Category: Reading

The Breadwinner

For the past month, Mrs. Huiet has been reading the book The Breadwinner (Link To GoodReads), and I really loved the book. Although it was really kind of shocking to hear, a lot of the writing was really wonderful. I recommend that people above 11 years old to read it, but don’t let young children read it because it really has some disturbing scenes including a part where Parvana, the main character, and Shauzia, her friend, witness a group of men’s hands being cut off by Taliban soldiers.

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The book is really centered on hope, and the journey of a girl called Parvana, who has to transform into a “boy” to feed her family when her father is captured by Taliban soldiers. I couldn’t even imagine how Parvana suffered so much discrimination for being a girl, and how her entire family starved because they didn’t have a male escort to take them out to buy food. The family almost starved to death, but whenever they held onto hope, they survived trial after trial. Here is a quote that was said by an unnamed old man at the end of the book. It really depicted how horrible it was, but also that if you are optimistic, everything is better.
“Afghans love beautiful things, but we have seen so much ugliness, we sometimes forget how wonderful a thing like a flower is” -The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis

Lantau Trip 2014


A Slideshow Showing All Of Our Great Memories

For the last 2 days, I’ve been on Lantau Island with the rest of the 5th Grade. We went to Lantau Island to disconnect with the city, and learn more about the environment, and the issues that the environment is facing. We stayed at the YWCA Sydney Leung Holiday Lodge and went to Mui O and Pui O. Our guides were from a company called Ark Eden, which is a charity dedicated to preserving the nature, but also offer tour trips in Lantau. I was part of Group B, which didn’t have my best friend in it. I was slightly disappointed at first, but I forgot about it after the first few minutes! I did a LOT of stuff and I want to share some of the great memories with you!

Leaving SIS
Leaving SIS

Pui O
After going through customs, we (Group B) went straight to Pui O. Pui O is an amazing place, and is inhabited by… WATER BUFFALOS! They were everywhere! Originally, the buffalos were imported from Vietnam for farmers to use to grow rice. But when the farming stopped in the 1970s, the buffalos were set free and now roam around Pui O. They are fed by the locals, but they also find food for themselves. One group of buffalos has Billy the cow, who was saved years ago from dogs by locals, and thinks he is a water buffalo. I got to pet Billy, which was really quite fun.

Billy The Cow
Billy The Cow

Our guides for the day, Tom, Sue and Dina split us into groups when we got to a saltwater marsh. With Tom, we learned about the berm, which is a group of plants that hold the soil together near the beach, and start the freshwater marsh. The berm was very interesting, with strong roots and defense systems in each plants that held the soil together, and didn’t let the tides destroy the marsh. Dina taught us all about Water Buffalos, and with her, we learned about how they group and about their different habits. Dina knew a lot about the buffalos, and what she said was really interesting. Finally, we looked at birds with Sue, and observed them to see what kinds they were.

Visiting The Berm
Visiting The Berm

We then went to the beach, and we had a BLAST! We changed into our swimming gear and ran straight into the big ocean. It was fantastic! We had a water gun war, boys versus girls, and we won! But the girls falsely claimed that we “quit” and that they won! How crazy is that!?

The Beach
The Beach

We then went to the saltwater marsh to look at fiddler crabs and fish for other marsh animals. When we got there, something WILD happened! Two buffalos ran into each other and started fighting either for territory or for females. They crashed and we had to slowly walk away, but they ended the fight shortly afterwards. Dina and Sue then took us into a Mangrove forest, and we saw a few fiddler crabs. The males had 1 gigantic claw! We then fished for tiny sea animals with Tom, but we let them go because we were observers. I saw a lot of tiny animals and netted a few too! When we had to go, Tom suddenly licked a piece of poo after someone dared him to do so, which set everyone on a wild frenzy!

Finally, we walked past a river to a mountainside area. Where we again split up. Dina told us about various issues the buffalos and cattle of Lantau were facing. One of them was that people were crashing into them and blaming them for the car accident, which led to the government taking a group of cattle to Sai Kok and a group from Sai Kok to Lantau. The cattle are now in critical danger. Tom and Sue took us up a quite steep path to a little abandoned rice plot, and we learned about 3 kinds of native trees. They were very cool.

Afterwards, we packed up and went back to the YWCA camp!

