Cultures

3 Comments

Battalion Hawk Bloggers have prepared a post on their marionettes...

Presenting...our GLOBAL Marionettes!

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

I was very impressed when I saw your Global Marionette presentation. With 200 nations in our world, it can be hard to decide which countries to represent and/or study but you have chosen four very interesting countries of a most certainly global nature. Here are our world's seven continents in their order from largest to smallest area and the countries you have chosen...

Asia - India - Often said to be the Indian sub-continent because it had once been separate but continental drift had it collide into Asia and caused the rise of the Himalayan mountains.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of India

Nations of Asia table

Africa - Tunisia - The smallest North African nation.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Tunisia

List of sovereign states & dependent territories in Africa

North America - This is your home continent so you have it covered. You live there.

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America

South America - Peru - We have shared your studies on this country.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Peru

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America

Antarctica - This continent is international. While some countries, including Australia, lay claim to parts of it there are no real borders and no people living there permanently.

Europe - Ukraine - Once part of the former U.S.S.R., it is an independent nation.

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.

Flag of Ukraine

 List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe

Australia - The only continent that is one country. I don't know of any national costume for Australia so clothing for a marionette could have many options. As well as the native Australians (Aborigines), Australians have many cultural backgrounds. My heritage before Australia is Scottish and English but I know my ancestors stretch across Europe, Africa and Asia. We are all in one big family.

 

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.

Flag of Australia

Types of Puppetry

All of the below embedded You Tube clips are not my work.

Since I was little, puppets have interested me so I carried out a little research through Wikipedia to see what kinds of puppets can be made. Here are the types and You Tube clips of some I found and I must admit I hadn't heard of all the listed types...

  • Black light puppet

Chelsea, Rayann and Rebecca from Battalion Hawk Bloggers were interested in black light puppetry. I explained black light (ultraviolet) puppetry doesn't need to be complicated. White paint or material can be used to make the puppets. Below is another black light puppet video from You Tube. The puppets are gloved hands with the people wearing black...

An ad has been playing on Australian television recently. It seems to be the actors in the ad are wearing fluorescent suits where colours can be turned off and on. They look like black light  puppets but may be black light/body puppets.

  • Bunraku puppet

  • Carnival or body puppet

  • Finger puppet

  • Sock puppet

  • Hand puppet or glove puppet

  • Human-arm puppet

  • Light curtain puppet

  • Marionette

Jayden and Joyce were interested in the goat marionette video so I've embedded another video clip, this time of a marionette clip from "The Sound of Music".

  • Marotte

  • Pull string puppet

  • Push puppet

  • Toy theatre

  • Rod puppet

  • Shadow puppet

  • Supermarionation

  • Ticklebug

  • Table top puppet

  • Ventriloquism dummy

  • Water puppet

  • Object Puppet

I've added another below because this type includes my favourite puppet you will see at the end of the post. This type is really two types combined.

  • Hand and Rod Puppet

Wikipedia Reference if you want to find out more....   Types of Puppetry

Can you see what type of puppets you made? Visit the "Types of Puppetry" link to read more.

Over the years I have made, used or seen a number of the puppet types. My classes have made finger, glove, shadow, sock and rod puppets. They can be sometimes messy to make but are always fun, especially when they're ready to use. 🙂

Recently, puppets have made it to big stage productions. Perhaps some of you have heard of the production, "War Horse". I find their puppets fascinating, particularly the adult horse, Joey. Below is a You Tube clip showing the ad for the production. Watch to see how puppets become "real" members of the stage show.

This is an embedded You Tube clip and is not my work.

Who or what is my favourite puppet? He is a hand and rod puppet you might know...

 

Christopher was asking about The Muppets and the number of types they used. Below are some more Muppet clips. You will see glove, glove and rod, and body puppets. Cane you see other types?

Body puppets start what once introduced The Muppet Show on television.

This clip shows glove puppets. At the end Kermit (glove and rod) appears.

And for another student who likes Elmo.

 For a class looking at Australia -

Australian Flag

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

Aboriginal Flag

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

Torres Strait Islander Flag

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

Some Audio Files

Australia's National Anthem - as sung by a combined choir in a performance I filmed...

 Advanced Australia Fair

Many official functions start with an Acknowledgement of Country in order to recognise the traditional owners of the land...

Acknowledgement of Country

The didjeridoo was made from a hollowed branch and was part of many ceremonies. The hitting of sticks or boomerangs together often accompanied them.

Sticks and Didjeridoo

Below are links to Australian related posts on my blogs including links to others. I hope they are of some help...

HMB Endeavour at Eden - Replica of Captain James Cook's HMS Endeavour visited  in 2012. James Cook was the first explorer from Europe/UK known to have sailed along Australia's east cost.

My Region of Australia - A general look at my area of Australia featuring the old family dairy farm, scenic photos, beach activities, and Australian animals.

Tasmania – Sharing old photos - Looks at the Australian island state of Tasmania and a little of our convict heritage.

Older Australian Currency - Australia uses dollars and cents these days but before 1966 used pounds, shillings and pence.

Aboriginal Cultural Resource Links for the Roadrunners - Information about the Aboriginal people of Australia and their traditional culture. Check the "Twelve Canoes" link in particular.

Class 6 – Olympic Countries – Australia - History, the Australian flag, National Anthem, animals, Sydney Harbour Bridge, sport

ANZAC Day for 2/3 Class - Looking at ANZAC Day and its meaning for me.

For Emily from Michigan who was interested in Australia - A collection of photos taken in different parts of Australia (including animals).

More photos and information on Sydney for Emily - Some photos of Sydney past and present.

Spring has Sprung in Australia – for 4KJ and 4KM - Looks at the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere.

 Australian National Parks near me in answer to ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄ - Information about Australia as well as some national parks in my area.

Australian Birds – Mostly Close to Home…

Some plant photos taken in my area…

The family dairy farm for someone who loves everything farming

Maoris, Volcanoes and Aboriginal Rock Art (some notes) for Roadrunners and their comment. Includes the Aboriginal flags of Australia, information about paintings and engravings

Australian Animals for Mrs. Watson’s K/1/2/3 and “Our World, Our Numbers” - An assortment of photos, drawings and information.

