Monthly Archives: June 2012

2 Comments

For the original post...

http://mrswatson.ca/2012/06/24/habitat-dioramas/

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Hello Mrs. Watson's 2/3 Class,

Having seen your wonderful dioramas, I thought I would share how I make trees for dioramas.

You will need some copper (or similar) wire about the length of the tree height you want, wood (PVA) glue, coloured soft foam cut into very small pieces to make leaves and scissors.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1. Remove most of the plastic coating from the wire. (Have an adult help here.) A small amount can be left on to make the wire easier with which to work.

2. Twist about half the length together to make the tree truck.

3. Open out the copper wire strands on the top half to make the branches.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

4. Either brush on wood glue or dip the wire branches in glue taking care with the fine wires as they can bend easily. You can add some more later if you need more leafy branches.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

5. Roll or dip the gluey branches into the small pieces of cut foam. They should stick to the glue.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

6. Stand the tree in some modelling clay, Blu-tack or in a piece of white packaging foam until dry. You can add extra glue and foam to some branches if needed.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

7. You can use thicker wire for larger trees or bigger trunks. The one on the right has used thicker and thinner wire to make a larger tree.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I last showed a class how to make these for a class diorama, I had 30 to 40 trees made within an hour. They are interesting to make and add a little more realism to dioramas set outside.

Have fun with dioramas. 🙂

@RossMannell

For the original post from Mrs. Ranney’s Class…

Sizzling Summer Solstice

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Cold Winter Solstice

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter has begun.

The first day of winter is the Winter Solstice.   During the summer time, I see the sun rise to the approximate east of my house yet, now it’s winter, the sun rises to the north-east and sets to the north-west. Days are now at their shortest. For us, we now have the longest nights.

Our Summer Solstice comes in December. As you can see, The Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere work in opposites. The only times we have about the same length day comes during the Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox when day and night are the same length.

Have you ever wondered what happens to day length at the equator?

They also have equinox and solstice but day length doesn’t change quite as much as us.

…and at the North Pole and South Pole?

The Summer Solstice at the poles is one of 24 hours of daylight. The sun doesn’t set.

The Winter Solstice at the poles is one of 24 hours of night. The sun never rises.

Between the two, 24 hour night slowly gives way to sunrise. The day starts to grow in length. Eventually, the sun doesn’t set and can be seen in the sky all day. From there, eventually the sun does set for a short time before rising. Slowly nights become longer and the cycle starts again.

Some time ago, I prepared a post for a US student discussing the seasons. Here is a link…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/for-royce-on-seasons/

Our world is an amazing place. We orbit the sun at a slight tilt allowing us to have seasons. Earth lies in the Cinderella Zone around our sun where it’s not too hot an not too cold for life to exist. It’s a pretty good place to be, especially in summer. 🙂

@RossMannell

A link to Global Grade 3's original post...

http://globalgrade3.cbegloballearning.ca/blog/2012/06/14/excitement-and-sadness-our-last-skype-with-ashli/

Hello Global Grade 3,

 I’m sorry it has taken me a week to respond to your “Excitement AND sadness … our LAST Skype with Ashli” post. I have been very busy on a DVD project for a multi-school music camp. I won’t clutter up this comment with an explanation but below is a link explaining what the DVD project was if you are interested.

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/06/22/the-unexpected-dvd-project-a-sub-comment-for-global-grade-3/

Now to your post…

Sadness at your last Skype as Grade Three Bloggers.

I’ll share a quote with you…

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”

James Matthew Barrie (The creator of “Peter Pan”), Rectorial address, May 3, 1922, St. Andrew’s University, Scotland

James Barrie was reminding us it’s our memories we carry with us into the future. While experiences may pass, the memories can linger on beyond simply a new school year.

In the future, you may be parents with children of your own. They might say something about an experience like yours at school. Memories will come back to mind and, for a time, you’ll be back Skyping with Ashli.

It’s memories made when important things to us happen we remember most easily. I know this is so as I have a clear memory of something that happened to me when I was only three years old, now over 50 years ago.

