Monthly Archives: May 2012


For their original post...

4KJ and 4KM Bike Education

Dear 4KJ and 4KM,

Bike Education is such an important subject. A number of times I had run classes at school or attended a police run bike education centre with my classes. While I tend to walk much more than ride now, I once regularly rode my bike to school. I even had a milk crate on my bike rack so I could carry a computer to and from school in the days when the school only had one computer for all classes to share.


I think the rules you have stated are very important…

1. You can ride on the footpath until you are 12 years old.

2. Ring your bike bell when approaching other riders or walkers.

3. Always ride on the left hand side of the road.

4. Wear bright coloured clothing when riding.

5. Wear a well-fitting helmet.


1.  As I am just a little over 12 (oh, wow, in 2014 I’ll be five times that age), I always ride along the roadside or along bicycle paths in our area. As an adult, I am expected to know the road rules and abide by them. This includes obeying signs, stopping for pedestrians and using hand signals to show drivers behind what I am doing.

2.  It is not only safer, it is courteous to ring your bell when coming up behind other walkers or riders. When startled by a bike suddenly appearing from behind, the person might step in front of the bike.

Bike Bell

3.  As I have to obey the road rules when riding, I always keep left and don’t ride between cars when they are stopped at traffic lights. If you asked your blogging friends from the US you’d find they learn to keep right as they ride on the other side of the road as does European but not British countries.

4.  When I sometimes see what some riders wear when training for cycling, they can be very bright in their special cycling clothes. I have never worn that sort of bright clothing as that might be too much of a shock for people I pass. 🙂 I do wear light coloured clothing and, if I have to walk along the roadside with my bike, I have a safety vest.

5.  Even before it was compulsory to wear helmets when riding, I did because I knew how important it was to protect our heads from harm. I have come off my bike at times and found the ground hard. Luckily I was never badly hurt.

My longest ride was quite a few years back when I caught a train from Sydney to Nowra in NSW then started riding my bicycle. On that trip, I had my tent and spare clothing, tyre repair kit and tools, drink and food in a backpack. My trip lasted five days as I rode nearly 300km. It was a wonderful experience but I always had to be very careful when riding along roads. I wasn’t in a hurry, it was something I wanted to experience. I would no longer try such a trip but I have memories of the people I met and talked to along the way

What is a road rule that you know? 

I hold three levels of driver’s licences for motorcycle, car and truck. I tried to apply all of the road rules when I rode my bikes. I am not happy when I see some cyclists cross pedestrian crossings when the lights are red for traffic or ride along footpaths when they are adults. It is not only dangerous, it gives good cyclists a bad name. One rule I never had to worry about when cycling was keep under the speed limit. My riding is more leisurely so my speed was never too high.

And now for something completely different...

In my collection of graphics gathered over many years I found one that made me wonder, if bicycles had been invented in the time of knights on horses, might a poorer knight have had to use a bicycle?

A couple cycling pictures for you...

Did you know some of the first bikes didn't have pedals?

People would sit on the seat and run along. Eventually people did think of pedals but early bikes didn't have chains and gears. The front wheel was very large and the rear small. The cyclists would push the bike to get it going, step up on a small step on the bike then up to the seat. They had to have a big front wheel so people's legs were able to pedal the bikes. These bikes were called penny farthing bikes. A penny was a big coin and a farthing was a small coin just as the penny farthing bikes had a big and small wheel.

Recently, my town celebrated it's 100th birthday as an official town. I saw some interesting bikes in the parade.

You can see a man riding a penny farthing bike. They boy is wheeling one they hope to restore.

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

The couple is riding a tandem bike. They were once quite popular with couples who would cycle together. While I don't have a photo, I have seen a bike built for four people to ride.Bike riding can be a great deal of fun but it's also a responsibility. We need to keep our bikes in good conditions, obey the rules and be safe.

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

Have fun in Bike Education. I know I always did. 🙂


Teacher, NSW, Australia

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

This clip was created as an animation demonstration for a class looking at animation.

These simple images were originally drawn from cartoon images drawn in a old cartooning book entitled "How to Draw Cartoons". They were drawn using a graphics tablet into files on a computer then linked into an animation.

The hopping frog is a 6 frame animation whereas the rabbit uses 8 frames. Each repeats 16 times.