Koalas and Kangaroos - Two video links I prepared for a class

Australia’s Extinct and Endangered Species – for Katey of Techie Kids

Tasmanian Devils for Christian and Techie Kids

Some More Aussie Animals for Alexis & Techie Kids

 

You Tube Video Clips

These are my own video clips uploaded to my You Tube Channel. Some are already embedded into the above posts but can be viewed here as well...

Eastern Grey Kangaroos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The life of "Sapphire" the koala

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna (Spiny Anteater)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Bert" the wombat joey (baby)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Walking koala from a series of photos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The Song of the Lyrebird

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Lyrebird Story" by Alexandra Seddon

This video clip may not be copied or distributed in any fashion.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Suzie the koala's baby makes an appearance

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Black-Headed Python Experience

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Potoroo "Daniel"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Koala encounter with "Blinky" and "Suzie"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna "Spike" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Ringtail Possum "Estelle" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Swamp Wallaby "Serena" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Emus

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Many of the above animal video clips were filmed at Potoroo Palace . It is a native animal educational sanctuary operated by volunteers and funded by visitor entry fees and donations. Potoroo Palace is a not-for-profit organisation passionate about caring for the Earth. The aims of Potoroo Palace are...

  • To improve the habitats and wellbeing of the native animals already in our care

  • To promote public awareness of their plight in the wild

  • To educate the community about the importance of the conservation of our unique Australian native animals and plants.

At times I have been invited to film their animals.

9 Comments

I had written a post on plate tectonics and continental drift for Mrs. Yollis and her class. Two students, Heather and Keira, challenged me to explain how the Earth began. This post is an attempt to provide an explanation according to my understanding of the science. To see the comment and challenge, click the link and scroll down to the comments.

Plate tectonics and our dynamic continents

How Did the Earth Begin?

Dear Heather and Keira,

There are so many stories of how the Earth began if we look though the amazing cultures in our world. It would be remiss of me not to mention one or two. Because of my home and yours, I have chosen stories from the native people of Australia and North America.

The Aboriginal People of Australia

Many people think there was one Aboriginal (native Australian) culture and one language but, before the coming of European colonists, there were many, many of those cultures now lost. One of the best sites I have seen comes from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory.

For one of their creation stories, click the link Twelve Canoes and wait for the site to load. The picture below will appear. Once loaded, click on the picture indicated by the arrow to see a creation story.

This graphic should not be copied.

I think you will find many interesting things on this site as well as one of their creation stories.

Native American People

I found the following You Tube clip telling the story of creation of the Earth through the traditional beliefs of three Native American tribes, the Iroquois, Seminole and Cherokee.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Let's now start looking at what science is finding...

Let's start with some word learning. You have had many ideas in your life but have you ever heard someone say they have a theory? Many people confuse "idea" and "theory".

A scientist has an idea after looking at the information available through study or research and proposes an explanation for what has occurred. Other scientists look at the conclusions and test the idea against other data or new information. This may lead others to agree with the idea. With other scientists agreeing and available evidence supporting, the idea becomes a theory. Science is a path to discovery. We learn more and more about how things work.

Did you know up until a few hundred years back people thought the Earth was the centre of the universe and all of the stars, planets and our Sun orbited around us? This idea is called Geocentric.

A Geocentric View of the Universe

This drawing is based on a map by Bartolomeu Velho (1568)

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

A second geocentric model has Earth at the centre of the universe. The other planets orbit the sun and the sun and all the planets orbit the Earth.

It wasn't until about the 1500s more and more evidence was being gathered to show Earth isn't at the centre of the universe. It is a planet orbiting our Sun and now we know our Solar System is towards the outer edge of a double spiral galaxy we call, The Milky Way. We also know our galaxy is one of very many, probably billions, in our universe. We know this because of what scientists have been able to observe and because of the theories arising.

Watch the below video to see an explanation of what is thought to have happened to form our planet and others in our Solar System. Remember, you can click on the small box symbol on the bottom right of the video to watch full screen.

 Now let's look at the information in the video

* About 9 billion (9,000,000,000) years after the universe was born a massive start went Supernova - A supernova is an explosion of a star. It might have been caused by the collapse of the massive star's core. Radiation, energy and stellar dust explodes out from the collapsed star. Back in 1987, we were able to look into the sky and see a supernova astronomers named SN 1987A. Where once nothing could be seen, a star bright enough to be seen without a telescope had appeared. It is said to be 167,885 light years distance. This means the light took 167,885 years to reach us. The supernova happened a very long time ago.

* Gravity began its work on regions of the massive dust "cloud" sent out. The "cloud" particles started to gather. Pressure and heat increased. Our Sun was being formed.

* The temperature increased to about 10 million (10,000,000) C or about 18,000,032 F. About 4.5 billion (4,500,000,000) years ago our sun lit up.

* The Sun used much of the "cloud" leaving only 0.1%. Look at this picture. Imagine the cloud was made up of 1000 students in a school. 999 of them would go to make up the Sun. Just one of them would be left to make all of the planets and asteroids in the Solar System. The little guy in red looks a little lonely. 🙂

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

* The left over material was caught in the pool of the Sun's spinning motion. The left over material was spinning (orbiting) around the sun. The spin and gravity of the sun was drawing the material into rings (like Saturn's gravity has drawn material into rings around it). The way the material was orbiting the sun stopped it from being pulled into the Sun. I know this can be hard to understand so look at the next graphic I have prepared.

Imagine you are the Sun. You have a long, strong elastic attached to a tennis ball and you are spinning it around your head.

The ball is orbiting you. The elastic is your gravity trying to pull the tennis ball to you. The tennis ball is one of the planets. If the movement of the ball slows, the elastic draws it closer. If the ball moves faster, the elastic stretches further. Yes, in case you wonder, if the tennis ball was instead a basketball, the amount of stretch would be bigger.

Jupiter is said to be 317 more massive than the Earth. Imagine trying to spin 317 tennis balls on the end of the elastic. You wouldn't need to spin the balls as fast to keep the elastic as stretched as one tennis ball. Our Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun (that's what a year is, the time it takes our Earth to go once around the Sun). Jupiter takes about 12 years. If you could spin the tennis balls fast enough, the elastic would break and "Jupiter" would sail off into space.

