Term 3

Year 7 Spine Poetry

2013 – Year 7 SPINE POETRY
Have you ever thought about the effort that goes into creating the title of books? Obviously, the words have to be carefully chosen so that they appeal to readers and just like poetry there is a little bit of word magic involved.

Sometimes, the words on the spine give you clues about what the story is about, some titles are playful and others sound amazing and irresistible, capturing strong emotions or painting pictures in the readers’ minds.

In this session, we would like year 7s to have some fun. This is a session we did last year with great success so we don’t want you to miss out! Have a look at the display board to see some of the best poems. In pairs or small groups, choose 5 to 10 books and stack them to create a thought poem. You may have something in mind, a topic or theme and go looking for titles of books that will work for you or you might discover and explore titles and match them as you go.

Have a look at this Spine Poem Gallery by Travis.

I had a go with some books that were lying around at home. See the picture below. A bit intense, but a nice effort don’t you think.

Once you are satisfied, capture your spine poems on a camera. We’ll use them to decorate the LRC for Book Week in Week 6!

"Spine Poem - Terrible Times"










In this session I want to share two tools with you:  Evernote/Evernote web clipper and Flickr Search and Stamp.


Having difficulty getting organised why not try Evernote and Evernote web clipper?

Evernote is a free tool which allows you to keep all your files and documents together and stay organized.  You can compose documents and collect information from anywhere and keep everything stored into a single place. From text notes to web pages to files to pictures, everything is always at your fingertips and you can sync between devices so that you have total flexibility.  You can log in and use your files from the internet wherever you are.  In short, it is a digital shoe box somewhere where you can store everything and come back to it later when you need the information.

Evernote web clipper  helps you save anything you see online to your notebooks.  In the project below I have saved an article and a pdf from the RSPCA.  This tool makes it really easy when it is time to create a reference list  as it always keeps a link to the original website.

Have a look at the notebook I created for the beginnings of My Passion Project which I have shared with you:  https://www.evernote.com/pub/mpapaz/passionproject

Personally, I did find something a little confusing about Evernote at the start.  There is the Evernote that is on your computer and then the web version which you have to sign into.  Switching between versions takes a bit of practice.  Syncing and saving happens automatically so that’s really handy and trust me, you do get used to it in time.   The more you explore the tools the more useful you will find Evernote. You will never lose that important information again if you assign good tags or key words to all your files which are called notes and organise your notes into folders which are called notebooks.  For example:  you could have a notebook for each subject.  You could also have a notebook for stuff that is of personal interest to you such as a hobby etc.

Now for the next tool…


Just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean you have permission to use it.  Many of the pictures on the internet are protected by copyright.  If you do use someone else’s work of course you must always acknowledge this.

The video below ‘Credit is Due’ demonstrates the importance of acknowledging sources.  You don’t want to look like a fool or have your reputation besmirched right?

So I want to share a tool with you.  It is called Flickr Search and Stamp by John Johnston and it is created with students in mind so that you can use pictures with the confidence that the owners have given permission and also the citation is done automatically for you.  As soon as you select and save the photo with the click of the save button you will also have the owners’ stamp on the photo image. This is really a great convenience and takes the angst out of referencing.


1.  Download and explore Evernote and the Evernote Web Clipper bookmarklet.  Have a look at the Evernote I have started: https://www.evernote.com/pub/mpapaz/passionproject. Create a notebook for your project.  Remember to protect your privacy.  Use your school email when signing up.  If you already use OneNote that’s fine but have a look at Evernote and see if you find it useful.

2.  Find some pictures using Flickr Search and Stamp for your Passion Project.  Save some suitable pictures into your notebook.

3.  Here is a Self Assessment Rubric for your Passion Project:  Passion_Project_Rubric_–_Self_Final(2).  Make sure you hand this in with your final project.  Save a copy onto your computer.  Better still add it to your Evernote Workbook like I did!!!


It is time now to take some notes for your passion project.

Remember it’s so important to take effective notes in order not to plagiarise.

Here is an electronic version of the Note-taking table – passion project sheet.

