Curious creatures

CURIOUS CREATURES: Year 6 student Annika created an axolotl out of clay as part of McDonnell Park Primary School’s book week celebrations.

CURIOUS creatures and wild animals came to life at McDonald Park Primary last week for the school’s Book Week celebration.

The school’s library was transformed into a leafy wilderness as students and staff let their imagination run wild for the annual event.

In line with this year’s theme of Curious Creatures, Wild Minds theme, classes each had a special book week art lesson and focused on illustrator styles and techniques from the 2020 shortlisted books.

McDonald Park Primary School teacher librarian Suzanne Harding said students used photography, watercolour, sculpture, drawing and collage to create artworks based on the books.

Completed artworks are currently on display at the school’s library.

“Foundation and Year 1 students based their artwork on Goodbye House, Hello House and created watercolour paintings on cardboard boxes,” she said.

“The Year 3 and 4’s looked at Paper Boy and experimented with different materials, effects and text to create collages.

“The Year 6 and 7’s looked at a variety of different curious creatures and read The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ugly Animals.

“They then used plaster seem and moulding clay to create their own curious animals.”

As well as participating in a dress-up book week parade, Ms Harding said students also engaged in the week by undertaking a whole class research project on a particular animal.

She said the optional task was embraced by all classes, with students creating static displays on a number of rare animals including wooly mammoth, sloths, yeti crab and a narwhal

“The activities provided students with an outlet to experience the books more deeply and learn more about the world in the process,” Ms Harding said.

“Inquisitive learning is very prominent in our school and the activities challenged students to research creatures they may not have heard of before, learn information and then present it to others.

“Tailoring the activities also helped the student connect with this year’s book week theme, which is really important.

“Students said the activities helped deepen their understanding and really excited them.”

Foundation student Fiona said she enjoyed learning about the narwhal – dubbed the unicorn of the sea – because of its long tusk.

“The curious creature our class learnt about was the narwhal and that was my favourite activity,” she said.

“I learnt they can make people deaf because they have a high pitch.”