"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walter Streightiff

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Land Down Under

G'day Mates-
We traveled to the "land down under" where we met animals that aren't found anywhere else on earth. We met Joey the kangaroo, Twisker the bush mouse, Slider the snake, Prickler the echidna, Flatso the platypus, and Sly-tooth the crocodile in the book, Snap! by Marcia Vaughn.

We met some more of their mates in There Were Ten in the Bed by Cheryl Orsini and Koala Lou by Mem Fox.
We played a game called, "I Spy Australia", where we had to pick a card and find the item on a big map of Australia. We had to look for things like, a kangaroo, a wombat, a koala, a kookaburra, a crocodile, a snake, a dingo, Australia's flag, a boomerang, a didgeridoo, an echidna, a tasmanian devil...

To the tune of "BINGO", we sang about a wild dog that lives in Australia- the dingo.
It goes like this:
Was a country had a dog and dingo was its name, oh!
And dingo was its name-oh!

Playing "Kangaroo Hopscotch", we jumped from 1 to 10 and back again.
To get in some more practice jumping like kangaroos, we did the Kangaroo Broad Jump. We had to stand behind a mark on the floor and jump as far as we could with feet together. We swung our arms to help us jump farther. We marked on the floor how far we jumped. We did it again to see if we could "beat" our first jump.
We decorated boomerangs with tempera paint and Q-tips. When they were dry, we tried our hand at throwing them.

We sang the song "Kookaburra" over and over again:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That's not a monkey, that's me!

Using toothpicks and gumdrops we made "Kookaburra Gumdrop Sculptures". We made squares and triangles and then expanded on those by making cubes and pyramids. We tried hexagons, octagons and tall towers as well. We exercised such awesome self control by not eating them, we were each allowed to eat one when we were done- one that hadn't been handled:-) YUM! No wonder kookaburra eats them all up!
The didgeridoo is a rhythm instrument crafted by the aboriginal people of Australia. We decorated didgeridoos, of sorts, to make some music of our own as we listened to didgeridoo music.
We created "Aboriginal Dreamtime" mosaic art using a koala symbol as our focus. The Dreamings are traditional images and sacred histories of Australia's people. Their striking artwork often uses dots of color to make vibrant patterns. We used our fingers dipped in stamp pads to make dots of color.
This artwork was illustrated in the book, Animal Dreaming by Paul Morin.
For those of us ready to practice our cutting and pasting skills, we cut Australian animals from a strip of paper and used a glue stick to place them on an outline map of Australia.
Over 3,500 years ago, Australian Aboriginies created unique handprints on cave walls by blowing a mixture of red ochre and water from their mouths over their hands. Artists also created unique rock paintings alongside their blown handprints to document their life. Traditional Aboriginal art uses lots of patterns and vibrant colors.

We made our handprints on a stone with vibrant colors to symbolize the traditional art of the Aborigines.
We read the book, Wombat Goes Walkabout by Michael Morpurgo.
We set off on a walkabout of our very own. We didn't find any animals from Australia but we made lots of other discoveries and we practiced walking backwards, balancing on bricks, hopping like kangaroos and hopping backwards.

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