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.

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Pale Male

pale maleThis week grade 1-4 students learned about a hawk that lives in New York City. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City written by Janet Schulman and illustrated by Meilo So, is the astonishing true story of a red tailed hawk that has lived in New York since 1991. We learned how, when his nest was torn down, many people protested and since then his home on a building on Fifth Avenue has been undisturbed.

We then watched the trailer of the documentary made about his life so far and you can watch it here:

You can also keep up to date with what is happening in his nest from this site, palemale.com.

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.

Biblioburro

biblioburroDue to popular demand, we read another biography this week! Many of our students love true stories about remarkable people and this short week many of our classes read Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter. This inspiring true story from Colombia shows how each of us can make a difference in our part of the world.

We really enjoy the simplicity of Jeanette Winter’s stories and how they encourage us to find out more about the topic. To learn more about Luis Soriano’s work, we watched this video:

Aesop and Michael Morpurgo

aesop mmThis week Grade 1-5 classes read some more Aesop’s fables but this time retold by Michael Morpurgo! Many of our students love stories written by Michael Morpurgo and we have a great selection of his books in our library.

Michael Morpurgo would like all children to get into writing and he gives a very inspiring talk to young people here:

Some classes then listened to him read the first part of The Butterfly Lion and now we all want to read it! Thank you Michael Morpurgo for inspiring us to read your books and write our own.

Academic Honesty

This week we’ve had some really good discussions in grade 5 library classes about academic honesty, copyright and citation. There was much discussion about the use of other people’s images, music, video as well as text and ideas, especially regarding research for the final exhibition.

We decided that the most important thing is for us to come up with original ideas and work, not only to show our teachers that we understand what we have researched, but to motivate us to create something better than what others have done.

We watched the excellent “credit is due” song again, and you can watch it here:

and also learned a lot from youtube copyright school:

We’ll talk more after the break about citation using MLA format with easybib.com

Christian the lion

christianThis week, Grade 1-5 students have recounted the true story of Christian the lion from the book by Ace Bourke and John Rendall. This book created a lot of discussion in classes about the ethics of releasing tame animals into the wild and other animal rights topics. We also learned about the work of George Adamson and the book and film, Born Free.

We then watched the video on youtube which made the story so popular, and you can watch it here: