All posts by Little Epiphanies

About Little Epiphanies

Rosemary Pattison’s stories draw on her extensive experience as an educator to both children and adults over 30 years. Her diverse background comprises pre-school, primary, secondary (maths and music) and TAFE. In her 19 years in the TAFE Sector her experience includes IT and business with much time spent working in industry. She currently works in learning and development and workplace English language and literacy (WELL). Born in Camberwell Melbourne, she is the daughter of a well known Australian scientist and her mother was a music and art teacher, Though she would describe herself as having a privileged life, some experiences have contributed to her own little epiphanies. As a single mother, Rosemary’s approach to parenthood was to foster resilience and instill a social conscience in her two daughters by raising the questions to lead them to their own little epiphanies. Rosemary’s credentials include Bachelor of Education Arts (Melbourne State College), Graduate Diploma in Computer Education (Deakin University), Graduate Certificate in Leadership Education and Training – Victoria University, Diploma of VET Practice, Certificate IV in TESOL, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment TAE, Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety, Diploma of Quality Auditing, Diploma Business Management

What about learning to draw?

Guess what? We just read that drawing is a fun and important thing to do!! Check this out!!

Book of Life – What an insight

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an awesome review

We are so excited to receive some awesome reviews from “Mum’s Say” on Kidspot! We really value any feedback suggesting opportunities for improvement and will take that on board for the next book. We also love any positive feedback because it tells us that we are on the right track!!

http://www.kidspot.com.au/product-reviews/Little-Epiphanies+908.htm

 

 

 

Taking Action

Lesson plan for teachers

Book “George went to see the Prime Minister”

Concept:

Being aware of others less fortunate, demonstrates the development of our emotional intelligence and sense of social justice through empathy. Sometimes we are aware of situations that, though they are very upsetting, we cannot do anything about them. It is also important to be aware of current issues that affect our planet and the people on it.

In the book George went to see the Prime Minister, George is ‘taking action’, she is ‘doing something about’, the issue of ethical buying. In our real world (not the children’s story) we don’t have someone in charge of the whole world who can make changes. We can, however make some small changes ourselves or we can alert others in power, about issues. For the sake of the learning, we will assume there is a Prime Minister of the World.

Lesson plan

As a group, read George went to see the Prime Minister

Go back to the page where George is telling her father that she is going to see the Prime Minister of the World.

Class discussion:

Teachers, select some issues to discuss (select issues which don’t take away from your students’ childhood innocence but that will help them develop a social conscience). You can probably think of many but if not, here are some random suggestions (or you might select some as a class by having an initial discussion):

  • Give them a scenario of someone in their local neighbourhood that doesn’t look after their dog. The owner doesn’t feed it enough and it is cold at night. What could be done?
  • Turtles main food is jelly fish. They often get confused when they see a plastic bag and eat it which makes them sick
  • Weed spraying – in our local park or school. What are the benefits? What are could be done instead?

As a class discuss some of these issues.

Group task:

Divide into small groups or pairs. Ask each group or pair to write a one page letter, to the Prime Minister of the World about the issue following these headings:

What is the issue?

Why is it a problem?

What might the solution be?

(Don’t worry too much about inaccuracies. It is more important to get them thinking about the fact that they can actually take some action about an issue that is worrying them.)

 

Parents – this is a family activity

Book “George went to see the Prime Minister”

Concept:

Being aware of others less fortunate, demonstrates the development of our emotional intelligence and sense of social justice through empathy. Sometimes we are aware of situations that, though they are very upsetting, we cannot do anything about them. It is also important to be aware of current issues that affect our planet and the people on it.

In the book George went to see the Prime Minister, George is ‘taking action’, she is ‘doing something about’, the issue of ethical buying. In our real world (not the children’s story) we don’t have someone in charge of the whole world who can make changes. We can, however make some small changes ourselves or we can alert others in power, about issues. For the sake of the learning, we will assume there is a Prime Minister of the World.

Family activity

As a family, read George went to see the Prime Minister

Go back to the page where George is telling her father that she is going to see the Prime Minister of the World.

Family discussion:

Parents or grandparents, select some issues to discuss (select issues which don’t take away from your children’s childhood innocence but that will help them develop a social conscience). You can probably think of many but if not, here are some random suggestions (or you might select some as a family by having an initial discussion):

  • Give them a scenario of someone in their local neighbourhood that doesn’t look after their dog. The owner doesn’t feed it enough and it is cold at night. What could be done?
  • Turtles main food is jelly fish. They often get confused when they see a plastic bag and eat it which makes them sick
  • Weed spraying – in our local park or school. What are the benefits? What are could be done instead?

As a family discuss some of these issues.

Task:

Develop a one page letter as a family, to the Prime Minister of the World (if you actually know who might have some influence about this then write to that person, or Council etc – if not you could use the scenario that there is a Prime Minister of the World) about the issue following these headings:

What is the issue?

Why is it a problem?

What might the solution be?

(Don’t worry too much about inaccuracies. It is more important to get them thinking about the fact that they can actually take some action about an issue that is worrying them.)