Okay, I know you’re curious to read if it was a good memory so I’ll share. In my case, it was the day I learned little boys shouldn’t touch mummy’s peeling knife. I still have a small scar on my left thumb. 🙂 I was and still am curious about many things I encounter. We should never stop learning.

The Glitch

You might have heard the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

Providing the opportunity to experience the library, children would be excited and keen to take part. It’s that curiosity that sets us all on a path of learning. For adults more concerned about everyday existence, the library wouldn’t be high in their thoughts but the change has been made.

Remember the Butterfly Effect? The wings have been flapped. Maybe an adult will come along with a child wanting to visit. Perhaps they will share a book. Interested in their child’s curiosity, they may want to know more and possibly learn how to use the library. This would mean the community would need future visits to help.

A small salary would help attract people to the library operation. They might see the financial benefit at first but come to love the interaction with visiting children. In time, the money would not be as important. We can only hope.

Finishing the School Year

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

 James Matthew Barrie quotes (Scottish Dramatist and Novelist best known as the creator of Peter Pan, 1860-1937)

The way you all have been able to help others this school year has brought sunshine into the lives of others and therefore sunshine into your own lives. Your buckets have been filling and soon it will be time to move on.

 I hope you all keep bringing sunshine and filling buckets in the new school year.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

2 Comments

Hello Global Grade 3,

 Sometimes plans change in our lives. The DVD production I do for schools and community groups is normally very quiet around this time of year. I have much time to visit and comment on blogs but last week I had a phone call to change my plans.

 A school principal rang and asked if I could film the 15 school Music Camp Concert the next night. Suddenly the chance to comment on blogs slowed as I prepared video and still cameras. I visited the camp that day to see what would be happening and take photos and video of their rehearsals. I returned home around 21:00 (9pm).

 The next day was their performance. I allowed myself two hours prior to the concert to set up the three video cameras and audio recorder I use. How did the concert look? It was fantastic.

 That night I started uploading the video and audio to my computer then spent an average of twelve hours a day for four days producing the DVD of the show. It needed to be finished quickly as the school term ends next week (Jun 29).

 I can’t share the video with you as our policy is not to put school productions on the internet but I can share the opening title clip with you. This alone took around 3 hours to set up graphics and titles to my liking.

What is special about events like this in our lives?

 Teachers and students spend three days with music and other fun activities. Volunteer come to help with the choice of instruments made by the children. Companies donate money and resources. Even the camp they use provides extras for those attending. It becomes a community event and is growing in student numbers, this being only the second of what is now planned as an annual event.

 The Music Camp is just one event when various people in the community can become involved in positive activities helping each other.

 They asked if I wouldn't mind making the DVD on such short notice. It’s just one way I can share the experience with others. So far I have driven around 400km (250 miles) delivering the DVDs to schools. Again I have a chance to meet others as I travel.

 Do I mind filming the show on such short notice? I said I love doing shows like this.

 While I am still running off and delivering copies of the DVD, I am starting to catch up on commenting.

 @RossMannell

To see the original 6th School of Puns competition, click the link below...

http://schoolofpuns.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/sixth-school-of-puns-cartoon-caption.html

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

With the 6th School of Puns competition underway, I have listened to The Headmaster's call for punny entries and have two possible versions for Samar's wonderful picture shown below.

1. The dog won the race but he thought he was only yelping them chase the shot-put.

2. Ever since dogs have been allowed to enter the Olympics, they've been a howling success.

 

To see the original post on the "Pass the Blog" blog, here is the link...

http://passtheblog.creativeblogs.net/2012/06/17/music-and-art-of-the-week/

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Music

·  How is this piece of music similar/different to what you normally like to listen to?

I have some music in my collection reminding me of this piece. They are attempts to tell stories in music, what you might call rock operas. Examples are Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds” and Elton John’s “Tommy”.

 

·  What do you think the story is about?

It seems to be about the battle between good and evil where evil is greed and good is wanting a peaceful life. When greed takes hold, we run the risk of destroying the world we all rely on.

