Thursday, February 5, 2009

Australia Day 2009 Fireworks Finale

Hello 5th Graders!

On Australia Day, January 26th, we all went out to eat at Darling Harbor's Blackbird Café . Right after we had dinner, Sydney had a fireworks display right outside the window of where we ate in honor of Australia Day (the equivalent to the 4th of July in the United States)! It was amazing. I was able to capture most of the finale on my digital camera.

Here it is! I hope that you will all enjoy it!


video

Good luck with the rest of your Australia unit in Social Studies and enjoy the rest of the school year! It was a pleasure to show you our experiences in "The Land Down Under"!

Until we meet, take care!

-Val

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dreamtime 2009 Student Artwork



We have begun the part of the project where we write our own stories using a traditional way of story telling used by indigenous Australians.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Last Day in Australia!!!

Tomorrow is going to be our last day in Sydney. Luckily it's Australian Day here which is similar to July 4th back home. There are going to be lots of festivals, live music and fireworks to end the night. We've had an excellent time here in Australia and look forward to returning again hopefully sometime soon. We look forward to seeing you when we get back and uploading more pictures and videos for you to see. Hopefully you've enjoyed reading our posts because we enjoyed keeping you informed.

Cheers!

Big D, Mike and Lil D

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cricket Game

Yesterday Drew and I got to go to our first Cricket game! Cricket is a very popular sport in Australia. We watched Australia vs. South Africa in a game that we thought would last a few hours, but it ended up taking 8 hours to complete! It reminded us of a high-scoring and faster paced baseball game. Some quick tid bits; the stadium holds 40,000 plus people and when purchasing tickets, the higher up tickets cost more because you can see more of the game and how it all plays out. Also we found it interesting that you are able to legally bet on the game in the stadium prior to the game starting. Growing up in the U.S., we idol football, basketball, baseball, etc. players as compared to here where kids grow up idolizing cricket players. It was an excellent experience getting to see such a popular sport over here in action! We had a blast! Hope all is well back home.

Cheers!

Drew and Mike

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Walking Tour of Sydney (Continued)


Hello 5th graders! On our walking tour through Sydney, Australia Adrian also talked to us about the Sydney Opera House. According to Adrian, it took 15 years to construct and it cost 102 million Australian dollars! (By today's standards, it would have been 2.2 billion Australian dollars!). The design of the building was actually decided through a contest. Architects from all over the world submitted their ideas and Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, won! (They had a total of 250 entries submitted for the contest). These are the words of the winner regarding his unique design:

"I imagined peeling an orange and putting it back together."

The Sydney Opera House was one of the very first major buildings in the world that used computers to aid in the design process. The first year that the Sydney Opera House opened was in 1973.



Koala Bear


We saw a Koala bear at the Wildlife Center. They actually are not bears but a marsupial. They eat eucalyptus leaves which are actually poisonous! They can eat them because they have very strong livers in their body to break down the poison! They are very slow moving animals and sleep about 20 hours a day! We even got to pet it! Click on the link to see a video and learn more. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgHB6ZAE7kc Enjoy! Lacy

A Walking Tour of Sydney

Hello 5th graders!
Wow, we have been so incredibly busy the past couple of days! So much has happened and we are all dying to share our experiences in Sydney with you all! Anyway, on January 18th we had a walking tour of Sydney, Australia. This is Adrian, our tour guide for the morning:

He is a student at New South Wales University and has been a resident of Australia his entire life! He is majoring in History. Anyway, he provided us with some extensively informative information about the Sydney Bridge.

The Sydney Bridge was constructed during the Great Depression from 1824 to 1832. According to Adrian, 16 people died during this construction of the bridge and it cost the country 14 million English Pounds! It was originally painted gray because gray was a cheap color (of course because it was the era of the Great Depression) and was finally paid off by the city in 1980. Another half million (Australian dollars) was spent later for the additional framing later. What we mean by that is the stone pillars on each side of the bridge. From the flag on top of the bridge to the water is 150 meters, but from the top of the stone pillars to the water is only 95 meters high.
Fact: Did you ever watch the movie Crocodile Dundee? The main actor, Paul Hogan, was a painter of the bridge before he became a famous movie actor!




Did you know that people can actually walk on top of the bridge? It costs $150 to $200 Australian dollars to walk on top of the bridge. They do this in groups of 10 to 14 people at a time. Can you spot some walkers in the picture above?
Hey kids! Sorry it's been a while since we've really wrote to you. We've been so busy exploring Sydney and meeting new people. Sydney is amazing though, it's like New York with all the skyscrapers and people but it is so warm! yesterday a few of us went to the Sydney wild life exhibit and aquarium where we saw and got to touch koala bears and a blue tongue lizard. We also got to walk through an under water tunnel which was filled with beautiful brightly colored fish, the biggest sting rays we've ever seen and scary sharks! It was an experience which us girls will never forget, we'll be putting pictures up soon! In the harbor near our hotel we crossed a bridge and there were thousands of jellyfish in large groups which was an incredible sight! We have to take the transit system to get around here and at first we all had troubles finding what bus and train to take, but after being here for a couple of days we all have become more comfortable with it. One thing that I highly suggest you all do is try as many types of food that are offered to you. We have all tried so many different/weird types of foods that many of us being back in the states may have not been open to trying. Such foods include calamari(squid), kangaroo, croc, muscles, snow crab, baramundi, salmon, waddleseed shortbread and
prawns(not shrimp because thats what they feed the fish). For the next few days we are volunteering with two organizations. One deals with kids with dissabilities and the other with troubled teens called Tednoffs. A few of us were able to meet with some of the teens who were really nice and welcoming. We'll let you know how that goes as we are all excited for it!

Cheers,
Phyllisa and Jordyn

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bondi Public School

Today we went to Bondi Public School located next to Bondi Beach! We had a blast! For a few hours during the day we got to interact with kids roughly the same age as you! We mainly did a lot of outdoor activities and even got to learn the game of Cricket which is very popular over here. One thing we noticed is that the teachers walk around with sunscreen and make all the kids put it on everytime they go outside. Another thing that we noticed was that all the kids have to wear hats outside, otherwise they aren't allowed out. The reasons for both of these precautions is because the sun is so hot here during their summer season. It was hard for Drew and I to adjust to the heat, but the kids seemed to be doing just fine. I bet they probably couldn't handle the cold back home though like us Wisconsinites can!!! Today really reminded us of you guys and we hope you're having a good time back home!

Cheers!

Drew and Mike

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Greetings from Sydney

Hey kids! Yesterday we had our first free day in Sydney! We decided to try to see as much as we could in one day starting with the Harbor Bridge. It's the largest steel arch bridge in the World! Drew and I went inside one of the limestone pylons which was 95 meters above sea level. The view of the city was spectacular! After this we traveled through an area of Sydney called the Rocks. There were many stands with local artists and plenty of retail shops. Since we aren't the biggest shoppers, we decided to head over to Bondi Beach and catch some rays! The water was crystal clear, but we shared it with thousands of people. This is one of the most World renowned beaches and at first glance you could tell why. After we were nice and crispy, we decided to head back and get our favorite snack here, a kabob. A kabob is the same as a gyro except it is Turkish. Throughout the entire day there wasn't a cloud in the sky which helped make the day a complete success. Hope all is well and hopefully you recieve our box of sunshine!

Cheers!

Drew and Mike

Endangered Animal of the Day

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Peoples of Australia and Oceania - Selections from Encyclopaedia Britannica

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