Going Green

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 73 – 30th June 2009

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.  Feedback is welcome.

PD Updates

Monday 13th July 2009 – Gagebrook, Hobart, Tasmania. Book direct with Moneka Knight on 6234 2299 or  0400 689 965 or email moneka.knight@aus.salvationarmy.org.  No charge.

Thursday 16th July 2009 – Geneva Christian College – 197 Moriarty Road, Latrobe Tasmania –        
Booking form is on the website now.  For further details contact me on info@kidzfizbiz.com.

Tuesday 20th October 2009 – Millfield Prep School – Edgarley Hall, Glastonbury Somerset, UK. Registration details to follow.

Please forward this newsletter to anyone in Tasmania or the UK that you think may be interested in attending.

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Going Green

During recessionary times it is interesting to see people going back to basics by doing such things as learning to cook for themselves. Yes, I realise it is what most people do most of the time but this is a novel concept for some. Cooking schools, especially boutique classes, are flourishing. Along with this comes repairing your clothes so they last another season rather than tossing them out and buying anew. Some people even go so far as growing their own vegetables.

Why does it have to take an economic recession for people to gain these valuable life skills? For the children of today it is a wonderful time because they get to see that food is actually grown and prepared for cooking. It isn’t something that magically appears on a tray in the freezer section of the supermarket, ready to be zapped in the microwave at home for that evening’s meal. Nor is it something you pick up at a drive-through on the way home. How many children, for example, know that milk actually comes from a cow?

I read in the newspaper this week about a school in Perth where the children were growing their own vegetables and having a wonderful time doing so. Like the ‘Little Red Hen’, the children plant, water and care for their plants before having the joy of eating them. They get to see the full cycle, each part of it fascinating. All the while their teachers are not only teaching them part of the science curriculum, but also incorporating maths, health and language as they get to write up their findings. I am a great believer in layering lessons so that you get multiple outcomes from one lesson. All teachers are time poor. Finding time to get the children involved in a garden project may seem too daunting for some teachers but if you cut out other things in the program you will have time. You will just see those outcomes achieved in a different way. Besides which you’ll have your kinaesthetic learners actually engaged.

This particular school is not unique in having a garden at school as many schools are doing the same. My own children had garden projects when they were at primary school so the concept is not new. Some children are even lucky enough to be able to grow plants at home. Encourage this. Even if they live in an apartment or town house, they can have a cherry tomato plant and some herbs growing in pot plants. This can even be part of the school project. Are the plants grown at home growing faster, better, with fewer pests and so on than the ones at school? What other differences are there?

A little bit of creativity with programming can go a long way.  I encourage it.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting friends in Vienna, Austria. While there I visited the Hundertwasser House. Herr Hundertwasser (an assumed name) was a famous artist, visionary and absolute ‘greenie’ who saw straight lines as “the devil’s tools” because they don’t appear in nature. Consequently the Hundertwasserhaus block in Vienna features undulating floors (“an uneven floor is a melody to the feet”), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that it was worth it, to “prevent something ugly from going up in its place”. His philosophy was that “If man walks in nature’s midst, then he is nature’s guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest.” Eccentric indeed but he gets his point across in a most delightful way. His quirky and unique buildings are to be found throughout Europe and elsewhere.

The respect of nature, the notion of ‘going green’ is not a new concept. We just seem to have misplaced it. It’s a shame that it takes a recession to bring us back to our wits but if that’s what it takes then so be it. Go green with the children in your midst. The planet will thank you for it and you just might find yourself having a wonderful time and the children seeing some relevance to their education.

Quotes of the Week

Why not go out on a limb?  Isn’t that where the fruit is?  –  Frank Scully 

Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do.

You can always tell an old soul by how friendly they are to trees.


The Hundertwasserhaus block in Vienna, Austria, complete with vegetation.


Some comments from ASME Summer School in Perth

Movement activities are easy to implement and good suggestions for classroom movement management. Julie Brown

To remember young children are young children. Often you’re so involved with middle/upper children you expect too much of younger ones. Chris Evans

The most useful thing I learned today were the dances, Hokey Pokey & Follow the Leader. Stretch and relax was such a great idea! Thank you so much! The whole presentation was fantastic – not to be missed! Kimberley Goh – Repoboth Christian College

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kfbmail.com

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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