The YWCA
The YWCA Sidney Leung Holiday Lodge was an amazing place to spend a night. Although we had to make our own beds, it was a really cool place. We all sat down on a row of steps to hear who was in our dorm, and it felt slightly like a game show because whoever got the key was “the lucky winner!” I got put in a room with Jackie, Bryan, Brook, Boey, Long, Alex and Hoon. After making our beds (we’d find out we did it awfully wrong), we put together a shower schedule and after that, everyone went to play British Bulldogs, which is an awesome game.

We had dinner in the dining hall, and although food was quite good, there was not quite enough. We had to share average sized plates of food, but it was just a fun time to chat and relax. I learned that I was going to “die” the next day, and meet CHARLIE THE POOPING GIRAFFE! And afterwards, we watched A Bug’s Life. It was a good movie and all was great… Until what I call DOOM!

Eww Boey!
Boey Trying To Touch Jackie After Licking His Hand

We went back to our dormitories and we all found a way to chat through the balconies. Some people even climbed out to get into other people’s rooms! But we slowly got tired and Mrs. Huiet had to come over and teach us how to make a bed! I read with a flashlight for a while afterwards but I got bored soon, so I stopped, and the first cry came… Alex was slightly sobbing because he missed his mom, but he stopped quite soon, until someone bursted out crying like a pig’s cry! I tried to find out what happened, but I was too tired to really care.

“Wake up… Wake up Felix! Brook is singing We Are The Champions!” Is the first thing I heard that morning. Alex woke me up but Brook’s loud singing woke up everyone in the dorm room and everyone else in every other dorm room! We had 3 people walk in and shout at him before 6:00! I thought about taking a shower, but I decided against it to count how many more people would come in!

In the morning, we cleaned up our rooms, and I did someone’s bed for them! People were “tired”, and didn’t want to do anything! I chatted with Devon and other people through the balconies, and learned that we had allegedly talked about “gay stuff”. And people were listening to us through the wall. I found that it was strange that they couldn’t name ANYTHING we talked about other than “gay stuff” and said that they didn’t know who said what. Just strange… I turned around and saw Jackie, and he tried to get me away by sticking out his tongue at me, and I pouted to make him go away, just for Brook to try to push us together! We ALMOST KISSED!

Afterwards was breakfast, and it was quite fun, except people were all obsessed with the toast and everyone finished up ALL of the two loaves on each table! I made a ham sandwich and I liked the tasty butter! I really loved the YWCA, but going to Mui O afterwards was even better!

Mui O
The next day, we packed everything up and went to the beautiful seaside town of Mui O. We got new guides, Jasmine and Kristen. They took us to a horribly polluted beach filled with trash from the great pacific trash patch. We wrote down the things we picked up for the ICC, or International Coastal Cleanup. We put our trash into one giant recyclable trash bag, and I got to be the person who recorded what we got.

Beach Cleanup
The Beach Cleanup

We then took a long, long hike up to Eden Rock, where Ark Eden is based. Did you know that poisonous caterpillars were extremely distracting when you’re trying to listen to someone about a gigantic hill you are about to climb? Well, I found out that very day. At Eden Rock, we met Ark Eden’s 8 dogs. I only remember Lucky, Spicy, Smokey, Belle and Radar. The other group got to walk them, but we didn’t. Now, to the interesting part! Jasmine told us to gather and she explained how we would go up the mountain to plant trees. At that exact time, poisonous caterpillars decided to start swinging from trees, and it really distracted our conversation!

“Ok… I’m going to die now.” was what I first thought about when I saw the dirt path leading up to the slope we were going to climb! It was so steep! I walked, or stumbled up steep paths, held ropes to climb up rocks, and even jumped across someone’s grave! The part with the rope was extremely hard, especially when we were stumbling down! The roads at the end were the worst! You had to run down because it was so steep and there was rain and mud EVERYWHERE! When we got to the top, Jasmine showed us how to plant a tree from saplings using Aaron’s sapling. We had to take the plastic sheet off, pour fertiliser into the soil, put the tree in, and then add mulch, which is just dead weeds. The views were spectacular though! I found that this was actually quite fun, but I didn’t think so when I was half falling down from the mountain when trying to go down! I had to get help from Aditi! But when I finally got down, I realised that I had actually done it, and I was so, so proud!

