five focus words

Today our five focus words are:justice love respect gratitude excellence

Justice is just behaviour or treatment, righteous, equitable or moral rightness.

Love is feeling strong affection for a person.

Respect is feeling deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; showing appreciation and returning kindness.

Excellence is the quality of being extremely outstanding.


Botanic gardens and Migration museum excursion

On 25th of September, my class went to the Botanic gardens and Migration museum, with 3/4RM. On the way there, I read “Five Nights at Freddy’s the Twisted Ones” and I saw my mum in her car, as she was driving to the excursion.

When we first got to the Botanical gardens, we sat down and had brain food. I noticed that the tree we were sitting under, had a sign it said  hybrid. I wasn’t sure how a tree became a hybrid, since to me a hybrid means when two things fuse together to become one. My teacher said that this would be a good question for our guide.

Our guides name was Karen. She said that when two different types of trees join, they can sometime become one. She didn’t elaborate on that.

The first part of our tour, was to visit a 350 year old River red gum. This tree was and still is of significant importance to Kaurna people. I learnt that over 50,000 years ago, aboriginal people used the tree for collecting honey, as honey-bees would make their hive inside the tree trunk. Aboriginal men also collected bird eggs, and done so carefully using a long stick with a basket at the end, so as to not leave their scent near the nest. Birds would  abandon the nest and eggs in it, once it was disturbed. By collecting eggs this way they ensured continual source of food for their people. They also collected bird feathers, and used these for ceremonial purposes. Other uses included to make a shield out of its bark and to make a canoe. Aboriginal people would never cut down the tree, but would carefully carve around it thus ensuring trees continual growth and sustainability as a food source. We learnt that possum fur was used to make coats to keep warm during winter. Special thread from plants was used to sew furs together. Green eucalyptus leaves were used as cold medicine. They were crushed up and made into a hot drink, and also used for cuts and grazes as a natural antiseptic.

Today, we still use eucalyptus in tissues and essential oils to name a few.

Second plant we saw was a ‘Zanthorrea’ or commonly known as Grass tree. This tree grows all over Australia. Aboriginal people would use the stem part of the tree for making a spear. The leaves were used for making rope, and weaving baskets. 50,000 years ago, everything aboriginal people made and ate had to come from the land. Karen showed us a woven basket from Nigiri group of aboriginal people, not Kaurna. She knew this, based on the weave work.

Spikey flower was being passed around. We learnt that when in bloom, its small seeds were ground with stone to make flour. This was then made into cake, similar to damper. The spiky flower on its stem was also used as fire torch. The oils in the seeds would make the flower burn for longer. Large base of this Grass tree would also be burned to make glue or resin. Aboriginal people would use this resin to join their tools together, e.g spear and shaft. This tree is now protected, and is illegal to cut down.

Third plant we were shown was Morton Bay fig tree. The tree was planted 150 years ago, and it came from Queensland. This tree provides good environment for home and shade. Fig trees have fruit on the inside. The holes on the figs were made by wasps to pollinate the fruit. Aboriginal people would use the figs and make something similar to today’s ‘fruit roll up’, which they carried with them on long journeys.

Afterwards we were taken to ‘Australian forest’ part of Botanical gardens. Aboriginal people would use a long stick and bore into holes inside river red gum, in order to collect witchetty grubs or “bardi” grubs. These were an excellent source of protein, and are considered a delicacy. We learnt that Aboriginals believed only men were allowed to collect the grubs from the tree. Women had to dig around the base for the grubs.


Our next stop in the tour was at a “Bunyip tree” which we learnt was considered very important for Queensland group of Aboriginal people. Bunyip pine is the food source in this instance, having about 200 nuts in an average size pine cone. The nuts were crushed up and flour used to make cake. This gluten free flour tastes very much like macadamia or chestnut flour, so very delicious. The trunk of this tall tree is very rough and broad, making it difficult to climb. The pine fruits every 2-3 years. It was considered a great honour for 15 year old boys to climb the tree and collect pine cones for their community. Only the strong boys were invited to do this, partly because it’s such a dangerous task.


On our way to the next stop, we walked past a ginger plant. The ginger root is harvested, but we could smell the ginger by rubbing the leaves between our fingers.