Do you have anything in common with the student teachers?

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

What is your favourite animal?

I also have dogs as a favourite but I love finding native animals to photograph.

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue just like Miss Hannan.

Is this the only time you have been a student teacher?

When I was a student teacher (wow, was it 35 years ago?) at this time of the year I had only visited two schools but this time of year I had my first longer session on a class. It was a Year 6. Those children would now be about 46 or 47 and many would be grandparents. My second and last session before qualifying as a teacher was in Year 4.

What’s your favourite CAFE strategy?

I’m different here because I like expanding vocabulary. Expanded vocabulary gives our writing greater word power although when I was a student teacher CAFÉ was only a place to go if you wanted a coffee.

What do you like about teaching?

I agree with Miss Hannan and Miss Paul's choices. Additionally, I liked having fun in class. We can learn so much when we’re happy.  When we laugh and take part in great activities, our minds are very active and take in so much.

How many years have you been at Deakin University?

There is great similarity here as I also gained a degree before taking an education course. I attended Sydney University to gain a Bachelor of Science degree before training as a primary school teacher. While I could have been a high school maths/science teacher, I preferred primary school because it allowed me to teach music, art, craft, history, social studies, maths, science, literacy and computing. Primary school was a perfect choice for someone who enjoys so many subjects.

What grade do you want to teach and what would the name be?

Wow, what a choice. Over the years I have had classes from Prep to Year 6 and, while a uni student, tutored maths for Year 11 and 12. My favourite tended to be whatever class I had at the time but my most common classes when teaching were Year 3 and 4. My classes were normally called 4M or 4R.

What are your hobbies?

Like Miss Hannan, I enjoy photography but I didn’t play netball and, even though I can walk to the beach in about 15 minutes, I haven’t gone surfing. I have helped with out local surf club’s Special Nippers as their photographer.

Like Miss Paul, I love art and walking but I don’t run. My favourite exercise is walking through one of our local national parks or our nature reserve.

What is your favourite subject?

My favourite subject was school. I liked all subjects but, if I had to choose something, I might choose serendipity (told you I liked expanding vocabulary). Serendipity is a happy accident or pleasant surprise. Some of my best teaching/learning experiences came when the class or I saw something unexpected and wanted to learn more.

If you got to go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I like both Miss Hannan and Miss Paul’s choices. I haven’t been to New York nor have I been to Western Australia. My favourite country other than Australia is New Zealand. I have been there many times and particularly like the Rotorua, Tongariro and White Island areas because I am interested in volcanoes and thermal areas. Next would be Hawaii because of its magnificent volcanoes. My favourite cities would be Paris, London and Edinburgh but, if I get to New York, this may change. 🙂

What do you like about our blog?

Miss Hannan: I like that you can communicate with other classes around the world.

Miss Paul: I like the fact that all the students are so involved.

Miss Hannan and Miss Paul are right on the mark here. Blogging is a great way to be in the global classroom and share with students you might never have met otherwise. 4KJ and 4KM know how much I like blogging and particularly commenting.  Now is your time to make sure Miss Hannan and Miss Paul become blogging converts and carry the message to other schools.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

To see the original post from Global Grade 3, click the link...

Global Grade 3

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Hello Global Grade 3,

We meet once again. 🙂

What is global citizenship?

I like the definition. We are all citizens of one world, our home, our Earth. As in all societies, our global society contains people who are good citizens. There are those who see their role as making our world a better place. There are those who seem more intent on serving only themselves and there are some who know only their own small piece of the world.

Global Grade 3 is a good name for your blog because you are amongst our global citizens who are trying to make the world a better place. Your steps may be small but we can never really know the long-term effect of the small things we do to improve our world.


Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect?

The Butterfly Effect comes from chaos theory, an area of study in mathematics.  Chaos theory looks at what can happen with very small changes at the beginning.

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


What does this have to do with global citizenship?

Let me explain.

The Butterfly Effect suggests that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world might result in a tornado in another part of the world.

It doesn’t mean the butterfly caused a tornado but the flapping of its wings, although small in amount, might create tiny electrical charges in the atmosphere that might speed up, delay or even prevent a tornado.