After you have searched using the key words from your KWL chart, copy the raw information you wish to use into note-taking sheet and then put the information into your own words.  You may wish to copy quotes.  Make sure you paraphrase and summarise into the final column.  You can use heading and dot points.

Effective note-taking means knowing how to put work into your own words and how to quote, paraphrase and summarise effectively:

Have a look at this handout from the University of New South Wales.

A sample essay from the OWL Purdue that also demonstrates quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing.

You will also find the following sites are helpful:

The website from the State Library / Ergo- Note-taking tips

The website from the State Library / Ergo – Quoting Paraphrasing and Summarising

The website from the State Library / Ergo – Recording Quotes


Take notes.

You can do this on paper or download the note-taking sheet and do this on your computer.

Passion Project Lesson 2 Search

In our previous session we completed the first two columns of the KWL chartto better define our research. Go back to this chart and have a better look at the middle column – What you want to know. Words in this column are a good starting point for the beginning of a list of key words you will use to perform a search on your topic.

Google Search

Most of us use Google to perform searches on the internet.  But Google has a host of new features to help you find what you are looking for that you may not be aware of. As you type in the search box the autosuggest feature starts offering possible search terms. Take the time to look at these. There are more search options look for the menu at the top.

Once you do a search, you’ll see another range of Search tools in a toolbar at the top of the page. By clicking on Search Tools, you will find further options for modifying your search, such as reading level, sites with images or dictionaries. If you’re logged in to Google you can even limit your search to pages you’ve visited in the past. Under More on the top black toolbar, you can search other huge Google repositories such as Books or Videos.

Once you do a search, Google’s Knowledge Graph allows you to do a deeper and broader exploration of richly connected topics.

Advanced search can be accessed through the cog on the right or at the bottom of the page. In Advanced Search you can restrict the type of sites eg: .edu .org or .gov or modify your search according to the reading level. Think about the words you key in the search box. Punctuations is not important but the words you use are. Google has many pages to help you e.g. look at this page with simple advice to improve your basic search.

If you would like to try a different search engine why not try: Instagrok:  which is a powerful visual search engine and helps you create a mind map on your topic.   Maps, videos and websites are visually clear.  You may also find quizzes on your topic. You might want to try out this search engine as an alternative to Google.

Depending on your topic, after searching on the internet look for information from: Our Online Library Catalogue (Tip:  as there are fewer resources in our collection you might have to keep topics broader eg:dogs not cavoodles, or flowers not roses) Our Databases World Book Online or Newsbank (only if topic suits).

Task: Perform searches using Google, Online Library Catalogue and/or WorldBook Online & Newsbank

Bookmark websites or keep a note of the name of the book on the notetaking page. Here is an electronic overview of the The Passion project[3]. Here is an electronic copy of the Note-taking table – passion project. Save both into a folder in your documents.  Keep notes of good resources on your notetaking sheet so you can find them again.  In our next session you will need them to take notes.

Research Skills

Year 8 Passion Project

In this video, students from Mr Hong’s class have come up with one sentence which describes how they would like to be remembered by others.

Mr Hong’s Class Video

This video inspired the teachers in the LRC to ask you about your interests. We are calling it the ‘Passion Project.’ We would like you to come up with a sentence which tells us what you are passionate about.

Your sentence does not have to involve causes such as finding the cure to cancer but may draw on your interests in subjects like science, or hobbies like stamp collecting or sporting interests and the like.

The LRC is not just a place that you come to find information for your school projects but a place where you can further your own interests and grow your passions. Some day you might be able to contribute hugely in your area of interest by maintaining a blog or discovering something new.

In the ‘Passion Project,’ we want you to tell us about a topic that you are passionate about, find some information and demonstrate your research skills by writing a short piece. This can be a short electronic document that you email or it could be the start to a blog.

Task 1
Start simply!
What is your Passion Project?
I am passionate about… (Finish the sentence) What is your sentence?

For example:

I am going to write the most amazing book about…
I am going to restore peace in the Middle East.
I am going to create Australia’s most popular video game.
I love finding out about soccer.

