What A Day!

Today we launched our magazine, Global UPdate. Parents, grandparents, friends and guest speakers joined us from near and far to hear about how we wrote our articles, what we learnt and to get their copy of the magazine.  We even had two special guests who weren’t actually in Victoria!

Earlier in the week we were interviewed by Amy from the local newspaper and on Tuesday it hit the stands!  Amy came earlier in the term to talk about writing newspaper articles and we used the information to help write our own articles.  It was great to have Amy come back and see the finished product.  The only problem was that the people in the photo below weren’t actually allowed to open the magazines!  And we’ll let you in on a little secret…they’re only the proof copies that the magazine publishers sent to us so Mrs Placek and Miss Crowther could check things.
 

 

We wore red to support our chosen charity, Red Cross. Nicole from Red Cross spoke about the work Red Cross does and how our money will help people who have been affected by natural disasters. We learnt about natural disasters this term and were affected by the Black Saturday bushfires, so we were really happy to help such a great cause.
 

 
Some of us spoke about how we researched our articles by emailing people at schools around the world.  We explained the process and shared some facts about our articles.  We also had a panel of students who answered questions from the audience on everyone’s behalf.

 

 

 

Mrs Monaghan was a special guest speaker…all the way from England!  It was only 9:15am in Australia but it was 10:15pm on Tuesday night for Mrs Monaghan!  We’re very grateful that she stayed up so she could talk to us about all the great projects we have worked on with her class.  Technology means that we can work and learn with people on the other side of the world and feel like we know them.

 

 

Our third guest speaker was Jeremy Scott who is cycling 50 000km around the world to raise money for The Heart Foundation.  At the moment he is in Sydney.  Click HERE to visit his blog and read about his adventures.  Today was a rest day for Jeremy which was lucky for us because he could talk to us!  Jeremy told us about the things he has seen on his adventure.  In one photo there is an ‘elephant’ road sign!  He has cycled in temperatures of -20 degrees and met bears.  Sometimes it has been really hard to keep going, but he does.  His trick is to think of a hard thing he has done in Turkey and remind himself that nothing is as bad as Turkey.  Jeremy is nearly at the end of his trip as he only has about 5000km left to ride.

 

 

At the end of the launch we finally got to see a copy of the magazine and it was AWESOME!  We ate red velvet cupcakes, red grapes, red apples and red lollies whilst we read our articles.

 

 

 
We all enjoyed sharing our magazine with our family and friends.  We hope we get to write one next year!

What was the most important thing you learnt from publishing the magazine?

If you wrote a magazine, what would you make it about?

 

Afghanistan; Our Questions Answered

It started with a Morris Gleitzman book and ended with a Skype call to a retired Air Force Corporal. Morris’ book, Boy Overboard, really made us think about the lives we lead in Australia compared with the lives of the book’s main characters, Jamal and Bibi.

The book is fiction yet it is based on interviews Morris has conducted with people who have experience of Afghanistan.  Therefore, some parts are very close to what it is like to live in Afghanistan as a kid.  We were surprised to read that Jamal and Bibi were playing near landmines and that Bibi wasn’t allowed outside by herself.  It was also strange to read that the Government had pulled the ribbon out of cassette tapes and thrown it up on to power poles.  Reading that Jamal and Bibi’s house got blown up because their Mum had been running a school in it was so different to how we get to go to school.

All of this made us want to find out more about Afghanistan.  We did some research online at school but we also wished that we could talk to someone.

Our wish came true yesterday when we Skyped with Richard to find out information about Afghanistan. Richard worked in the air-force as an Avionics Technician on the Hercules Aircraft for seven years.  He was deployed to the Middle East for the first time in 2007 and then again in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

We asked Richard LOTS of questions and got LOTS of information.   We’ve summarised what we found out…

In Boy Overboard, Jamal and Bibi were always playing soccer.  We found out that Afghani people not only play soccer, but they like flying kites as well. We learnt that the temperature can reach 40 – 50 degrees!  It can get as high as 60 degrees in an un-air-conditioned aeroplane.  We thought 40 degrees was hot!  It also snows in Afghanistan in winter.  The terrain is very rocky, hilly, dry and dusty.  Jamal played soccer in the desert but there was no mention of snow in the book.  It must have been set in summer time.  We wonder if they have a wet season or not?

 

 

We liked seeing the pictures, especially the helicopter and planes.  A Hercules can carry 128 passengers or 92 troops.  Sometimes it carried animals.  Can you imagine the smell after animals had been in the plane for two hours on a hot day?

It was surprising to find out what their currency looks like. It was also interesting to learn that Richard used American dollars when he was there.

He has earned four really cool badges. He has an Iraq Campaign medal, an Afghanistan Campaign medal, Australian Defence medal and a Return from Active Service medal.  He also showed us his badges…. the Bob the Builder one amused us most!

Boy Overboard didn’t talk about food in Afghanistan much.  We found out that Richard ate mostly on the base.  One base even set up its own McDonald’s!

Jamal and Bibi didn’t have any pets.  But, other people in Afghanistan do.  There are lots of goats, chickens, dogs, donkeys and camels.  If you have a donkey you are fairly rich.  It’s like us driving a Rolls Royce!

You can read the full transcript of our call below. Click on the bottom right hand corner to make it full screen.

 

 

We really enjoyed our chat with Richard and are very happy that he gave up his time to talk to us.  Thanks Richard!

Do you know anything more about Afghanistan?

Have you ever been overseas?

Do you know anyone that has been to Afghanistan?