Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Magic Beach Project

This semester I am presenting a unit of work on the 'Magic Beach' by Alison Lester to students ranging in age from Prep to Year Eight. We will be working to present a variety of art and multi media responses to the text. To learn more about 'Magic Beach' read this review by Dan Hurburgh. Hurburgh is Australian writer with a passion for maritime history.

A rhyming story line in a child's picture book seldom works well. They often seem so contrived and sometimes downright corny.

Not so in Alison Lester's 'Magic Beach'. This book deserves the status of a classic in contemporary children's literature. In fact, the book is regularly listed in the Best Seller lists in Australia, where the author resides. ...

All children love the freedom and fun of a trip to the beach. Alison transports us to one of the childhood's favourite playground, that place where the land meets the sea. The real joys of beachside fun are joined with pleasurable and harmless seaside fantasies.

On alternate pages, we are taken from beautiful realities to even more captivating fantasies. We go from a scene with a sparkling sea to an exciting world where we can ride waves pretending they are "wild white horses". We go from sandcastle building to a land of fire breathing dragons. We explore rock-pools and their magic world of starfish and crabs, and then go to an evenmore magic Kingdom where we can ride seahorses.

The beach is still magic when it's a cloudy and gray day, our imaginations will help us discovered a treasure chest. We can go boating in the safety of bay, and then let the wind and our fantasies take us to the "edge of the world".

We fish and laze on the jetty, and in our daydreams, we catch a monstrous shark.

It is now evening-time, we are toasting marshmallows around the glowing fire, and in the shadows, there may be smugglers hauling in crate-loads of booty.

It's time for bed, and to the sounds of the ocean, we drift off to sleep on the evening tide.

This is a fabulous book which has universal and popular appeal.

Here in the art room I figured that some people may be interested in creating art work along-side students. One of the projects I will be undertaking is 'Stories in Bottles', including ghostly stories to tell around the campfire. We will also be making a group quilt to depict elements of the story.

I plan to have a page set up at Soul Food so that you can view artwork and so that I can display work that participants contribute. On this page there will be an outline of the unit of study which covers the seven ways to learn. There will be Verbal, Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Kinaesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal activities provided.

If you are interested in participating just send an email to me at with the subject line 'Magic Beach Project'.


At 1:47 AM, Blogger Edwina Peterson Cross said...

Well, I just hit the dreaded " One Click" and ordered myself a copy of "Magic Beach." I love the concept.

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Oh Winnie! That one click at Amazon is fatal. I have become seriously addicted to going straight to Amazon when I hear of a good book and, well, we all know what happens next. What fascinates me is that they keep a record of what we purchase and can tell you that you bought something a year ago if you reorder something.

Now Magic Beach is just divine. I worked with some Grade 2's yesterday and they did fabulous sketches of the place at the end of the moonlit path.

I will send you a copy of the project. The whole project will not go on the internet but I am happy to mail all the activities to anyone who asks for them.
love Heather


Post a Comment

<< Home