Magic Fish Dreaming enhances the study of the natural world, encourages the exploration of poetry techniques, inspires movement and acting and interests its readers in specific animals and habitat including, the beach, lagoons, rainforests and farms of North Queensland and Australia.
Its poems encourage readers to, explore concepts of size and discuss ecology and the theme of belonging to and caring for the land, community and friends. Most of all it’s full of poetry to inspire the imagination, creative thinking and the building of a relationship with the natural world.
This poem is about looking for things to inspire poems.
1. Have you read or had poems read you?
2. What is a poem?
3. How could you hunt for one?
1.Natural Sciences and Language Activity Go for a poetry collecting walk in nature Take your children for a walk and go hunting for objects that they could put in a poem.
Read the poem before and after you go.
Have student/child write down what they see in a small pocket notebook, or collect things in a basket to take back to the classroom (taking care to make sure things they collect are safe, it’s alright with the national park if you are visiting one, and that they don’t eat anything.)
Students can work in small groups.
Back in the classroom or out in nature discuss the objects and compare them to other things
What does this look, smell, feel like?
For example: that shell looks like a cake you have with cream, that tree’s bark looks and feels like a wrinkled person’s face.
2. Drama Activity Act out the poem, when you are studying a unit on the ocean, and beach environment or a unit on poetry. Additional materials posters and books on the ocean and the beach.
Have the children move around the classroom as you read the poem out loud.
Ask them to:
Be like waves (move like them, sound like them)
Bend down to look in a pool of water (what do you see in your imaginary pool of water?)
Have them think about the idea of listening to the clouds. (You could ask them to close their eyes and listen to the space they are in.)
Imagine they are at the beach (Who has been to the beach? Do you remember what creatures you saw? Was it cold? Warm? What could you smell, touch, feel?)
After moving around you can discuss the poem:
Explain what a simile is? How can a cloud be a simile? Eg: Cloud pictures? Ever look at the sky and say it looks like … a dragon, a dinosaur, a kangaroo. Can a cloud talk? What would it say if it could?
What makes you giggle?
How could you put it into a poem; a story; or a drawing?
Have the class make similes and illustrate them.
Some of the creatures featured in the book are: Cassowary, Geckos, Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Ulysses Butterfly, Crocodiles, and the Green Tree Frog. You could find out about these and use them to help make your similes.
(c) June Perkins
COMING SOON posts on the the illustrator, the editing process, progress with the kickstarter, and some of the amazing flora and fauna of Far North Queensland, Australia.