Planting Trees
Planting Trees

We then walked back to Eden Rock to learn about the Eco house, and go composting. We split up into 2 groups, and 1 went with Jackie, an old lady who works at Ark Eden, and the other went with Jasmine and Kristen who taught us how to compost. I went with Jasmine and Kristen first, and we went to see Charlie The Pooping Giraffe, who was actually a severely limped pig. He was limped because when he was a pet, he was taken up the mountain every day, which pigs aren’t supposed to do. We then learned how to compost, and it is surprisingly easy! All you have to do is get leaves, weed and some buffalo poop (which can be replaced). You pile them up into a container, and then you’ve got yourself a compost bin! With Jackie, we went to see the Eco house, which is a house made with recycled materials, and uses as eco-friendly products as possible. There, we found different labels about 5 main points that they used to determine what to do with the Eco House: Energy, Food and Water, Waste, Eco Products and Greening. The house had a lot of interesting things, and we were introduced to Soap Berries, which are berries that when rubbed with water, produce a soap like substance. We then had a little chunk of a sweet organic desert, and left for home! We really had a great time in Lantau, and we demonstrated all of the ESLRs, by really acting mature and appropriately.

Learning How To Compost
Learning How To Compost

The Eco House
The Eco House

My Student Led Conference

Last Friday, we had a student led conference, which is like a parent conference, except it’s led by students! I had to create a keynote that showed my learning to my parents, which was quite fun to do. I also had to find pieces of work that I worked on during the year, and I also had to talk about my goals that I set at the beginning of the year, and set new ones for the last weeks of school. Boey and I sort of worked together because we gave each other ideas for what to do. 

Mainly, I talked about what I’ve learned this year, I also talked a lot about having the oppotunity to have a blog, and more importantly, a school issued iPad, at such a young age. I also talked about my goals. My original ones were to make 1 true friend and to double check my work, which I often fail to. I achieved these goals, and is set 2 new ones, the first one was to learn 5 more complex ideas of physics, but I would like to know more especially about quantum physics. The other one was to talk to people in a respectful tone, which I do pretty well. 

The conference was an overall success in my opinion because I showed my learning in a variety of subjects by showing videos I made, tests I took and my various journals. I also enjoyed just showing how school was like to my parents! I hope we get to do that next year!

My Keynote

Reading

I absolutely love reading! It’s one of my biggest passions because it brings me an unbelievable amount of joy. I have read a lot of series, but I got into reading more mature books when I was in 3rd grade, so right now I read books at the 8th grade level. I’ve started to read Da Vinci’s Code and I think it’s quite enjoyable. I read easy books till I was in second grade, but I read the entire ‘Harry Potter’ series in a week at the beginning of the year. That’s how I started reading harder books.

Right now, I like to read short chapter books, with around 13-14 chapters, and I read them in a night. But I don’t do that very often, I only do it once every week. I enjoy reading longer books too, especially fantasy and realistic fiction, especially ones about war and peace. I also like to read scientific fiction, and apocalyptic novels. Anyways, I really love to read.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963

Recently, our class finished reading the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. It was a historical fiction novel and I thought it was very good. At the beginning it was just a story about a family called the ‘Weird’ Watsons, but it slowly developed into a very intense story. The main character was Kenny, the middle child in the family, supporting characters include Byron Watson, Kenny’s brother, Joetta Watson, Kenny’s little sister, and his parents Daniel and Wilona.

At the beginning, Kenny and Byron are not very nice to each other. They constantly argue, and Byron always bullies Kenny. But as the story goes on, Byron develops more of a caring brother persona. The plot basically centers around a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, where Wilona’s mother Grandma Sands lives. They go because Byron has become such a big bully that his parents want to teach him a lesson. At Birmingham, Kenny enters a small clearing and almost drowns from a whirlpool, and has hallucinations of a wool pooh, of which his brother said was Winnie The Pooh’s evil twin. But things get horrid when a bomb goes off in the 16th Street Baptist Church, where Joetta was going to Sunday school. But Joey survived because she claimed to see Kenny and that she followed him.

Although the Watsons are not real, the bomb went off in an African-American church in Birmingham Alabama. And 4 little girls died, and many more were injured. This was the extent of the discrimination that went on in the United States back in the 1960s. And although it is much, much better now, people still do discriminate. So I hope that people help others that are being discriminated, maybe by standing up for the, or even by just talking to them. Discrimination is truly a horrible thing.

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A Picture Of The Book

Kindergarten Buddies

My Kindergarten book buddy is Joy. She is a really nice buddy and I really like her. During buddy sessions, I read and do fun activities with her, but usually I just read to her! Book buddies involves a lot of ESLRS. Especially COLLABORATORS, because we work together to improve our reading skills. It also includes GLOBAL CITIZENS, COMPLEX THINKERS and COMMUNICATORS. I enjoy our sessions very much so I interviewed her! And here is my video!

