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Start Writing…

Everyone’s had a go at linocut and loved it. The kids have a taste for the project. Before we can get back to that exciting activity however, we have a more pressing and equally exciting one to attend to; we must write our books. Each child must complete their template, which will become their story. Today, they must decide where their bridge from Beeac is going to take them. And Jackie Hosking, the children’s poet is here to help us with our writing too.

But first, I want to introduce the idea of going back in time to them in one place. It would be wonderful if they could focus on going back in time to Beeac where we all live – it is the town’s 150th anniversary of white settlement this year. Naturally, My Place comes to mind, the wonderful classic by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins. We begin by reading about generations of children who go back in time and talk about their own space in their own place. Some of the students are already familiar with the book and love revisiting it and by now, they have also seen the television series. On each page, we see the big tree, the creek, the brickpits, the house…

The idea of time travel gets them going. Some of the children do decide to go back in time in Beeac. One girl decides she’s going back to 1920s Beeac. We have a wonderful photo from that time with a horse and cart outside an old shop where her parents now have a business. One boy wants to see the big flash flood in Beeac in 1941, where the Main street was awash in knee-deep water after a freak storm. One boy will visit Beeac in war time. One girl will go back in time to France to see the new Eiffel Tower, another girl will visit 1970s America to see a muscle car! Ancient Egypt’s on the agenda too.

Others stay in the present but go to other countries, like Brazil. Some stay here in Australia’s present but go a bit further afield than Beeac. I am going to write about visiting the Beeac tribe, gathered down by the lake, before the white man came.

It’s been a productive day. Decisions have been made and research has begun. Jackie has been a great help in getting our charges on their way.

We have started building bridges.