Magic Beach Project

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Poseidon Decides He Has Been Given a Bad Rap

They say I am wrathful, as enraged as the sea
They have given all sorts of emotions to me
And told lots of stories of troubles I’ve wrought
Floods that I’ve caused, tidal waves that I’ve brought
But I am not always angry and showing my fists
The sea isn’t hostile, it simply exists
It’s spirit’s not haughty, insolent or imperious
But deep beyond knowing, entranced and mysterious
I can bring forth destruction, as all nature can
But I am not here to cause trouble to man
I’ve fed him since he first arrived on the scene
From one land to another, I’ve conveyed him between
I gave to man Pegasus’ springs of creation
Where the muses all drink to soak up inspiration
From those magical waters would come all the arts
Which would give men their souls, their humor, their hearts
So it was through me, my foresight and acumen
That mankind in the end, became fully human

Now they say I’m destructive and cause devastation
I say it’s all been misinterpretation
Mankind getting miffed at what he can’t understand
That the sea is itself, not at all like the land
A place he can visit and learn much that’s wise
An abode of deep magic and enchanted surprise
But man must remember when he knocks on my door
He’s opened a mystery, he’s not in charge anymore
A mystery that swells, that flows and transcends
If mankind can remember, we might end up as friends

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Shepherdess of the Silver Sea - From the Narnian Cookbook by Edwina Peterson Cross

Magic Beach - Feeling Stream of Consciousness

At Reservoir East Primary School everyone, from Principal to Grade 1/2, is working on the Magic Beach. Staff participate alongside their students and create special books, filled with responses, just like their students. So when Grade 2/3k drew the places they reached at the end of the silver moonlit path Panayiota Kai joined in. This image, with her feeling stream of consciousness, inspired her class to think beyond idyllic island paradises at the end of the moon's silver path.

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Hot and clammy, my face is glowing
Where the hell am I?
An island paradise - my fear overcomes me
and the island becomes a nightmare
A nightmare I never wanted to have
Nighttime falls
the darkness descends...
releasing all my fears.
Frightened, fear.
I break out in a panting - get a grip...
breathing heavily...take a deep breath, in,
hold it, count to ten,
release it...
start again...
Feels like spiders wriggling in my stomach.
Tastes like vomit bursting out
Sounds like screaming, deep within the caverns of my heart.
Smells like decomposed dead bodies.
Looks like a jungle.

Frightened, fear...

Ms Panayiota Kai

Neptune Rises at St Kilda Beach

Neptune Rises at St Kilda Beach
Reporter: Ms P. Kai

King Neptune rose out of the giant waves at St Kilda Beach today. He was surrounded by a huge army of whales, dolpins and sharks. "As far as the eye could see Neptune's army was full of different sea creatures," said Ms Flakey and early jogger. "It was a sight to behold!" said another beach goer.

The President of Australia, Mrs Allast, has called in the army and sent her best advisers to negotiate. Ms President believes that the sea world is objecting to the continual lack of respect of their environment by land dwellers. King Neptune's representative, was quoted as saying "We will stand for this no longer. Don't rubbish our waters or you will pay with your lives." The leading Dolphin said "land dwellers are terrorists! How dare you expect us to live in peace with you when you use our waters as your rubbish bins."
"Clean up or we will do it for you" he added.

The Age - Three Days Later

The Northern Hemisphere has been destroyed by the largest Tsunami the world has ever seen.

Eye Witness News Reports

Today students in Grade 1/2H 'took photos' and wrote news articles about 'seeing' King Neptune rise from the ocean with his army of fish warriors in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.

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by Selena Grade 2 - 1/2H

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by Taylor Grade 1 - 1/2H

Inside A Shell

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Ms Panayiota Kai, class teacher of 3/4K joins her class to explore the world inside a sea-shell.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Merpeople Sing At the Coronation at Cair Paravel - From the Narnian Cookbook by Edwina Peterson Cross

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Neptune Returns

"The day I return you will all die" cried Neptune as his city fell.

1000 years later, in the city of Melbourne, the world's most popular city, people are roaming around not knowing that in Port Phillip Bay the sky is grey, the sea is ripping and the wind is twirling as King Neptune returns.

"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Now you will die" screams Neptune as he rose from Port Phillip Bay.

As quick as lightening Zeus came and saved the day.