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

* The debris in the rings around our sun started to collide and come together to form larger masses. Their journey to becoming planets had started.

Have you heard of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter? This ring of debris wasn't able to form a planet because it was being pulled from two sides, the Sun and Jupiter, the largest of our system's planets. Our ring was able to produce a planet which is fortunate for us or I wouldn't be writing this.

* From 4.8 to 3.5 billion years ago (4,500,000,000 to 3,500,000,000 years ago), the Earth was being bombarded from space. Combined with this bombardment, radioactive elements and pressure, Earth became a molten furnace. Heavier minerals like iron and nickel sank into the core and lighter minerals rose to the surface.

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

You have probably seen how certain things float while others sink. If you drop stones or pieces of metal into a container of water, they sink to the bottom because they are heavier. Put in olive oil and it will float to the top.

* Around this time a large object about the size of Mars collided with our early Earth. Part of the collided matter broke off to eventually become our moon. The Moon at first was much closer to our planet.

Remember the elastic experiment? Earth's "elastic" isn't quite strong enough so it is gradually "stretching" but the Moon isn't expected to break away, just reach a distance where there is a balance but this is billions of years into the future so we needn't worry.

* Because of all of the heat and volcanic activity throwing out gases, Earth's atmosphere was mostly nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide. We couldn't have survived the heat let alone the poisonous atmosphere.

* As the bombardment of debris from the creation of the Solar System reduced, Earth's surface started to cool. Water vapour cooled and the first ancient ocean formed. The cooling crust of the Earth formed the first land, Pangaea. Remember the layers of the Earth?


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

In the  final video clip at the end f this post you will hear it said, if the Earth were a basketball, the crust would be thinner than a piece of paper on its surface yet that's where we live.

* The Earth had an atmosphere and water, conditions needed for the first life but that is another story.

Are there any other systems with planets or are our Solar System planets the only ones? Is there life on other planets in our universe?

I have a favourite quote from a man called, Carl Sagan. He was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author. He wrote a novel named "Contact". The quote comes from his book...

"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."

Many people had suspected other stars would have planets but it wasn't until 1988 the first planet outside our Solar System was found. Before this we simply didn't have the technology to do this. Now the possibility of around 2400 planets outside our Solar System are being investigated. It would seem planet formation as is said to have happened with our system is much more common that we had thought. You know I like numbers so look at this...

 

If there were only 1 billion galaxies in our universe each with 1 billion star, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars

(one quintillion stars)

Just say of these only 0.1% (like the amount of material left when our sun formed) had planets, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000 stars with planets out there.

That is one quadrillion stars with planets.

Now just say of these only 0.0001% of the planets had life (that is not 1 out of a 1,000. It is 1 out of a million), then there would be...

1,000,000,000 planets with life.

That is one billion planets with life.

But there are probably many more than a billion galaxies in our universe and I suspect life is much more common than the above but reaching planets outside our Solar System to find life doesn't seem likely because of the vast distances between the stars and far greater between galaxies.

As you know, NASA has the Curiosity rover on Mars. Latest news shows it has found rocks on Mars have some of the chemicals necessary for life - sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. If we find evidence of life on Mars or that it once existed, we have proof we are not alone but don't expect Martian people. If life is found it will most likely only be something like bacteria.

Early Earth & Plate Tectonics

This one talks of the possibility of a number of land masses forming over time and gives them names. This is quite possible but I am happy enough with just Pangaea unless I find further evidence. The clip does show you how our Earth is protected from harmful radiation from our sun by it's magnetic field caused by our rotating liquid iron outer core. Mars's interior cooled a very long time ago. Solar radiation shed much of Mars's atmosphere but Earth has been protected. Our volcanoes, tectonic plates and earthquakes show us our world is still very active and I am thankful it is.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

 New Video Clips to Watch

(added: March 24, 2013)

When checking through You Tube, I found this clip showing an animation of the Big Bang, and the beginning of our system, the Sun, Earth and Moon. This clip has nothing to read just images to watch as billions of years pass.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You know our Sun is much larger than the Earth. It's said it would take about a million Earths to make the size of the Sun but is our Sun a very big star? I found this video clip to show our Sun is so much smaller than the largest known star. This video clip shows just how tiny our Sun is compared to some other suns (stars).

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

5 Comments

Christian is interested in Tasmania. Below are some photos from my collection taken in 1988...

Natural Beauty to Discover

 Coastline

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

Caves

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

Beaches

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

Wateralls

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.

Hiking

A famous hike in Tasmania follows the Overland Track. Starting at Cradle Mountain, you head across mountain and valley until you reach Lake St. Clair. Catching a boat across the lake, you then make your way home. You can go with a group of friends or join a walking tour but allow about six days and make certain you're fit. 🙂

Cradle Mountain and the start of your journey.

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

Location: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Lake St.Clair

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

Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

For details about the Overland Hiking Tours... Cradle Mountain Huts Tour details

 

Mining and Logging

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

Location: Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

These are the hills around the town of Queenstown. Mining and smelting of copper had eventually killed the trees on the mountains. The town is proud of its mining past but mining ended in 1994. Tourism is now a big money earner for the community. With the rebuilding of the old mining railway, the West Coast Wilderness Railway offers a wonderful scenic ride across the mountains to Strahan (pronounced "strawn") where tourists can ride boats along the beautiful Gordon River (pictured below).

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

Location: Gordon River, Tasmania, Australia

Then There Are the Animals

Bennetts Wallaby

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

Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

Cape Barren Geese

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

Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

Some of the Tasmanian animals in a museum display

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

 

Aboriginal Heritage

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

The picture is a museum display showing the type of shelters used by Tasmanian Aborigines. The animal you see is a Tasmanian devil. Unlike the Bugs Bunny Tassie, he is the size of a small dog. The devils are meat and carrion eaters and, like kangaroos, are marsupials, i.e. pouched animals.

There was once a vibrant Aboriginal culture in Tasmania but, with the coming of colonists, disease and official persecution brought an end to their language and much of their cultural heritage. It was one of Australia's saddest times in history. For more information on Aboriginal Tasmanians

Convict Past

The first Europeans to come to live in Tasmania were convicts sent by England. They have left behind the remains of their occupation at places such as Port Arthur and in bridges and buildings around Tasmania.

