Due This Week

31 05 2010

Don’t forget that on Wednesday your Society & Environment animations on a period of Ancient Egyptian history are due, as well as your Rock Cycle storytelling podcasts.  Remember, both of them are all about informative storytelling.  As long as the details are accurate and highly detailed, you’ve got some scope to be creative and entertaining in HOW you deliver it.


Pick a period in the history of Ancient Egypt, and using animation, tell it as a story.


Select a specific type of rock, and give it a name and a voice.  Use that character to describe the rock cycle in specific detail, explaining how that rock came to be.  Make sure you include all phases of the rock cycle.  Because it’s cyclical, it can begin at any point, so if you’re doing an igneous rock, it doesn’t begin from the time a volcano spat it out of the ground, it’s from the point it was LAST an igneous rock, weathering and eroding to form sedimentary rock, or becoming subject to heat & pressure to become metamorphic etc etc…


Friday, May 28th

28 05 2010

Good morning!  Apologies for my absence – I won’t be far away from a Skype connection or this blog all day, so feel free to hit up the Skype account ashdalestp or simply comment this blog.

Last week’s relief notes came back suggesting that a bit of sneakiness went down in my absence, so please remember the way this class works.  As long as the tools you’re using are for a clear educational purpose and you’ve given the boss a heads-up that you’re doing it, you’re fine.


Last lesson you guys made excellent progress on your Rock Cycle Character stories.  Keep them rolling.  Get it?  Rock… rolling… never mind.  Remember, they’re due Wednesday of next week.


You’ve all got the CD cover art templates.  Get designing!!


Let’s begin by refreshing our memories as to the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given moment in time, with regard to temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.  Climate is the average of weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

Our job as Year 8 S&E students is to develop an understanding of how we can observe and measure climate.  The tool we use to do this is called a climograph.  I’ve uploaded some resources for you to download and work with.  They are as follows:

You’ll need to work through the first four, using the fifth one as backup.


I’ve assigned you some decimal problem solving tasks in Mathletics.  Go Live for 10 minutes to warm your brains up, then hop in.


Ok, so you’ve started on your “Lord of the Flies – Redux” reinterpretations of the novel.  By now you should have your details decided upon, and you should be under way in writing the synopsis.  The next step is to turn that synopsis into a plan for a movie trailer.  Use IMDB and YouTube to compare a movie synopsis and trailer for the same film to decide the following:

  • How much of the plot do you give away in the trailer?
  • How detailed do you want to be?
  • Selection of detail – remember the ideas we talked about in creating intrigue in narrative.

Now as I said, if you’ve got any queries, comment the blog or Skype me.  If you finish up with anything project-based from the above, there’s a pile of other projects including your Ancient Egypt story animations to keep powering through with.

Do me proud, people.

Lord of the Flies Redux – Synopsis Outline

27 05 2010

Yesterday we spoke about the issues at the heart of the plot to Lord of the Flies.  Here’s my quickie synopsis that I wrote – see how it compares to yours:

A group of boys are in a place far removed from their home with no adult involvement, due to circumstances out of their control. After initial agreement, there is division and conflict over how the group should lead & organise itself and behave. One boy manipulates the others into behaving unethically for his own glorification despite the known risks to their safety. The conflict intensifies, and a small group of boys are alienated and persecuted, which leads to the death of 2 of them. Finally, contact is made with their home society, and they are rescued.

Later, we spoke about the central events of the plot so that we could rewrite it, set in today’s world.  We figured that the key points were as follows:

  • A group of young people find themselves in an inescapable situation due to poor adult decisions, with no adult involvement.
  • A group forms and agrees upon leadership, rules, and etiquette.
  • Conflict emerges between two strong personalities.
  • One strong personality takes advantage of a rumour and uses it to manipulate the others into behaving unethically.
  • The conflict intensifies, and the 3 young people who have not been manipulated are made outcasts and persecuted.  The following conflict leads to the deaths of two of them
  • Finally, adult intervention ends the conflict.