Create a word document or a google document and record your sentence.

Task 2 Define your topic

Select the information on the KWL chart

Fill in the information in the first 2 columns to help you define your topic.

In the first column, write what you already know about the topic.

In the second column, write what you want to know about the topic.

Try to narrow your topic to something you will be able to manage.

For example: Dogs might be too broad a topic. You might want to find out more about a specific breed or how to train a dog.

Task 3 Key Words
What are some key words that you can use to find out more information about this topic?
You can use words from your chart or other words that you can think about.

We look forward to finding out about your interests and passions!

Welcome Back in Term 2

Welcome Back to a fantastic Term 2.

I am really excited and looking forward to a fantastic term in the LRC.

Year 7 Fantasy and Fairy Tale Fun

We would like to find out more about you as readers.  So as a first task go to http://PollEv.com

 You can see the polls on the official LRC website in the year 7 Info Lit page.

Remember to enter the number which corresponds to each question first and then type your answer.

The questions are:

  1.  Who is your all-time favourite author?
  2. Which book changed your life?
  3. What did you read on the holidays?
On our website we also have a video on the chronicles of Narnia as we are showcasing Fantasy and Fairytales.
Yes, in our Fantasy Collection there are handsome swashbuckling princes, dynamic but stylish princesses, fiery dragons and all our stories are set in intriguing interesting places.  So tread gently. Don’t get squashed by a giant and open books with care.  As you can see  it is a hugely popular genre with many exciting books to explore and choose from.
We would also like you to explore Ziptales and all the wonderful resources.  Make sure you check out the Graphic Classics and the Informative Documentary on Fairy Tales.
If you would like more reading choices in an e-book format, please go to the ‘Read’ Page in this blog. There are many worthwhile websites to visit and enjoy.

Year 8 Science Fiction Fun

In our first session we will be focussing on Science Fiction.

As a warm up task go to the LRC website and click on the  Info Lit year 8  page and take the poll.  You can answer 1 or all 3 questions:

  1.  Who is your all-time favourite author?
  2. Which book changed your life?
  3. What did you read on the holidays?
*We will take a brief look at Dr Karin’s presentation on Science Fiction.  I think this is an exciting genre. I particularly enjoy reading works which present a post apocalyptic future but also challenges our values and thinking in the present.  Because is that the future we really want to create?
* Captain Sunita William’s video about life in space is fantastic.  Have you ever wondered how to brush your teeth or go to the toilet in space?  Remember we also have heaps of non fiction books about space and science fiction that are just as compelling.
* I also want to show you the Hunger Games movie trailer.  This really communicates the excitement of this genre brilliantly. Don’t you think?


Borrow at least 2 books.

Update your Premiers’ Reading Challenge website



Harmony Day




Harmony Day

On 13th Feb it was National Apology Day and on 21st March it is Harmony Day.

When I ask students about what they think Harmony Day is about they usually say it’s about our multicultural society.

We do ‘multicultural’ really well at our school but we must not forget to celebrate and learn about our indigenous cultures.

Year 8 Task:

Task 1:  Post to the Wallwisher

Today we will read the picture book ‘Kick It To Me’ by Neridah McMullin.

This tells the story of Tom Wills who lived in the 1800s.  Tom was a legendary sportsperson and  one of the pioneers of Aussie Rules.  Tom was inspired by the indigenous children he played with while he lived near the Gariwerd Grampians in Victoria.  They taught him how to play an indigenous game called Marn-grook. Many believe this game inspired the creation of Aussie Rules.  However, this is regarded as contentious and very little is known about this.   It’s important that we learn as much as we can about the rich cultures that have lived in our country for many thousands  of years.

Visit the Year 8 page on our LRC website and post your ideas about how sports promote an inclusive and harmonious community.

Have a short discussion in your group.

Each group please post at least one comment on the Wallwisher.

Task 2: Update Premiers’ Reading Challenge

Every year 7 and 8 student should be signed up by now. Please see your teachers if you don’t have a username or password.