"I will not let you do this Neptune" screamed Zeus and electrocuted him,

"Maybe next time" screamed King Neptune.

to be continued
Cameron Brown Year 7

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Neptune Sea King

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Was the sea king
He came to seek revenge
He came with big wind storms
He came with the ocean behind him
He brought big storms for revenge on mankind
Luckily, he god of war Athena has come to save the day.
by Samantha Lee Farrugia Yr8 White

Mighty God

The mighty god
Rises out from the ocean
And points his trident at the sky
Rain starts to fall out of the night sky
Then he starts to make a giant wave out of air
And a giant octopus appears out of the giant wave
Using its long tentacles to smash down tall buildings everywhere
Mighty Zeus comes out of the sky and shoots them back to the ocean.
by David Charleston

Poseidon Rules

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The almighty god
Of those who lie under
the sea. Out of sight out of mind,
We who live above the sea only dream
Of what it would be like to be under the sea.
Although there is many a myth, that Poseidon would
turn you into a fish or kill you and eat your decomposing remains.
Those who embarked on a mission to glimpse Poseidon never returned.
by Stephanie Westwood Yr 8 White

A Poem to the sand that is rippled and long - A Poem to the Sea

A Poem to the Moon

A poem to the moon
A sliver of song
A poem to the sand that is
Rippled and long
A poem to the sea
That will break in my mind
A poem to tomorrow that
No one will find
A poem to forever
That will echo your voice
A poem that will offer
No kind of choice
A poem of the past
Filled with butterfly wings
A poem unrelieved
By everyday things
A poem unencumbered
Unbroken and round
A poem that is nothing
But thought and a sound
A voice come full circle
Without any tune
A silver of song
A poem to the moon

© Edwina Peterson Cross

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


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Students in Grade 2/3B have drawn pictures which show the place the children reach at the end of the silvery, moonlit path.

Altered Magic Beach Book

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Grade 2/3Z are currently altering a book to present work that students are doing with Heather Blakey on the Magic Beach by Alison Lester. We hope you enjoy our art work and writing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tsunami - A pyramid poem

A sea ninja
Slowlysucking energy
Waiting to attack Miami
Miami the town it still hates
It is still waiting - still thinking
Thinking of all the things they have said
Finally it attacks the town it really hates a lot
The people are so ashamed they don't talk ever again
by Damon Ansell

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Shell

The Shell

Coral opalescence, smooth and cool
Echoing silence and sea
Silver, salt-rimed moon blossom jewel
A pearled prayer that always will be
Eternal, iridescent
Cup of ocean and earth
Lustrous, luminescent
As the stars giving birth
Complete, incandescent
Spiraled universe whole
Hallowed, quiescent
The stillness of soul

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Magic of Long Long Ago

Once upon a time, long, long ago when I was a small girl I went with my Father to collect mussels from the beach near where we lived.
As we didn't have a car we always walked,across the park and through the railway yards.It was always on a Sunday morning ,nice and quiet.Dad carried a metal bucket and a long handled three pronged fork,he always wore his boilermaker long sleeved overalls (In case a jelly fish might bite him)
I sat on the sand and watched as he waded into the water underneath the pier where on the piles (large beams driven into the sea bed to hold up the pier) the mussels grew all huddled together in their black shiny shells.You had to be strong to prise them from the beams.My Dad was very strong .
When the bucket was full,we set off for home.I carried the large pronged fork and Dad held my hand and the bucket.My Brother would come sometimes when we could get him out of bed early on a Sunday morning.
The bucket and mussels were put into the gully -trap and cold water run through them,by this time Mum would have a large pot of boiling water on the stove and the mussels went into this, only for a very short time, just until they started to open .
Then back to the gully-trap where the hot water was tipped out and they were allowed to cool (a cloth over the top to keep off the blow-flies).
When cool we sat around and pulled the long hair that had been inside the shell and then we pulled (Very gently) the mussel from the side of the shell it was clinging on to.Then into a bowl where the mussels were sprinkled with pepper,a small amount of vinegar and a little juice from the pot when they were cooked,then into the ice-chest to cool till tea time.
Sunday night tea was mussels and bread and butter.
No one asked my Brother or I if we liked mussels,we just ate them, there was nothing else,no other choice was offered ...but we did love Sunday night tea .....and often there was rice pudding and cream for sweets (because it was Dad's favourite).
For me it was a very special time with my Dad ,as he worked shift work at the power station and often we didn't get to see him for a day or two just to be able to hold his hand as we walked to the beach of our home town in Port Melbourne made me feel as if I was the favourite child in the family..