Your job from here is to take these key plot points, and write them into a plot synopsis for a new version based on the old ideas.

If you’re looking for ideas as to how they might be refugees from something, have a look at this.


20 05 2010


No response on the blog yesterday about the rock cycle stuff…

Can I assume it went well?  The job to do here is to choose one of the types of rocks you discovered yesterday (when I say “type of rock” I mean granite or marble or sandstone, rather than igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary), then tell its story in a similar way to Louie the Quartzite.  Make sure your story includes all stages of the rock cycle (might need to look back at the kitchen video and the flowchart from yesterday) and tell it in whichever way you see fit….

….except for the old “do a presentaton…”


Here’s a list of things you need to be working on to package up your songs:

  • Song & lyrics finalised
  • Naming & logo (have a play with it, but we’ll take a closer look at logo stuff next week)
  • Cover art (if you haven’t got a name or logo organised, just earmark some space for them.
  • Marketing plan (Who is your demographic? Where do they go to listen to or get music? How can you put your music in front of them? Which media will you use?  What will your marketing materials look like?


How are those Egypt animations coming?  Nearly done?  Ready to get online next week?


Mathletics, decimals.  Focus on adding and subtracting again.  If you’ve conquered, pillaged, and plundered the decimal kingdom (and by that, I mean won gold bars all the way up to the adding & subtracting problems)


Yesterday you took a look at a further chapter of the book, and planned a response to the question from Sparknotes regarding Jack’s use of the Beast as a manipulative tool to control the others.  Today, blog that response.  Remember, which side of the argument you take is not as important as how well you construct your argument.  Remember to check out each other’s blog posts, then comment and critique them.  Sharing ideas and opinions is super important.


19 05 2010

Good morning all!  Here’s the rundown for today, with the followup and extension of it all to go down tomorrow.  Hour by hour, subject by subject, here’s what needs to get done.


Firstly, press on with reading the novel, but at the same time, you have a reading point – your next persuasive essay topic is another one from the Sparknotes list.  We’re looking at the following question:

How does Jack use the beast to control the other boys?

Use the evidence of Jack’s behaviour and the other boys’ reactions to it from the previous few chapters, then make use of the planning framework to start collecting the relevant ideas all in one place.

Society & Environment

You’ve all made a great start on your Egyptian history storytelling.  Keep at it!


Earlier this week, you saw some pretty dorky but informative videos on the rock cycle.  This resource here is an interesting way to think about it, without crazy soundtracks or silly accents.  Your job today is to look a little deeper into the types of rocks we saw in the rock cycle.  Where do you find each kind of rock?  Which landforms are each type of rock commonly a part of?  Does distance from the coast make a difference?  Finally, what are some common examples of each type of rock?  Also, can you do me a favour and hit this post with some comments to let me know how you’ve gone with it?


Climb into Mathletics, and keep chipping away at the unit on decimals.  In particular, focus on the addition and subtraction activities.  Don’t forget what that decimal point’s made of.

Science – The Rock Cycle

18 05 2010

Term 2 Science is centred around the fundamentals of Geology – the study of what our planet is made of, and how it changes over time.  Obviously, things don’t sit still.  Climate, weather and seismic forces have been shaping the surface of the Earth for millenia, so we’re going to take a look at a few ways that this happens.

The first thing we’ll look at is a bit of fun.  It’s using food analogies (I know, showing you food is a bit rough, but relax, it’s nearly lunchtime!) these two kitchen science crusaders do a great job of explaining the processes in really clear scientific terminology.  Listen carefully, and take some notes, y’all.

Next up, we’re going to play victim to my weakness for a rough-around-the-edges Bronx accent by following the time travels of a piece of quartzite named Louie.  Again, it’s pretty cheesy, but loaded with nice advanced scientific terminology.

Lastly, here’s a video with pretty good illustrations and diagrams, made by someone who would rather fill their content with hard-to-read text than narrate it.  The visuals work ok on their own, but without commentary, they’re a little hard to follow.  This is a good example of good content being under-utilised.