Book Week 2015: Fire

Book Week 2015

Fire by Jackie French is shortlisted by CBCA for the Picture Book of the Year.

This fictional book and a follow-up to her book Flood. This is a powerful story of the very real threat a bushfire poses in Australia. Through rhyming verses she explores the feelings of just how it feels to be confronted by such an imposing force.

Mrs Jackson @ Mrs Jackson's Class Website Blog posted the picture to the left as an activity for Fire Safety Week.

It would be easy to build upon the base activity of having the students create a 'fire' with red and yellow paints on cartridge paper. Once dried have the students create a picture with silhouettes (black card) of a house and person or the trees to represent the bush.

Anne Farrell @ Use Your Coloured Pencils has a similar style of artwork with step-by-step photos. They used paints for the background and straws with black paint (and a bit of blowing) to create the silhouettes.
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri has painted a few pieces of art on the theme of bush fires. 

It is important to consider the impact that the bush fires have on the Indigenous population and how they tell their own story (such as through art work and oral stories).
Have students describe the paintings using art-specific language. Focus on the colours, techniques, use of geometric designs, and placement of depictions.

Once described, have the students write a story for either older or younger children. 

Have students view footage of fires (see next section) and create their own artwork. You may wish to specify it be in a similar style to Tim's or a more contemporary one.

YouTube has several videos available that are about the major bush fires that Australia has experienced in the recent years, such as Ash Wednesday I, Ash Wednesday II (more commonly referred to as Ash Wednesday) and Black Saturday.

***I strongly urge you to view these videos and make your own judgement as to the appropriateness of the content in regards to the year level you are teaching. Some videos have scenes that may distress some students (such as animals burnt and deceased).***
As feelings are a major component of the experience of a bushfire it would be applicable to incorporate that in any work you do.

Drama would be the perfect way for students to convey their feelings. Have students design and perform, in small groups, an interpretation of the fire and the impact it had on people, plants and/or animals.

Write an action plan for a bush fire emergency and discuss what in the videos led to the inclusion of the elements.

Write a poem based on the emotions that the student feels. Haiku would be an excellent choice of style for this.

Click on the board cover to the left and Follow my Pinterest board for links, ideas and more for Book Week 2015

Click on the board cover to the left and Follow my Fire Safety board for more ideas

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