School Holidays in Sydney






In Victoria, Australia we are half way through a two week break  from school before Term 4 begins for 2013.  So far I have visited the Royal Melbourne Show and had the wonderful opportunity of spending three days in sunny Sydney. I took my long-time friend and two Rotary Youth Exchange Students, Alexandra from Finland and Agatha from Brazil to show them some of the brilliant sights Sydney has to offer.  We took a Ferry ride to Manly, visited Darling Harbour and watched the many boats passing by our waterfront hotel the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour. We enjoyed a magnificent view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and  we were very close to the Sydney Opera House. One morning we found that a cruise ship, the Carnival Spirit, had docked opposite our hotel.  I hope that Taylors Lakes Primary School students  and  other Blog Visitors will tell us about their holiday experiences. We hope you like the colourful horse ( or is it a zebra?) we spotted in Manly. Why do you think  taking a photo of the green ferry “Friendship” was important to me?

Preps Like Peggy












We read the Australian Book Council’s shortlisted picture story book “Peggy” by Anna Walker to our Prep students recently. They loved the story which is about a black hen  ( Peggy) who is blown by a strong wind from her comfortable hen house in the suburbs to the inner city of Melbourne. They particularly loved the adventures she had trying out products in the shops. The  oversized underpants were their real favourite. In response to the story the students made a collage which featured Peggy, the sunflowers, the hen house and the city buildings.



Mixing Colours, Making Jungles.




Our Prep students spent some time in Term Two mixing colours and painting  a jungle. Blue and yellow were mixed to create leafy jungles, butterflies were made by “squashing” primary colours and black and white were mixed to create sturdy  grey elephants.
We made use of the NGA Kids website which features an interactive jungle.

Tribal Masks by Grade Five












Our Grade 5 students used natural hessian (burlap) soaked in PVA glue and water laid over plastic mask molds to create these face shapes. When they were dry they were painted using earthy colours and decorated using a variety of great materials purchased from our favourite art supplier Zart. The students were encouraged to use sewing as well as gluing to hold on the beads etc. The frames were custom made for us by Daniel whose business “Images To Go” is just down the street from our school.

Winter’s Here




It’s the first day of Winter here in Australia.  It’s not snowing ( it rarely does in suburban Melbourne) but the  weather is damp and miserable, a great time for writing and reading Blog posts. While my fellow Art teacher is holidaying in Europe I have had the pleasure of taking her Grade Two classes on a Friday. Yesterday the students added  some collage to last week’s stencil printed snowmen. They had a wonderful time imagining such characters as Snow families, Ninja snowmen and even famous snow people who had the red carpet rolled out for them. A piece of red ribbon inspired that idea. Next week we will complete the pictures and begin to plan our 3D snow people.

Venetian Masks





Last November I visited the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. There were canals complete with gondolas and buildings in the distinctive Venetian style. I captured some photos of the ornate Venetian Masks which were for sale in some of the many shops. I hope that they will inspire our Grade Six students who are beginning to construct Paper Mache masks today.

We’re Believing in Circular Weaving


 Our Grade 3 and 4 students based a circular weaving work on Mandalas ( the word comes from  the Sanskrit word for circle). The students made a circular loom by cutting slits at regular intervals around a plastic or paper picnic plate and winding wool around it to create the “warp” threads. The wool ends were taped onto the back of the plate or tied. They then used a variety of different “weft” threads to weave in a circular motion until the space was filled. They could still use some additional decoration. It will be interesting to see how creative our students can be in this today’s lesson.
Are there other circular looms which could be used? I once saw an old bike wheel used as a loom. Or what about a hula hoop?

Our Coat of Arms

Second Term began yesterday here in Victoria, Australia and fellow Art Teacher Glenys Vella and I took a group of 21 Grade 6 students on an excursion into the City of Melbourne. We visited  Victoria’s Parliament House where we were given an excellent guided tour of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council chambers.  We then walked to the  nearby Melbourne Museum where we ate a picnic lunch and toured several exhibits including the Dinosaur Walk, the Melbourne Story and the Forest Gallery. The pictured 3D Coat of Arms was part of the Melbourne Exhibition. Although the kangaroo and emu are long dead they looked realistic and showed how they majestically guard our State emblems on one federal shield. The background floral emblem is our golden wattle. Can you find which emblem goes with which of our states?

Places in Our Hearts – Henry

It’s so sad to write that our beloved pets have died. They take up an enormous part of our hearts and  when they go they leave a hollow feeling in us. I was blessed to have these two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Lexxy (left) and Henry, in my life over the past nine years. Lexxy died on December 23rd 2011  and Henry, just two days ago. Pets are something that many of us have in common and stories  about them abound. Henry’s special trick was to bring in our newspaper, the Herald Sun, each morning. This was difficult on weekends because the paper was so heavy.
Rest In Peace Henry. Your cheeky character, complete loyalty and unconditional love will be sadly missed.

 I would like to hear about your pet and why he/she is so dear to you.