Week 4 – Global issues

Over half of all Syrian refugees are children.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Oxfam International via Compfight

Listening and watching the news over the last few days, I’ve heard about some real global issues affecting many of the countries represented here in the student blogging challenge.

This week’s activities relate to these topics:

  • Asylum seekers
  • Refugees
  • Greenpeace and piracy charges
  • Government shutdown in USA
  • Human Rights – Blog Action Day – remember to publish your post on October 16
  • World Teachers Day – October 5th
  • World Habitat Day – October 7th
  • World Food Day – October 16th
  • a global issue affecting your country but not mentioned above

Activity 1

Imagine you are a journalist researching one of these topics. What are some of the questions you might ask someone you are interviewing? Remember questions start with

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • when
  • why
  • how

Try to find the answers to your questions by researching news articles. Remember some articles might be biased to one side of the topic, so check out articles for both sides of the debate. Check out some of the links in activity 4 to get information as well. Write a post as an imaginary interview. Include links back to the newspaper articles, websites or videos you used for information. Post here for Edublogs and Blogger and a video for Kidblog about linking.

Activity 2

Which of these topics affect your country? What is your government doing about it? If you are able, without getting into trouble, give your opinion of the topic and how it affects you as a student. What could you as a student or class do to help solve the problem?

Activity 3

Have you or your class ever held a fundraiser for a global issue? Write about it in a post. What was the event? What did you do? How much did you raise?  How did you feel?

Activity 4

Check out some of the links on these pages about human rights and global issues. What did you find interesting? Something new you learnt? A myth busted?

Activity 5

Do something about a global issue. Here are links to games and activities for kids about global issues. What did you choose to look at? Write a review in your post.

Teacher resources – Global citizenship from Oxfam, Globalkids connect, Action Aid resources,

Still more time to sparevisit students and classes from the other countries involved in the challenge. Leave a comment or question relating to a global issue that might be affecting them.

Leave a comment on this blog telling Miss W. the global issue you think is most important to be solved. It might not be one of those mentioned in the post. Give reasons why it should be the first issue solved.


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Holiday or vacation time

For the next two weeks, schools in Tasmania are on holiday so I thought we would take a break from the blogging challenge for just one week.

Oh, no!

What can I do this week when there is no challenge?

Here are some suggestions.

Make sure you have checked the student or class list. Are you  only listed once and  the link to your blog works?  To test this out, make sure you have logged out of your blog and testing as if you are a visitor. Can your visitor read your posts and leave comments or do you need to change some settings?

Have you started visiting the other students in your colour group? Everyone should have written an about me post or page. Leave some comments especially if they have similar interests to you. Remember the comments should be quality not something like

Cool blog. Come and visit my blog too.

Have you checked out the September Flipboard magazine? Compare these posts to yours – do yours need an improvement?

Have you completed the challenges from week 1,2 and 3? Could you improve those posts now that you have checked out some others?

Be warned

During early October, I will be deleting any student blogs that:

  • don’t link properly
  • don’t allow commenting
  • have no posts other than an about me page or post

If you only joined the challenge in late September, I will not be deleting yours.

Why am I doing this?

We try to have mentors for student blogs and if your blog does not work properly or you are not writing posts, then you don’t need a mentor. I can slip another person into your place instead.

Get ready for October

One important activity we do in October is take part in Blog Action Day. Check out their blog, read the instructions, register your blog, add the badge to your sidebar. Start researching the topic and planning your post. Do not publish it though, until the date of the Blog Action Day.

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Week 3 A week in the life of …

Class photo
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Anna M via Compfight

Admin to be completed first

Students: We now have about 1000 students registered for the challenge, yet many of you have registered more than once, probably accidentally or because you needed to change the URL of your blog. Could you all please check your age group on the list and leave me a comment on this post if your blog is listed more than once. Tell me your first name, your age and name of mentor or colour of group as well as URL so I can adjust the list.

Students: You should be starting to get comments now from your mentor (if allocated one) and others in the challenge. Remember it is good manners to reply to these comments to keep the conversation going. You should be moderating your comments at least once a week.

Students: To be mentioned in the flipboard magazine, you need to fill in the form at the bottom of each week’s activities. Preferably write posts rather than add to one page – you can always use categories/tags/labels to find these posts later.

Students: If your age is coloured in green on the list, it means there is something wrong with your blog – either it is private and people çan’t leave comments or the URL is incorrect. I will be deleting these blogs in early October, so please make changes and/or leave me a comment on this post.

Teachers: Thanks for all the good work you do with students in teaching them blogging skills. But I noticed a few animoto and slideshows that are not including the attribution for images used. These should be included at the end of the video etc. Here is a post which is part of the teacher challenge run by Edublogs (use any blog platform though) explaining images, copyright and creative commons. It includes links to many safe image collections.

Classes: If the name of your class on the list is coloured yellow, it means there is something wrong with the blog – generally privacy needs to be changed to allow other classes to comment or I don’t know your correct blog URL. Please leave a comment on this post once it is fixed.

This week’s activities

But before writing your post or leaving comments, please visit this post by Mr P. He has left some hints or commandments about blogging. Leave a comment on his post answering his questions. Remember to explain giving reasons why.

