|Children and adults alike are celebrating National Science Week this week, participating in activities including the Read4Nature Workshop at our local libraries.
The Read4Nature National Science Week events, held at town libraries, focuses on farm picture books to ignite the imagination of parents and children.
At the Dimboola Library, books were chosen from those reviewed at the Read4Nature Workshop led a fortnight earlier by environmental educator Jeanie Clark. Workshop participants had then prepared book readings and activities for a small group, which they invited to the library for National Science Week.
Jeanie said that it was wonderful to hear the buzz in the Library from the small groups sharing readings, drawings and pot plantings.
"Even more inspiring, in the reflection at the end, was when a couple of children reported that they had discovered a new area of interest from these activities," Jeanie said.
"The Read4Nature project draws attention to what children can learn about Nature Science in picture books. Much of young childrens learning about living things comes from books, or screens, these days, instead of direct experiences," Jeanie said.
"Families, child-carers and teachers are vital in inspiring children to love and care for nature. Part of this will be checking what is in books and especially illustrations. They convey so much information and quite often there will be more when you look closely.
"Some of the key ideas for learning to love Nature are that every living thing has a value, needs a specific home, is linked with other living things in families and food chains, and grows and changes over time. What is often missing is, how can we care for nature? It was exciting to see parents and child-carers realise that they can help draw out these basic science ideas from picture books and create hands-on activities for the "backyard' to apply them from links with the stories. These book reviews cover such things and were presented as a resource to the Library, to be available for all. "
The Wimmera Regional Library Corporation is partnering Jeanie in this read4Nature project, which is being held at eight WRLC branches over July and August. As it aims to encourage people to use books in family situations, it provides practical support to the National Year of Reading.
The project was funded by the Australian Governments Inspiring Australia - Unlocking Australias Potential program which also supports National Science Week. The farm theme linked National Science Week with the Australian Year of the Farmer, and the books with the National Year of Reading.
Larissa and Shantelle Reddie and Trent and Jamie deZoete are pictured during their group activity, drawing wildlife from book Little Duck that they read during the session last week.