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Writing Workshop Pieces

2009-2010

Peaceful Fields

by Savannah Ormsby
4th grade

Blue, jade, canary specks glimmer
in a lush meadow. Shy deer
munch yummy emerald grass.
Inhale daffodils' sweet smell.
Feel dirt crumble like flour
beneath bare feet.


Ashlee's Medal

by Sean Crowley
5th grade

Ashlee won a bronze medal in a Nordic ski race. She finished in third place. When she won the medal, she was happy and excited. Ashlee says, "I like the medal because it was my first medal." She won it between November and March at Tamarack. She says: "It's fun going to ski practice with my friends." Ashlee likes skiing because she can race and do competitions.


MSRT

by Hallie Tucker
5th grade

MSRT stands for McCall Ski Racing Team. There are six coaches: Kat, Richie, Liam, Bob, Nancy, and Chuck. The coaches split racers into age groups: Nancy, Bob, and Liam take the little guys. Kat, Chuck, and Richie take the big kids.

Ski racers speed down courses called "slalom" and "GS," or "Giant Slalom". Slalom requires skiers to be quick and hit gates. Gates are big sticks made of rubber. Coaches put gates in the snow so racers can hit them with poles and the gates won't fall down. Slalom is different from GS because Slalom gates are really close together, and in GS the gates are spread farther apart.

A racer must tuck, bending down and putting his poles in his armpits. Poles are for hitting gates. The slalom poles have guards on the front to protect a skier's hands when she hits a gate. In GS, skiers don't hit gates so GS poles don't have guards. MSRT is really fun.


Dodder

by Ashlee Robinson
5th grade

Elsie glows red-brown.
As a hunting dog, she runs
like the wind
when she wants to,
but sleeps like an old man snoring:
oink, oink.
She's a great dog because
she listens to me.


Spring Kaleidoscope

by Emma Sabala
5th grade

Sun rises over the calm spring meadow,
glowing bright
in lemon and tangerine.
Ruby tulips and pale pink apple blossoms
bloom as green golden leaves grow
small and large.
Mud-brown spotted frogs croak;
winds blow, hardly knocking
over large cinnamon, scarlet, and pitch-black
weeds with a light
Whoosh!


Tech Decks

by Sean Crowley
5th grade

Tech decks -- some people have heard about them, and some haven't. Tech decks are little skateboards 1/24th a real size. They are made of plastic instead of wood. People collect them for the heck of it or for collections.

You can do awesome tricks with a tech deck, like slugging one end, then letting go really quick. Then it goes up about fifteen feet, then you wait for it to land. The cool thing about them is that they have the real skateboard company logos on them, like: DC, Powell, and Toy Machine.The Toy Machine logo is a devil but no tail, no ears, and no pitchfork. It is dirt red with jagged teeth. Tech decks put logos on like regular skateboards, on the bottom of the board.


John's Jersey

by Hallie Tucker
5th grade

John Sabala loves sports. His favorite sport is football. John says, "I love football." His favorite team is the San Diego Chargers, and his favorite player is Ladanian Thomlinson, who is a running back. John says, "I love L.T." A running back is a position that a football player plays: the running back catches the ball, then runs down field. L.T.'s number is number twenty-one. That's why John has a Ladanian Thomlinson jersey for Halloween. He got the jersey from the mall in Boise.


Hallie's Stuffed Dog

by John Sabala
4th grade

Hallie has a stuffed animal dog. Hallie says, "I really like my dog because it is furry." Her dog is a golden retriever. Hallie got her stuffed animal dog at her dad's friend's house.

Hallie's stuffed animal dog does nothing. Hallie doesn't sleep with it. Hallie's stuffed animal dog was made in China, and she has only had it for one month. Hallie likes her stuffed animal dog because it's as furry as a real dog. When she travels, she takes it with her family. Hallie doesn't take it to her friends' houses. She says, "I don't take it to my friends' houses because I don't want them to see it."


Ben's Gold

by Ashlee Robinson
5th grade

Ben has a piece of twenty-four carat gold that he and his friend bought in a store near an old gold mine near Stanley, Idaho. The piece of gold cost eight dollars. The gold flakes came in a bottle. Ben says, "I might sell it one day." He goes to the gold mine every year. There is a dredger there which scoops up dirt and rocks, then it filters the dirt and rocks to get the gold out of the mine. Ben says, "I like my gold because it is shiny and valuable."