Port Arthur

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

Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

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

Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

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

Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Convict built bridge at Richmond

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

Location: Richmond, Tasmania, Australia

Convict built bridge at Ross.

I wonder if your can work out why I like the name of this town? 🙂

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

Location: Ross, Tasmania, Australia

 

Tasmania lies about as far south of the equator as Iowa is north of the equator.

2 Comments

 Hello Sadie,

I went through my photo library of pictures I have taken and found a couple I can share. Some were taken in The British Museum and one is of the Luxor Obelisk now found in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. You and your class have permission to use my photos if you find them of use in class work or on blogs. In each photo, you can click on it to see it enlarged.

Some photos from the British Museum

In the first photo, if you look carefully at the display two men are viewing, it looks like there are real ushabti on display.

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

This sarcophagus contained the mummy of Priest Hornedjitef.

Wikipedia link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornedjitef

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

 

 The British Museum has a number of mummies and sarcophagi from Ancient Egypt on display.

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

Red sandstone relief from the pyramid chapel of Queen Shanakdakhete

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Shanakdakhete

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

If you visit Paris and go to the Place de la Concorde, you can see this obelisk on display. It is known as the Luxor Obelisk. Enlarge the photo and you can see heiroglyphs engraved on the obelisk.

Wikipedia link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor_Obelisk

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

The Egypt of today is very protective of their heritage. When most museums and collectors of the world claimed artefacts, they felt the objects were the property of those who found them. The Egyptian Government wouldn't allow this to happen in our modern world.

 

Thank you for sharing your report on your visit to Tullie House. It gave me a chance to do a little research on Egyptology.

@RossMannell

2 Comments

For the Battalion Hawk Blogger's original post, click below...

Making the World a Better Place … One ALPACA at a TIME!

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

It has been some time since I last left a comment on your blog. I have spent a great deal of time converting and compressing old VHS videos I’ve made over 30 years of filming. I’d also decided to scan 1000s of photos and negatives either my family or I have taken over the years. While I still have over a 1000 negatives and still more old slides to go, I had to return to blogs and have been catching up with the world.

What a wonderful face on the first photo on your post! Some of the farms in my region have alpacas for their wool. Below is a photo of a young female I met at our local country show.  She was very gentle if not a little nervous if too many people were around but she didn’t mind children stroking her fur. “What’s NOT to love about these ADORABLE and VALUABLE alpacas?” how true are these words. 🙂

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

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900 - 1944)

Pilot and author (including “The Little Prince”)

 

It seems some people think planning is just a matter of setting a goal and then hoping it comes about but I see you understand a goal, in order to be more than a wish, needs a plan. Of course we can’t achieve if at some time we don’t set our plan in motion. We see the goal and must set in place the needed steps along the way. Having seen the outstanding efforts of Global Grade 3, I know the Battalion Hawk Bloggers will work hard to continue what I think may be becoming a Battalion Park tradition.

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

AJ – I can easily see your excitement at starting a new project. I think your idea to collect clothing is very thoughtful. It would indeed be very cold in the mountains during winter.

Chelsea – You understand the need for continued support of a good project. Projects, once set up, can need more support to keep them fresh and new in the eyes of the people.

Joyce – Fund-raising is an important part of many projects. With all of the best intentions and plans, we at time need to be able to purchase needed materials. You understood a problem in the library project, the need to have someone operate the library.

Lauren – Beginner books would be a very good choice. If the young learn to read, they can pass their skills on to their children when they become parents. One generation builds upon the previous as reading grows.

Tre – It’s true, reading can help people gain a better job. It can also open people up to the world and, as you say, provide entertainment.

Nick – We can take warm clothing for granted but when you have little warm clothing may not always be available.  Your idea is a good one.

Amro – What a wonderful idea. Art supplies would allow the children to express themselves artistically whereas maths can allow the children to manage money. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know one of the children you have helped eventually went to university? I wonder what they would choose to study?

Jayden – A librarian cannot only bring order to a library, they can pass on skills in research and the care of books. They could train children to help in the library.

Dimitri – Very true, Dimitri. The books not only help you read, they can show you how to write.

James – Warm clothing would most certainly help the children when the weather is cold. Around my town and at the beach many people wear sandals we call thongs (picture below). Others call them flip flops or jandals. While they’re great in summer, I don't think I’d like to wear them in winter.

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

Tommy – Imagine how hard it would be if your school only had 42 books. I think adding more choices is an excellent idea.

Elijah – Collecting clothing is a very good idea. As you are now moving towards spring, Peru is entering autumn (fall). It’s a good time of year to collect unwanted warm clothing.

Chris P – Collecting books is a great idea. They would have to mainly be in Spanish as that is the official language of Peru. English books could also be sent if any children wanted to learn English. ¿Habla usted español? I’m afraid I don’t speak more than a few words of Spanish.

Tyler – Can you imagine the Peruvian children learning to read and write then sharing some of their traditional stories with your class? They might eventually be able to write books of their own.

Christopher – With books to read, sending art supplies and maths equipment would fill a gap in resources for the children. Like people in your school, there may be children with an interest in art or maths but lack the equipment.

Ben – I like your idea of expanding options. Learning materials for reading, art or maths are always good but perhaps you were suggesting sending some sports equipment or hobby materials.

Rayann – I can imagine the books in their library would be in Spanish, their national language. Imagine being able to translate some of your favourite stories into Spanish.

Rebecca – With all of the options being of great value, I can understand why I have seen different people choose each option. Whichever is decided, the next move would be working out how as a group to put a plan into action.

Which option would I choose? While all are valid, I would probably choose a part-time librarian to help them make use of a resource already there.  Perhaps the librarian can show them books on how to make warm clothing and sandals or maths equipment and art supplies.  Whatever is chosen, the future will be better for your efforts.

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

Walking alone, the journey is hard but together we can achieve greatness.

2 Comments

This post is in reply to a comment left by Battalion Hawk Bloggers. Here is a link to the original post. You need to scroll down to their comment.

Battalion Hawk Bloggers

Hello The Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

It seems my little birthday secret wasn’t so secret. 🙂  With many of my adult Facebook friends former students of mine, I had a number of birthday greetings come in.

