As a neighbourhood we have been exploring the practice of Cultural burning and how it impacts the environment and indigenous communities.
In response to an ABC Australia story on Cultural Burning the students shared their growing understanding.
Arabella: the white smoke from the fire makes the leaves up in the trees- it helps them. It also helps to tell the animals that there’s a fire nearby.
River: I learnt that when it’s working, the ground will be cold after.
Jack B: I learnt that white smoke is the alpha smoke.
Ivy Belle: To add onto Jack B- I also learnt that with the white smoke it tells that animals on the land that there’s a fire so they won’t go into that area.
Owen: About the healthy smoke, I learnt that it feeds the leaves.
Seb F: I also learnt that the white smoke warns the animals that there’s a fire.
Miles: I learnt that the white smoke also helps the water.
Sotir: The white smoke is not actually a fire, it’s like a drill- it won’t kill the animals.
Edie: I learnt that cultural burning is really good for the practice. When the real bushfires come it will make sure the bushfires are calmer.
Jack K: I learnt that it burns off the dead plants.
Louis: To add onto Miles, I think the white smoke is good for the water because it oxygenates it.
Isaiah: What is the black smoke then?
Iggy: I learnt that the white smoke is good for the leaves and trees- I don’t get why.
Felix: If cultural fire/burning is good for trees, that means making a bushfire is good.
Xanthe: If you make a bushfire, the fire will spread to the trees which will burn down what you want to protect.
Tucker: About what Felix said, how a bushfire starts, it starts like cultural burning- maybe when it starts it helps the trees and the leaves.
Seb F: Maybe a difference between black and white smoke is maybe the white smoke is steam (they always do it after water). Maybe that’s how it helps the leaves by feeding them water.
Wilco: This is about what Felix said as well, the difference between a cultural burning and a bushfire is that usually there are people there to stop the fire going onto trees and they keep it close to the trees.
Louis: To stop the trees from burning, I saw him raking the sticks and leaves into a pile so they could burn and if it tries to spread, the dirt stops it from spreading.
Cultural burning will be an ongoing discussion in the Year 3 neighbourhood.