Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Same Same But Different

Same same, but different is a saying you will often hear in places where they sell fake products. 'Are these real Nike shoes?' "Ahhh same, same, but different.'

We have been looking lots at culture and how we are shaped by it and how it helps make up our identity. Today we did a task where we looked, not at the differences between all people and cultures, but what is actually common between all people. How are we all the same? In what ways are we all just like each other? It was fascinating to see the discussions develop from surface things to deeper things.

Similarities included: we all have a belief in what is right and wrong; we all have rules we follow (or don't follow); we all have a desire to be connected to a family; we all have goals or things we want from life; we all experience emotions.

We followed this up with some art which combined a variety of very different looking people into one portrait. Here they are:

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

200 years, 200 countries, 4 minutes

Our inquiry focus at the moment is significant things that have shaped us into who we are. There have been significant changes in the world over the last 200 years that have shaped us all. The world has changed a lot. We are also looking at statistics in maths and on Friday we spent some time looking at scatter graphs. Modern technology is making the communication of statistics more fascinating and easier to understand. Here is a really interesting and powerful representation of changes to our world over the last 200 years. It is amazing to see the changes resulting from the industrial revolution. Enjoy.

Industrial revolution

Planes, computers, skyscrapers, tanks, plastics, electronics, lawn mowers, spaceships - all things that wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution is when the invention of machines and factories changed the world. The majority of the world lived rural and were involved in agriculture or small scale business. Everything changed including world population, where people lived, what people could afford, and what people did. There is nothing that has shaped the world in the last 200 years more than the industrial revolution.

The students started off by watching some of the London 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony. Britain is where the industrial revolution started and as part of the ceremony did a big show about it. They have watched other videos, read articles, and are preparing to write an article about the industrial revolution. The students have looked into one of the early inventions which bought major change. You can look out for these presentations on their own blogs.


We have taken a fascinating look into globalization - what it is, its influence on the world, and the advantages and disadvantages of it. It was fascinating and surprising to look at all the products we import and export. We definitely are interconnected with other countries. There are definite advantages, like more people being able to afford things,but there are also a number of disadvantages, such as the loss of cultures, local jobs, and environmental damage. What will the future look like? What will be the consequences of further globalization? Are we too connected to other countries? All interesting questions to ponder.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Layers of history

Congratulations guys - you have completed your historical writing pieces. What a massive project! You have done so well and can be really proud of the final pieces.

The students wrote either a story or an information report based round a time and place in their family history. It covers everything from cyclones in Canada, the Waikato wars, disastrous boat trips to NZ, Germany after the war, Scotland in the time of the barbarians, and many more.

They have been bound into a book and copies are now in the library and the classroom.

One world culture?

This week we explored what happens when two cultures live together. We had a scenario of a new village of 200 people being populated equally by two completely different cultures. The students then identified what they think would happen in that village within the first year, the first 5 years, and then how the village would look in 20 years time. It was fascinating to discuss how initial conflict would be strong but grow less over the 20 years. The cultures would blend together and the cultures would change, possibly creating a 'new' culture.

We then made the link to NZ as well as the blending of cultures worldwide. Are we becoming 'one culture' in our world? We started looking at globalization and will continue to do so next week.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


It has been interesting looking into colonialism and just how widespread and how horrific it was at times. Today we looked at a map which showed the countries that colonized and the countries they colonized. We discussed how there is only certain information you can get from a map. It doesn't tell us what colonization was actually like. We then looked at a number of photos and artwork from the time of colonialism. We were then able to get a much better understanding of what it was like. The students identified things the photos revealed about colonialism.

Monday, 2 July 2018

200 years of change!

Last week the students identified a number of things that have bought major change to the world in the last 200 years. Over the next term we will look at various aspects of the things the students identified. Today we had some fascinating discussion around which ones had the most impact. The students had to order the things by their level of impact on the world. It was interesting to discover how many things depended on each other for the change. Technology relies on factories, factories rely on electricity, the internet relies on the space race, etc. There were lots of different opinions and the challenge was to justify your opinions. Here is an example of one groups ordering:

We also watched the video clip below and discussed the message of the creator. It was fascinating to think about the assumptions people make about other people by their looks.  Often people try to make connections with others but may make incorrect assumptions in the process.