Awakino – There was more than normal driftwood on the beach that day. I suspect heavy rains had brought the trees down the river and heavy sees prevented it escaping. I have other photos where not so much driftwood was around.

Koalas – You may know this from your research but koalas survive on a diet of eucalypt tree leaves. The leaves don’t have much nutrition so the koala’s sleeping habit is a way of conserving energy while the leaves are digested. They normally don’t drink water, relying on water within the leaves but can sometimes come down from tree to drink if  there is a need.

In a recent bushfire, a firefighter found a koala suffering some burns. Cupping water in his hand, the female was able to take a drink before being taken to see a vet. Here is a link to the news article…

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/11/13/549082_national-news.html

I don’t have a video of koalas walking on the ground but here is a series of photos showing one walking from one tree to another…

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

Mt. Tarawera – Scree seems to get into things easily as you go down the steep slope. I think some even made it into my pockets as my legs dug deep intot he slope with each step. Considering how deep my legs went with each step down. I wasn’t worried about falling and rolling down. Maybe a sled would make a very quick trip down but stopping mightn’t be fun. 🙂

Hawaii – I understand the confusion with coral and pumice. The pumice came from an underwater volcano between Fiji and Tonga if I remember correctly, probably nearer Tonga. Large amounts floated all the way to Australia. I picked up samples on a beach in Queensland. It also had coral on the beach, although the coral came from Australia’s The Great Barrier Reef. The samples can look similar.

Alberta – Alberta certainly has collection of provincials. I’ve heard of the big horn sheep, great hormed owl and bull trout and have petrified wood in my rock collection. While I don’t have ammolite in my collection, I do have a similar gemstone called opal. We have white and black opal in Australia.

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

I must admit I didn’t know my state’s motto but found New South Wales’ state motto is “Newly risen, how brightly you shine.”

http://www.nsw.gov.au/symbols-emblems-nsw

I like the idea of having the Canada Goose as a national bird. They are magnificent birds and their migration south in winter is fascinating. I can remember the 1996 film “Fly Away Home” showing the way young orphaned Canada geese imprinted on humans were guided south by humans un ultra-light aircraft as would normally. I thought it a little strange the girl starring in the film in Canada was New Zealand’s Anna Paquin.

New Australian Flag? – Many have proposed designs for a new Australian flag yet nothing official has been decided. Below is a link to a group called Flags Australia. Scroll down and you can see some suggestions for a new Australian flag. You will see kangaroos in some designs.

http://www.flagsaustralia.com.au/newflag.html

A sleepy koala on our flag would be an interesting idea but some might look at the flag and think Aussies are sleepy so I chose a noble looking koala for the koala flag below (besides, when I checked, surprisingly, I hadn't any photographs of sleepy koalas).

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

I would love to see your ideas for a new Australian flag. 🙂

I remember when Canada changed its flag. Back then I thought it would be a great idea if Australia did the same. Perhaps it will in time. 🙂

Which country is larger, Australia or Canada? – I knew Canada had a larger area but I wondered by how much. A quick check online showed me…

Canada    – 9,985,000 square kilometres

Australia – 7,618,000 square kilometres

Canada is therefore 2,367,000 square kilometres larger than Australia. Another check on population at 2011…

Canada    – 34,482,779

Australia – 22,620,600

Canada had 11,862,179 more people than Australia in 2011. I love working with numbers so I was wondering how many Canadians and Australians there were per square kilometre in 2011. I divided population by area and found…

For every square kilometre of Canada there is approximately 3.45 Canadians.

For every square kilometre of Australia there is approximately 2.97 Australians.

This means Australians have about half a person less per square kilometre than Canada. I know much of Canada has few if any inhabitants due to the arctic cold. Australia also has large areas with few or no population but in our case it’s because of desert. I suppose this also means Australia is a much drier place than Canada. In fact, I think the only continent with less average precipitation (rainfall/snowfall) than Australia is Antarctica.

 

Thank you for again sharing interesting information and helping me learn more about Canada and Alberta. You always start me thinking about the world when I read your posts and comments. 🙂

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

For the Roadrunners original post ...

ROAD RUNNERS

For the Extended Comment carrying their comment as a stimulus for this post...

EXTENDED COMMENT

Hello Roadrunners,

My apologies for taking a few days to answer. I had a DVD/CD project taking more time than expected and am now catching up on comments. My reply to your comment had some links so I created a new post to share them.

I think you have been able to identify the key similarities when we look at native cultures around the world. They have connections to nature and animals in a way our western culture seems to have forgotten. How could it be any other way when they only had what was in their environment in which to survive?

 Waimangu Valley, New Zealand -Scan of an old 35mm slide.

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

Maoris and volcanoes

You may already know a little about one part of Polynesian culture, the Hawaiian people. They believed in Pele

Pele and the Hawaiians

Pele is the goddess fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes. I have done a little research into the Maoris' beliefs.

The first link gives some information about the Maoris around Rotorua (very popular place for tourists to visit) and their traditional stories...

Maoris of Rotorua

The first three help with traditional stories, i.e.  "Creation", "Ngatoroirangi" and"How the fire demons brought geothermal to New Zealand"

Another link is...

Maoris and Volcanoes

This link has some modern explanations along with brief recounts of traditional stories.

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

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

Aboriginal Rock Art

Aboriginal rock art is found under ledges or in shallow caves where people were able to shelter from cold, wind and rain. Here is a link to a National Geographic film on rock art

Aboriginal Rock Art - Paintings

The rock art video looked at northern language groups and their art. Around Sydney and other areas you wouldn't find rock "art". You tend to find rock engravings. I have photos of some in my collection but here is a link...

Aboriginal Rock Art - Engraving

I hope these links help. 🙂

2 Comments

To see the class blog...

Roadrunners

Hello Roadrunners,

I see you are going to be looking at three native peoples from around the world, namely the Aboriginal people of Australia, the Maori people of New Zealand and the Native American people of your own country. I thought I would see how I might be able to help. Living in Australia, I have had some experiences meeting people from various Aboriginal Cultures (there isn't one Aboriginal culture). I've also been to New Zealand a number of times and experienced some of the Maori (a group of the Polynesian culture also found as far north as Hawaii). I'll start by sharing some things about  the Aboriginal cultures.

