Mystery at Manyallaluk
Manyallaluk School, Indigenous Literacy Foundation
Indigenous Literacy Foundation, 2015
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
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- Children as authors
- Environmental education
- Manyallaluk / Eva Valley (NT Top End SD53-09)
The Manyallaluk School builds a garden to support teaching in literacy, numeracy, art, environmental studies, physical education and science. Importantly, the garden is designed to impart life skills such as growing, preparing and making healthy food. Students in years four to six and their teacher, Glynis Bloomfield, wrote this story together and later students created the illustrations. ‘Mystery at Manyallaluk’ contains a foreword, seven chapters, information about the garden, the community and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, plus an index – a ‘proper’ book created by children!
As the story opens, holidays are coming soon. The children are restless and the resourceful teacher suggests they make a fruit salad by picking pawpaws, passionfruit, bananas and pineapples from their garden. Disaster! The pawpaws are gone! Who took the pawpaws? Each chapter follows the same pattern. When the children look for the fruit or vegetable, it is gone! Was it a pig, a goanna, a crow, an emu, a bush turkey, a wallaby, a frog, a pig or a crow that stole the garden produce away? The children all have different ideas. And so the story goes, each chapter featuring yet another fruit or vegetable gone and the possible culprit.
In a spectacular finale, a water buffalo appears at the vegetable garden. Mrs Acorn, the children’s teacher, saves the day by chasing the very disinterested water buffalo away. The children cheer their heroic teacher then discover the real culprit – a bowerbird whose nest includes the stolen fruits and vegetables plus coloured glass, nuts and bolts, plastic toys, marbles and some medicinal scissors.
Throughout the text are small line drawings by the children which illustrate aspects of the story. There are photographs of the various fruits and vegetables, with brief comments on each by the children on how to grow these and how much they love eating them. Photographs of children tending the garden complete this story which has great child appeal. The Manyallaluk School is located in the local government area of 'Nyirranggulung Mardrulk Ngadberre', Eva Valley, in the NT, Darwin region.
- Straight-shooting teacher kills rogue buffalo heading towards school in remote Northern Territory community https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-06-02/buffalo-shot-by-school-principal/7471156
- Images of Manyallaluk School and community, Northern Territory https://www.google.com.au/search?sa=N&q=manyallaluk+school+nt&tbm=isch&source=univ&ved=2ahUKEwjoxqLq4vjoAhUpxzgGHcCiDAU4ChCwBHoECAoQAQ&biw=1362&bih=969
- How a school garden has transformed the way we teach https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2017/sep/29/primary-school-garden-teaching-method-improve-pupil-behaviour