I hope William’s video at the Ted Conference will inspire you to read a lot this year.

Make sure you borrow at least 2 books and update your reading list!!!

Welcome back in 2013



Welcome back in 2013

Welcome to all our students in 2013 and in particular a very warm welcome to our new year 7s and our returning year 8s.
Some new things for 2013 include:

  • You can now borrow 6 books for 2 weeks and 6 non fiction books for 2013.
  • Everyone will be registered for the 2013 Premiers’ Reading Challenge this year.  It will be easier than having a paper record as well as a list on the internet.  Ask us about how to get started.
  • Our new library website.
  • The school Photo Day will be soon, so new library ID cards will be available very soon.
  • You will continue to visit the LRC once every 2 weeks with your class.
  • Your Information Literacy Sessions will support your wide reading and learning about research skills, digital literacy and digital citizenship.

First Information Literacy Sessions:

Year 7s:  You will take a tour around the LRC.  The website: Passport Around the LRC – designed to help you become familiar with the spaces and services offered in the Learning Resource Centre.  Answer the questions on your paper passport.

A special website has been set up.

This year we have set up QR codes in the hope of using our iPods.  The new technology helps you to learn differently and to discover information.

If you want to find out more about how much technology has changed have a look at the slideshow and youtube video hosted on this great web article.

Year 8s:  

To celebrate Safer Internet Day – a worldwide celebration we are going to look at information about protecting our privacy online.

Step 1:  Take the quiz to find out how cybersmart you are.

Step 2:  Read the article about how to protect your privacy online.

Step3:  Draw up a table with 2 columns.  Copy 5 ideas about how to protect your privacy from this website and rewrite them in your own words.  You can add your ideas too.

Step 4:  Create a voki avatar – remember to protect your privacy online by not signing up with your real name etc.  Use the voki character to present to your fellow students your advice and ideas about how to protect your privacy online.


Critical Evaluation of Websites





Earlier this year we talked about the Internet and the fact that anyone can create a website which makes it really hard to work out what is good reliable information and what is not.

We used Kathy Schrock’s 5ws for evaluating websites to help us critically evaluate websites such as the Tree Octopus.

We looked at the video of the Tree Octopus and laughed because it was so obviously a hoax.  Here is another video which has been made to look more real.

A video explaining the Five W’s.  Have a look at this!

Then of course there are all sorts of conspiracy theories and people out there who purposefully put out information that is biased or factually incorrect.

Asking the questions that are contained in the 5Ws of Website Evaluation can help us critically examine websites and work out if the information is reliable or not.

At school, you are often asked to find information about people, places and things you don’t really know much about so having a list of questions to ask can be very handy.


Find information about Christopher Columbus – Answer 3 questions:

1.  When was Christopher Columbus born?

2.  In which year did Christopher Columbus leave Spain in the Santa Maria?

3.  When did Christopher Columbus die?

5W’s Evaluation Sheet

Use these sites to explore – keep all websites open and move from one to the other comparing and critically evaluating as you answer the questions:  

Christopher Columbus bio

All about explorers – Christopher Columbus

Worldbook Online

Compare Results from these websites.

What was the same?

What was different?

Which website is reliable and trustworthy?






Storytelling is essential to humans. It is a means by which we make sense of our life experiences and a powerful way to learn and have fun.

New technologies such as the internet and computers, iPods and laptops have cranked up the level of fun and means more and more people can participate and tell stories.

Storytelling is a great way to improve your communication skills, increase your knowledge, vocabulary, grammar and so much more…

Remember, to keep borrowing and to continue reading heaps! Reading is a great way to learn and improve your storytelling!

The goal is for everyone to find at least 2 books they enjoy!


Story Kit is a free app that allows you to edit and customize some old, classic picture books.

We have added Storykit to the iPods if you would like to have a turn.

You can also use this app to create your own books from scratch.

You can type in text on each page, attach photos (as long as there are photos stored on the device), or draw your own illustrations.

The classic tales stored in the app are a version and interpretation you may not have heard of before.