Ladanian Tomlinson

by Ben Crogh
6th grade

Ladanian Tomlinson plays football for the San Diego Chargers. His nickname is L.T. He is the running back for the team. The quarterback says. "hike",  and hands the ball off to L.T., who runs the pigskin to the end zone for a touchdown. He runs like lightning.

I like his number -- twenty-one -- which is one of my favorite numbers. I like L.T. more than other players because he's the running back. He is really fast, which makes it fun to watch him.

The San Diego Chargers' colors are yellow and blue. Last year, the Chargers would have gone to the playoffs, but they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In their first game of this season, they played the Oakland Raiders and L.T. hurt his ankle, but they still won.

When L.T. steps on the field, the crowd roars like lions in the stands. There are usually more Charger fans there when it is a home game. The fans eat nice warm hot dogs which are juicy and piggish. Then when L.T. runs a touchdown, they put down their dogs and start roaring..


The Avalanche

by Hallie Tucker
5th grade

I'm going to Roaring Springs with my friends for our friend Emma's birthday party. I'm finally tall enough for The Avalanche -- the tallest ride at Roaring Springs.

We grab our tube and head for the stairs that are as steep as a mountain. Walking up the stairs is really scary because when you look down you can see people as small as ants and all the rides at Roaring Springs. Chills run down my back as we keep going higher. I hear screaming people as we are walking up the steep stairs with our heavy tube.

Finally at the top, I look down and see tiny people as small as ants. The person ahead of us goes down screaming her head off. Next, Ashlee and I are ready. Ashlee sits facing her back to the ride, and I look down the chute, but since I'm lighter, the attendant makes me sit in front. She pushes us off and we fly, going really fast. I close my eyes and it feels like I am lifting off the ride.

I open my eyes, but the ride isn't over yet. We are on the other side of The Avalanche. I let out a little peep, then we are going back and forth. We laugh and laugh until the ride is over.

Betsy, Emma's older sister, goes after us. Her face turns purple from screaming to death. Then all of us start back home. Even though it is a long, long, long, long, long, way home, no one gets sick.


Ladanian Tomlinson

by John Sabala
4th grade

L.T. is an NFL football player for the San Diego Chargers. His position is a running back. A running back runs with the ball when a quarterback hands it off to him. The quarterback can pass the ball to the running back, too. L.T.'s number is 21. It is a cool number.

L.T. is as fast as lightning. My grandpa ate dinner with him and played golf. I have his email address because my grandpa gave it to me. I hope L.T. is doing better after his injury. He tore his ACL when the Chargers were playing against the Colts in the playoffs. I think they are going to win the Super Bowl next year.


Fire

by Bridger Dittmer
5th grade

Fire can exist anywhere, anytime. In the world there are many legends about fire. There are also many many uses for fire, but fire can cause disaster. Fire is really cool because it can burn almost anything.

Legends of fire come from many different cultures. Early people thought fire was a gift from the gods. Fire was considered sacred because it was so important to the welfare of people. In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus stole fire from rival gods and gave it to the humans. Legend has it that a Greek warrior used a mirror to reflect the sun and set fire to enemy warships. In Persian literature, there is a story of a fight with a dragon. One of the stones which the hero was using as a weapon missed the beast and hit a rock. Light shone and humans saw fire for the first time.

In the world there are many uses for fire. Coal, gas, and oil are all burned to make energy. As long as 2500 years ago, the Chinese used natural gas to light their homes. They would stick bamboo pipes as far as 1500 feet into the ground and light the gas that came to the surface. In many parts of China, people would put a cord between their toes and hang it above their beds. Then they lit the cord. When the fire burned down, they got a hot foot and knew it was time to wake up. Fire is also used for cooking and for keeping warm. Fire is very good to have because it can be used for many different things.

