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Writing Workshop 2009-2010
(3rd - 6th graders)

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.


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.


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.


See more finished pieces from this class in our Writing Archives.

WW students have begun work with Dana this month on their June play . They are writing a script to perform at our event at the Alpine Playhouse on June 1. Go to "events" on our Facebook page (link below) for more information.

Students worked as scientists last week, examining "Oobleck" to determine its properties and to create "Laws of Oobleck", after which they designed a spacecraft which could safely land on and take off from an ocean of this green liquid/solid substance.

We are also finishing research reports and completing Parts I and II of our Fibonacci Math writing in preparation for Units III-V, which students will complete in the First Year Program (next year for 6th & 7th graders).

Feel free to visit and write with us any morning!

Writing Workshop students are listed below. Click on a name to send a message to that student...

Writing Workshop 2009-2010
(3rd - 6th graders):


Emma Sabala
J.J. Sabala
Ben Crogh
Hallie Tucker
Ashlee Robinson
Sean Crowley
Bridger Dittmer
Savannah Ormsby
Thomas Gebhards
Kormick Chapman

To see who has signed up for all NFS classes in 2010-2011 so far
go to REGISTRATION & Class Lists



Pieces written by WW students in 2008-2009

Pieces written by WW students in 2007-2008

Pieces written by WW students in 2006-2007

Pieces written by WW students in 2005-2006

Pieces written by WW students in 2004-2005

Pieces written by WW students in 2002-2003

Pieces written by WW students in 2001-2002

Pieces written by WW students in 2000-2001
2009-2010 Supplies

one 300-count package of college-ruled paper
     [this will go into the CLASS supply]

two packages of blue or black pens
     [this will go into the CLASS supply]

highlighter(s)
     [this will also go into the CLASS supply]

You may also want to leave a fleece or sweatshirt & warm socks or slippers at the NFS site: we have a no-shoe policy, and it can be chilly, especially on Mondays.

Class snacks and hot drink mixes are kept in a separate cupboard for each class, so bring in your favorites to share.




Please have your students read books from the 4th-6th Grade Reading List during the year. If they want to, they can also select books from the 7th-8th Grade Reading List .

Remember that these lists are not an indication of reading level, but are created to give students a background for their upcoming years of study at the NFS. Please do NOT have children read books from lists that are in their reading level, but above their NFS class level.



2nd Year Program 2009-2010 | English II & American History I | all Math classes

Parents' Contacts 2009-2010 | Parents' Page

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