There are a number of sites dealing with the Aboriginal people and the culture. Here are some links with  information...

The Aboriginal Culture site has good information on the history, religious beliefs and cultural aspects of Aboriginal society. You will also find it has links to other sites with useful information. Click the picture below to go to the site...

This graphic appears at the top of the site. It isn't my work.

I have often said one of the advantages of visiting blogs, commenting and sharing is what I learn in the process. In researching for this post I have come across a new website I think, even without viewing all its contents, offers a great deal to young students. The next link below is a treasure worth discovering.

This site is from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem in Australia's Northern Territory. Their traditions have been passed from generation to generation and now they offer to share with the world. Click the picture below to visit the 12 Canoes website and start your journey. Listen to their story unfold..

This is the opening screen from the site. The site is interactive by clicking a picture.

A major source of images in Australia comes from the National Library of Australia. You can search for images but here is a link for a search for "Aborigine". There are also book lists and many other resources for viewing and or purchase. Click on the picture below to go to the National Library of Australia site...

A search on the web for Aboriginal art has come up with a wealth of images. You can see modern art influenced by tradition in these mostly Aboriginal modern works. Click the graphic below to see what I found...

We can't forget Wikipedia also has sources of information...

Dreamtime

Indigenous Australian Languages

Indigenous Australian Art

Indigenous Australian Music

 

Now for some videos care of You Tube.

The first video is of a favourite Dreamtime story of mine

 

A traditional instrument played only be men and forbidden for women is the didgeridoo. It is a hollowed out tree branch. Listen to the sounds it can make...

The modern didgeridoo is also used in contemporary music. Here is a famous group from the 1990s named Yothu Yindi

Sad times for the people

The Aboriginal people weren't given the right to be Australian citizens until 1949. It was only by 1962 all states in Australia allowed Aboriginal people the right to vote in state elections. (Source: Wikipedia) . One tragedy for the people was what has become known as the Stolen Generations. During this period (1869-1969) Aboriginal children could be taken from their families and placed with non-Aboriginal families or made wards of the state. When I was growing up I knew a boy named Claude. Many years later I found he had been taken from his family and placed with another. Many people from the Stolen Generation were able to find their real families as did Claude. It was a sad time.

Unlike Native Americans, no formal treaties existed with Aboriginal people. It's only in modern times the status of Aboriginal people as the first Australians has been recognised through land rites and respect of their culture. Times are changing but there is still more to be done.

At official school functions, it is normal for a representative of the local Aboriginal people, in my case the Yuin people, to say the Acknowledgement of Country and recognise the traditional owners of the land. One of my tasks in my local area is to produce DVDs for school performances. During the making of this year's DVD for a performing arts festival, I recorded a high school girl saying the Acknowledgement of Country. Click below to hear this audio recording of what was said...

Acknowledgement of Country

 

 The study and comparison of cultures can enrich our life and help preserve traditional knowledge. I hope this post is of some use in your studies looking at Native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

To see Mr Aiston and class's original post, click below...

Stories Around the Campfire

Hello Mr Aiston and class,

Stories of Vikings sailing long distances for trade and raid would be interesting. Their belief in Valhalla and Odin alone would capture our imaginations. Thor was always a favourite character of mine.

For children in Australia, stories of Vikings might also be shared but, as a scout, spooky stories designed to scare everyone were very popular. With the rich Aboriginal cultures in Australia, a class campfire might also add stories from various Aboriginal language groups. Did you know there were many Aboriginal language groups/dialects in Australia, each with their own culture and heritage? The sad part is many dialects and stories have already been lost. Here is a link to a map of Aboriginal language groups...

Indigenous Language Map

The traditional owners of the land in my area are the Yuin people. The map allows you to magnify parts using your mouse. Here's a discovery task...

Can you find the Yuin people's area?

(hint: It's coloured yellow and is on the bottom right area of mainland Australia.)

One of my favourite stories from the Aboriginal Dreaming speaks of the Rainbow Serpent. The Rainbow Serpent is a creation story explaining how the mountains, valleys, animals and plants came into being. If you would like to hear one of the Dreaming stories about the Rainbow Serpent, here is an excellent You Tube clip with which to watch and listen (in full screen mode would be good)…

This video clip is not mine. It appears on You Tube.

Here is a photo I have taken of a rainbow lorikeet. Could it be one of the brothers?

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

There are so many stories from around our great world, so many we have already lost to the past. We could spend a lifetime trying to discover them all.

It makes me wonder, what stories will you add to human history? I think everyone has stories to tell. I'm sure you've already written some in class. Every new story we create can add to all those coming before.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

3 Comments

For the original Global Grade 3 post…

Pennies for Peru … walking a “mile” in someone else’s shoes!

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

Hello Global Grade 3,

“To walk a mile in someone’s shoes”… what an interesting saying. There are many variations around and I don’t know of any specific origin but they all have the meaning, understanding.

As you’ve pointed out, such sayings can’t be taken literally. Although, it might be possible to spend time in Peru and wear the recycled tyre sandals and walk to school this might be an adventure for us. For Q’enqo children, it’s as every day as perhaps you riding in a car or dropping into a shopping mall.

I’m sure all of you, if it was necessary, could walk four kilometres to school and four kilometres home. Your shoes would undoubtedly be warmer and more protective than the sandals. I have seen sandals made from recycled tyres sold in Australia at times and know they may protect the bottom of your feet but they wouldn't keep out the cold.

Consider one problem you might face if you were to visit Q’enqo and walk with the children. Did you know the higher you are, the lower the air density and air pressure? What might seem normal to Q’enqo children might have you struggling to breathe if you tried to run or walk far.

I don’t know what altitude you’d find Q’enqo but, as an example, I once took a group of parents and children to New Zealand. We visited Coronet Peak on New Zealand’s South Island. Its altitude was only 1649 metres above sea level. While most people found breathing easy, one person had said they were finding breathing a little hard.

From what I have found, Peru’s highest peak is Hiascaran Sur at 6746 metres. Q’enqo wouldn’t be anywhere near that altitude but I suspect it’s much higher than Coronet Peak.

Now back to your walk in someone’s shoes…

What would happen if you were to carry out the same walk but only breathed in about half the amount of air you might normally take in?