Lois Daley (Muse of the Sea) 13/5/05..

The Shell

I walked out of my house; crossed the sands and walked down to the beach that was right on my island.

It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day.

I grabbed a bucket and walked past the palm trees, past the sand and over to the rock pools.

In the smallest rock pool I saw the most gorgeous shell. It was all different colours and it shimmered in the sunlight.

Suddenly I felt a churning feeling in my stomach.

I closed my eyes and after 10 seconds I opened them.

The glittering walls of a pink room surrounded me. And then it dawned on me?

I was in the shell!!!!! Everything was perfectly still.

I could hear the sea splashing up against the rocks.

I could smell the seaweed and seawater. Suddenly a wave splashed over the shell and everything went dark.

I sat down wondering if it was all a dream.

Then the shell was pushed up to the surface of the water. The shell became clear and see-through.

The sun pressed down on my face and I thought, ?How can I get out of here.? I was scared of the thought that I might stay in this shell forever.

The shell went dark again and I heard some giggling.

Everything became light as it was before, but this time I was under the sea. I saw two big fish tails and a flash of gold. I looked closely out of the shell and I saw two mermaids. They came up to the shell and opened it. I went out and held my breath for as long as I could but I finally gave up. I closed my eyes and then took a breathe.

I could breath! I couldn?t believe it. I looked down and saw a scaly tail. I had become a mermaid!! I tried to talk to the mermaids but the only thing that came out was bubbles. The other mermaids gave me a shell necklace. With it I could talk. They brang me to a beautiful castle. There were Mer-people everywhere.

They fed me foods and gave me a place to live.

And there I stay happily forever and ever and ever.

The End
by Bianca Grade 5/6

Mysteries of the Sea Shell

The seashell had a beautiful inside, pink, white, a variety of colors moving in and out with the tide. The water was crystal clear with fish swimming around it. I was on something like a pier, surrounded by water, in a shell. It was a lot like the shell?s my grandmother collects and pastes on picture frames. I especially liked the one of her and me at Cabinosa, the place for people too lazy to pitch a tent.

I heard a drip, drip, and drip sound somewhere within the shell. I turned slowly and walked up the pier. Inside was a spiral of mystery. Jellyfish, fish, sea snails all around, riding slowly along the water elevator which went up and down with the tide, in the middle of sparkling silver. I stepped between a toadfish and a sea snail and rose up into the next room.

The next room was incredible. A hole in the top acted both as a chandelier and fountain as water poured with seawater upon a fountain of coral. The coral was beautiful, a sky blue with little starfish around it. The starfish were dancing in the sunlight while the toadfish dished out at the all you can eat buffet, with all sorts of bits they had stolen from unwary fishermen. The sea animals looked so happy. I wanted to have fun, sing, and dance with all the animals but I needed to know where the dripping was coming from. So I left the buffet, squeezed past two salmon and rushed into the next room.

The room was full of fountains. The pressurized water gushed up towards the spiraled ceiling. All the baby fish, who would have just hatched from their bubble like eggs, were testing their cute fishy bodies by swimming past and dodging the gushes of water. They were laughing and talking, bubbles flowing from their little mouths. Suddenly all the fountains blasted up at once. Everyone even more soaked then we were before, laughed out loud and talked some more. I had found out what the drip, drip, drip was and now it was time to leave. I exited the shell and onto the sand below.

I looked down upon a city of crab holes just under the shell. Beyond the city, was a forest of seaweed poking out from the sandy ground. Before long a sea horse drawn carriage greeted me. I sat next to a crab, and with a loud ?Crack,? of a whip, we were off riding towards the forest. I looked towards the enormous shell and as it grew smaller I tried to catch it, but I knew what would happen to all my sea bound friends if I did, if I raised it from the ocean floor. I lowered my hand, and I was greeted to the surface by a bright light.

As I pulled myself out of my trance, I returned my gaze to the shell. In the shallows of the beach, just near Cabinosa. It had hypnotized and brought me into a dream world. If only, if only, it had all been true.

by Jeff Hogan

Inside the Sea Shell

Play some pan flute music like Medwyn Goodall's Medicine Woman and sit quietly in from of your journal.

Hold a simple seashell in your non dominant hand and your pen in your dominant hand.