What an interesting idea. Here’s how I think this relates indirectly to global citizenship.

You have set something in motion by helping Q’enqo. In respects to the world, this may seem only a small act but think of what this can mean for the future if we consider the Butterfly Effect and relate it to humans.

Today a library is active in Q’enco where once there was none. A child walks in and borrows a book you have helped make available. With help, the child learns to read. That child then teaches others who pass it on to more. Think of the amazing numbers this can lead to if each child taught by that one passes on their learning to only four others…

1 becomes 4.

4 becomes 16.

16 becomes 64.

Their learning is passed to other villages, each new learner passes on to four more. Look at the number sequence grow…

1, 4, 16, 64, 256, 1024, 4096, 16384, 65536, 262144, 1048576

From that one child teaching four whom each pass to four, in only 10 steps one million people might benefit. It may not be quite that simple but, as you can see, from a simple beginning, great things can grow.



Keep up the effort for positive global change.

@RossMannell     Teacher, NSW, Australia

Original post for the School of puns...


Hello Falcon Girls and the School of Puns,

When I saw a link to the latest Cartoon Caption Comp using a beautiful picture drawn by India, I wondered what pun I could write. I'm just a little outside the top of the age range (but I was 13 once back in the 1960s) so my entry doesn't really count.

Firstly I considered what a pun really was. A pun is a play on words. We use words in a way one might not normally expect. As an example...

A man poked himself in the eye with his souvenir from Paris. He had an Eiffel of tower.

Okay, it's not a great example but it's getting late at night down here in Australia but I think you get the idea. Puns can be hard to write, the short stories I write on one of my blogs are much easier but I saw India's drawing and thought I would try.

I've reproduced India's drawing here in case a reader wants to see the picture to match my pun. I hope India doesn't mind.

A girl was being abducted by aliens.

Her experience was out of this world.

Puns may be hard to write but some people seem to excel at the unusual form of joke. I have seen some of the current entries and can see there are some developing pun specialists out there.

Keep on punning.

@RossMannell     Teacher, NSW, Australia


Link to the original 4KM and 4KJ post...

Family Blogging Afternoon

Hello 4KM and 4KJ,

Your Family Blogging Afternoon looks like it was fun and informative. From the introduction, care of a Skype session with Mrs. Yollis, to the interactions of students and their special person, it looks like a very valuable session.

Congratulations to Riley and his dad, Ashley, in 4KM, and Kadyn and his mum, Tracey, in 4KJ. Being selected as winners of the challenge shows how good your teams were at blogging.

Now for your questions...

How did you like the Family Blogging Afternoon? Who did you invite?

This made me think, if I were to be part of a Family Blogging Afternoon, whom would I ask?

Perhaps my older brother, Robert, if he had time. He is a researcher and lecturer in linguistics at Macquarie University. He is working on ways of improving artificial hearing as in the Cochlea Implant.

Then there is my younger brother, Phillip. He has been a nurse but now works as a property valuer in Canberra and is writing a novel based around my Great Uncle Ernie who was killed in WWI.

Maybe I would ask my eldest niece. Kristy started as a high school English teacher this year but hopes to return to university to continue her English Literature studies.

Then there is my nephew, Reuben. He has taken a break from university and is working in an IT support role in a company.

My youngest niece, Tara, is studying costume design at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) in Sydney. She designs and makes clothing and hopes to work for a theatre or ballet company.

Then there are all of my cousins with very different careers, many now retired, some now great grandparents. Families can be very large. 🙂

When we think about it, there are many we could ask. Each would bring their talents and contributions to such a wonderful afternoon.


What do you like about blogging?

I only started blogging a little less than a year ago but I now have five blogs, two very active. I had joined Twitter early last year and saw a link to a school blog in England. I was fascinated to see what a class in England was doing so I clicked the link and found myself looking at work from children almost on the other side of the world. I quickly became hooked on the idea of commenting and realised I could be supportive of students anywhere in the world through blogging.

Clicking on one link, I found I had to join a blog provider in order to comment. After joining and making a comment on the class blog, I kept on being invited to set up a blog.

As I had designed some websites before I learnt of blogging, I knew some html coding and how to set out pages. I found it very easy to set to set up a blog and modify it. I also found I could register it as a website for a low annual fee and so was born. It has become my story writing blog and now has had over 5000 visitors. That’s something I find hard to believe.