2 new reviews

Great to have our recent reviews! Awesome when our readers take the time to write what the think! We’d love to know how other readers find our books:

See review on our ‘review tab’: Great stories. I love the way they can be used to facilitate a discussion about the issues. So important to develop these key language and literacy skills. I’m a language, literacy, numeracy specialist and I can really see great value in these stories. They are so authentic and real – this is the best way to develop literacy skills. The lesson plans are fantastic too – great value for the time poor!

See review on one of our posts: A refreshing way to raise awareness about issues facing kids in caring for the world they are inheriting. The books examine each issue in a non-threatening but thought provoking way. Great to see suggested activities for family and school.

Valuing our food

For Teachers

Book “George and the problem of food”

Concept:

Thinking about how we have such inequalities of the availability of food in our world, we want to teach our young people the value of food. As we look at every piece of food we have on our table, we think about the journey that it has taken to reach us. We also use this opportunity to teach sustainability and good environmental practice because we are not wasting food.

In the story, “George and the problem of food”, George is alerted to the problem that some people do not have enough food to eat, some use it for cooking competitions – which devalues its purpose, most restaurants these days serve enough for two people in one serving, and there are many people who are homeless and eating out of a rubbish dump.

Lesson plan

As a group, read George and the problem of food

Go back to the page where the Prime Minister is turning the globe and talking about the different relationships that people on our planet have with food.

Class discussion:

Teachers, select some different foods and bring them to class or ask your students. Fruit and vegetables are perfect to look at, but you can also choose grains.

As a class look at one of the pieces of food that is chosen and discuss some of the following:

  • How did it get to our table?
  • Was it planted?
  • Picked?
  • Packaged in plastic?
  • Transported in a truck?
  • Unpacked in a supermarket and sold?
  • Bought and taken home in a car?
  • Put in the refrigerator for a day?
  • Taken to school for lunch?

Individual task:

Ask your students to select a piece of food and take it back to their workstation and create any of the following:

  • A digital story about the food’s journey from beginning to now
  • A poster
  • A flowchart of its journey

Don’t worry too much about inaccuracies. It is more important to get them thinking about the journey and the value of the food.

For Families

Book “George and the problem of food”

Concept:

Thinking about how we have such inequalities of the availability of food in our world, we want to teach our young people the value of food. As we look at every piece of food we have on our table, we think about the journey that it has taken to reach us. We also use this opportunity to teach sustainability and good environmental practice because we are not wasting food.

In the story, “George and the problem of food”, George is alerted to the problem that some people do not have enough food to eat, some use it for cooking competitions – which devalues its purpose, most restaurants these days serve enough for two people in one serving, and there are many people who are homeless and eating out of a rubbish dump.

Family activity

As a family, read George and the problem of food

Go back to the page where the Prime Minister is turning the globe and talking about the different relationships that people on our planet have with food.

Family discussion:

Parents let’s look at some food you have at home. Fruit and vegetables are perfect to look at, but you can also choose grains.

As a family look at one of the pieces of food you have in the house and discuss some of the following:

  • How did it get to our table?
  • Was it planted?
  • Picked?
  • Packaged in plastic?
  • Transported in a truck?
  • Unpacked in a supermarket and sold?
  • Bought and taken home in a car?
  • Put in the refrigerator for a day?
  • Taken to school for lunch?

Task:

Can we create any of the following and put it on our fridge this week, to apply our learning?

  • A digital story about the food’s journey from beginning to now – print for the fridge
  • A poster
  • A flowchart of its journey

Don’t worry too much about inaccuracies. It is more important to get them thinking about the journey and the value of the food.

Making informed decisions

Lesson

Book “George and the problem of food”

Concept:

Thinking about how we make decisions. As we live in this fast world, with so many options we need to develop our young people’s critical thinking.

In the story, “George and the problem of food”, George is alerted to the problem of food. The problem is so large that she takes some time to sit in the old oak tree to think about where to start. She eventually decides that the problem is too big for one person so she calls for help from her friends. That was the right decision for her.

Lesson plan

As a group, read George and the problem of food

Go back to the page where George is sitting in the old oak tree and give the students time to absorb the concept.

Class discussion:

Why did George go to sit in the old oak tree?

What can we imagine she is thinking?

Ask your students to think about what they would do if the Prime Minister asked them to solve such a big problem. Get them to share, prompt them with the following (there are no right or wrong answers, it’s about your students getting to know how to make decisions in a way that is best for them).

Are they someone who would prefer

  • To sit in a tree?
  • To sit at their desk and write notes or draw diagrams?
  • To talk to other people?
  • To lie on their bed?
  • To try out a few models with leggo or something like leggo?

Individual task:

Ask your students to create a drawing of themselves making a decision if they were in a situation like the one George was faced with.

At the end of the class ask the students to describe the drawing as they pin them up around the room.

(This concept can be revisited whenever students are asked to make decisions. Keep in mind that some will change their strategy to try out different ways).

Family activity

Book “George and the problem of food”

Concept:

Thinking about how we make decisions. As we live in this fast world, with so many options we need to develop our young people’s critical thinking.