We are now getting down to the nitty gritty where we can start making comparisons between schools, states, provinces, countries so this week activities are based around Time in the life of …

Answer some of these questions by writing one or more posts or present using a variety of tools mentioned in the sidebar:

  1. What time do you normally get up to go to school?
  2. What do you normally have for breakfast, recess, lunch, tea (dinner, supper)?
  3. How do you get to school?
  4. How long does it take to get to or from school?
  5. A typical lunch at school
  6. Subjects you have to do – remember to explain abbreviations like LOTE and ELA
  7. Specialist subjects or electives, options
  8. Technology in your school
  9. A typical schoolday with timetable and breaks
  10. What do you do at break times? Games, activities etc
  11. School bell has gone for end of day – what happens now?
  12. Do you have to wear uniform?
  13. How many days per year are you at school? How is this arranged – terms etc?
  14. What do you enjoy most about school?
  15. If you could improve your school, what would you do?

You might like to run some surveys in your school re questions 1,3,4 and 10

Here are some examples of different web tools being used by students and classes in the challenge.

Isabella used Prezi,  Mrs Donofrio’s class used Photopeach, Mrs Rabe’s class used a mixture of their own images as well as creative commons images from compfight, Em used animoto and Google maps, Mrs Carpenter’s class used slideshare, Ariana used Picture Trail, Mrs Tucker’s class created a tagxedo, Mrs Hamman’s class created a video via Vimeo, Mrs Martinez’s class used Smilebox, Liah created a Voki, Sadie showed us what a well presented post looks like written in paragraphs and using great punctuation,

Whenever you write a post or leave a comment, remember Mr P’s commandments. The world could be reading what you have written so be very careful in what you say.

Nothing personal about yourself or anyone else, nothing about personal or family problems and definitely nothing about where you will be at a certain time on a certain date in the future.




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Week 2 Town and Country

Beautiful Earth
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Wistful ~ back to unreality via Compfight

Last week you introduced yourselves to your new visitors. You asked questions for your visitors to answer. This week we are going to look at your local town and your country.

Remember you can do one or more of the activities or all of them, that is up to you. You can also adapt the activity to suit your curriculum, teachers.

Being creative in the presentation is also important, so check out some of the tools mentioned in the sidebar. If you know another great tool I should add, please leave me a comment on this post telling me about the tool.


Activity 1. How old is your local town or city? When was it established? Who named it? Why was it given that name? Introduce us to the history of your local area. Maybe take some photos and include in a slideshow. You might also be able to include a Google map with pins marking a walking/driving tour of interesting parts of your local area. For those using Edublogs, here is how you add Google maps to posts or pages easily. For Blogger or blogspot, here are your instructions in a video.

Activity 2. Name 5 places in your local area you think visitors should see. Give reasons why.

Activity 3. You might need to research this – are there any other towns around the world with the same name as yours? Where are they? Perhaps add them to a Google map and do some maths relating to distance. If you have a class twitter account, you might want to ask this question to your followers. Remember to use a hashtag to make it easier for you to collate the answers.


Activity 4. What makes you feel proud to be Australian or American or a citizen of your country? How can new residents become citizens in your country? September 17 is Citizenship Day in Australia. Do you have something like that in your country?

Activity 5. We have students and classes from 20 countries taking part in the challenge. How does law and government differ between three of these countries? September 15 was International Day of Democracy. Find out what was happening around the world at this link.

Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ukraine, Portugal, Ireland, Russia, Hong Kong, Tunisia, Argentina, India, Kenya, England, Scotland, Macau, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Spain and Kuwait

Activity 6. Is there a song or music that typifies your country? I know I love John Williamson singing Home Among the Gum Trees  Maybe you could write your own lyrics for a song about your country, record it and add to your blog.

 Activity 7. Write about some of the iconic landmarks from your country – these could be natural like the Grand Canyon or Great Barrier Reef or man made such as Statue of Liberty or Sydney Opera House. Remember to write in your own words, not just copy and paste from a website.

Activity 8. Create an A-Z book/poster/slideshow about your state or country. When Davo Devil and I visited Mrs Yollis’ class in 2011 they presented us with a fantastic picture book called C is for California.

Still got time left this week – then make sure you visit other student and class blogs. Read their about me/us pages and leave some great comments. If there is a page for visitors to answer questions or for guests to fill in information, go there as well. Start making connections.

Have you been allocated a mentor yet? Check out a bit about them from this page.

If tweeting about blog posts you or your class have written, remember to use the hashtag #13stubc so I can check out your posts as well.

Was a post you wrote last week flipped to our September 2013 Flipboard Magazine? Check what other people wrote.

Want to be mentioned in the Flipboard Magazine for this week’s activities? Fill in the form below to be in the running.

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Post ideas September

Rhombic Dodecareuleaux Calendar 2013
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Philip Chapman-Bell via Compfight

Maybe you or your class could take part in some of these activities throughout the  month of September. Write a post about what you did.

2 Labor Day USA and Canada

4 National Wildlife Day

4-6 Rosh Hashana

8 International Literacy Day

9 National Stroke week Australia

11 Patriot Day USA

14 Yom Kippur

15 International Day of Democracy

15 International Dot Day

17 Citizenship Day Australia

19 Mid Autumn Festival China

19 Harvest Festival Korea

20-22 Clean Up the World Day

21 International Day of Peace

22 Fall begins Northern Hemisphere

22 Spring begins Southern Hemisphere

26 World Maritime Day

27 World Tourism Day

28 Family Health and Fitness day USA

These events are for the whole month

Save the Koala – Australia

Fruit and Veg month – Australia

National Biodiversity month – Australia

Debris month of Action – Australia

Childhood Cancer Awareness – Australia

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