Monday, January 7, 2013
7th January Bushfires
Once again parts of Australia are being ravaged by bushfires. It feels as if there have been so many years in my teaching career when I have gone back to school at the end of January to talk of bushfires and children asking questions about them. There are resources such as this put out by the Victorian Education Department to help teachers and students who have been 'touched' by the fires, but for children who know they have occurred but haven't experienced them first hand what do you give them to read?
I have used these picture books:
• Bushfire by Marguerite Hann Syme and David Cox. This is a picture book for 5 to 8 year olds showing very evocatively a hot blustery day when the sky fills with smoke and bushfires break out. Marguerite lived through the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and has relived her experience through this book and a novel for older children called Burnt Out.
• Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King. This gives children a clear picture of the aftermath of fires, but also shows the sense of community that can develop during and after a crisis.
• Where There's Smoke by Robin Lovell and David Miller. This picture book comes with notes. See here for a clear precis and what can be done as follow up.
• Fire Engine Lil by Janet and Andrew McLean. This is old, but gives children an accurate picture of the urgency involved.
• Bushfire by Tricia Oktober. This too is old, but may be in your library. Here you get the animals' point of view of bushfires.
I am sure there is more, but as I teach very young children I am not as familiar with books for older children. I thought I could use this newspaper-like article and I can also use other books about firefighters and fireman such as these that I have written about before.