Thursday, August 19, 2010

21st August International Lighthouse Day

International Lighthouse Day has become Lighthouse Weekend in Australia. It aims to bring focus on lighthouses, the people who built and manned them and their contribution to maritime history. As Australia is an island, lighthouses abound, have a place in many people's communities and as such are part of the history, folklore and literature of the place. The Australian National Maritime Museum runs activities for children to support this weekend's festivities.

Macquarie Lighthouse on South Head in Sydney is Australia's first and longest operating navigational light. There has been a navigational aid there since 1791, within a year of the First Fleet's arrival and a lighthouse since 1818.

At school there are opportunities to look at lighthouses in literature and there are many depending upon the age of the children you want to share with. For me however, I never need an excuse to enjoy the problems of Mr and Mrs Grinling in the Armitages' series of books about The Lighthouse Keeper. With these wonderful stories, not only will children extend their knowledge of lighthouses, but their vocabulary and problem solving skills as well! If you just want to have some fun, why not revisit some episodes of Paul Jennings' Round the Twist, a long-running television series about the Twist family who live in a lighthouse. Many of these can be found on Youtube.

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