Nearing the end of our tour, we were shown the most significant tree at the Botanical gardens. This particular tree is over 300 years old. Its trunk was a home for a group of 12 Aboriginal people. We couldn’t imagine so many living in such a tight space. The trunk was hollowed out to make space for them, and not cut down.

We noticed another section of a cut river red gum trunk sitting next to the 300 year old gum tree. This was in fact cut down by early European settlers, and was in fact used to make furniture. As is the case today. We learnt to judge a trees approximate age by how many rings its base has. Every year the tree grows, it adds another ring. Its worth noting, that in case of drought the tree will not grow.

Next tree we were shown was a ‘Parra Parra” tree, which grows in Queensland. This tree was used for hunting by Aboriginal men. It has beautiful flowers, to which birds are attracted to. They would then get stuck to the trees glue pod, and wouldn’t be able to fly away. Aboriginal men would collect the birds by net, and eat them. The glue pods were also collected and woven together and made into traps to lure smaller animals. This was one of the many hunting strategies used by Aboriginal people.

Finally, the last tree on our tour was a “Bottle tree” which was used as a water source. Banging on the tree trunk, it sounded hollow. The large root system underground is how tree sucks up water after the rain. Aboriginal people would get a stick and a stone like hammer and make a hole in the trunk. They would collect the water and drink it, and once finished carefully seal the hole with glue or resin. Bottle tree is a really important source of water, which originates from Queensland. This tree is considered a self repairing tree.

In conclusion, we learnt that Aboriginal people were and still are very skilfull in knowing about land. As well as not to destroy our native flora and fauna, but to help conserve it for future generations.

Below are things of interest, that we spotted on the trail.

Picture 1: Dead rat

Picture2: Macadamia nut shell

Picture3: Green and Gold Feather

We enjoyed a break and had recess after our tour.

Next, we visited the Migration museum:

We walked from the Botanic gardens to the Migration museum, where we met up with our guide David.

We sat in the corridor while we listened to the stories of our first European settlers, migrating to Australia. Migration means moving to a new country to live. We learnt that Aboriginal and Torren Strait Islanders were the original settlers of Australia. Their heritage dates back to between 60,000 – 70,000 years ago.

The first fleet of convicts to settle Sydney, Australia was in 1788. South Australia was settled 48 years later, in 1836. No convicts were originally settled in South Australia. First SA European settlers came on a ship called “Buffalo”. There is a replica model of the ship in Glenelg still to this day.

Our first settlers mistreated Aboriginal people by putting them in camps, mainly to keep them out of the way. They were given flour, sugar, water and tobacco as food staples to survive. Most of Aboriginal population were extinct by being exposed to colds, flues, smallpox and measles. As these diseases were introduced by Europeans, there was a little chance of survival so early on. By being so badly mistreated by the early settlers, only 15% of Aboriginal people survived in the end.

Children that had no parents, or were extremely poor were placed in a home for destitute children. Life was extremely tough in England for poor kids back in 1800’s, and many as young as 4 had to work in order to survive. They were employed in factories and to clean industrial and domestic chimneys as children were small enough to fit. This was dangerous and dirty work. Leaving England for a better life in Australia, seemed like a wonderful idea. It was a six month voyage to Australia. Many people got sick did not make the trip, and once dead would be thrown overboard. It was cramped, dirty and those who couldn’t afford their fare, were expected to care for the livestock on board.









James’ Tally Post

Venice, Italy is a city in Italy’s northeast region, built on a group of islands connected by bridges. Venice is the capital of Italy’s Veneto region. The city was not built directly on the land of the islands but on wooden stilts. The wooden stilts were originally used to build the foundations of fisherman’s houses but this method of architecture grew to be used to support the entire city as it expanded into the Venice that exists today. Venice is a tourist destination most well-known for its canals and gondolas used to transport people around the city (as there aren’t streets and cars like in other cities around the world). I would love to visit Venice, and have a ride in a gondola.

Interesting Venice Italy Facts:

There are estimated to be 350 gondolas on Venice’s waterways, which include 177 canals.

Gondolas are approximately 600 kilos in weight and 11 meters in length.

Venice is made up of 118 islands. The city itself is believed to be sinking at a rate of 1 to 2 millimeters each year.

