Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.
What do these words mean to you? What do they mean to the children?
The words we use in English are largely based on a European construct. One of our Little Scientists team members likes to collect Christmas cards with images that reflect this attempt to reconcile Australian reality with the European concept.
You all know the pictures of Santa and a kangaroo in the snow or koalas and echidnas with Santa hats and snow outside the window. Being surrounded by snowy imagery and possibly even involved in art activities involving snowmen or reindeer pulling a sleigh can be a bit confusing for young children, who may start to expect snow at Christmas time, despite it being 35°C.
Many places in Australia don’t have seasons that fit neatly into European concepts of Winter. Collecting Autumn leaves is a little difficult if you don’t have many imported feral trees in your area. Spring flowers may have been flowering all ‘Winter’.