The Phantom Tollbooth

Over many Mondays Mrs S read The Phantom Tollbooth to us. We followed Milo’s adventure through trials and tribulations until he was successful in his quest. In a previous blog post we shared our work on idioms after we discovered the many idioms used by Norton Juster in his book.

After finishing the story we drew pictures of the demons Milo and his companions met and then Mrs S shared the movie version of the story with us. This was released in 1970. Mrs S asked us to compare the two storylines as we watched. It was also interesting to see the props and costumes used in the film especially the telephone with its dial and cords. Some of us preferred the book and were disappointed at the number of characters missing in the film version.

The main character in the story is very interesting as he changes so much from the start to the end of this book. We worked on some bio poems and chose to portray Milo at either the beginning or the end of the story. Please read our work and see what you can find out about Milo at the beginning and end of The Phantom Tollbooth.

 Have you read a book where the character changes in lots of ways from the start to the finish of the story? Have you read The Phantom Tollbooth? Can you suggest another story where the author uses lots of figurative language? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts?

Swimming and Water Safety Time and IT Helpers

Our Grade 5 classmates are spending some time each day at the pool. They are participating in our yearly Swimming and Water Safety program for students in grades 3-5. They are all using the time to become better swimmers by practising their strokes and to learn survival and safety techniques.

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Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Eugenio via Compfight

On Tuesday, before the Grade 5’s headed off to pool,  all of the class worked hard  by becoming IT buddies for the children from Prep F or the children from Prep/1 G. They helped the students in these classes to do some drawings using ArtRage. This computer program is one of Mrs S’s favourites.

Before using ArtRage both classes listened while Mrs S read a story. Prep F listened to a story called Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton and Prep/1 G listened to Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. Then each class drew their favourite part of the story with some great technical help from the Grade 6 helpers. Everyone practised using layers to separate out parts of their drawings.

Adding layers in ArtRage can be very useful.

Adding layers in ArtRage can be very useful.

While our Grade 5’s were enjoying themselves at the pool the Grade 6’s were hard at work back at school. They were all challenged to create a presentation of the drawings created by the younger classes. Mrs S did not tell them which computer program to use and many of the class used two or even three different programs while creating their presentations. They found out that it can be a very repetitive task as they added pictures, resized them, worked on transitions and timings, and tried out different layout ideas.

Below are some of the finished presentations. Not everyone finished in the timeframe we had. An afternoon was just not long enough!

 created by Rohan

created by Hugo

created by James E

Have you created a presentation? What programs did you use? Do you have any tips for creating a good presentation? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Getting to Grips With Figurative Language

Mrs S spends some time reading to us each Monday. The story we are listening to at the moment is The Phantom Tollbooth. It was written in 1961 by Norton Juster. We have been following the adventures of Milo as he set off on his travels in The Lands Beyond.

The auhor uses figurative language devices throughout the story. We watched a podcast that introduced us to the idea that figurative language helps an author to add interest to their story or song. An author does not use the literal or everyday meaning of the words when using similes, metaphors or idioms in their story.

Today we explored only one form of figurative language. We chose to look closely at idioms.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

We used some links from our class intranet to find and explore some idioms. When we were reading these it was quite funny to picture the literal meaning in our heads while we puzzled out the figurative meaning. One of our class suggested that we needed to infer the everyday meaning when reading or hearing an idiom. For example when we hear the sentence “She spilled the beans” it does not really mean that a tin of beans has been upended. In everyday conversation we know that this mean that “She talked too much and shared the secret”.

We then chose one of our collected idioms to illustrate with the literal meaning. We then used the idiom in a sentence to show its figurative meaning. We could choose to make an ArtRage drawing, draw on a piece of paper, or create an animation to create our final ideas about idioms. We shared our work on a Padlet wall.

We also had some fun visiting another class blog, Miss Jordan’s class @ Barwon Heads Primary, where they had also been exploring idioms. They had some great drawings which challenged us to work out the idiom from the inferred and literal meanings of some idioms. There were a couple that stumped us! Whoops –  there I go using some figurative language. What does “stumped us” really mean?

Can you share some idioms with us? You could double click on the Padlet and add some more idioms to our wall. Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Inspire Us Monday – 23rd Sept 2013

Three more Monday Speakers this week. First we heard about the third book in a series called The Keepers by Lian Tanner. Our speaker was well prepared and delivered her talk without needing any notes at all. She read a small excerpt from near the start of the book that left us on a great cliffhanger that may have inspired some of us to read the book and find out more. The book, titled “Book Three – Path of Beasts” is the final part of the trilogy. Goldie, Toadspit and Bonnie are three of the main characters. The story is set in The City of Jewel and is a fast paced story with lots of action and interesting events within it.