Venice was built approximately 1500 years ago

One of the narrowest streets in the world is located in Venice. It is only 53cm wide and called Calletta.

Venice has 417 bridges. 72 of these bridges are private. Most of the bridges don’t have steps as they were built when horses were used for transportation.

Venice’s biggest canal is the Grand Canal, which divides Venice into two regions. The Grand Canal is lined with 170 buildings.

Venice is home to the famous San Marco bell tower, which was built in the 1100s and rebuilt in the 1900s after it collapsed. Many people believe the best view of Venice can be had from the tower.

In the last 50 years the population of Venice has dropped from 120,000 to 60,000.

Because the cost of maintaining homes in Venice is so high, many people are choosing to leave. The fact that Venice is sinking is also another reason for the de-population of the city.



Book Week “Escape to Everywhere”!

This years book week theme was “Escape to Everywhere” which is quite broad, and let us dress up however we wanted! I chose to dress up as Darth Vader, and together with Isabel, I was chosen to be interviewed. This was a lot of fun! I chose a Star Wars main villain to dress up as, because to me he proves that there is both good and evil in all of us. Darth Vadar was once a Jedi knight, but was swayed by the dark side and turned evil. Ultimately we all have a choice, regardless of what life’s circumstances.

Book week parade celebrates all things books, and their characters that us readers were influenced by. All of the school dresses up, including the teachers. Some of the costumes are really funny, but it’s good to see everyone dressed up! Ms Heaney was dressed up as a library book shelf!

I can never decide which character to dress up as, and usually leave it to last minute. I tend to change my mind quite a bit.

After the parade, I took off my costume as it was so hot! Unfortunately, class photos as well as individual photos were taken much later, so I didn’t have a photo with my costume on. We got to write about book week characters that day. This was so much fun.

My Bucket List

  1. Go skiing/see the snow (X)
  2. Learn to surf/stand up on surf board
  3. Go horse riding
  4. Swim with the sharks
  5. Go on a boat/ship
  6. Lean to ride on the back wheel of my bike
  7. Do jumps and stunts on my bike
  8. Get a gold medal for swimming at the Commonwealth games
  9. Swim in the Olympics
  10. Get a dog
  11. Get to a black belt in Martial Arts
  12. Travel the world
  13. Keep adding to my bucket list

My favourite animal “King Cobra”

My favourite animal is a King Cobra.    It’s scientific name is Ophiophagus hannahit.

Diet: King Cobra is a carnivore as well as being a cannibal. This means it’s a meat eater, and that it will eat other snakes as well as birds, birds eggs, lizards, rats, small pythons including venomous snakes.King Cobra is eaten by large predatory birds, alligators, crocodiles, mongoose and humans.

Habitat, Classification and Characteristics: King cobras live mainly in rain forests of China, South East Asia and India. They can wind themselves up trees and be on land, as well slither across the water. They are known to live up to 20 years, as they hide themselves really well. They also build their nests underground. King Cobra is the only snake in the world to do this. They can also lay up to 50 eggs. When a baby King Cobra is born, their venom is as strong as the adults. The mother abandons their young as soon as the last egg hatches. The baby cobra immediately starts to hunt.

Description and Behaviour: Adult King Cobras can grown approximately 3.18 to 4 m (10.4 to 13.1 ft) long. They are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. All snakes are cold blooded, and in order to get warm they have to lay in the sun, typically on a rock. On the back of their neck, they have a pattern that looks like a pair of eyes. This acts as a deterrent to any predators, who may wish to attack and eat them. King Cobra rises up and pulls its hood out when threatened. It spits out paralysing venom which can kill a grown human if it gets in the bloodstream. 

my favorite book

My favourite book is ‘The 13-Storey Tree House’. It is a fun book to read, and my favourite part is when Terry falls in love with a sea monster. There is a new adventure in each chapter and the tree house is very cool. I definitely recommend you read the series, starting with this one! Each year a new book is published by the author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton, and every year they add another 13 storeys to the tree house! Andy and Terry are the main characters in the series, and happen to be best of friends in real life too! This year ‘The 91-Storey Tree House’ is available to purchase. I can not wait to read it.