Blogging, for me, is a way of sharing with a world of schools and classes. It’s a way I can be part of classes and support students often very far away. Now I no longer teach full time or have a class of my own, it’s a way I can still support the education of others. Blogging and commenting has become a passion.

What tips would you give to new bloggers?


The first and most important tip is to have a go. Sometimes people are held back because of a fear others mightn’t like what they post or people might think them dumb. It’s true, there are some people out there who only want to criticise others but you will find the majority of people are supportive. For younger users, there is always comment moderation. A trusted adult checks on comments before they are allowed on the blog.

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

The second is to make posts. There is no use setting up a blog if you don’t intend making regular posts. While people may enjoy what you write, they will stop visiting your blog if nothing new appears.

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

The third is to visit other blogs. It’s not only polite to visit a blog of someone who regularly visits your blog, it’s also an opportunity to add comments to another person’s blog. When you do this and possibly add a link to your blog in the comment, the other person is more likely to visit and comment on your blog.

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

The fourth is to be positive in comments. I like to look for the good things in a persons post and highlight these in my comments. When I am in my role as a member of the 100 Word Challenge Team  (Team 100WC), I also make suggestions of how a student’s writing might be improved. I never say their writing is bad. They have taken the time to share their ideas and I appreciate what they do and know they’re doing their best.

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

The fifth would be to reply to anyone who leaves a comment on your blog. I try to write a reply on my blog to any comments left. This can sometimes take up a reasonable part of my day. Any comment left on my story blog gets a reply thanking them for commenting. I always add a little extra in my reply to acknowledge what they have written.

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

The sixth tip is one I don’t always use due to lack of time. In your comments, ask questions of the person who wrote the blog if you want to carry on a discussion with them. Questions invite the person to answer you. My longest discussion in this way was with a 17 year-old student in the USA. She was studying political science. One comment led to a reply then another comment. We had six to eight exchanges in all. Each of us had complex ideas in our comments. Writing to a 17 year-old student is very different to writing to a 7 year-old student. 🙂

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

Going back to tip one, I was once asked by someone who had a choice to make in her life, “Do you think I should?”

She was making an important choice in life about her career.

I replied, “If you don’t take a chance because you’re afraid it may not work, you may end up regretting it for the rest of your life. By taking the chance, it may not work but at least you can say you tried.’

Blogging is like that. Take a chance and see how much you can gain.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

Hello Mr Handley and 4H,

Another week of art and sound… what a wonderful combination.  I just had to comment once again.

ART - “African Sonata” by Vladimir Kush

Do you like the piece of art?  Why/Why not?

The title itself brings thoughts of the sound you might hear if on the plains of Africa. The sounds of the animals, the wispy presence of Kilimanjaro in the background of musical sky, and the whisper of a breeze through the leaves of trees and across the grass adds to the natural symphony.

With the antelope lyre, tuba-headed elephants and what looks like French horn plants in the foreground, the artist, in my opinion, is trying to share the sounds he sees in his mind as he paints.

One unusual feature I noticed was the tube-headed elephants. If elephants are said to trumpet, are they the correct choice? The picture shows the elephants tube not trumpet. To be fair, a trumpet wouldn’t give the same atmosphere of strength and size as the tube.

What is different or special about this piece of art?

As already noted, I think the artist is trying to share the sounds he hears in his mind as he paints the African scene. What better way than to represent the sounds by instruments?

What message or meaning do you think the artist is trying to give?

Nature is a symphony of sights and sounds. We only have to open our eyes, ears and minds.

Look carefully at the image- can you spot anything you don't think other people will have spotted?

 Not only do the plants in some cases appear to be French horns. They often end in bells and there are also cymbals.

The birds appear to be without instruments.

The elephants appear to have bells at the end of their tails.

If you were to describe this piece of art in 3 words what would they be?

Is this art?

Sight, sound, serene

If art is the expression of what is beautiful or fascinating to the artist, how could this not be art?


How are the pieces the same? How are they different?

 William Orbit seems to have written a variation of Saint-Saëns “Aquarium” although Orbit’s version is stronger and less mystical than the Saint-Saëns original.

