You may remember that our first Global Project for the year was Miss Leakey’s Postcard Project. We each wrote a postcard to a class somewhere in the world. Slowly but surely we started hearing from classes who had received our postcards…and we even heard from Miss Leakey!
Below are some of the postcards and messages we have received. Some postcards went on quite an adventure to reach their final destination! We still have our fingers crossed that we receive more replies.
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go? Why?
Upper Plenty P.S now has ten iPads!! We are beyond excited and looking forward to using them in many different ways. The first app we used was Puppet Pals. Puppet Pals is a story telling app for iPhones, iPods and iPads.
We like using Puppet Pals because it is:
Super easy to use
Perfect for all year levels
Used collaboratively or individually
Links to AUSVELS across curriculum areas
You can create a story with puppet characters or your own photos. Choose from the backgrounds provided or use your own.
You get to move the characters around, change their size, change your backgrounds and narrate the show.
Hopefully, we will be able to put some of our Puppet Pals creations on our blog soon!
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!
This afternoon we logged on to a safe social network called Skooville. Skooville is the new SuperClubs PLUS. It’s had a bit of a make over and ‘grown up’ since we last visited.
Skooville is one tool we will be using to make sure that we learn how to be safe and responsible online. It is also a site that will help us to develop our digital literacy skills. We will be doing both of these important things and having lots of fun along the way. We can’t wait!
This afternoon we created an avatar to represent us online. It tells people a bit about us but doesn’t give away too much – like a photo would. Our avatars appear on our own individual pages, along with lots of cool other stuff.
Skooville is a big place and we will be exploring it over the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!
What do you like about Skooville?
How do you stay safe online?
Do you use another website to help you learn about being smart online?
Last week we finished reading our first class novel for the year, Morris Gleitzman’s‘Boy Overboard’. It was an addictive read and one that made us laugh, almost cry and most definitely think about issues from a different perspective.
As we start to set up our ‘Writer’s Notebooks’ for 2013 we will be searching for quality seeds such as Boy Overboard. A seed is something that makes you think, touches your heart and makes you feel and gets hold of your imagination and makes you wonder. Seeds come in all shapes and sizes. They can be photos, newspaper headlines, song lyrics, quotes, artifacts, experiences and many other things.
What books have you read that really made you think?
What are some things that make you think, feel and/or wonder?
Today we started learning about writing transactional texts. Letters, invites, cards, postcards, notes, emails and blog comments are all transactional texts because you are sending or receiving information (transacting) to or from someone.
A few years ago, Miss Leakey set up The Postcard Project, whilst she was teaching in New Zealand. Teachers and students have been busy writing, sending and receiving postcards around the globe. In the past, some of us participated in the project and enjoyed it. Today we all wrote a postcard to a class somewhere in the world.
Here are some important things we learnt about writing a postcard:
* There’s only a small space, so you have to prioritise your message, write neatly and clearly.
* Use a greeting and a closing. For example, Hello, G’day or Dear and Bye, Best wishes, From
* Introduce yourself briefly. For example, I’m from 5/6JC at Upper Plenty in Victoria, Australia.
* Include information and questions. Make it interesting.
* Write a return address if you want a reply!
* Write the address. Usually you need to use a new line for the name of the class, school, street, suburb, state & postcode and country.
* Proofread for meaning, punctuation and spelling.
We wrote postcards to schools in Australia, England, USA, Iceland, Thailand, Canada, Hawaii, Italy and Germany. They will begin their journeys tomorrow and hopefully arrive at their destinations within a fortnight. We can’t wait to see who writes back!
What transactional texts have you written?
Have you received a postcard before? Where was it from?
Can you find out when the first postcard was sent?