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Grade 5 Tag

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Saving Baby Ducks – A Parent’s Engaging Learning Story

Inquiring Minds is delighted to share this wonderful story from one of our families of how they came to rescue a family of ducks – and the learning that unfolded.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Last year we noticed ducks swimming in the murky, nutrient-rich water above the pool cover. Once the pool was treated and opened, they disappeared.  This year has been a different story!We’d been seeing a male and female duck swimming in our pool over the last month.  On Sunday of the long weekend Y. said, ‘Look Mommy, duckies!’  Well, there was the mama duck and 10 baby ducklings swimming in our pool! The nest must have been nearby but we still can’t find it. The babies were likely just a day old.  Excited comments from Y. included: ‘I’m going to go swim with the ducks’; ‘They’re so cute!’; ‘I’m going to show S. the baby ducks.’ The duck family had to return to their natural habitat – but how?

While the rest of us stayed far back (in case mama duck attacked), Y.’s papa and our neighbour used the pool skimmer to collect the 10 ducklings and put them in a box. H. documented the whole undertaking on video.We headed up the road to the Mill pond ensuring the mama duck was following us (poor things, she and ducklings were so stressed). It was critical she stay near her babies and not get scared and abandon them. We placed them near the pond. There were lots of people around and we had to hold them off so mama duck could be reunited with the ducklings. And then the poor mama was being bothered by the mallards, mating season apparently.

Throughout this adventure, I waited for Y. to make a connection with her ‘Baby Chicks’ exploration at school.   As we related the story to her cousins who were visiting that weekend, I was delighted to hear Y. share with lots of giggles:  ‘I hold the baby chicks at school!’ ‘J. blowed on the baby chick.’ ‘The baby chicks are so cute!’  That night we were very concerned. Would the baby ducks survive at the main pond? Perhaps we should have left them at the river across the street where it’s quieter. We couldn’t wait for morning to come!  The next day we went to visit and saw mama duck with 7 babies swimming at the far end of the pond. It was a bittersweet ending but we were happy to see them in their natural habitat.  H. shared philosophical thoughts about ‘the circle of life’. 

This past Sunday we visited again. The weather was beautiful and the Mill Pond was very busy, tonnes of people around and many feeding the ducks. We found the mama and baby ducks, swimming happily where we saw them last. We saw only 6 ducklings this time.

The baby ducks had grown considerably, chubby little things.  Again, lots of excitement. Y.:  ‘Happy Birthday duckies, where’s your mommy?’ ‘Oh, they’re so cute!’ ‘Baby ducks are sparkly.’ Indeed, the water made their feathers glistening in the sun. 

Thinking Deeply – Powerful Reflections from Grade 5

Inquiring Minds is delighted to share the following reflection from one of Richland’s Grade 5 students, M.C.  His Silver Birch Book Club composition is highly insightful, creative, and moving.  We couldn’t possibly be the only ones to read it – and hope you will be as equally impressed by his thoughtful words.

Making Bombs for Hitler, by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, was very sad, but very interesting and entertaining. The major life lesson that I take from this book is that I should be thankful for what I have. This book had me crying at some points. All of the characters in this book – the slave labourers at least, have nothing. The only thing they can do, is do their best at their job and hope and pray that their supervisors are impressed. People like us have everything – Xbox, Wii, toys, etc. In Making Bombs for Hitler,  I thought to myself, that people like us have everything and then still get more, and people like Lida and Luke have to literally work for their lives. I was sad when I read this book because I felt very selfish. Another life lesson in this book is that you should treat everyone the same. Hitler killed people because he thought they were “different” or “sub-human” when clearly, if anyone was wrong it was definitely him. I don’t know the real reason behind him wanting to do this, but he wanted to create the “perfect” Aryan race. I definitely think he was wrong in trying to do this. He was wrong in everything that he tried to do related to the war. In reading about what he did I realized that treating everyone the way you want to be treated is not just a saying. What he did taught me that.

This book made it seem like the characters’ lives were so terrible that I couldn’t think of any way that I could possibly relate to these poor kids. I have never once in my life been in situations as dreadful and grim as these. I don’t think anyone that I have ever met has ever been in a situation even close to as dangerous and gruesome as these. I strongly hope that no children ever have to go through this again. I wish these situations would have NEVER happened. For example, when Lida was being fed at the barracks and everyone was being fed well, Lida and the other Russians had a separate bowl of soup, a separate type of soup (with only turnips and bugs instead of the beef stew), and even a separate ladle. She was called a “sub-human” by the person who was serving the soup and forced to eat it anyway. The thought of anyone having to go through this again is utterly terrifying.

Grades 4-6 Silver Birch Blog TAKEOVER!

Richland students in grades 4-6 are at it again, and have taken control of Inquiring Minds. You may recall from a previous post that our students have been reading Silver Birch nominated books, and that they are meeting in small groups to share and discuss life lessons they took away from their novels. The following blog entries are their summaries, connections, and reflections from those discussions.

Be prepared, they are examples of deep thinking and thought-provoking dialogue!  We invite you to join the conversation by commenting on their posts.

What if you didn’t Believe?

What would happen if you didn’t believe? In the books our group read, the message was to believe, to achieve your goals, and to never give up. If the world gave up, then society would collapse on itself like a tree in a bad storm, or a building with a bad foundation.

In every book, we had a connection of doing something that we believed and we achieving it. Believing means achieving, and the impossible is possible if you try. This belief is what keeps the life spirit going, and what keeps the world happy and hopeful. If you didn’t believe then you would never achieve, because if you didn’t believe in yourself you couldn’t accomplish anything.In the books we read, lots of the messages were to believe and to never give up. The books we read were Sinking Deeper, Missing, Tinfoil Sky, and Neil Flambé. Throughout each book there was a message to never give up and to constantly believe and never stop! This all relates back to one thing: never give up. In the end everyone agreed that you should never give up, because if no one believed… where would you be?

1 Lie = 1 Million Lies

1 lie = 1 million lies, and 1 million rights apply to everything. In our Book Club, we discussed the main points in our books and the same ideas came up. The idea of 1lie = 1 million lies was in H.K. and A.Z.’s books The Grave Robbers Apprentice and Missing. In Missing, a girl kicked over a wasp’s nest and her sister was under it and died. The girl lied to her parents that her sister went missing. In The Grave Robber’s Apprentice, the Grave Robber told his son he must do something to enter the Grand Society of Grave Robbers, but where are all the people who are in this grand society? The Grave Robber stalled by making up more lies.

However, in everyone’s books, the idea of rights came up. You have the right to a proper house and good food. You have the right to be treated the way people in higher classes get treated. Animals have rights to live, and have the same rights as people. Lastly, you have the right to tell the truth without punishment. What really stuck out to us was how deep we thought. When someone brought up rights everyone else thought deeper, and thought about other things related to rights in their book. We hope we think as deep as this in the next book club!