Would you tire more quickly?

Would you find it harder to walk?

Now think again, if you were to wear sandals during winter, took only half breaths and had to walk four kilometres…

We are all very lucky to live where we do in countries where we have greater ease. What is so important about your walk is you are trying to share an experience with distant children and, in the process, raising money to help them.

Your school is a school of change makers.

This little girl is from a local alpaca farm. These cute little guys from South America have even made it to Australia.

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

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

Mya – When we have a need, we often find ourselves much stronger than we think. You’ve experienced the walk but, if you had to do it twice each day, you would find yourself growing stronger.

Rijul – Distances can sometimes be hard to judge. On some of my longer walks, people have asked if I get bored walking for hours but I always said I don’t think about the walking. I just keep going and perhaps think of a story to write or watch for interesting animals and plants.

Tormod – Long walks can make you feel tired and, if it’s a warm day, sweaty. It might feel different in the thinner, cooler air of Q’enqo.

Ava – 6.9kg of money sounds impressive. That’s around the weight of a six month old baby. Something great was born in your walk and the children of Q’enqo will benefit.

Max - 7km is quite a walk. It’s almost the distance some Q’enqo children have to walk each day. How sad would it be to walk the 4km only to find the teachers aren’t there? It wouldn’t be possible to warn children ahead of time without the internet or phones.

Larissa – It is wonderful you have learned so much from your walk. For the children of Q’enqo, the walk is a normal part of the day. I think you would find strength if you lived in Q’enqo and had to do that as part of your day. We all learn to do what is needed to make our days successful.

Galen – Running may make the distance quicker but you can end up more tired. I think the Q’enqo children would walk. I once timed my distance walking speed and it came out as 4.8 kph so the 4km walk in your school would take me about 50 minutes but, in Q’enqo where the air is thinner and the walking is uphill, it would take me much longer.

Zahra – Q’enqo children do have a much harder life than children in your school and my area. Only the closest students walk to school here. Four school buses pass my house each morning. One travels 2km, a second 10km, another 20km and a fourth travels 35km depending on the school the children attend. Many children do walk to the nearby school but more than half take the bus or are driven.

Julia – Even though you were tired, I know you would have felt great because of the good cause the walk was supporting. Sweaty and tired in a good cause is worth the effort.

Alexia – I can see by the first photo on the post, some of you had the Peruvian flag to carry. I found a You Tube link of the Peruvian National Anthem. Check to make sure it’s okay for you to view…

Thalia – I can understand the Peruvian children’s liking for school. They are able to learn and be with others before they return home.

Brenden – I think you had a great attitude in the walk. When getting tired, you need only remember the reason for the walk and it can help you find new strength.

Natasha – “They think they are lucky. We know WE’RE lucky.” How good a world it would be if those with more were willing to share with those who have less.

Damian – Achieving 7km in an hour is quite a feat. I‘ve already mentioned my distance walking speed is an average of 4.8km per hour but, over shorter distances of only a couple kilometres, I reach 5.8km per hour. This means you would have out walked me by a little more than a kilometre. J

Jun – I know the feeling asthma can give you. I have what’s called exercise-induced asthma. Most of the time it’s no problem for me but I think it would be at Q’enqo’s altitude. One of the times I was on top of Mt Tarawera in New Zealand, I had some problems with asthma meaning I couldn’t do the walk into the volcanic crater. It was only 1111 metres above sea level. Here’s a link to a post I wrote for a class last year. It shows you Mt Tarawera…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/samples-scree-obsidian-samples/

Martin – Your achievement for the children of Peru is something worthy of being proud. More than that, it helps fill your invisible bucket.

Kaylee – Running 11 laps in 50 minutes is very impressive. I might walk quickly but I hardly ever run. The amount raised might be important but what is more important is the effort you all put into making the walk-a-thon a success.

Jesse – From the photos, I can see you are very lucky to have a very large grassy area around you school. This would have made it easier to walk around rather than the stony paths used by Q’enqo children. I can tell the Q’enqo children inspired many to try harder even when tired.

Sophie H. – I have also taken part in walk-a-thons in some schools. They can be good fun and raise money for great causes.

Eric – Exercise, whether it’s walking a long way to a school or out hiking, can build strength. If you were to walk four kilometres each day, in time it would become easy and you would find your feet getting tough just like the Q’enqo kids.

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

When you think of the hardships of the Peruvian children compared to you and how hard it was to walk the distances you should also think of the last photo in your post. The smiling girl says it all. You are filling your invisible buckets and in the process helping the children like the girl in the photo.

One last point, you didn’t want to walk another 4km in the afternoon to simulate the walk home?

I see your teach has the same type of sense of humour as I do. 🙂

@RossMannell

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

NOW, BEFORE you click the link at the bottom. Read through what I’ve written and answer the question in your own mind as to what you would do. Once you are ready, click the link to see what I had written as an entry…

Here is something a little different. One of my blogs is dedicated to my story writing. As well as some longer stories, there are many short stories. Two regular challenges I enter ask us to write one hundred words on a given prompt. One I wrote in March this year was entitled, “ARK”. Perhaps it might interest you.

The prompt in the Saturday Centus Challenge starts the fictional story as its first paragraph. Here is the prompt…

My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indentation in the muddy ground.

What would you do if you had found the money?

Now click to see my fictional story then see the comment I added in the comments section of this post…

http://rossmannell.com/2012/03/31/saturday-centus-wk100-the-week-a-53-word-prompt-153-words-ark/

Hello Class 6,

With the London Olympics fast approaching, I was fascinated by your research into Olympic countries and was pleased to be able to read the Australian information from Chelsea, Ryan, Callum, Oliver, Jasmin and a name I wasn't quite able to read (sorry, I'll add the name if I find out later).

I thought I might share some information about Australia in some of the areas you researched, if you are interested. I'll break them up into  subject areas...

HISTORY

Early maps of the world from the 1500s showed the known world but little in the southern Hemisphere (south of the equator). Ships had rounded the southern tip of Africa and seen parts of South America. It was thought there must be a big southern land to balance the land in the northern hemisphere. Here is a 1564 map of the world by Ortelius...