·  What or who do you think the monkey is?

I think monkey might be the environment or the world itself.

·  Does it make you sad or happy?  Why?

Neither happy nor sad, I was more curious about the content.

·  What instruments can you hear in the music?

There seems to be guitars, strings, sythesiser, vocals and keyboard. Of course, these days the only instruments might have come from a computer.

I found this link to the lyrics for the music…

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Fire-Coming-Out-Of-A-Monkey%27s-Head-lyrics-Gorillaz/3298102262770A4A48256FE800114F66

Art

·  Who do you think is in the painting?   Who is the lady?  Is it her baby?

Rory had me stumped at first. I recognised the painting as one of many Madonna and child paintings but at first I thought it might be by Raphael.

·  Do you think this is a scene the painter had seen?  Why?

I suspect this isn’t any particular scene as other versions show different locations.

·  Can you find out what the painting is called and/or who painted it?

It took me a little time and research to realise this was Virgin and Child ('The Madonna of the Yarnwinder') by Leonardo da Vinci although I have found there are more than one versions of the painting. Perhaps some were painted by students of da Vinci.

·  Does it look old or new to you?  Why?

The painting is around 500 years old. It’s the style and technique of the painting suggesting it is quite old. As I have said, I at first thought it was by Raphael who was around at the same time as da Vinci.

·  What do you think the painting is about?

It is a painting of faith and may have been painted for a wealthy family.

·  Would you want this on your wall?  Why/Why not?

Considering the beauty and history of the piece, it would be wonderful to be hang it on my wall but I wouldn’t. Security would always be a concern. My research shows it had been stolen in 2003 but was recovered in 2007.

 

1 Comment

To see Global Grade 3's original post...

http://globalgrade3.cbegloballearning.ca/blog/2012/06/07/filling-the-earths-bucket/

Hola Global Grade 3,

 I have a quote, quite an old one, to show you thoughts of the environment are not just a modern idea…

That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.

Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180)

Roman emperor, philosopher

Meditations, bk. 6, sct. 54.

 Over 1800 years ago a Roman emperor recognized if what we do isn’t good for the environment, it can’t possibly be good for us. It makes me wonder why many still don’t understand the message. Yet, from your final thoughts, I can see you understand…

 “we wish people would work TOGETHER to help take care of the environment!”

Here is a picture I found on the web. It is a NASA photo taken by the Apollo 17 crew. When out in space, you can see the entire world as a planet in space. It's the only world we have. If we don't take care of it and care about the people in it, we can't just pack up and go somewhere else. We need to keep our home clean.

 Like many things in life, we need to make choices and try to lead by example. Mayor Nenshi was setting the example by formulating his challenge and then being seen to take part. You have all set an example for your community I know you will carry throughout your lives.

 For me, picking up papers and other rubbish around the school was a positive thing to do although I had seen teachers punish children by making them clean up. Children knew I carried jellybeans in my first aid kit for any diabetic children. They knew if they had picked up papers around the school they would be given some for their efforts.

 Looking at the two options and what might result…

  1. Picking up rubbish as a punishment – People grow thinking such an activity is a negative experience and something not to do. Littering can then be a protest of what has been or a sign of indifference.

  2. Picking up papers by choice – People grow thinking of such activities as positive experiences. They see keeping the environment clean as a good thing.

Your experience has been positive and you have discovered how effective keeping the environment clean can be. You have discovered the benefits of being change makers and how we can all help others even if only in small ways.

According to an old saying, “From little seeds, great trees can grow.”

This school year you have all planted many seeds and they have already started to grow strong and tall. The butterfly wings have flapped and we wait to see the positive changes the future may bring.

From my research, I can see your school year has only two weeks remaining at the time of this post. I would like to thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences with me. Your posts always seemed to send my mind off in different directions and led to a number of extended comments. 🙂

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

 

For the original posts related to this comment...

Mrs. Yollis and Class

Mrs. Ranney and class

Dear Mrs. Yollis and Mrs. Ranney and classes,

On birds...

