In HASS this week we thought we had learned everything there was to know about the seasons when… we chatted to Dale Tilbrook, a Wardandi Nyoonar woman. She told us that in Nyoongar culture there are six seasons! Well! We had tried to Facetime her but internet issues meant we ended up having to call her on my mobile and listen to her on speaker, sharing her knowledge of the Nyoongar seasons. In a sign of the times, we sat around a phone, rather than a campfire, listening to an elder share her knowledge. Here is some of what she said…
Bunuru is the hottest season, the second summer. Nyoongars would burn the grasses at the end of Bunuru so the new plants would sprout with the soon to come rains. Then animals would come to eat the plants and could be caught for food.Reptiles would be flushed out with the fires, too, and could be caught. It is the season of reptiles.
Djeran is the autumn season. The weather gets cooler and the first rains come.Emus lay eggs in this season. The large eggs were good to eat. Nyoongars could look to the sky and see an emu in the sky at this time of the year. It was not a constellation, but rather a space in between the stars that looked like an emu.
Makuru is the winter season. It rains and is cold. Kaardar (racehorse lizard) and norn(dugite) hibernate. As the lakes and swamps fill up with water, kooyar (frogs) sing their songs.
Djilba is late winter/early spring. It is a mixture of wet days with increasing number ofclear, cold nights and pleasant warmer days.
Kambarang is late spring. Many plants flower, like moodja, the Western Australian Christmas tree. The reptiles wake up from their hibernation. Nyoongars start moving towards the beach.
Birak is the first summer. Nyoongars camp near the beach. They swim in the ocean, catch fish and crabs and have family celebrations together.
In Religion we have been discussing the birth of Jesus and the events around his birth. We retold the event using finger puppets and painted a nativity scene to put up in the classroom on Friday morning.
In Art we have used some different techniques to start creating Christmas cards for our families. Thanks to the parents who gave us the foam trays and other craft items which have been very helpful. We used the trays to make individual prints on Thursday and they look great.
In Literacy we have read and studied ‘I Wish I Had A Pirate Suit’ by Pamela Allen. The students really enjoy their Literacy block activities and its rewarding to see them so engaged. One activity asked them to take verbs from the text, act one out, then two, then three… until they had a whole chain of actions happening. Exciting to watch!
In Maths we reviewed our excursion and used the map of Naturescape, with a grid drawn on it, to locate the areas we had visited. The students have enjoyed the grid referencing activities we have done this term. Next time you are using a street directory, you could ask your child to help you find the street you are looking for!
Our Friday morning was a busy one. We had a couple of STEM challenges. One was to try to make a catapult using pop-sticks and elastic bands. Quite a few catapults were created and it’s wonderful to see the design, maths and fine motor practise happening all at once. The students could also have a go at making a large marble run using cardboard tubes and masking tape. This was followed by our weekly ‘Innaloo Ninja Warrior’ sport session. Each week I set out a new obstacle course and ask the students to challenge themselves in different ways. They have been leaping, jumping, hanging from monkey bars, climbing, crawling, rolling, kicking and much more. It’s great to see them grow in skill and confidence.
Our final nativity practise was today. Fingers crossed for a great performance tonight!