Caress the shell with your fingers, letting your eyes travel over its surface.

Let the sweet music that Pan used to attract the nymphets waft into the corridors of your mind.

Breathe deeply

Close your eyes and allow yourself to wander into the corridors of the shell using each of your senses to map where you are. What do you see, hear, smell, touch with your naked feet?

Wander through the multi-levels and peer through opened doorways and windows. Notice your surroundings. Listen to the sounds in this cavern. Feel the surface. Move into the cavern where your creative spirit has retreated, to escape the break neck speed of modern society.

Find the door to this space. Notice what the door is made of. Let the door come alive. Is the door prepared toopen itself? Do voices call out? Enter the doorway.

Begin to write whatever is in your mind. Consider writing a dialogue with your creative self and ask how you can honour it respectfully and unify it with your everyday self. Do not stop to think. Just write about where you are and what happens

Follow the Silver Moon's Path

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The final page of the Magic Beach by Alison Lester reveals a full moon creating a path across the bay. After reading the book everyone expects that the sleeping children will venture along this path.

I have asked students to zoom in and draw, in detail, the place that this silvery path leads to. Some children have volcanoes and dinosaurs wandering in the mystical land while others have Disney style fun parks. Now, thanks to Winnie Cross, they may just find themselves in the world with the starfish sky.

After they had drawn the world at the end of the path we wrote feeling poems about how they would feel as they landed on the beach. A feeling poem begins with the emotion and closes with the emotion.

For example

feels like...
looks like...
tastes like...
sounds like...
smells like...

We will be posting poems and drawings here on this blogger and joyfully welcome all contributions. If you haven't signed up to participate in this blogger consider doing so soon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Starfish Sky - By Edwina Peterson Cross

Dream Mermaid - By Edwina Peterson Cross

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bubbles - By Edwina Peterson Cross

Monday, May 09, 2005

Label for Story in a Bottle

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One of the tasks that students will undertake as a part of the Magic Beach project is to create stories in bottles. I am currently sourcing salad dressing style bottles that will hold small beach scenes adn a story and we will create a label for the bottle. This wine bottle label that Carol Abel has sent me will hopefully help students come up with some of their own designs.

Perhaps some folk here at Soul Food might be interested in designing one to feature on this blogger. All responses will be joyfully welcomed.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mermaid Moments

The digital art depicting mermaids that Winnie has posted, combined with a link sent to me by Carol Abel has prompted me to explain how I am thinking about this Magic Beach project.

I have prepared a unit based on Blooms Taxiomy which covers the seven ways to learn. Bloom categorizes the learning styles and identifies them as Verbal, Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Kinaesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal and Intarpersonal and I have prepared activities for each category, covering the elements of knowing, understanding, applying, analysing, creating and evaluating.

So, now that I have Winnie's mermaids I may very likely show them to my students and present them with some alluring options. For example, we could use the mannequins I use for self portraiture with Year 12 students and make some mermaid figures like this 'Muse of the Sea' that Lois Daley created while working on a similar project with me.

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Sarah Boland loved what I do with mannequins and so we used these torsos to show what Veronica Bee and other characters looked like when we studied 'To Love Veronica Bee'. Sarah has since had an animator feature the finished mannequins in a short animation. Taking the activity to this level demonstrates to students just how far an idea can be taken and provides them with more incentives to participate.

The link Carol sent to the mathematical, science project shows just what you can do with a simple paper plate. For the Magic Beach I would simply change some of the activities and might get students to make the steering wheel for the outboard motor boat that they ride the waves on and have them do some research about motor boats. The learning opportunities are only limited by our imaginations.

One of the more unusual aspects of what I am doing here is that I am taking a book that would normally be done with Grade 1 or 2 and I am using it as a vehicle to present curriculum to students ranging in age from five to fifteen. I may well engage my Year 12 students and that will expand the cohort and demonstrate that a teacher does not have to find new material for different age groups.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Salmon Mermaid - From "The Narnian Cookbook" by Edwina Peterson Cross

Mermaid on the Rocks - by Edwina Peterson Cross

Pink Mermaid Delirium Dream - by Edwina Peterson Cross

Thursday, May 05, 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.

I have set up this blogger to enable people from my classes and Patrons from the Soul Food Cafe to participate and show multi media art work and writing. I will post some of the activities that the class are doing and I know that it is going to be exhilarating as responses are posted.