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When reading this story, invite your children to sit in a circle to enjoy every page, and use each one as an invitation to spark different paths of inquiry. Children might want to research more about the specific characteristics and habits of birds, or discover and observe different colours in the natural world. Try experimenting using different materials to create your own depiction of the book and explore how colours are formed.
Uno’s story is a wonderful starting point for discussing a number of important issues and concepts with the children, such as numbers and their growth, cause and effect, ethics and action, and personal and communal responsibility for the environment with the children.
The online learning module ‘STEM inquiry: Co-constructed environments for curious minds’ has been developed in partnership with Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and is now available on the ECA Learning Hub platform.
The book ‘The incredible freedom machines’ takes the reader to a dusty town somewhere in Australia to a young girl that watches others using so-called freedom machines. She dreams about building her very own freedom machine but realises it takes time, effort, and determination to learn how to use it.
Too often, we meet the attitudes of ‘I’m not good at STEM’, ‘I hated Math at school’ and ‘I just don’t have a sciencey brain’. This book is a great conversation starter for resilience, overcoming adversity and breaking out of the mould.
Take this opportunity to travel the world with the children, inspecting different kinds of wonderful bridges, each fulfilling a particular purpose, constructed using different methods and materials and located in a variety of settings.
Maya’s friend Rafael can’t believe his eyes when he visits her before racing day. The cart doesn’t look like anything he has ever seen before. Maya followed her own imagination instead of the kit’s instructions in her attempt to fly like the bird she observed. It comes as no surprise that Maya’s flying go-cart wins the race.
Just like any other book, this story can lead to many different explorations. It could get the children thinking and talking about symbioses they can observe or experience in their everyday lives and even inside their own bodies. They might want to research other interesting facts about sea animals or find out more about animal communication.
This openhearted poem captures the moods and beauty of everyday life and takes the reader to the core of human existence. Beauty, love and humanity is found in the simplest and smallest things. Be that a feather twirling in the wind, a beautiful old tree inviting children to climb in, a cosy kitchen filled with laughter and the smell of cupcakes, a thunderstorm rolling in and leaving people rushing to find shelter or a wave crashing against a rocky shore.
Raise children’s self- esteem by talking about how they don’t need to be academic but that being practical, creative and empathetic are also ways to be smart. Choose one of the colourful pages and begin!