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.


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,


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:

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:

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

Quiet! There’s a canary in the library

quietThese past few weeks ELC library classes have looked at the Corduroy books written by Don Freeman. This week we’re looking at another Don Freeman book, Quiet! There’s a Canary in the Library. As always, books written by Don Freeman have given us plenty of new vocabulary and made us laugh. We also needed to know what a canary looks and sounds like, so we watched this video: