Inspire Us Monday – 24th June 2013

It was great to see that two of our speakers were definitely well organised this week.

We heard about a book called The Devil Walks written by Anne Fine. Our speaker tried very hard to talk to his audience and only had a short outline written down on his piece of paper. We heard a quick plot summary and where introduced to some of the characters in this Gothic story. The story’s setting is late Victorian times with a main character who has a very unusual childhood. Daniel spends the first part of his life living as an invalid separated from the rest of society by his mother. The twists in the plot lead readers to discover what happens when he is taken from his mother. An important prop in the story is a miniature house. This house is an exact copy of the house his mother, Liliana, grew up in. Another very important character is Daniel’s uncle. You will need to read the story find out whether it was a good or bad thing for Daniel to meet his uncle.

Next was our word for this week. Our speaker selected the word aggregate. Interestingly aggregate can be used as a noun, adjective or verb. A very versatile word. It was chosen because our class is presently working on some research about the Solar System and our speaker decided that part of the process of researching a topic is to combine parts into a whole. What do you think about this connection? Follow the link to the definition of aggregate to see if you agree.

Our inspire us video was chosen very quickly on Monday morning. It is another great example of someone who sets a goal and sticks with the task of reaching that goal. Along the way their health improves, they support a relative with Cystic Fibrosis and run the Boston Marathon in 2009. Since then Roger Wright has continued to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis and you may like to watch another video where Roger talks about how he achieved his goal.

What goals do you set yourself? How do you keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals? How do you help others achieve their goals? Please leave a comment.

Inspire Us Monday – 17th June 2013

Three speakers who were prepared and ready to go for some more sharing this week.

First we heard about the book by Yann Martel called Life of Pi. Our reviewer gave a quick summary of the story and recommended it for good readers aged 12 and over. The story’s main characters are Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy, and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Pi is a Catholic, Muslim and Hindu who finds himself adrift on the ocean with Richard Parker after the ship that he is travelling on sinks. Pi struggles to overcome hunger, wild animals and loneliness while he is drifting in the lifeboat with the tiger. To find out what happens you will need to read the book or you may have seen the movie that is based on this Man Booker Prize for Fiction book.

Our word for this week was supernova. It was chosen to compliment our current research about Space and The Solar System. It is a noun and is the label for a stellar explosion that can occur when a giant star suddenly collapses at the end of its life. The last supernova to be observed in the Milky Way was seen in 1604 by Johannes Kepler.

Last of all we watched another video. This week we saw a different video about  Nick Vujicic. This video is a trailer for a DVD called No Arms No Legs No Worries. A video all about having a positive attitude no matter what difficulties you may be facing.

Have you read Life of Pi? Have you watched the movie? Are there differences between the movie and the book? Can you suggest some other words that would fit with our Space studies? Add a comment letting us know what you think.

Inspire Us Monday – 3rd June 2013

Mrs S made a mistake with the timetable for our book talks, video and word sharing so that we needed to fit in six speakers this week. We had three speakers before recess and three speakers after our daily fitness session.

Our first book talk for the day was about a girl called Addie Harris who has all sorts of accidents, is bullied at school, is overweight and unhappy. The book called Addie Accident, by Shirley Corlett,  is a fast paced novel filled with humour. Addie and her imaginary friend, Hubert, are determined to break the accident spell that Addie believes is responsible for her bad luck. This book show how Addie changes as the novel draws to close and she learns from her mishaps. Our speaker chose to read us a small excerpt from the middle of the story as a way of enticing us to read this book. There are 29 chapters to read and is recommended for 9-11 year olds.

Next up was our word of the moment. This week it was the word astronomical and was chosen because we are very interested in the solar system at the moment. It is an adjective with two meanings listed in the dictionary. As well as relating to astronomy it can be used to describe something that is extremely large. We could describe the solar system as astronomical.

Then it was time for a new video to make us think. This video shows how a disabled veteran of the Gulf War used lots of determination and the support of others to regain his mobility.

After recess and our daily fitness routine it was time for our next three speakers and this time we heard all about a book in the Aussie Angels series written by Margaret Clark. This book, called Hello Possum, the fourth in this series all about animals. Our speaker chose this story because she liked the way the author made it seem like the family were talking to you as the reader.  The main characters are Meg, Mike, Mark and Boris. The story is set in Australia and shares the exploits of a family who are involved with the running of a wildlife shelter called Animal Haven. This story tells us about the efforts to save a ringtail possum. We heard an extract from the story and were left with a question – “Will the possum survive and get released into the wild?” We were invited to read the book to find out.

Our next word – thigmotaxis – was chosen because the definition our speaker found included plants. She felt that it was a very unusual word that our class would normally never hear about. It is noun and the word is a scientific word used to describe a behaviour studied by scientist.

Last was the next video. This video is a segment from a show called Getaway. It shares some information about one of Australia’s Paralympic champions, Kurt Fearnley, who crawled the Kokoda trail in 2009. He wanted to promote and raise awareness for the Beyondblue and Movember organisations.

Please leave a comment letting us know whether you have read and enjoyed either of the books shared. What did you think of our video choices?