I must say, the Wildlife Experience visits certainly let you experience some magnificent animals. Harris Hawk is a beautiful example of a raptor (bird of prey). We also have hawks, falcons and eagles in Australia. My favourite raptors would be the wedge-tailed eagle and the sea eagle. They are around the same size and both can be seen in many areas, although the sea eagle, as its name suggests, tends to stick to the coast while I have seen wedge-tailed eagles even in central Australia where the area is mostly desert.

Have you ever watched an falcon or hawk in the sky? They are so graceful as they scan the ground with their excellent eyesight. I have seen some almost hover in the one position as they sight their prey then suddenly swoop down.

What about an eagle? I have seen them circling high above as they look for prey. Our sea eagles can be seen sweeping along the coastline catching air currents.

The Ostrich

The ostrich is the world's largest bird and their eggs the largest eggs as you've seen.

The emu is Australia's largest bird but isn't quite as big as the ostrich nor is its egg quite as large.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The emu is to be found, along with the kangaroo, on the Australian coat of arms and the 50c coin.

Here is a video I took of emus at a local animal refuge, Potoroo Palace...

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The Humming Bird

We don't have humming birds in Australia but I have always been fascinated by the bird's ability to hover and fly backwards. They are incredible little birds.

On Mammals...

Did you know mammals are divided into three groups?

1. Monotreme Mammals

Monotremes are mammals. They are furry and the mothers feed their young with milk but they have one big difference to all other mammals, they lay eggs.

There were once many more species in other parts of the world as found in fossil records but now they are only found in Australia and New Guinea. Australia has two of these ancient mammal types, the platypus and the echidna. There is also an echidna species in New Guinea.

The Platypus...

The platypus is a shy animal living in burrows near creeks and streams. They feed on grubs and bugs they find in the water. If you look at the drawing, they seem to have a beak like a duck but it isn't a beak. It's very sensitive to tiny electrical charges given off by small animals in the creek sediment and heklps the platypus find food. Did you know when a stuffed platypus was first sent back to England for study, it looked so strange the scientists thought it was a hoax?

When their young have hatched, the mother provides milk from glands. She lies on her back and the milk oozes out of her skin so the young can lap it up. The playtpus is featured on the Australian 20c coin.

Here is a link to a You Tube video of the platypus from National Geographic...

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The Echidna or Spiny Anteater...

The echidna is the only other monotreme. It is found in Australia and one species in New Guinea. The hatched young, known as puggles, feed in the same way as a platypus baby.

I have come across echidnas a number of times on my walks. When startled, they dig their claws into the ground only showing their spines. The echidna appears on the Australian 5c coin.

Here is a link to a video clip I made of an echidna at Potoroo Palace. His name is Spike.

2. Marsupial Mammals

Unlike the monotremes, marsupial mammals are found in other parts of the world like your opossum. The difference is, Australia has an abundance of them.

Marsupial young are born very tiny (a kangaroo is about 2cm or less than an inch when born) and have to make their way into the mother's pouch and attaches to a teat where it can suckle milk. Once it is large enough, it starts to look out, then explore the outside world but returns to the pouch until it is too big.

There's the feather-tailed glider as was on our 1c coin when we had them...

The wombat

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The kangaroo (there are a few species). These are eastern greys...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The smaller wallabies. This is a swamp wallaby and is common around may area.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

And here is a video clip I made at Potoroo Palace of a young swamp wallaby in their care. She is almost ready to fully leave the artificial pouch. Her name is Serena.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Koalas are perhaps our most famous marsupials after the kangaroo. This little girl is now to big for her mother's pouch and spends much of her time on her mother's back but also likes to explore. In the video clip below the picture you can see her one of the first times she poked her head out of her mother's pouch. Again, this clip was taken in Potoroo Palace. The mother is named Suzie.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We also have a number of possums. Here is a video clip of a young ring-tailed possum in care at Potoroo Palace.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

There are many more marsupials here from tiny marsupial mice to the largest, the red kangaroo. When the Aboriginal people first arrived in Australia, there was an even larger marsupial known as the diprotodon. It became extinct well before the first Europeans came to Australia. We have lost many species of marsupial over the years since European settlement because of loss of habitat and predation from introduced cats and foxes. Special sanctuaries have been set up in parts of Australia where our smaller marsupials are kept safe from cats and foxes. Zoos also have breeding programs to help.