Next we were introduced to our word of the moment. Our second speaker chose the word emigrate which is a synonym of migrate. People emigrate from their country to settle permanently in a new country. This word fits with our current class studies about the migration patterns in Australia after 1901. Emigrate is a verb with three syllables and the word originates from the Latin language.

Last of all we were presented with an interesting video.

Some of our class questioned whether this was real so Mrs S did some internet research before writing this post. She found some interesting information. There is a section on the website Snopes that gives the origins of this video and explains some of the misinformation that has been written on the web about the clip

It was originally created by a computer animation team call Animusic and is part of a set of animated music clips that are amazing to see. Real or not it is an inspiring video and it did inspire a group of computer technicians to create a computer controlled robotic orchestra. Even though this example is an animated creation it may inspire us to think about creating music using unusual items like plumbing pipes. Follow this link to see how the scientists at Questacon used pipes and a shoe to create different sounds. Other musical instruments have been created from bottle tops. Last of all you might like to find out about the Landfill Harmonic movie.

How might this animated music video inspire you? Have you read Lian Tanner’s books? Has anybody in your family history emigrated? Please leave a comment letting us know your thoughts about our book, movie or word.

Inspire Us Monday – 1st July 2013

An extremely windy day at school today that made it very difficult for our class to focus. Both our speakers and audience had to try very hard to ignore the noise from the gusts of wind outside our room.

Our first speaker for today shared an easy read book called Sam Snoop and the Mystery of the Noisy Car by John Parker and Matt Katz. It is part of a series of books, called Sprints,  written for young readers who are beginning to explore chapter books. It was interesting to learn that the main character, Sam, is a girl who solves mysteries. Some of the class connected this to other “who dunnit” books when writing their reflections. Sam’s sidekick is a dog called Sniff and throughout the book hints concerning the resolution of this narrative can be found in the thought bubbles attached to this character. Our main character, Sam Snoop, uses a great invention called an Amazing Earbox to help her solve the mystery of why Freddie Fast’s racing car is making a strange noise. Read the book to find out what happens at the end.

Next came our video for the week. A story that had recently been shared on the news and is now a book called A Long Way Home. A story of perseverance in the search for a family. Using memories of when he was 5 years old Saroo used modern technology to narrow down the search for his family after a series of unfortunate events separated him from all the family he knew.

Last was our word. A very quickly produced poster for our wall and a great connection to our current work about our solar system. A word with no vowels and many y’s. The word chosen was syzygy which is used to describe the alignment of three celestial objects such as the earth, moon and sun.

 Please leave a comment on this post to tell us about an easy read book you have enjoyed. Have you heard about Saroo and his amazing search? How would you feel if you became separated from your family? Leave a comment to tell us your thoughts.

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? 

Inspire Us Monday – 27th May 2013

Only a movie and a book talk this week as one of our timetabled speakers was away. This week we heard all about the great book called The Thirteen Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. Our speaker was well organised and he gave a great explanation for why he chose this book. It is funny with great illustrations and hard to put down once you start reading it. We were given a quick introduction to the tree and its various attractions whilst being given a teaser as to what happens when you throw a yellow cat off a balcony. We will need to read the book to find out whether the cat survives. We also found out that the illustrator is Terry Denton. Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have collaborated on more than 15 books including the Just series.

Our second speaker for the day showed us his chosen video. Our speaker was inspired by seeing how a rising star in the restaurant industry left his job to feed the homeless. His non-profit organisation called Akshaya Trust helps to give dignity and food to the homeless in India.

Please leave a comment on our post to tell us your thoughts about this video. Maybe you have read our featured book and would like to share your favourite part?

Inspire Us Monday – 13th May 2013

Three new speakers today. A change in our times meant that our speakers had to wait until after recess and our daily fitness session before they could share.

Today we heard all about the book by Anthony Horowitz called The Switch. This is a book full of mystery and murder and our speaker recommended it for 11 to 13 year olds. We were given an introduction to the characters and a quick plot summary. We know that two of the characters wish they were someone else and the story is about these characters switching bodies and what happens after that.  It sounds like a fast paced plot and we  heard just enough to make us curious to find out more. Our speaker tried hard to talk to his audience and used his dot point notes to help him.

Next was our word of the moment. Our speaker chose his word because of the work our class had completed last week about maps and atlases. The word was equator and we heard that this noun names an invisible line that runs around the earth dividing it into the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Last of all we were presented with a new video to watch. This was one of many videos that can be found on Youtube about Nick Vujicic. His story is pretty amazing as he was born with no arms and no legs but has managed to become a very vibrant motivational speaker. He does have one foot that he calls his chicken drumstick which helps him with his balance, typing and many other things. He was born in Australia and definitely had some big problems growing up but is now an inspiration to many as he travels the world talking to others.

Have you read any other Anthony Horowitz books? What do you think the weather is like near the equator? What did the video make you think? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.