Learning from Home – 18 June 2020

Today I’m bringing you a little bit of everything: fun activities that can be done at school or home; creative writing resources for the classroom; and another arts centre that has made its resources available online.

Freddie Yates loves facts, but he’s a little selective about the ones he wants to pay attention to, and the ones he wants to ignore – which, let’s face it, we can all relate to, even us adults! The wonderful people at Usborne, the publishers of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, have not only put this wonderful book out into the world, they’ve also created some amazing resources to go with it. While reading the novel will make completing these activities more meaningful, they can be done without having read the book. You may find the ‘What makes a superhero?’ and ‘Ten things I’ve done that made me proud’ activities helpful with children whose resilience has taken a bit of a battering over the past few months.

Everyone’s an Author is an absolutely fantastic unit that has been put together by the NSW Department of Education. Although the unit is intended for NSW government schools, it is available online if you are a teacher in another state or from a non-government school. The unit has been designed so that it can be completed entirely online, either as a class or independently, and includes a downloadable learning journal for each section. Designed to go for ten weeks (at the time of writing the first seven weeks are available), Australian authors teach children about creative writing, covering everything from creating characters and poetic language, through to writing humour. The calibre of the authors involved is impressive and includes current Australian Children’s Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky and former Australian Children’s Laureate Jackie French. The unit is suitable for use for Stages 1 – 4 (Years 1 – 8), so there’s sure to be something for (almost) everyone.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is an intriguing place, however as it’s located in Melbourne and I’m in Sydney, I don’t get to visit it anywhere near as often as I’d like. One of the positives from the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia has been greater accessibility to geographically specific spaces like galleries and museums. ACMI has joined this movement, and has provided access to a huge array of material such as how-to videos for those working in film and television (which would be appropriate for senior students, particularly those undertaking extension or major works), and specific learning at home and school content. These resources include stop-motion and video game development, as well as film study guides. There’s material for everyone, from young children through to those in their final years at school, and even adults if you’re interested in knowing more about film and television production.

Next week will be the last in our Learning from Home series, hopefully for good, but one thing we’ve all learnt this year is that we have NO IDEA what’s coming next, so it may make a reappearance at some point! I look forward to sharing my favourite resources with you then.



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