2. Placental Mammals

These are the most common mammals you'll find in the world. They include humans as well has horses, cows, dogs, cats, monkeys, apes, etc. As you have learned, apart from the opossum, North American mammals are all placental mammals.

4 Comments

Hola Grade 3,

The end of a school year was always a mixture of sad and happy for me. It meant I was passing on the students in my class to the next teacher but it also meant I would have a new group with which to explore learning. Soon your time will be here to face change but I know you have learned so much this school year and are well prepared for the future.

I want to share something I found on the web. It looks at parent/child relationships but can also be applied to teaching. The words come from a song called, "Roots and Wings" sung by a group called Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers. I found quite a lot of meaning in these words.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

"Roots and Wings" the Lyrics

Give us children roots and wings
Never fear the change it brings
There is no reason to be sad
Be thankful for the time you’ve had

When I was a younger guy
One autumn night I told a lie
My dad just shook his head and sighed
Said ‘one day you’ll know what it’s like’

To give your children roots and wings, oh, oh
And not to fear the change it brings, oh, oh
To tell the truth and be a man
To always do the best you can

Mother, she done set me free
From all the locks that once held me
She whispered in my infant ears
That I was wise beyond my years
So even on my darkest nights
I’ve felt the ground and I’ve seen the heights
And one day may you do the same
Oh, child of mine that bears my name

I give to you my roots and wings, oh, oh
With these you can do anything, oh, oh
And you will never be alone
Carry or be carried home

Oh, oh
You’ll be carried home (x2)
You will always be here with me

The way you feel your roots and wings, oh
And never fear the change it brings, oh
So give those children roots and wings, oh, oh
And never fear the change it brings, oh, oh
There is no reason to be sad
Be thankful for the time you had
And give those children roots and wings, oh
Oh, and I give you mine
Roots and wings (x8)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

I found the performed song on You Tube...

After seeing the words, I searched for Roots and Wings Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers on iTunes, I purchased it and added it to my music collection.

As you think of the end of the school year, I know you have the roots as a change makers. Never fear the change life brings as you move on to Grade 4. I can only advise one thing...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

Click to see Alexandra's original post  .....

Alexandra's Post

Dear Alexandra,

Gardening cannot only be fun to do, you can end up eating what you grow or admiring the flowers when they bloom. I see you know how to protect your young plants. In places where it can become hot and dry, mulch is a great way to keep the soil moister and cooler. We tend to use sugar cane mulch. It’s like hay and is a waste product from our sugar refineries in northern Australia.

Your choice of plants shows you have a nice variety. I think you’ll find the cucumber and pumpkin vines will try to take over so you might have to train them (move the ends of the vines to where you want them to grow).

Do I have a garden, if so what are the fruits or vegetables in it?

For me here in Australia, winter is beginning so our vegetable garden has little in it. There are broad beans and garden peas but they haven’t yet emerged from the ground. We also have rhubarb and spinach in the garden. Below is a photo of our vegetable garden taken a couple years back in spring...

In the photo are broad beans (at the back), onions, peas, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, beans, and beetroot.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I am now harvesting oranges from our orange tree. We normally get up to 10 buckets of oranges from the one tree.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Our apples are long gone for this year but the trees will bloom in spring as will the guava.

Guava (they're sweet tasting) This was a late season fruit.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We also have a native lillipilli bush. This plant produces small berries. The species we have is edible but doesn’t have a strong or sweet flavour.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We have also had cucumber, pumpkin, strawberries and corn in our garden but have never grown artichoke

Do I like fruits and vegetables?

