Rivertime Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time





by Trace Balla
Theme: Getting Outside (July 2014) 
This is a beautifully illustrated tale of a ten year old boy and his bird-watching uncle, on a paddling trip on Australia's Glenelg River. This tender story is about slowing down, growing up, and connecting with the land and its creatures. 

Key Message for Parents- Children Learn through being Engaged and Doing 

We can help children learn in an active, engaged way by: 
  • encouraging learning through play and exploration of their natural environment, which is critical to children’s social, emotional and intellectual development 
  • playing with children and being engaged with them in their outdoor experiences, which helps them feel safe and develops their confidence, which in turn helps them to learn new things 
  • exploring all of their senses during their play experiences, especially in the outdoors 

Learning Outcomes 

Outcome Four: Children are Connected with and Contribute to their World 

Educators can encourage children to be connect with and contribute to their world by: 
  • exploring the knowledge, experiences, cultures and backgrounds of the children within their community and outside of their community in Australia 
  • modelling care, respect and appreciation for the natural environment 
  • sharing information and resources about the natural environment and about the impact of human activities on the environment. 
Before Reading 
Please note : This story acknowledges that parts of the Glenelg River are known as Bochara and are shared by the Gunditjmara and Boandik peoples. The author of Rivertime wishes to acknowledge these people as the traditional owners and respects their Elders, past and present. 
This story is about canoeing on the Glenelg River. You can talk to the children to find out if they have any knowledge or experience of being on a river, or in a boat. To build up children’s knowledge and vocabulary about the Glenelg River you could use Google Images to show some pictures of the river and of a canoe. You could also use youtube to show a couple of minutes of a clip involving the Glenelg River. This is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NMRjmYwyc8 You could also talk about what you need for a trip on the river and use props or pictures to help you set the scene, for example a canoe, some paddles, hats, binoculars, sleeping bag, safety gear.
During Reading 
In a group situation, such as Storytime, it may not be appropriate for this lengthy book to be finished in one group session. After the introduction and a partial reading of the book, it could be taken home by families to finish reading it together. Reading this book aloud involves different ‘voices’, there is narration, the voice of the boy and of Uncle Ed. Pointing to speech bubbles as you read and explaining the scene are integral to understanding the flow of the story. There are a lot of environmental details included in each page that you can look at during your reading: names of places, trees, grasses, animals, plants and birds. You can take your time to name and explore these images and labels throughout the story. 
After Reading 
You can ask the children some questions about the story, such as “What have you learnt about the Glenelg River?” and “Can you tell me the names of some animals or birds that you saw in the story?” You can also ask them “If you were going on a trip to the Glenelg River, what would you need to take with you?” and “What do you think would be really fun about going on a trip on a river?”. 
You can revisit the part of the story that you have already read, or you can read a different section of the story at another time. You might like to locate some books in your local library about Australian rivers, birds, plants and animals. You could take some time to look through these together.

For full learning time sheet please download attached PDF
Associated books: 
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