18 October 2007

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - and a warm feeling inside!

We read ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein. It tells the story of the relationship between a tree and a little boy. The tree gives many things to the boy:
· Leaves to make a crown
· Foliage to hide and swing in
· A trunk to climb
· Shade to rest in
As the boy grows up, he visits the tree less and less often but the tree is always pleased to see him; and always pleased to give the boy what he needs. Things like:
· A trunk to lean on with his girlfriend
· Apples to sell
· Branches to build a house
· A trunk for a boat
And finally:
· Her stump to sit on

We were a bit puzzled about why the Giving Tree was still happy when all that was left of her was her stump……….

So we talked about what things make us happy. Here are some of the things we said to start with:
· Money to buy things
· New toys
· Candies
· A swimming pool in the garden
· A bicycle to ride on………

Then we got thinking about what makes us happy but doesn’t cost anything.
This was a bit tricky at first, but then Danah said, “Being with my mum and dad.”
Patricia said, “Playing with my mum,” and both Sarah and Maya told us they liked playing with their sister.
Giulia likes, “Playing with my friend,” and Tanmay said that, “Having a best friend,” is what makes him happy.
Per loves running, Azri likes to swing and to play in the sand and Sofia says that playing in the park makes her happy.
Justin and Max said, “Climbing a tree,” and Dangi added, “Playing in the leaves.”
Joe and Evangeline love to write and Fiona and Christopher both love to draw.

Max then summed the story up for us when he observed that, “The tree is happy because she gave something to the boy.”

To end with we tried to see if this would work for us; we wanted to test if we could make a friend happy and whether this would also make us feel happy.

This is just a sample of what happened:

Christopher told his neighbour, “I am your friend.”
Fiona said to her partner, “I like you.”
Azri and Per paid compliments; Azri observed that someone was a fast runner and Per told Dangi he liked his shirt.
Danah hugged Isabella.

.......and their smiling faces said it all!

So - why don’t you see if you can do something to make someone else happy? It won’t cost you any money – and it will give you a warm feeling inside.

17 October 2007

Peeling Apples

Click on the video control to see the the machine at work. If you look carefully you might spot a spiral pattern.....

16 October 2007

What do you think this strange machine is used for?

What do you think this strange machine is used for?

We took a good look at it – from every angle. We drew a careful sketch of it. Then we wrote down what we thought it might be used for. We shared our amazing ideas with our friends.

Matthew D thought it might be a wine-corker

Sofia thought it was a machine for cooking and Justin thought it might be for mixing soup.

Danah and Fiona noticed a sharp part and thought it could be a cutter.

Isabella and Dangi saw the handle that turned and thought it was an opener and Dangi thought it could also be a drill.

Azri thought it might be able to crack hard seeds and Sarah said it could be a pencil sharpener.

Matthew W and Christopher thought that it might be for making holes and Max looked at the screw part and decided it might be for twisting fibres into rope.

Hmm…..well no-one was exactly right but lots of people were a bit right.

It does make holes.

It does cut.

It works a bit like a pencil sharpener when it peels off the skin.

It even works a bit like a wine corker when it removes the core.

Of course everyone wanted a turn and so we agreed that anyone who brought an apple for snack would be able to use it. Thanks to Fiona, who brought in a huge bag of juicy, rosy apples from the tree in her garden, everyone had a go. Such a healthy class!

03 October 2007

Visiting an apple farm

Class 2i planned a visit an apple farm. Here's what they had to say before they went, but after they had done some research into How Apples Grow:

Fiona said: "I learned that tiny buds are on the tree in winter."

Justin said: "The flowers came before the apples."

Per said: "The bees help and what happens is that they bring something from one flower to the other tree. And the trees get food from the ground and the apples get fatter and fatter.” He also said: “I didn’t know that the piece that holds the apple onto the tree could hold that much weight."

Max said: "At first an apple is a flower."

Swati agreed: "First is the flower, then they don’t need petals and they fall down on the grown and they turn brown, and then a little tiny apple grows."

Christopher said: "If you look at an apple you can see where the flower was, at the other end from the stem. I learned that the bees went to the blossom flower, took something from it and went to another flower."

Several people said: "And that’s the female part of the flower – it turns into the fruit."

Dangi said: "I didn’t know that apple flowers had pollen."

When we were at the farm, we learned some of the things that farmers do to take care of their apples:

Tanmay said: “I learned about the female butterfly."

Patricia said: "They have a little house with paper inside so that the daddy butterfly sticks on the paper...

Maya added: ..." with a bit of glue. He thinks there’s a mummy butterfly because of the smell."

Matthew said: " A big problem for the apple farm is that something eats the apples, and lays eggs inside the apples."

Swati said: "The eggs come from the mummy butterflies."

Max said: "The daddy butterflies sense the mummies."

Fiona said: "The farmer plays a trick; he puts the smell of a mummy inside a box, and the daddies are tricked."

Dangi said: "We saw glue and the daddy butterflies stuck on it inside the box. They were tiny, and we saw lots."

We wondered, "What do you think the nets were for?"

Some people thought that farmers put nets over the trees to keep the birds off the apples.

Joe thought it was "to keep raccoons off."

Matthew thought it was because "when it’s winter it keeps the apples warm."

Danah thought it might be "to stop the birds going on the apples."

Justin thought that it could be " electrified, so the birds can’t eat the apples."

Christopher thought it was "to stop the worms."

Swati thought it was "to stop the insects."

Per thought maybe "everything that flies can’t get through."

We were given a hint: it has something to do with the weather:

Joe thought it might be "so the apples don’t blow away."

Danah thought "when it’s snowing, it protects them from the snow."

Tanmay thought that it "is so the apples don’t get wet."

Fiona thought that it keeps "the lightning off the fruit."

Christopher thought it might "keep the thunder off."

Maya thought it was "to save them from a big tornado."

Patricia then thought that it protected them "when the ‘stars’ fall out of the sky in a big storm."

Now we were getting close: it's not stars that fall, but ICE.....Then Joe remembered that ice that falls is called hail. It often comes out of the sky in a big storm, and can do an enormous amount of damage to the apples. When apples get damaged by hail, farmers cannot sell them.

In fact we didn’t see nets over the trees on our visit because there were no apples on the trees. Swati said that we didn't see apples on the trees because "the people have carefully picked them and put them into the back of the truck and driven them away.”