Perhaps the favourite parts of any meal for me are the vegetables. I like quite a variety. We have what comes from our garden as well as fresh produce we buy from our local supermarket.

For fruits from our garden, I like fresh orange juice, apples, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, cucumber (they’re a fruit), and pumpkin. From stores, I also like bananas. We also buy peaches, plums, apricots, grapes, and pears when they’re in season.

For vegetables, we grow and eat potatoes, carrots, and onions. We also buy vegetables from the supermarket when they’re in season.

Additionally, we grow sweet corn, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, peas, beans, and rhubarb at different times of the year.

Spinach (it's out of season but this one hangs on)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Rhubarb

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I think this shows we like our fruits and vegetables. My mother is 81 and is still a keen gardener, although she has me dig her gardens these days. She loves to share with her neighbours.

Some people like to garden for the display by planting flowers and other ornamental plants. Below are some photos of what can happen when you're a keen gardener. It started with one man's hobby and created a large garden with the theme of the English Countryside. The photos were taken in a tourist attraction in Canberra, Australia's capital city. The attraction  is called Cockington Green.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

To visit the original post from Mrs. Yollis and class...

Memorial Day 2012

Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

I know of Memorial Day and its importance in remembering the men and women who died in active military service. When I had been in Hawaii, I had visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It can be sad passing along the rows of often very young people who have lost their lives in wars but we must remember how important their sacrifice had been.

I was interested to read Andrew and his scout troop had placed flags at military grace sites. I was a scout and ended up earning my Queen’s Scout Award (similar to Eagle Scout). A number of times I took part in local ANZAC Day marches as a scout, sometimes carrying the Australian flag.

For Andrew, if he is interested, here is a link to a post on my scouting history I prepared for a student in 2011.

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/a-scouting-post-for-leila/

Your questions…

Did anyone in your family serve?

Of course, I didn’t have any known family serving in the U.S. forces but I have had relatives serve for Australia.

Ernest Mannell served in WWI in France. He was my great uncle (my father’s uncle). He lost his life while serving. The family has never known where he was buried as, apparently, the German forces had buried him along with many others.

My father served in the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) in World War II. He was sent to Singapore to help defend the city and, when the British forces surrendered, he became a Prisoner of War (POW). He was only freed when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

I had uncles serving in the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force during WWII. All returned safely. One uncle had put up his age so he could serve and was sent to fight the Japanese in New Guinea. On finding out, my grandfather had him returned to Australia. As soon as he was old enough, he rejoined and was sent back to New Guinea.

Did you fly your American flag today? 

I have flown the American flag but it wasn’t on Memorial Day, It was when I first heard of the 9/11 attack in New York.

In Australia, we have two days to remember the sacrifices of men and women who served in wars. The first is known as ANZAC Day and falls on April 25th each year.

ANZAC Day originated back in 1915 when Australian troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey. It was the first time troops from Australia fought as a nation as Australia only became a country in 1901.

Here is a link to a post I made for a class studying ANZAC Day this year…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/for-23-class-anzac/

The second day is on November 11th each year. It is Remembrance Day and marks the day WWI ended.

 To remember my father, I attend the ceremonies held on these days. This year’s ANZAC Day had a Dawn Service. Here is a link to a video I made of the 2012 ceremony…

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Later in the day, the ANZAC Day march was held through town. Despite the rain and driving winds, there was a good turn out. Considering the weather, I wasn’t able to film the march.

Our days also have U.S. service people in attendance as some retired to our town. One man I have known for a long time, Lonnie Llewellyn, served in the U.S. Air Force.

@RossMannell

2 Comments

To see the original posts, click on the links below...

Mrs. Ranney's Classroom

Mrs. Yollis and Class

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Dear Mrs. Ranney and Mrs. Yollis and classes,

What a stunning experience "Wildlife Experience" has given you. Being able to handle some wonderful creatures and learn about more dangerous ones is fun.

SPIDERS

Tarantula

The rose-haired tarantula looks very interesting. I smiled when I read its name, Ocho. What a wonderful idea to call a spider Eight for its eight legs. The Spanish word, ocho, sounds much better sounds so much better than the English, eight.

