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Nature’s Tiny Miracle – SCRAPtastic Stories with Huddersfield Literature Festival

When we walked into the Year 3 classroom at Kirkburton First School we were greeted by an amazing display of artwork inspired by their rainforest topic, so knew we were in the right place to discover the wonder of planet Earth and how we all have a responsibility to look after it. The world and all it’s habitat and inhabitants are a precious resource, and it is up to all of us to live sustainably. It’s important to think about our everyday actions and where possible make changes to our behaviour to rethink our impact.

Sharing these messages is important to us, and it’s important that we get the tone right for younger audiences, which is where the power of storytelling comes in to its own. Huddersfield Literature Festival understands the power of storytelling too, being a sustainable and environmentally responsible Festival that brings important ideas and issues to new audiences through engagement with literature in interesting and accessible ways. This year the festival has worked with a variety of community artists and organisations to bring workshops to schools across the region.  

At Kirkburton First School we delivered a SCRAPtastic workshop – Nature’s Tiny Miracle. We always begin our workshop talking rubbish! We all throw things away every day, and our interactive discussion highlights the need to stop and think about our waste. We must remember that behind every product is a manufacturing process that can be very polluting to our planet. If we’re just using something once, and then throwing it away, is it worth it? Can our rubbish be used again? Can it be repaired? Could it be recycled? As we ask ourselves these questions we reflect on our behaviours as a throw away society and begin to rethink our rubbish – reducing landfill and taking little steps to change the world.

“A fun and valuable workshop with great links to our ‘protect the Amazon’ topic, and to environmental issues highlighting the concept of reuse before recycle.” Year 3 teacher.

And as the Year 3s know from studying rainforests, our planet needs looking after. From the tiny bee to the giant tree. Reading ‘Nature’s Tiny Miracle’  (written by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup) brings the wonder of bees to life and clearly demonstrates the importance of the little things. We all may feel that our actions are little and don’t make a difference, but they do make a difference: little steps change the world.

To carry the environmental message out of the classroom each Year 3 student (and their teachers!) made a flower mobile complete with buzzing bees inspired by the illustrations from the story. Each flower was unique to each child and made using recycled materials that would otherwise have been thrown away. The creativity from the children was a joy to behold and their understanding of their sense of place in the world truly humbling.

Thank you to Huddersfield Literature Festival for funding this programme of work in schools and to the Year 3 children at Kirkburton First School for such a thoughtful and creative response to taking your own little steps to change the world in a fairandfunky workshop.

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