Although fire is used for goods things like keeping warm, it can also cause disasters. One of Mrs. O'Leary's cows kicked over a lantern that started a horrible fire in Chicago in 1811. The center of the fire reached 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and buildings literally "melted like snow." 250 people were killed and 17, 450 buildings were destroyed. On April 18, 1906, an earthquake shook San Francisco, bursting gas mains and triggering fires. When the fire died out two days later, 452 people had died, while 25,000 buildings were destroyed. 225,000 people were left homeless. A fire in London that began on September 2, 1666, burned for five days. The flames burned 13,000 houses, 200 churches, four prisons, four bridges, and three city gates, but killed only thirteen people. In 1988, it was unusually hot and dry in the western U.S.A. About 3.4 million acres went up in flames. A fire at New York’s Greenwich Village in 1911 killed 150 workers. Although these are tragic events, fires can be good.

Disasters from fire are both interesting and destructive, but mostly destructive: fire can burn almost anything that gets in its way. Fire is also extremely useful and has been used for warmth and cooking for thousands of years. Legends of fire have been passed down for generations, and people have thought of many different stories. Fire can make life both easier and harder. People need to be careful with fire but can also be happy because fire can make life much easier.


The Mayans

by Savannah Ormsby
4th grade

The Mayans were an ancient Indian tribe that lived in the Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize areas around 2300 B.C. Archeologists have not discovered everything about the Mayan culture, but they have discovered lots. Mayans have many interesting traditions. They are still alive today, living in the same places as their ancestors. Mayans are lots of fun to learn about.

Finding the Mayan culture was super hard for two reasons. First, all of the rocky, rough terrain kept archeologists from getting to that territory easily. Second, the Spanish royal government forbade anyone except Spanish citizens to travel in their territory. The Mayan cities that have been found were found in the early 19th century, but some have not been found yet. However, most of the Mayans' possessions were not found until the late 19th century. Because the Mayan civilization was discovered, mankind learned about a tribe that could have been lost forever.

The Maya had many different traditions. They frequently offered blood to their gods: they would drip it onto a piece of birch bark that they had peeled off a birch tree and threw it into the fire. When a Mayan died, the tribe would paint the body red, wrap it in straw mats with some of its belongings, and bury the body under its house. One way the Mayans made sacrifices was through a ball game. A Mayan ball game was played by keeping a ball in motion in the air. When a player was defeated, either they cut the defeated player's head off and possibly used it as a new ball, or they tortured him to death. The Mayan sacrifices were done because they thought that giving a life would make their own lives better.

More than six million modern Maya live in the Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize areas, where their ancestors had lived. Many descendants of the Maya farm the land and carry on some of the peaceful traditions that their ancestors did. For uinstance, they still use traditional backstrap looms to make fabric. But in some ways the Mayan towns have changed. Most of them include a Catholic church, a public school, and other buildings. Some have a movie theater, a tavern, and a gas station. But the modern Maya are not very well off economically. In 1970, the Guatemalan government began a campaign to destroy Mayan culture, but it was stopped soon after. The Mayans have progressed a lot since 3,000 B.C., but they still are Mayans who retain some of their cultural traditions. The Maya have many descendants who live in places where their ancestors did.

Mayans today are proud of their ancestry. They still carry on some of their ancestors' peaceful traditions. However, the original Mayans had many other traditions, including frequently offering their blood to their many gods. Finding the Mayan civilization was not the easiest job to do. First archeologists had to locate it, then the search was delayed by the Spanish government. The terrain was also very rough and hard to dig. The Mayans were very interesting people, and are fun to learn about.


The Aztecs

by Ben Crogh
6th grade

Aztecs were unique people and had a very interesting culture. They lived in Mexico during the 1500's. The Aztecs made human sacrifices to their gods. They have left a fascinating legacy for future archeologists to discover. Aztecs celebrated festivals and carnivals by playing games and dancing to music. Aztecs were violent but very artistic.

Many artifacts reveal the Aztec legacy. The Mexican flag has been made in remembrance of the Aztecs. The flag is green, white, and red with an eagle and a cactus in the center. It is the symbol of Tenochtitlan, which was the Aztec capital. Mexico City was built on top of Tenochtitlan. An electrician was digging in the streets when he found a large Aztec statue. Shortly after this discovery, the base of a great temple was uncovered. Just outside of Mexico City is an Aztec pyramid that still stands today. The Aztecs used chocolate, but did not know how to cook the beans. The Spanish explorers found some cocoa beans that Aztecs were using and sent them back to Spain to be made into chocolate and hot cocoa. In a museum in Mexico City, many artifacts of the Aztec culture are on display. The Aztec legacy reveals that even though they were bloody and violent, The Aztecs were very artistic and cool.