I have read the tarantula is the biggest species of spiders in the world. We don’t have native tarantulas in Australia but we do have some large spiders, one a little like a tarantula.

In Australia, we have the funnel web spider. This is not a safe spider to handle because its bite can be deadly. I don’t find them that common and have only seen one in the wild once, in fact in a Sydney school where I taught.

The Principal had asked me to identify it. When I went to pick it up, she told me not to do so. I explained it was dead but she felt it might be pretending. So the Principal felt happy, I placed it in a plastic container. I felt safe for, you see, ants had been inside its abdomen and the spider was little more than its exoskeleton.

Sketch of an Australian funnel web.

Black Widow Spider

We do have a very similar spider to this one. We call it the red-backed spider. Like the black widow, it can make you very sick or even cause death if you are bitten. I have see a number of them in the wild.

I think the black widow is like our red-back, the females are notorious for eating the smaller males after mating. I can see why your spider is called a black widow.

You can see how similar our red-backed spider is the the black widow.

Brown Recluse

We have s similar spider known as the huntsman spider. I’ve sometimes found them running along the walls in my house. I catch them and release them into the garden. Even at school if I was called to remove a spider from a classroom, I preferred to catch and release them. Would I release a funnel web? No, I would donate it to a zoo. Here is a video about the huntsman...

Did you know people “milk” spiders for their venom? They have a pipette (thin glass eye dropper). By annoying a spider, the venom is released onto the fangs. The attendant sucks up the venom into the pipette. The venom can be used to create anti-venene.  Anti-venene is injected into a person who has been bitten. It helps them recover from a bite.

The study of spiders is known as arachnology.

 

SNAKES

Gopher Snake

This is a beautiful snake. I like its defensive adaptation. Pretending to be a more dangerous creature can keep predators away.

In nature, there are many examples of animals pretending to be what they aren’t. This can be by the way they behave, the way they look or the way they sound.

Wikipedia has a reference to animal mimicry…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimicry

Snakes in My Area

While there are many non-poisonous snakes in Australia, we also have some very dangerous snakes. First let’s look at snakes I have seen when hiking…

Brown Snake

This snake can be aggressive if threatened and is best left alone. When I saw one it was by accident. I had stepped on a branch and saw movement. I could see the branch had come down on the tail of a brown snake. It didn’t see me so I backed off and let it slither away.

A bite would have been serious. This is why I use heavy metal-capped boots and avoid areas where grass or plants are too long to see underneath. Had I been bitten, I would have needed to be given anti-venene as soon as possible.

The man in the video clip is a very experienced snake handler. I would never try to pick up a wild snake, especially a brown.

Tiger Snake

This one is also aggressive if threatened, poisonous and best left alone. I was walking along a trail when I saw one sunning itself. We looked at each other as I made my way around it at a safe distance.

Red-Bellied Black Snake

I have often seen these poisonous snakes. They are not aggressive and try to keep out of your way unless you threaten them. Even though they aren’t aggressive, they are best left alone.

They are my favourite poisonous snake because, amongst other things like frogs, they like to eat young brown and tiger snakes. They help keep the more dangerous snake numbers down.

Some Other Australian Snakes I've Photographed

This is Olivia the olive python. She is non-poisonous and lives at an animal sanctuary called {Potoroo Palace). The lady holding her is Alexandra, one of the people who volunteer to help at Potoroo Palace.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Another Potoroo Palace resident is the black-headed python. Python bites don’t tend to be poisonous. They coil their prey in the bodies. As their prey breathes out, they squeeze a little harder. In the end the prey suffocates.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Snakes can be so interesting. The study of snakes is known as herpetology. Like spiders, the poisonous snakes are “milked” for their venom to create anti-venene.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thank you for sharing such interesting information about the Wildlife Experience visit. As well as many other things, I enjoy seeing and learning about animals but always remember to respect them in the wild by seeing and photographing but never trying to touch them.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia