Victorian Landcare Magazine - Spring 2022, Issue 85
Above Designed for all age groups, the Junior Landcare Learning Centre activities make it easy to bring Landcare into the home, community, or classroom.
The Junior Landcare online Learning Centre is a free resource hub of dynamic, hands-on learning activities developed by education professionals to involve children of all ages in caring for their local environment.
The resources can be used by teachers and educators, parents and carers, youth groups and Landcare groups. They are designed to spark curiosity, link to the school curriculum, and create positive experiences.
The learning activities focus on four key areas: food production, First Nations perspectives, waste management and biodiversity. Each learning activity includes a narrative featuring Suyin, the biodiversity champion; Amir, the waste management warrior; Beth, the food production ambassador; and Jarrah, Junior Landcare’s Indigenous perspectives leader. These Junior Landcare characters help children to navigate through the activities and create formative memories.
From creating a wildlife habitat to understanding water sustainability; from making a wicking bed to growing healthy plants using natural pesticides, the learning activities all come with step-by-step instructions with background information including seasonal notes (when best to carry out the activity) and suggested age range. Videos explain why the learning activity is important before students get started and there are educator notes and printable activity sheets.
The 10 curriculum-linked First Nations perspective learning activities include topics on local seasons exploring First Nations weather, creating an Indigenous plant use garden, and whose Country, exploring First Nations peoples languages map. Developed with First Nations educator, Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp, the activities assist educators in the classroom when teaching First Nations perspectives, but are also useful for caregivers and children to learn more about how they can have a connection to Country.
All the activities aim to inspire curious minds and include suggestions for extension activities, reference lists for further information and a did-you-know section with useful facts to stimulate discussion.
An online Educator Hub has been developed to help educators and Landcare groups to get the most out of the Junior Landcare Learning Centre. There are many targeted resources including project planning tips and First Nations perspectives language guidelines.
And for those rainy days, school holidays or to provide a fun challenge for independent learning in any setting, the just for kids section offers printable sheets including frog dot-to-dots, soil word challenges and how to make your own seedling pots. The Junior Landcare online Learning Centre is supported by Woolworths.
Esther Etkin is Communications and Public Relations Manager at Landcare Australia. To visit the Junior Landcare Online Learning Centre go to www.juniorlandcare.org.au