The Aztecs made many sacrifices to cleanse themselves of sins. Most of the sacrifices were of humans. The priests would sacrifice thousands of humans a year. They would rip the victim's heart out then offer it to their gods. Most of the victims were criminals or robbers. Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, was the most important god to the Aztecs. The priests had tools, such as smoke mirrors, so they could see the future. When priests looked into the smoke mirror, there were clouds and among them was a vision that only a priest could see. The Aztecs were very violent when they killed sacrificial victims, but the violence was in honor of their gods.

The Aztecs were not just people who made sacrifices and were violent, they had some fun, too. The Aztec calendar stone was used to sort out ceremonies and festivals: the calendar helped them remember when to celebrate. Music was often heard at these ceremonies and on other special days. When Aztecs celebrated with music they would use makeup and costumes. During the celebrations, people would do certain dances, and the whistle would help the dancers mark time. One of the games played at these festivals was the game Tlachtli. In this game, each team tried to knock a hard ball of sap into a little hoop in the middle of the ball court. The Aztecs had ceremonies for special days and religious gatherings.

Carnivals and festivals were a tradition in the Aztec culture. Sacrifices played a big part during religious ceremonies. Many scientists and historians have found the remains of the Aztec legacy: today, many artifacts are in museums in Mexico. The Aztec way of life is very interesting but also very gruesome.


Skating Harness

by Emma Sabala
5th grade

In skating I am working on an axel. An axel is a jump that is one-and-a-half revolutions in the air. When I am in the jump, I have to cross my feet together, and cross my arms and hands to my chest. While I am in the air I squeeze really tight, until my toepick hits the ground and I fall, or I freak out and let go of everything and in my head I say, "I can't do this!"

To help me land the jump, there is a harness. A harness has two ropes on each side: one of the sides has a regular rope that the coach pulls up to make the skater high, and another side -- that has hooks on -- is to put a safety belt on, which is strapped really tight on the skater.

An axel is the first big jump that a skater can ever learn in figure skating, so it is the hardest jump to land. I have been really focused on this jump, but it is just so hard to land!

I have landed it and gotten all the way around on the harness without my coach pulling on the rope, but off the harness, it is so hard to get. I have landed an axel off the harness and fallen after I land on my toepick, but I can never land on one foot and check out! An axel is as annoying as hearing a pot on the stove squeak! I hope I land it soon!


Sluggish

by Hallie Tucker
5th grade

Shiloh, at night,
slouches
when she limps around our house like
she doesn't have a leg. Lying on her bed,
relaxed as a kid on a Saturday morning,
Shiloh is not flexible. I love her just
the way she is.


Sean's Cross

by Ben Crogh
5th grade

Sean has an iron cross that his grandpa gave to him when Sean was nine. He said that while his grandpa was a sergeant in World War II, he got it from a German soldier. Sean says, "It is really cool and is from around 1910." When Sean's grandpa was in the war, he went to Normandy and other parts of France. Sean says, "He is still alive, but all he does is sit around." The cross is painted black, and is worth about $3,000, Sean estimates. Sean keeps it in an old desk with a bunch of other German war stuff.


Deadly Haiku

by Ben Crogh
6th grade

Motorcycling
can kill somebody's husband
with painful racing.

Surfing hurts people --
though big waves make riding fun.
Some humans die off.

Ski racing kicks butt:
especially going fast.
Ben always wipes out.


Bridger's Adventure

by Emma Sabala
5th grade

Bridger went on a vacation to Macano Island, which is a very small island surrounded by water. This island is only three miles long. While he was there, he went to a mall, fudge shops, and other stores lined up right next to each other through the whole island. Bridger says, "The fudge shops were my favorite thing there."

At one of the shops, he found a clay frog. He bought it, he says, "because was cool." The frog is as big as three fingers between the base and the first knuckles. The frog looks like it is kind of fragile.