Saint-Saëns’s “Aquarium” has been used in a few films. Here are two you might know…

2006 “Charlotte’s Web”

2008  “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Which piece do you like the best? Why?

Because of the memories it brings to mind, I prefer the original Saint-Saëns version. I like its light, mystical approach.

How does each piece make you feel when you listen to them?

 Saint-Saëns – I recall memories of the films I’ve mentioned. I am an avid cinema goer.

Orbit – With it’s greater strength, it made me feel the aquarium is much more active and perhaps even threatening as larger fish pass the smaller hidden fish.

Why do you think William Orbit made his version (the second one) sound like it does?  

Perhaps he had a wish to share with the listener a larger aquarium than Saint-Saëns had in mind.

Do you think the original composer (writer of the music) would like William Orbit's version?

I think, perhaps, Saint-Saëns would have been happier with his original version. As the piece was part of the “Carnival of Animals” he may have felt the strength was too much had he used Orbit’s version.

Thanks for sharing another week of art and music.


Teacher, NSW, Australia



Hello Global Grade 3,

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to comment on your post sooner but time has been busy for me.

Seeing you fill out the borrower’s card in the old fashioned way brought back fond of when I was your age at school. We didn’t have computers in school back then so borrowing books involved the same process you are showing. It may not be high tech but it works.

Being able to share old, no longer needed resources with others is both kind and waste saving. While your school now uses bar codes, for Q’enqo, the books pockets will be a wonderful addition to their resources. Passing on the pockets is a great recycling activity.

I think everyone’s comments are wonderful. Where there is a trend for people to watch a movie rather than read a story, it’s worth remembering there are very many more stories in print than there are in films. The gift of learning to read can open up your eyes to a world of adventure. Imagine the changes ahead for the children of Q’encho as they discover the world through books.

It may be too late for these answers to your questions but I’ll share them anyway…


Do you know of an ACCURATE English to Spanish translator that will help us to write captions on the photos we have taken in Spanish?

Accuracy is important when using translation software. I use a translator to read and write in other languages but we must take care with them. Even with good software, there can be errors of context (the wrong words in the right place).

What do I use? I use Google translate. There is a technique to improve accuracy when using Google Translate. The first part is to keep your comments simple because they are easier to translate correctly. The second part involves the following steps…

Recently, I was given the task to write a short story in five sentences each with five words based on a theme of good things come in fives. Here is what I wrote...

“Good things come in fives?”

My daughter just now five.

“Five fingers and five toes.”

“Is that all?” she asks.

“Three children, two parent’s love.”

Now let's see how I would go about translating it using Google Translate....


This is what greets you when you open Google Translate. The left hand box is where you type your words or where you paste what has been written. Above the typing box you can see two tabs. One is marked "From: detect language" and the is marked "To: ***". Click and hold on the "To:" box and your choices of language will appear. Select Spanish. Now click "Translate" and the translated text should appear.


This shows what has happened when I copied and pasted my story into the left hand box, selected Spanish and clicked on translate. No, the job hasn't finished as the text may not make sense.

Copy the Spanish text on the right hand side.

Now erase the text on the English left hand and paste in the Spanish. The English version should now appear on the right. You will see some things have translated incorrectly. For example,

Line 1: "fives"  is now "five years".

Line 2: may be a little different but makes sense so it is okay

Line 3: "Five toes" has become "Feet five"

Line 4: "She asks" has become "Question"

Libe 5: "Two parent's love" has become "two of parental live"



Now I copy the English text on the right so I can make some changes.


You can see the changes I've made to the English version. The Spanish has now been changed on the right.


This is the hard part if you don't have a simple text to translate. You have to keep copying, pasting and changing until you have happy both the English and Spanish versions make sense. This is why it's important to keep what you write in English simple. For posters, short and simple text is easier for people to remember and much easier to translate into another language.


Look at the much simpler text....

English: Have you read a good book?

Spanish: ¿Has leído un buen libro?

With such simple text, Google Translate made the translation correctly on the first attempt. When I copied and pasted the Spanish, the English matched the original so it should be correct.

Google Translate link:


Can you think of any OTHER ideas to help us build Capacity for this project?