In the story, “George and the problem of food”, George is alerted to the problem of food. The problem is so large that she takes some time to sit in the old oak tree to think about where to start. She eventually decides that the problem is too big for one person so she calls for help from her friends. That was the right decision for her.

Family activity

As a family, read George and the problem of food

Go back to the page where George is sitting in the old oak tree and give the students time to absorb the concept.

Family discussion:

Why did George go to sit in the old oak tree?

What can we imagine she is thinking?

Ask your young people to think about what they would do if the Prime Minister asked them to solve such a big problem. Get them to share, prompt them with the following (there are no right or wrong answers, it’s about your young people getting to know how to make decisions in a way that is best for them).

Are they someone who would prefer

  • To sit in a tree?
  • To sit at their desk and write notes or draw diagrams?
  • To talk to other people?
  • To lie on their bed?
  • To try out a few models with leggo or something like leggo?

Next time your young person needs to make a decision (eg do they go to a friend’s house to play or do they watch their sibling perform in a concert? Do they begin music lessons, or do they take up a sport?)

Suggest some of the strategies above to support them in making the decision.

taking a check on our consumerism

Lesson plan – taking a check on our consumerism

Book “George went to see the Prime Minister”

Concept:

Raising awareness of our own consumerism. We are inundated with advertising from the internet, TV, and bill boards. We are hugely influenced in the way in which we purchase our food, clothes, toys, furniture, cars and everything!

In the story, “George went to see the Prime Minister”, George is addicted to buying clothes. At one stage in the story she stops and thinks about what she is doing, and decides that there are better ways to spend her time.

Lesson plan

As a group, read “George went to see the Prime Minister”

Bring to class lots of advertisements from magazines, the internet or anywhere, that are suitable to your students’ level – G rated. Divide the students into groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to fill out the following worksheet:

Who is the advertisement aimed at (who is the audience, who will read it)?

Is it selling something? What is it selling?

What is the advertisement is intending to do?

What is it trying to make us believe?

We will get more friends if we buy their product?

Will we be more famous if we buy it?

Bring the class back together and ask each group to discuss their answers.

(This concept can be revisited weekly, as students bring more examples to the classroom).

 

Family activity – taking a check on our consumerism

Book “George went to see the Prime Minister”

Concept:

Raising awareness of our own consumerism. We are inundated with advertising from the internet, TV, and bill boards. We are hugely influenced in the way in which we purchase our food, clothes, toys, furniture, cars and everything!

In the story, “George went to see the Prime Minister”, George is addicted to buying clothes. At one stage in the story she stops and thinks about what she is doing, and decides that there are better ways to spend her time.

As a family, read “George went to see the Prime Minister”

It is great to be on the spot as advertisements come on the TV to discuss. You can also pick out appropriate advertisements from magazines, the internet or anywhere, that are suitable to your family. Let the adults in the family share appropriate stories of how they are targeted (cars, etc) by advertisers and how they may be influenced to keep up with certain important peer groups. Discuss the following:

Who is the advertisement aimed at (who is the audience, who will read it)?

Is it selling something? What is it selling?

What is the advertisement is intending to do?

What is it trying to make us believe?

We will get more friends if we buy their product?

Will we be more famous if we buy it?

 

Keep revisiting this concept, building on examples, and raising awareness

Looking after our planet – family activity

Concept:

Focusing on the need to be continually looking after our planet and thinking about the future.

In our story, “George and the problem of food”  the friends worked for many long hours and for days and nights to fix the problem of food. It was such an effort that they decided to work on the problem of food more often.

As a family, read “George and the problem of food”.

If you don’t have a vegetable garden at home, it is a good idea to create one. Just creating a vegetable patch applies the learning. Your children will be able to plant vegetables and watch them grow. If you already have vegetables growing, then discuss the following:

  • What vegetables are growing?
  • When will each of them be ready to eat?
  • Create a calendar and write in (or draw) the vegetables that will be ready to eat on each month
  • Select a month when nothing will be ready to eat
  • Select and plant a vegetable that will be ready to eat in that month

If a vegetable garden is not an option for you, then you could think of planting herbs in pots, or alfalfa sprouts

Looking after our planet – lesson plan

Hey teachers, here’s a great way to engage your students to care about our planet:

Concept:

Focusing on the need to be continually looking after our planet and thinking about the future.

In our story, “George and the problem of food”  the friends worked for many long hours and for days and nights to fix the problem of food. It was such an effort that they decided to work on the problem of food more often.

Lesson plan

As a group, read George and the problem of food.

If you don’t have a vegetable garden for your class, it is a good idea to create one. Just creating a vegetable patch applies the learning. Your students will be able to plant vegetables and watch them grow. If you already have vegetables growing, then to apply the learning follow these steps:

  1. Do an audit of the vegetables growing
  2. What is currently growing in the patch?
  3. When will each of the different varieties be ready to eat?
  4. Create a class calendar and write in (or draw) the vegetables that will be ready to eat on each month
  5. Select a month when nothing will be ready to eat
  6. Select and plant a vegetable that will be ready to eat in that month

If a vegetable garden is not an option for you, then you could think of planting herbs in pots, or alfalfa sprouts!