After that, his family went around the island on bikes back to his hotel, which was called The Grand. There were a couple of Bed-and-Breakfasts on the island but, Bridger says, "My family and I picked The Grand because it is the biggest and the best." It seemed like Bridger had a great time on Macano Island.


Emma's Necklace

by Bridger Dittmer
5th grade

When Emma went to Peru, she saw lots of different cultures, and her family stayed in little bungalows. Emma made a bracelet out of different beads. Emma also ate at a Peruvian restaurant. She says, "It was different from here because it was all meat and the chef got disappointed if you didn't eat." Her favorite thing was making jewelry at a shop. She bought a necklace called the Circle of Life. Emma says, "The color is turquoise and the circle in it is black." Emma traveled in a group and had a great time.


Oregon Coast

by Ashlee Robinson
5th grade

When we went to the tide pools at the Oregon Coast, we saw a starfish, and I picked it up. I accidentally put my hand on the underside and the starfish suctioned onto my hand. It was like something stuck to my hand, and I couldn't get it off -- it was pulling on my skin. I had to pull it off and then we threw it back into the deep blue water of the ocean.

My mom, my sister, and I walked a while, and came to some big tide pools where there were tiny crabs under some rocks. The crabs had pretty big claws. There were a lot of sea anemones in the tide pools. Sea anemones have tentacles, and they are round. Some lie under the water, and some do not; all of them are completely silent. It was funny because one of the sea anemones squirted Micaela in the face.

Going to the Oregon coast was my favorite trip of the year. The tide pools on the big rocks were amazing. It was so cool poking the sea anemones, picking up the starfish, and looking at the tiny crabs. I have loved the Oregon coast since I was three years old.


Galapagos

by Emma Sabala
5th grade

This summer, I went to the Galapagos Islands and Peru for a trip with my grandma and cousins. When we arrived, we met the people who were going to take this adventure with us. Their names were Ben, Caytlyn, Justin, and Emmet. These kids were the closest friends to me on that trip.

From the airport, we went to the ship, which was called The Islander. When we headed on board, we unpacked and settled into our rooms. The boat pulled up its anchor and moved to an island called "Isabella", which is a Spanish island. As all of us climbed off the boat, I could smell salty ocean water, and could hear hard waves crashing on the smooth beach. We were going snorkeling. As we came closer to the beach, I could hear birds fly into salty water: splish, splash, and palms and banana trees blow in the breeze: whoosh!

Isabella is shaped like a seahorse, so I was hoping that I was going to see one! As we put on all of our gear for snorkeling, my cousin Ford and my brother J.J. ran in with their flippers and masks on. As they jumped into the ocean, out of the blue there was a baby penguin in front of their eyes underwater. They almost wet their pants, they were so scared! It was very funny.

While we were searching for sea lions later, all of us jumped when a white-tipped reef shark swam right under us. After that, I came up for a deep breath because we were really deep. Then my oldest cousin, Maddy, pulled on my leg. Saying "ok," I went under. All of a sudden, there was a baby sea lion. He was so cute. When I was taking a breath again, two even bigger sea lions came swimming by. As I was under, all of the sea lions zoomed through my legs, and I could feel their skin touching my legs! It was so cool.

When it was time to go, we saw tons of big, small, and medium tropical fish with stripes and with polka dots, and some with skin shining through the water. They were so pretty. That snorkeling day was a lifetime experience!


Basketball

by Bridger Dittmer
5th grade

Basketball is a game played with a hoop, an orange ball, and of course, yourself. The object of the game is to dribble the ball by bouncing it up and down, then running to the hoop and throwing it in to score: swish! You can play basketball indoors or outdoors, on a team or alone. It's great to run down the court, wind whizzing past, then shoot, score, and hear the crowd start howling like wolves.

In basketball there are three different shots that can be thrown: the two-point (the normal one, shot from any position under about twenty feet back from the hoop), the free throw, worth one point (only shot if a player is fouled – a player gets fouled when someone pushes or shoves him), and the three-pointer (shot from anywhere on the court beyond twenty feet). When someone gets fouled, he gets two free throws with no defense.