Your modelling of reading through photos is a wonderful method of showing how much enjoyment there can be in reading. When the Q’encho children see you read and enjoy books they would be more likely to want to join in the fun.


Have YOU learned something incredible with a book that helped to change YOUR world?  (Maybe it inspired you to do a special project, or maybe it even inspired you to pursue a CAREER in the field!)

“A” book that helped to change my world? My life has been one of many books, each adding more or less to my life. Even though I am very much online these days and can access information from around the world, I still have my book library and some favourite reference books near at hand. “A” book that changed my life… It’s whatever book I have at the time as each adds a little each time it’s used.


Teacher, NSW, Australia


Original 2/1 Class post link...

Hello everyone,

Sometimes I enjoy a post so much I just have to comment but occasionally my comments grow too big for the comments page on the post or I want to share photos, videos or audios I think might be interesting. This happened with your post. It was so interesting.

Your ideas for Backwoods Billy Baxter are wonderful.

I have seen some scientists use heat sensitive cameras which take photos as something passes but they might be expensive. Leaving food out for animals is a great lure. Hiding cameras nearby might be a good way to record animals. As I only have one camera, I wouldn't want to risk it but it looks like Backwoods Billy Baxter has a few.

I like to film or record the sounds of animals here in Australia and know it can be hard but I think I would also need help if I were to try to film in England as I don't know the area well. Here is a little of what I have been able to record in Australia.

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I was making a DVD for a friend who has written some children's books about animals. One of her stories was about a lyrebird. I thought it would be a good idea to record the sound of a male lyrebird singing. The male lyrebirds mostly copy the calls of other birds but can copy all sorts of sounds.

Over a three month period, I made more than a dozen trips into the nature reserve to try to record the song of a lyrebird. Here is what I was finally able to record when I was able to get close to a male lyrebird without being seen...

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

Most of the time, I might stumble upon an animal and be able to take a photo before they disappear into the trees. Here are some photos.

Blue-tongue lizard

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.

Eastern grey kangaroo

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

Koala  (male)

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.


Link to original post...

Hello 2/3 Class,

What does ANZAC Day mean to me?

When I was growing up, it was a tradition. My mother would take my two brothers and I by train into Sydney so we could watch my father march in the ANZAC Day march. He had been a soldier during World War II. After enlisting in the army and receiving his training, he was posted to Singapore with the 8th Division, 2/18 Battalion of the AIF (Australian Infantry Force).

The Japanese attacked the city of Singapore and, despite the defence by Allied troops including my father, General Percival, the British officer in charge of the Allies, surrendered to save the people of Singapore from further suffering. My father became a Prisoner of War from 1942 until the war ended in 1945.

My brothers and I would wait somewhere along the annual march route and try to be the first to see him coming. While I can’t remember them, veterans of the Boer War (1899-1902) were in the lead but eventually the last was gone and a riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups represented them.

Next would come the veterans of World Way I. I had a Great Uncle (the uncle of my father) in that war but he never returned from France. I remember the WWI as proud and strong but in time, the last of them had passed as they grew older.

After them, the World War II veterans, including my father, would appear. When we finally saw him, my brothers and I would cheer for him and he’d smile and wave. Slowly now the number of veterans of World War II are dwindling. May father has now passed and few from his battalion are left. Had my father still been alive, he would have been 93.

Next would come veterans from Korea, Malaya, Vietnam (my brother had a friend in the Vietnam war) and other conflicts up to some veterans from the most recent conflict in Afghanistan.

For me, ANZAC Day, the Dawn Service and the march is a chance to remember my father, Great Uncle and others who served during wars. It's not a time to celebrate war. It’s a time to remember the tragedy of Gallipoli back in 1915. Imagine, the founding of the ANZAC legend will be 100 years old in 2015.

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

The ANZAC ceremony in my town.

Did you know the last Australian veteran of Gallipoli was Edward (Ted) Matthews? He was born on 11 November, 1896 and passed on December 9, 1997. I remember seeing him interviewed on television once. People were interested in the last Australian survivor. He was told he was a real hero by the reporter.

I still remember his response, "Why? I just lived longer than the others."

What an incredible Australian.

Ted Matthews


A link to Charlotte's short story...