We also looked at why English is the most influential language in the world. This led into looking at colonialism and its role in changing our world. We will look later this week at the results of tow cultures living together.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Te Pahu Challenge - TRAMP COMPLETED!

The TRAMP section of the Te Pahu Challenge is complete! Well done to our awesome students who made it up either the Ruapane or Wharauroa peak! For most of you it was the longest walk you have ever done and it was great to see your positive attitude towards the challenge, as well as your enjoyment of being in the outdoors. We had stunning days and on the Friday we had magnificent  views of the Central Plateau mountains as well as our surrounding district. Well done guys!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Character descriptions

We have started looking at writing character descriptions. The most important thing is to choose characters that are easy to describe. Characters with features that stand out. We looked at some excellent examples of character descriptions and then the students wrote a description of the lady below. They did this in pairs and came up with some outstanding descriptions. Here are some of them:
It had been a long time since we'd been face to face.. She had changed a lot. Her hair was unkempt as it tumbled out of her bonnet. Her watchful gaze pinned me down. It didn't match her unfriendly frown. Deep crevices trailed down her face, with soft hairs sprouting out. Each step she took was long and laboured. Her smell tingling my nose with the smell of rotten cabbages, It was good to see her again. 
Lauren and Krizza

Her wiry, bird nest hair was held together by a velvet scarf. The eyebrows and mouth got swallowed up like sinking sand. Her eyes were fearless. It was like looking into eagles eyes. Her skin was as tough as leather. Her voice cracked before she mumbled. The potent perfume pierced my nose before turning into a sweet apple crumble. 
Sydney and Greer

Her untamed hair crept down her face, escaping the silk head scarf that attempted to hold it in. Her deep wrinkles snaked all over her raisin like skin. She stared blankly into the distance, stabbed with harsh memories that made her cower. Words tumbled out of her mouth in a way no one could understand. Her eyes were a normal colour but glistened with pride and power, showing that fear didn't stop her.
Jack E and Martha

Her skin was as wrinkly as a raisin She had sunken eyes that sat there, fearless. Her soft hair brushed up against her wrinkly forehead. He sunken mouth mumbled as I struggled to hear a word she said. As she walked she had the position of a tilted tower.
Amelia and Bailey.

Her face was like a war zone. The wrinkles were like trenches, dug deep into her face. Wisps of hair made a fluffy halo around her puckered forehead. Her ancient voice sounded like a frog croaking. Her watery eyes peered through the thick sagging brow.
Deegan and Sophie.

The icy eyed lady crept out of her grave to give the innocent boy a death stare. Her bones cracked and crumbled as she stumbled across the graveyard. The full moon shone down upon her, revealing her face, wrinkled like a raisin. Her hair was wild like an overgrown bush, flapping in the whistling wind.
Josiah and Campbell

Friday, 22 June 2018

Flying penguins

We had a great discussion around research, websites, and the news today. We started off watching this short video clip from the BBC on flying penguins (a clever April fools joke). We then looked at some examples of mis-information on the internet.

We discussed how science studies are often shown and spread around by news companies. People make changes to their diet or habits based on this information. However, scientists know that you can't base solid beliefs off one study. We looked at a fascinating graph which showed the variations in studies around food and cancer. It shows clearly that we need to approach information on the internet carefully.

Next time we are going to look at Wikipedia and understand how it works and what the accuracy of the information is like.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Te Pahu Graduate - Researchers

One of the key parts of becoming a Te Pahu Graduate is becoming a great researcher. We live in a world where we are fed information constantly and it is easy to believe inaccurate information. 'Chinese whispers' can really affect the quality of information we are given.

We had a fascinating visit to the Te Awamutu Museum today as research is a massive part of what they do. We were very privileged to talk to the staff who do research and who handle the Museum collections. The students got to go into the back rooms where all the collections are. They had a go at using research to identify some of the actual artifacts in the Museum. They also got to explore the stories behind some of the Museum display artifacts.

We learnt about primary and secondary sources. We learnt about the different sources to do research (e.g. specialists, books/documents, internet) and why some are better than others.

The students are about to head into speeches which will require quite a bit of research. As part of this learning we will use this learning and apply research principles to ensure we are getting accurate information.