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Melbourne the place to be for sustainability

Donna Coutts, February 5, 2017 7:15PM Herald Sun

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DO YOU have worms? Do you keep bees? Can you fix your own bike? Do you know what’s safe to eat from the bush? Did you know you can grow lots of your own food in just a little space? And did you know some people build tiny, tiny houses for themselves and reckon they’re living in a palace?

If you answered no to any of those questions, the Sustainable* Living Festival Australia could be for you. And if you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll absolutely love this festival.

The festival is on from Friday until February 28. There are events on across Victoria for the entire month, including pop-up* libraries and veggie patches, walking tours and art workshops. But the best way to see, hear, taste and learn a whole bunch of things in the same place in a short space of time is at the Big Weekend, at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr this Friday to Sunday.

A worm farm is one way to turn waste into something useful. Picture: David Smith media_cameraA worm farm is one way to turn waste into something useful. Picture: David Smith

At the Big Weekend there are workshops*, talks, art exhibitions, films, markets and more where you can learn about worms and compost to break down household waste, about keeping bees in the city, about the fascinating history of bush food, about keeping chooks (yes, even in the suburbs!) and about making energy in ways that don’t harm the environment. There’s a miniature tree house building workshop for children.

Community gardens like this one at Meeniyan are great ways to grow food and meet people. Photo: Chloe Smith media_cameraCommunity gardens like this one at Meeniyan are great ways to grow food and meet people. Photo: Chloe Smith

There’s even a house in Federation Square that’s been built for the festival so you can see how ace a tiny house can be. The pop-up home is part of a project called The New Joneses. That name is a play on words because sometimes we say people are “keeping up with the Jonses”, meaning they’re buying and doing things that are more than they need just to keep up with what others are doing. The New Joneses house is a way of teaching people simple ways to be more thoughtful and sustainable. Some of the suggestions you’ll learn about at the house include eating Fairtrade* chocolate, using solar power, changing light globes from halogen to LED and to stop wasting food.

Will, 5, proves anyone can have a vegie garden, no matter how small the garden or how young the person. Picture Roger Wyman media_cameraWill, 5, proves anyone can have a vegie garden, no matter how small the garden or how young the person. Picture Roger Wyman

The festival is free. You can see the program at slf.org.au

GLOSSARY

sustainable: able to be continued forever, as in living in a way that looks after the planet forever

pop-up: temporary

workshops: where you get to do something, rather than just listen to someone talk

Fairtrade: a program that makes sure people are getting paid a fair amount for the work they do. You can see a Fairtrade logo on products that are part of this program.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: The Big Weekend

Read or listen to the article carefully before completing these activities.

1. The article lists a number of sustainable living practices including having a vegetable patch and using solar power. Choose 5 of these practices that you are familiar with and make a chart showing the advantages and possible disadvantages of each one. Highlight the ones you already do at home or school.

2. If you were able to go to The Big Weekend what would you like to find out more about? Write 3 questions you would like to have answered about this topic.

Extension: With a partner create a radio ad for The Big Weekend. Make sure you include details of where and when it is taking place and what it is all about. When planning your ad think about what will catch the listeners’ attention? Perhaps you can mention some of the events that will take place. How will you use your voice to help?

Or

Make a poster advertising The Big Weekend. Make sure you include details of where and when it is taking place and what it is all about. What will you do to catch people’s attention? What information should stand out?

Time: allow about 40 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Media, Science

Activity 2

Write an acrostic poem using the word SUSTAINABILITY. An acrostic poem is where the first letter of each line spells out the word or phrase. You can use one word on each line or you can write a phrase. Try and have all words or phrases related to ‘Sustainable Living’

Here is an example to help get you started.

Eg.

Sustainable living

Up on the roof

Solar panels catch the rays of sun

Tanks fill with rainwater

A

I

N

A

B

I

L

I

T

Y

Once you are happy with your poem, get a partner to help you check the spelling and punctuation. Create a ‘published’ copy using coloured pencils/markers and display in the classroom.

Extension: Design a tiny house that ‘keeps up with the ‘new’ Joneses’. Decide how many people your house is for. Ensure it includes somewhere to sleep, cook, eat, bathe, use the toilet and do your homework! Be inventive with your space. Think about where you will store things. Include as many sustainable living practices as possible (eg. Solar panels, compost or worm farms etc)

Time: allow about 40 minutes to complete this task

Curriculum links: English, Science, Design and Technologies

VCOP Activity

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Activity: Ask a question challenge!

At the beginning of this story, the reader is asked several questions. Asking questions is a key ingredient in generating ideas and developing a deeper level of thinking relating to topics you might be learning in the classroom. Your challenge is to ask a question related to the story starting with the following:

– Who

– What

– When

– Why

– How

– Can

– Are

– Do

– How

Extension: Ask another 9 questions relating to a topic of your choosing.

* Note: You can only complete this after you have asked 9 questions relating to the story.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete the task

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP

Activity provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au

IN A SENTENCE, SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TODAY’S STORY

At Kids News, we love to read your best efforts at grammar, punctuation and great vocabulary.

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