Basketball is a great game because when someone plays on a team, if the team loses, they don't get mad at one player or anything. Basketball is a great sport and everyone should try it.


Dogs

by Hallie Tucker
5th grade

Dogs are fun to play with. People can find them everywhere around the world. They have been here for more than 10,000 years. There are many dog breeds. Body language can show what a dog thinks or feels. Dogs are very interesting: they live like humans and they have similarities to their owners.

Breeds are different kinds of dogs, which each have unique looks. Terriers are also known as "earth dogs": they dig anywhere to catch their prey. The Scottish terrier is one of the oldest of all terriers -- they are known to chase big foxes or badgers all the way back into their dens. Bloodhounds can sniff out really good hiding places. They are bred for hunting, as scent hounds. The American Fox Hound has short hair and is black, white, and brown. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog which herds sheep. Corgis are gold with a white belly. The pug is a toy dog which can be tan or black. Pugs are all wrinkly. Dog breeds are really unique.

Dogs' body language can tell a lot about how they feel. When a dog is happy, he is calm, but if the entire back end moves, he is excited. When a dog wants to play with someone, he will lower his front paws and then he will put his butt and tail up high. When he wants to play, a dog will have a relaxed face and direct eye contact, ears erect or pricked, and a body position in a "play bow." Dogs like to be tickled, so when a dog rolls over onto his back showing people his belly, then he trusts that person and wants to be tickled. When a dog wants people to watch out, he will have a threatening bark, bared teeth, ears erect, and pull his tail and head up high. Dogs can be scared but they can also bite if someone approaches. This is called "fear-based aggression." People will know this when a dog's ears are back or flattened, his tail is down, his mouth is open, his lips are pulled back, and all teeth are shown. Body language tells a person a lot about how dogs feel.

Dogs are like humans. When puppies are about zero to two weeks old, they drink and sleep for the first few days and weeks of their lives. Puppies can barely crawl, so they depend on their mothers for food. When they are two to six weeks old, puppies come alive: first their eyes open, then they start hearing. They start walking on unsteady legs, trying to balance, then they start wagging their tails, take a leap, and let out their first bark. Around four to five weeks, it's playtime in rough-and-tumble games. When a puppy is six to twelve weeks old, he is ready to learn to leave his mother, brothers, and sisters and go to a new home with humans and maybe other kinds of animals. Puppies need proper training and care. A puppy will form a strong bond with his new family. Puppies and humans have a lot in common -- they are both mammals, they have lungs to breathe in, a backbone, a constant body temperature, and at least some hair or fur on their bodies. Most importantly, they have moms. Like human babies, puppies are born helpless, but puppies' eyes and ears are shut at birth.

There are a lot of steps when a puppy is growing up. Body language is one way to tell what a person's dog is feeling or what it wants to do. All breeds are different. Dogs are man's best friend.

The Equator

by Emma Sabala
5th grade

The equator is an imaginary line circling the circumference of the earth. It has been in existence for as long as humans have been measuring the earth. Ecuador is a country located right on the equator, in South America. Animals on the equator, like on the Galapagos Islands, have unique lifestyles. The equator is interesting because it shows where the center of the earth is on a globe, and it is interesting to learn how animals and people live on the equator.

The equator is an imaginary line dividing the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It encircles the center of the earth. The United States is north of the equator and Australia is south. The equator is at zero degrees latitude, which is the starting line for measures of degrees of latitude. Lines of latitude and longitude on maps help people pinpoint the exact location of any place on earth. The equator helps people go around the world to measure, and to find the location that they want to find.

Equador is a country that originated as a Spanish state and lies on the equator in South America. In Spanish, "Equador" means "equator," so that is how the country got its name. The equator crosses over Equador on a glacier that covers three-mile-high Cayambee volcano. In Equador, over one-fourth of the people are native. All of the people there love to play soccer, which is their number-one played sport! Equador is different from other places on the equator: most people there work as farmers, some fish or work in lumber camps for a living, and some of the urban people work in small industries or import-export activities. The country of Equador is so different in so many ways from the United States, because Equador is a poor but peaceful country.