Hello Charlotte,

Oh, very well done! You build the suspense so well as the boys enter the cave then you add a little twist that made me laugh, the dragon ran away scared of the boys. It seems the dragon was really a softie.

Your story reminded me a little of a gentle, invisible dragon named Elliot and his friend Pete. They were in a 1977 movie entitled, "Pete's Dragon". I've found a link on a movie database if you are permitted to take a look. It shows images of Elliot and even includes some clips from the film...

Pete's Dragon was around when I started teaching. My first full time school was in an isolated place way out in western New South Wales (my state). A new wall had been built and I decided to paint a cartoon character on it. If you look at the photo of that school below, on the right you can see a wall with a dragon. That's Elliot.

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

Thank you for sharing your short story. 🙂


Teacher, NSW, Australia

Here is a link to their original post from Mr. Handley...

Hello Mr. Handley and class,

I’m sorry it has taken me a week to comment on this post. It has been a little busy for me at the moment.




Which piece of art do you like the best?  Why?

Both pieces of art have interesting features. In a time before cameras, artists would often capture scenes through painting and drawings. The over 200 year old painting looks like others I have seen from the era, including early paintings of Australia.

The second looks a more modern piece of art using a blend of traditional and modern designs.

Depending on why I wanted them, each would be my favourite. If I were to decide on vibrant colour and design, the giraffe painting would be the one. For value and historical interest, I would choose the older painting.


How do you think each piece of art was made?  How can you tell?

The older painting looks as though it might  have been a finely detailed watercolour.

The giraffe painting looks more like modern acrylic paint but it’s hard to tell without seeing the original.


Is there anything that is the same about the two pieces of art?

Both paintings show animals in their natural habitat.


What do you feel when you look at each of the images?

The older makes me feel in touch with a much earlier Africa where animals weren’t restrained by parks and the spread of people was restricted more the village shown in the painting. Its style is closer to photographic so a viewer can have a sense of the land and animals.

The newer make me feel brighter because of its more vivid colour and design.


What can you see in each image? Look closely (you can click on them to make them bigger)- can you see anything that you think others might not have spotted?

The older painting shows a village or settlement where their cattle roam and people go about their daily routine.

The more modern painting not only includes the giraffes and trees, the design of birds makes up part of the trees.


Do you think the pieces of art are based on what the artists have seen, or are just from their imagination?

In bother cases, I feel there is a mix of what was seen and what their imagination has shown them. The degree varies. The older relies much more on what was seen than the newer.


Can you name any of the animals in either piece of art?

The older painting includes people, cattle and dogs whereas the newer includes giraffe and birds.


Can you find any other examples of African art that you like?

Africa is a very large continent with many cultures both past and present. Their art included carvings as well metal casting, painting, jewellery design and even body art.

Here is a link to a site selling African art both modern and traditional. It has many images…




Which piece of music do you like the best?  Why?

“Mbube” It sounds much more traditional than the others and sounds as though it includes the unusual licking in speech of the Kalahari bushmen.


How is each piece of music similar/different?

“Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” – Much includes traditional rhythm yet it blends more modern song.

“Rain, Rain Beautiful Rain” – Sung in English yet it still has the feel of traditional African choral music.

“Mbube” – This seems the most traditional piece and therefore my favourite.

“World in Union 95” – The sounds the most modern yet still carries a traditional feel.


What do you like about this music?  Is there anything you don’t like?

There is no doubt the “A cappella” nature of the music and its rhythm is very appealing. Liking many music styles, I must say I hear nothing I dislike.


How is it the same/different from the music you normally listen too?

It’s not different. My iTunes includes examples from African, Aboriginal, North American Native and other traditions as well as many other music forms.


What do the pieces of music make you think of when you listen to them?

I am more lost in the rhythm and sounds than thinking of other things. With each, I do picture my imagination’s images of Africa.


What do you think each piece of music is about?

The titles give us a hint except “Mbube”. From what I have found, it means “lion” in the Zulu language so may be a song of lions hunting or patrolling their territory.


Can you find any other music by this group which you like?

By chance, one of my African albums is by the group. The album is called Liph' Iqiniso. My favourite on the album is the same as the album title. Below is a scan of the album cover...



Thanks for sharing an interesting post. It gave me an excuse to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo again.


Teacher, NSW, Australia