant gratification it brings!

I am sure many of us are at fault with this – we seek gratification, envy online pictures and strive to be the perfect person that those online friends seem to be. BUT really, does anyone have a life that is perfect? Is anyone really the most perfect friendly friend with no strings attached?

As parents we need to take a good hard look at how we use computers and the role we are portraying to our children – no matter what age.

We need our children to have a healthy relationships with their phone, i pad or computer and with the people that live online. We need to teach them that friends in person mean more, interaction with others mean more and real face to face conversations mean so much more.

Technology definitely has a place in our society but we have to be a lot more careful as to how we use it and how we allow our children to use it.

So what can you do?

  1. Make sure you have screen free time – turn off your notification so you only receive phone calls and text messages – no updates from social media.
  2. Take a step back from the people you follow online and notice that perhaps they can do those things because of extra resources, time or money. Do not compare yourself to people you don’t really know.
  3. Investigate the different social media options with your child – see what works best for them and tighten the privacy.
  4. Learn how to discern between appropriate and truthful information online. This is really important for future use when researching but also important when they are creating role models for themselves.
  5. Make sure your children use technology in a place where the screen can be seen from a young age. If you get into this habit from a young age it build up the relationship you have with your child and their technology use. As teenagers they will want to retreat into the privacy of their room so set up boundaries know so they know how to use technology when they don’t want your eyes around!
  6. Limit screen time!!! The more you give them as a young child, the more they will want as they grow up. Allow them to be bored. Allow them to play outside. See my blog on nature play to help with some tips here.

 

Find out what happens if you become too entrenched in the online world of many tricks.

 

scholastic

 

Out by Angela May George

Out by Angela May George (Published by Scholastic Australia)  is a sad yet heartwarming story about a young refugee girl who has settled in a new country with her mother.

This beautiful story follows how the girls feels in her new home and the fears she still faces because of what she has been through.

out

Owen Swan’s illustrations provide the gentle and moving touch needed to really allow the reader to feel like they are moving along with the girl and feeling what she is feeling.

I shed a tear at the end of this story.

This week is Refugee Week and really, we should always be thinking of the refugees that are in Australia and those who want to be in Australia. Many hold terrible memories like the young girl and her mother and need support to start fresh.

I hope that you can share this story with others, showing the refugees are not the enemy but just like you and me. They too need love, support, friends and family. They too hold memories of fear and hope.

So how can we embed this into the curriculum?

Before you read:

  •  Why are two people in colour on the front cover and the rest in black and white?
  • What might out mean?
  • Back Cover: What does it mean ‘ I’m called an asylum seeker but that’s not my name’ ?

As you read

  •  What does Brave mean to you?
  •  Have you ever felt like the girls running on page 2?
  • Imagine feeling as isolated as the boat in the ocean scene.
  • When do you feel free? What does feeling free mean to you? How does this differ from the girl in the story?
  • Does this story have a happy ending?

fathers day gifts

After you read

LITERACY

  •  Older students could write a recount/ diary entry remembering a time when they felt fear – if they cannot recall an event they can imagine it.
  •  Find images of Refugees & asylum seekers. Link emotions to their faces.
  • Dramatise different emotions linked to different situations in the story.  Show a picture in the story and ask children to freeze an emotion.
  • Write a persuasive letter to the government outlining why we need to accept Asylum seekers.
  • Have a debate about asylum seekers in Australia.
  • Look at the picture of the girl and mother huddled together on the boat – list how they are feeling. Think of a time you have felt like this.
  • Which stories would you tell if you were on a very long journey without any technology?
  • Can you find out about another language? Create your own simple welcome brochure for your own community.
  • Link this book to other books (The happiest refugee by Anh Do, Mirror by Jeannie Baker) compare and contrast the different stories of these young children.

NUMERACY

  • Research statistics on the number of refugees in Australia. Compare this to other countries around the world.
  • Find out where refugees have settled in Australia. Use tables to show this information.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Why are people refugees? Find out the different reasons someone may be a refugee.
  • What is a refugee? What is an asylum seeker? What is an immigrant? FInd out and compare differences.
  • Discover different popular music from different lands. How do people enjoy this music. Compare and contrast the different music.
  • How can we make our community more welcoming for those who are new to Australia?

PROBLEM SOLVING

  • Could you catch a fish with just two simple materials such as a shoelace and a hook? Shoelace and a button? Think of as many combinations as you can from two objects that you have on you right now.
  • Why do we have refugees in this world? Can we rid the world of needing to have refugees? Are there different types of refugees?
  • What does it mean to be BRAVE? How can we be BRAVE? Do we need to be BRAVE?

Buy this unit of work here with accompanying printables:
Buy Now Button

Curriculum links:

Ethical understanding

Intercultural Understanding

 Join my email list today and receive free family and classroom friendly tips on how you can educate yourself and your children to live more sustainably.

My monthly email will: spark ideas that assist you to help your child or students to become engaged readers.
Give you simple links to picture books to develop socially aware and globally conscious children.:

Empower yourself to be the best educator you can be.

Engage your child and students in reading, learn new concepts about nature, global issues and imaginative play and then apply them at home or in the classroom!

Email me to sign up – nes.ryan@bigpond.com.

And come over to visit my online shop