Categories: News and Events Date: Jun 26, 2013 Title: Mrs Echidna goes bushJuvenile echidnas will travel up to 40 km to establish their own ranging area. Our 'Mrs Echidna' recently travelled much further, visiting schools in Far North Queensland - at Mt Surprise (4 hours west of Cairns) and South Johnstone (1 1/2 hrs south of Cairns). What a privilege to share with students from P-7 in these country schools!
Mt Surprise State School has only 16 students - but what amazing students they are! Living in an 'outback' town in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, they are just so familiar with the unique Australian fauna! It amazed me that two of them had actually recently seen an 'echidna train' - in this case, about 8 males following a female echidna in their quest to father the next generation. (Photo below: with Mt Surprise Principal, Jo Ross - who was Queensland's 'teacher of the year' in 2012!)
With very short notice, (I was visiting my brother's nearby 70 sq mile cattle station) the older students had researched my book, information about the author, and echidnas! Wow! They were really enthusiastic learners, with lots of prior knowledge on the subject. With the 16 students ranging from P-7, the program presented ranged from introductory puppets and singing through to the more advanced concepts of writing and editing their own stories, from my experience in writing and editing this book.
A week later, and I visited school at South Johnstone, near Innisfail, Queensland. Here we had 5 sessions with the students from P-7. Once again the students were so familiar with the animals in the book - telling their own stories of platypus in the creeks on their property, and echidnas wandering across the road as they travel home! (below - Bec teaches Grade 4-5 at the school)