The Composition

compositionLast Thursday, grade 5 students spent the day in Middle school and during library orientation, Mr Loste read them the captivating story, The Composition written by Antonio Skármeta and illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. The main character in this story, Pedro, is faced with an ethical dilemma when he is asked to write an essay for a government official representing the military dictatorship of his country. This brilliant book is well deserving of the many literary prizes it has been awarded and illustrates many of the IB attitudes.


Mercedes and the chocolate pilot

mercedesThis week Grade 1-5 library classes have read the intriguing true story of Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: a true story of the Berlin airlift and the candy that dropped from the sky by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.

This story is not only about the history of the end of WWII and the start of the Cold War in Europe, but also a story of hope and dreams achieved. This book is an excellent example of visualising using our sense of smell! We even learned what an ‘epilogue’ is.

To find out more about the remarkable Gail Halvorsen and the Berlin Airlift we watched this video clip:

Correction required about the origin of the use of the name ‘Mercedes’ by the Mercedes-Benz company. You can read more about Mercedes Jellinek here.

Beatrice’s Dream

beatriceThis week the book Grades 1-5 read was set in Kenya. Beatrice’s Dream: A story of Kibera slum by Karen Lynn Williams is a powerful reminder of how privileged we are. We learned a little bit about life in a slum and how difficult it is for children who live there.

We were also really impressed with the work of Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner who set up a school for girls in Kibera. We are inspired by their work and the enthusiasm that the girls show when singing this song is contagious!

We talked about the difficulties faced by people living in poverty and how some have come up with creative solutions to improve their quality of life. A Liter of Light project is a perfect example:

If the world were a village

world villageThis past week Grade 1-5 classes have watched the animated version of the story If the World were a Village by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. We found the DVD version entertaining and easier to understand. It is difficult to imagine 7 billion people on the planet and we really liked the way the animated version helped us to understand world statistics by reducing the population to 100 people. We learned about world languages, religions, schooling and resources such as food, water and electricity. Learning about this helped us to appreciate what we have.

Here’s a short clip of the 20 minute animated story:

The ugly duckling with ELC

TRC104-11-08 Cover 175L D.inddThis week ELC library classes read a different version of the classic tale The Ugly Duckling, originally by Hans Christian Andersen. This version is from and has been beautifully adapted by Rachel Isadora.

Our username for is: bifslibrary and password is: read.

To understand how baby swans are hatched from their eggs we watched this interesting video:

The origami master

the origami masterThis week Gr 1-5 students have read the very meaningful tale of The origami master by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and illustrated by Aki Sogabe. There are many lessons to learn from this clever story, but it also inspired us to try our origami. Several of our students are extremely talented at origami, but, for the rest of us, at least we all now know how to make an origami duck, thanks to this video:


A pocket for Corduroy

pocket for corduroyWe are just loving these Corduroy stories in ELC! This week we are reading another delightful story from Don Freeman,  A pocket for Corduroy. These books always give us plenty of new vocabulary to learn, such as laundromat, escalator and elevator. We also learned quite a bit about doing laundry! Maybe we’ll be asking to help at home?