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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951

Rain Fish

Creative arts, Science and technology

Program overview

Where the wind blows, and water flows, is where the treasure goes…

Similarly, litter is easily blown or washed into our water stream. Rain Fish uses litter creatively. The sea animals in the story, made from litter, are washed away eventually. Where do they go? What do they become?

Students are encouraged to respond to the text by collecting the small, unnoticed litter that lies in the bushes and pavement cracks of every public place. From these bits of rubbish, which now become treasure, students create sea or air animals.

Session details

75 minutes. Up to 3 sessions (one class each) per day.

Key syllabus outcomes

  • Students make artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things (CA-VAS1.1) 
  • Students use the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements (CA-VAS1.2)
  • Students recognise observable changes occurring in the sky and on the land and identify Earth’s resources (ST1-10ES-S)
  • Students describe how the properties of materials determine their use (ST1-7MW-T)

Learning experiences

Students listen to the text Rain Fish, by Lois Ehlert. They consider the title and observe the materials she has used to create her illustrations. They study a map of their local environment and trace the path litter will take through the stormwater system to creeks, rivers and the ocean.

Students walk around school grounds and safely collect litter/art treasure. They create a background scene using a range of materials and collage sea or air creatures onto the backgrounds using their found treasure. Alternatively, they create a large, collaborative scene as a class and collage their animals onto the scene.

Students examine each other’s artworks and how everyone has used litter creatively.

Time permitting, students can begin to formulate plans to reduce litter at their school or in the local environment.