Animals all around the equator are very interesting. Pygmy chimpanzees, also known as Bonobas, live in groups only in Zaire's tropical Wamaba Forest, which is located right on the equator. In the Galapagos Islands, there are also many interesting and different animals, such as the Frigate Bird, Giant Tortoises, and Marine Iguanas. The male Frigate Bird has red skin lying down in his chest area, and uses this pouch to attract the female by puffing it up. The Marine Iguana is the only sea-going lizard in the world. It even cleans the salt water into regular water by snorting the salt out of its nose. The iguanas jump off rocky cliffs into the water and dive down to feed off of the algae growing on rocks. The Galapagos Islands got its name from one of its main animals, the Giant Tortoise. "Galapagos" means "giant tortoises" in Spanish. The tortoise grows up to 500 pounds! Many years ago, the most famous Galapagos visitor, Charles Darwin, discovered the Giant Tortoises on his journey. Spider monkeys live in many different places along the equator, including in rain forests. In the rain forests, the monkeys use their arms, legs, and tails to swing from branch to branch. All of these equatorial animals have very unique lifestyles.

Animals all over the equator have unique lifestyles. For instance, since they live on the equator, they do not have to have fur because it is already warm. Ecuador is unlike other countries in the world such as the United States: it lies along the equator, and all of the jewelry and clothes there are usually made by hand, which makes them unique. The equator is surprising. It is not a real line, but is actually an imaginary line circling the Earth. The equator crosses over many different places, where life on Earth has adapted to being closer to the sun.


The Titanic

by Ashlee Robinson
5th grade

The Titanic was the biggest ship that ever sailed the oceans. It was built in 1909 in England and sank in 1912 near Newfoundland. The crash was violent and killed many people. Rooms on the Titanic were luxurious and fancy. Timelines tell when and what happened during the disaster. The Titanic is interesting because the rich and the poor had different cultures on the unsinkable ship.

On April 14, 1912 at 1:40 pm, the Titanic crashed into an iceberg 500 miles southwest of Newfoundland. The iceberg left a 300-foot gash in the ship's hull. The Titanic's crash was violent and killed many people. The watertight compartments in the bottom of the ship filled first, then water just kept going up through the upper floors until the ship broke in half and sank. Lifeboats took women and children to safety first. The ocean liner Carpathia picked up 405 survivors. On the ship there had been 2,228 people and 1,490 died. April 14, 1912 was a very sad day. Many people lost their friends and families on the Titanic.

The first and second class rooms on the Titanic were spectacular because they had nice beds and bathrooms. The library had several books for the first and second class passengers to read. The gym had punching bags, weights, and bikes for the first class passengers to workout on. The first class cabins had thick carpets, and over-stuffed sofas and chairs. Along with the gym, first class passengers enjoyed a swimming pool, a library, a squash court, and a Turkish Bath. The first class tickets cost $1,500 to $4,350 then. Today, the same tickets would cost $26, 741 to $77,549. Second class rooms were as good as first class rooms on other ships. The people who usually stayed in second class were professionals: teachers, doctors, and businessmen. The second class tickets cost $65 then; today, they would cost $1,159. Third class passengers were poor people from Europe, who stayed on the lower deck of the ship. The third class rooms had a sink and a toilet in the middle of the room and two uncomfortable beds on each side. The tickets for the third class passengers cost $36 in 1912, which would be equivalent to $642 today. The rooms on the Titanic were nice, except for the third class rooms, which were small and uncomfortable.

The timeline tells what happened on the Titanic. On April 10, 1912, the Titanic's voyage began in Southampton, England. Four days later, the Titanic collided with an iceberg, leaving a 300-foot gash in its hull. On April 15, at 12:30 AM, passengers climbed onto lifeboats. An hour later, the Titanic sank the rest of the way. The same day at 8:30 AM, Carpathia picked up 405 survivors from the ship. The timeline is important because it tells people about what happened and about the tragedy.

Events leading up to the crash of the Titanic explain how a ship that big could crash and sink. The Titanic's rooms were spectacular, except for third class: all of the rooms were gone within hours. The crash was sad and terrible for all the people: many civilians lost their friends and families. The Titanic story is interesting because the ship was supposed to be unsinkable, but it sank on its first voyage.



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