Gregor The Overlander

This week, the class finished the first book of the Underland Chronicles. Although I finished the series a few months ago, I still enjoyed listening to it being read. I loved the fiction and the imagination that were used inthe making of the Underland. Especially the descriptions of various areas. I also liked the word choice of Suzanne Collins, and how every time something happens makes you extremely nervous. I swear that I sweat so hardly the first time I was reading this, that my shirt was soaked when I was done. Here is a synopsis I wrote for the book.
Gregor, was an ordinary boy, from an ordinary city. But what happens when he falls through a grate in his laundry room, and enters the treacherous Underland, filled with giant animals, and strange humans. Will he be able to save his father who he lost 2 years ago, or will he be the meal of a rat? Find out now by reading… Gregor The Overlander!
My favorite character was always Ripred because I like how he is fierce, but also extremely warm hearted, he is cunning, but wise. And I can’t help but admire this rat, even though I absolutely hate his action sometimes, because he tends to act negative. But when you see how he acts around Lizzie, you can’t even not cry! It’s so full of warmth!
Anyways, I highly recommend you to read it, because the series is so good! And it’s by one of my favorite authors, Suzanne Collins! Who wrote the hunger games. So you should read this book! Seriously, get it.

Wacky Wednesday

This year, SIS had a major event for book week, WACKY WEDNESDAY! On Wacky Wednesday, everyone did something totally wacky. All I did was wear mismatched shoes but there were some very wacky things that happened! My friend Leo dressed as a girl, my friend Alex wore socks on his hands, and the most wackiest thing of all, MRS. HUIET PRETENDED TO BE A VISITOR FROM PLUTO! All day, we had to pretend she was a visitor and she said really weird things. She also called me Shoeman (Because I told her to), and it was very very fun, but at the end it got a bit annoying because she kept saying words wrong.
We also read the book Wacky Wednesday by Theo LeSeig (Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss). And we looked for all the wacky things! It was a blast! And in the afternoon, we read the Sneetches, also by Dr. Seuss and watched the movie. I really enjoyed this definitely out-of-the-ordinary day!
I really hope that every Wednesday is this fun! (But I don’t want Mrs. Huiet to be Ms. Pluto for one more second! I had enough of that for a lifetime!)

Murder At Midnight

Last week, Mrs. Huiet put Boey, Than, Leo and I into a book club. We got to choose a book from a selection that Mrs. Huiet provided. We chose the book Murder At Midnight because the cover painting was really cool.
Mrs. Huiet told us to read four chapters and predict, interact with the text, which means jot down notes about things that you want to share with the group, and summarize at the end. The book’s main characters are Fabrizio, Maria Zeanzi, Prince Cosimo, Count Scarazoni and Master Mangus. King Claudio, Magistrato DeLaBina and Mistress Sophia are also important characters. I really liked the book and it showed what people would do for their own gain. It was very shocking and carefully written, so I really loved the book.

Here are my summaries for chapters 1-4, chapters 5-8 and chapters 9-12:

Chapters 1-4
After reading the first 4 chapters of the book, I think this book will be a very good book. I really like the way the writer writes realistically, instead of having real magic. I also like how the text font changes when someone is thinking and at the beggining of the paragraph.
In the first 4 chapters, a boy name Fabrizio is introduced. He is an orphan and is working as a servant in a magician’s household. The magician doesn’t like him, though his wife does. When his wife, mistress Sophia leaves to care for her sick sister, Fabrizio takes her place collecting coins at Master Magnus, the magician’s show. Where Magnus reveals that magic is fake. The next day, a prosecutor named DeLaBina comes and accuses Magnus of duplicating a message to overthrow the king. And Fabrizio says that Magnus does do magic, even when Magnus denies. And Magnus is tasked to find the man behind the note or will die.

Chapters 5-8
In these four chapters, Fabrizio is sent out to collect the papers, but DeLaBina has him taken to the court house and frames him of giving the papers to people. In the court house, the king, Count Scarazoni and Prince Cosimo don’t give him the chance to speak and Prince Cosimo orders the guards to execute Fabrizio.

Chapters 9-12
In these four chapters, Fabrizio escapes from the executioner Agrippa by pretending to read a message from the king and telling Agrippa to spare him. On his way out of the Hall of Justice, Fabrizio enters a cell in hopes to find a prisoner who can help him get out, but instead gets him trapped in the cell. In the meantime, DeLaBina enters the cell and it is revealed that DeLaBina wants Mangus to say that it is Count Scarazoni who ordered Mangus to create the papers.

Here is a picture of the book:

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