Feel free to change and add your own twist to some well loved tales.

This app has a social networking element in that if this was your device you could share your stories via email.

Wacky Web Tales

Try your hand at some of these stories.  Fill in the blanks to create a wacky story.  This is a fun way to learn the elements of storytelling and your grammar or parts of speech.  If you are unsure about the parts of speech click on the help page.

NanoWrimo YWP

If you are enjoying storytelling why not take up the ultimate challenge?  NanoWrimo is an international writing project that brings together people who love writing and books.  The challenge is to write your own book in November.  Students can participate by joining up and coming to the LRC during November.  Ms Sutton, myself and interested students will meet at lunchtimes in the Fiction Room during November.








Over the term, we hope you will have the chance to explore and learn with our new iPods.  We hope this will make learning fun and interesting.

Some things to remember include:

Cybersafety – the devices are for learning.   Don’t put school photos and videos on the internet because that could be dangerous to some students and you could be breaking laws.  Always be nice and treat everyone with respect online and offline.  Remember we have a cybersafety co-ordinator Ms Ellins and the Technicians who may have to intervene if you do the wrong thing.

Copyright & Creative Commons, make sure you have permission to use photos etc. and give correct attribution to anything you use such as images, music etc.

Respect: Make sure you respect and care for the equipment.

Apps: the apps we use on the iPods will have a learning focus and you should not put anything on our devices or on the internet that is against the school rules.


We talk about apps on iPods and iPads.  What do we mean by the term ‘apps’? Have a look at this video which explains it all:

Apps explained by Common Craft



Have a look at this interesting video that will help you understand how to download photos and music etc. legally. All the different elements in creative commons licenses which give you permission to do this can be confusing but this video makes everything crystal clear:

Creative Commons Licenses Explained

Or try this entertaining video:

Baking the Creative Commons Licenses explained

Because the videos are on youtube you can only view it at home.

At school, have a look at the following website which also explains it all:

Flickr – Explore Creative Commons


Have a look at this cute video which explains why it’s important to give credit if you use other people’s work such as pictures and music.

Credit is due – The Attribution Song

Credit is due – The Attribution Song and some of the complexities of the meme song and its significance are explored here.

Use pictures from this tool to help you give appropriate attribution:
Flickr – Search and Stamp



Animoto is an app that can turn your photos and videos into professional video slideshows.

Have a look at the one I put together for the Readers’ Cup Competition.

The link is on the intranet.

If you are working on the iPods there is an education account that you can access.

If you are on your laptop or on a school computer you can try signing in for a lite account which is free.

Remember, when you sign up, sign up for the free Lite app, protect your privacy, never use your real name and always use your school email.

Animoto Sign Up

Animoto has many educational uses. You can use it to show what you have learnt, to reflect on a topic, to do a book review or book trailer.

If you prefer, you can explore Photostory.  Go to the Edustar symbol click on Art then click on Photostory.

Remember not to place the photos or videos on the free internet, Facebook etc.  You can give your teacher the link to your slideshow and we will place the best ones on the intranet!

This is what you have to do for the topic of your video:

Year 7s – VIDEO TASK

Work in pairs and create a slideshow reflecting on your Passport to Asia Project.

Some questions you might consider:  What did you learn about your country?  What did you enjoy?  What did you learn from the other Houses you visited?  Why do you think this project was fantastic?  How could it be improved?

Use photos from the projects which have been placed on the intranet for you.

You can use Animoto or Photostory to create your video slideshow.


Year 8s – VIDEO TASK

Working in pairs create a video for the new year 7s on the importance of reading.

Questions you might consider include:  Why is reading important?  What are the benefits of being a reader?  What do you enjoy about reading?  What books do you like?  Where do you enjoy reading? Any other ideas for convincing year 7s about the importance of reading?

If you are using the iPods you can take some photos.

If you are using the computers use Flickr Search and Stamp

You can use Animoto or Photostory to create your slideshow.


Enjoy!  Remember to give credit. Only use a nickname.  We will add links to the best slideshows on the intranet.