We know some European explorers visited Australia as early as the 1500s but they thought they had found New Guinea. In 1606, a Spanish ship sailed between Australia and New Guinea but didn't seem to realise what they had seen. The first known landing in Australia by Europeans was by a Dutch ship also in 1606. In 1616, a Dutch ship landed on the western shores of Australia and in 1642, another Dutch sailed to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) before sailing on to New Zealand. The new land had been called New Holland.

Before the coming of James Cook, nothing was known of the east coast of Australia by Europeans. The then Lieutenant James Cook was put in charge of the ship Endeavour and set sail from England in 1768.

I prepared a blog post on another of my blogs for schools in my local area. Recently, the Endeavour replica sailed into Eden's Twofold Bay in Australia. You will find information and photos of the Endeavour replica on the blog as well as links to other of my posts including a 'letter' from Commander Cook to a class in California, a video of the ship departing Eden, and a slideshow of the photos taken.

Here is the link to the post...

James Cook and his Endeavour

GEOGRAPHY

Australia is said to the the world's biggest island and smallest continent. This means anything larger is a continent and anything smaller is an island. From my research,

Australia's area is...   7,686,850 square kilometres   or   2,967,910 square miles

United Kingdom is...  243,610 square kilometres   or  94,060 square miles

This means Australia is over 31 times bigger than the United Kingdom yet only has a population nearing 23 million whereas the United Kingdom has over 62 million people, over 2.5 times Australia's population. We must remember, much of Australia is desert and not suitable for many people to live. Most Australians live along the coastline.

Seas and Oceans

Australia isn't in the Indian Ocean, it's the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean. Look at this map I prepared for you...

From the map, you can see Australia is in three oceans, the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans. It's also the shore of three seas, the Timor Sea between it and Indonesia, the Coral Sea between it and the islands of New Guinea, and the Tasman Sea between it and New Zealand.

I've seen estimates Australia has a coastline 25,760 km or over 16,000 miles long making it the sixth largest whereas the United Kingdom has a coastline of over 14,400 km or nearly 9000 miles making it 12th.

Our Flag and National Anthem

Australia became a nation on January 1,1901. It was no longer a colony of independent states, it was a commonwealth of states. Our national flag was first approved by King Edward VII in 1902.

As you can see, the Australian flag has the Union Jack in its top, left corner.This was used to show our links with the United Kingdom.

The large star underneath the Union Jack is known as the Federation Star. Six points represent the states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) whereas the final point represents the territories (Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory).

The group of five stars on the right is the Southern Cross. It is visible in our night sky throughout the year and helps me find south when out at night. The constellation is known to astronomers as Crux.

At times, there have been moves to create a new Australian flag but, at this date, no decision has been made.

The National Anthem

When I was a boy, the Australian National Anthem was "God Save the Queen" just as in England. In 1984, the new national anthem became "Advance Australia Fair". Here is a recording I made of a 100 voice choir some time ago...

Australian Natural

Spiders

There certainly are a number of spiders in Australia. Each morning when I walk down a path I am likely to walk into webs strung in the garden. We have some deadly spiders here but most are reasonably harmless. Here are some photos and drawings of spiders and their webs...

This is a drawing of a funnel web spider. It's bite can be fatal but they are rare to see. I have seen them in zoos but only once in the wild.

The redback is also poisonous but it isn't normally a fatal bite. I have seen a number of these in the wild.

This spider is harmless and likes to hang around houses.

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

I often see these in their webs as I go on hikes. Again it's harmless. A bite might only cause a little skin irritation.

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

Also seen when hiking, this leaf curling spider brings a leaf into its web, curls it and stays hidden inside. Look carefully and you can see its legs sticking out touching its web lines. When it senses something in the web, it rushes out to grab its prey.

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

Spider webs can be quite delicate as this one spun between opening fern fronds.

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

...or this one photographed in the morning dew.

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

Kangaroos, Koalas and Wallabies

These are some of our cute looking animals but we must remember, in the wild they should be left alone. Wild animals don't like us getting too close.

This is an eastern grey kangaroo I met on one of my walks. He stood about 175 cm (5'9") tall. This type of kangaroo is the most common in my area. The tallest species is the red kangaroo but they live more in arid areas away from the coast.

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

Suzie is a female koala living at Potoroo Palace, a refuge for injured and orphaned animals.

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

 Last year Suzie gave birth. The peanut-sized baby made its way up and into her pouch where it grew. Below is a link to a video I shot of one of the first times her baby girl made an appearance...

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

Blinky is a male koala and the father of Suzie's baby. In the wild, the father has nothing to do with raising a baby but at Potoroo Palace, he shares an enclosure with Suzie. You can tell the difference between males and females by looking under their neck. You can see how much white Suzie has compared to Blinky. In many places, koalas are now endangered because of habitat loss and a disease. Breeding programs in zoos are helping.

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

While they normally stay in trees and sleep for over 20 hours a day, they sometimes can be seen walking from tree to tree. Here is an animation I created for you from a series of photos...

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

This little girl is a swamp wallaby. She also lives in Potoroo Palace. She appears to be smiling because she thought I had food for her. Swamp wallabies are very common in my area. I often see them on my walks.

Below is a link to a video of Serena, another swamp wallaby, when she was young...

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

SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

Sydney Harbour Bridge (its nickname is "The Coathanger") was built between 28 July, 1923 and 19 January, 1932. It was officially opened on 19 March, 1932. Amongst the crowd at the opening was my father. He was 13 at the time.

Before its construction, the only way across the harbour was by ferry. When the bridge opened, it offered rail, tram and car access. There is now also a tunnel under the harbour nearby.

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

SPORT

Cricket is without doubt a big sport here. We have a national team, state teams and local teams. There are two cricket pitches across the road from me.

Football to an Aussie can mean one of three major codes. We have soccer (there are two soccer fields across the road), Australian Rules Football (one field across the road) and rugby league.

The sport with the biggest number of players in Australia (mainly girls and women) is netball. In another park their are two courts.

Basketball is also a big sport in Australia with teams set up like in America. There are many other sports played.

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

Thank you all for sharing your research into the Olympic countries. I sure you will feel as excited as may class did when the Sydney Olympics started in 2000.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

** Some information was referenced using Wikipedia.