We finished up Australia (Oz) this week. We continued learning about island life and different kinds of animals in Australia, especially marsupials (which are animals that raise their young in a pouch.) We also learned some Australian dialect, which I’ll tell you more about later. First, here is a list of the animals we covered:
- Kangaroos & Joeys
- Echidnas (a spiney anteater)
- Parrots and other Oz birds
- Koala Bears
Here you can watch the amazing birth of a baby kangaroo and how it instinctively knows where to go after its born. Nothing short of a God-thing!
When we learned about koala bears, we made little, edible KB's. Here, the kids are mixing 1 TB of Sunbutter (or Peanut Butter, if you’re kids are not allergic), and 1 TB of powdered sugar.
Once its all mixed, use clean hands to shape into 2 balls - a bigger one for the body, a smaller one for the head. Then, roll them into cocoa powder, place the head on top of the body, and add rasins or Craisins for the nose, ears, and 4 feet.
Then, eat it!
As I already mentioned, we also learned some Australian dialect, and picked out a lot of the words we learned in an old Australian song, called Waltzing Matilda. I have heard this song before, but never really understood what it meant. It’s a song about a wanderer who is going on a long hike (called a waltz). He takes a pot to cook in and several other necessities, all rolled up into his bedroll, which he calls Matilda - sort of like his companion, since he’s out there all alone. He, then, finds a sheep drinking by a pond on someone else’s property. He takes the sheep and stuffs it into his food bag. Then, the landowner sees it and calls the troopers (policemen on horses). They arrest him and are taking him away when he jumps into the pond, never to be seen again. However, the legend lives on...
Here is the song, sung by Slim Dusty, who is known as Australia’s king of Country music. As you listen to the song, you can pick out these words:
swagman = wanderer
matilda = bedroll
billabong = pond
billy = pail used for heating water
coolibah = a type of gum tree
jumbuck = sheep
tucker bag = food bag
squatter = land owner
troopers = policemen on horses
Slim Dusty has several other neat songs that we listened to as well, and were able to pick out the Australian words in them. There’s a song he sings about a DINGO, which is a wild dog that roams in the BUSH (countryside) of the OUTBACK (the interior portion of Oz that is mostly desert). There is another song he sings about the ABORIGINES (the native people of Oz). And, there is a song he sings about a ROAD TRAIN, which is a semi truck that has up to 3 trailers attached to it, carrying goods across the country.
I could tell you more, but think I will stop there. Overall, we had a great time learning about Australia, and it would be neat if we could visit there someday.
Ta (Good-bye) for now!