Math – Presentation of Survey Results

In math, we had students at IST (International School of Tanganyika) take our survey asking simple things such as their shoe size, height, gender, favorites, and etc. Then, we needed to make a presentation with graphs and a conclusion about the students at IST. To do this, I worked with Aiden.

This is the presentation:

Math: Quartiles

In math, we are looking at box and whisker plots. We’re making box and whisker plots for temperatures of different parts of the world.

I chose to look at the average high for the months of January, April, and August in Tokyo, Japan. This is what my box and whisker plot looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 11.51.51 AM


By looking at this diagram, I can see that the maximum value is the same as  the upper quartile and that the minimum value is the same as the lower quartile.


Then, I looked at the temperatures of Johannesburg, South Africa because I knew that there was going to be a big difference in the diagrams compared to the temperatures of Tokyo, Japan. This is what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 6.12.17 PM


The first diagram is just a box because the average high temperature of January was either 76 or 77.  The lower quartile of second diagram is the same as the minimum value, similar to the first diagram for the temperature of Tokyo.

By looking at the 6 box and whiskers diagrams, I can see that in Tokyo, the month with the most varied temperatures was April and that it was August for Johannesburg.

*Note: For the diagram of Tokyo’s temperature, I used Celsius but for Johannesburg’s temperature, I used Fahrenheit. *

English: A New Book (The Garbage King)

In English, we just finished our unit. We got assigned books, and I got “The Garbage King” by Elizabeth Laird.

Here are my thoughts/impressions of this book, that I recorded using Fotobabble:

(The book that I mentioned was “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by David Levithan and John Green.)

Drama: storytelling

In drama, we began our new unit – storytelling. We need to find a story from our homeland. I chose the story 桃太郎 (Momotaro).

Here are the key points:

  • The old lady finds the peach in the river
  • When the old lady and her husband open the peach, Momotaro comes out
  • Momotaro goes to an island full of ogres and he meets a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant
  • They defeat the ogres and return home with treasure

The theme/moral of the story:

Good will always defeat the bad.


I think this is a good story to use for storytelling because it’s full of adventure but I think it’ll be hard to manipulate all the characters in the story with a small group of people.


Industrial revolution child labor debate

Yesterday, April 17th, 1806, the class of 7C had a trial over whether people in the Industrial Revolution should continue using children to work in factories. The two parties had pairs of lawyers and witnesses.

The head attorneys started the trial off with a speech saying why they support or are against child labor. While Fred Ward said that child labor is part of this change, this revolution and that this will greatly change the country of Great Britain. Adam Turner said that we must think of the future of our young generation, and that child labor is simply nonsense.

The defenders claimed that the children are treated fairly, and that even doctors approve the working conditions. “There wasn’t a single speck of dust, there were good amount of spaces between the machines, and the factory was well-lighted. Children were well fed, clothed and educated. They would have milk-porridge for breakfast, potatoes and bacon for dinner, and meat on Sundays.” said Edward Homes, a journalist supporting child labor.

The prosecutors however, argued that the working environment is dangerous, and how it affects the workers’ health. James Hardy, a factory owner against child labor suggested, “Other factory owners can use machines that are designed for adults, or they can hire adults with smaller hands. People with bigger hands can do other work to contribute to the factory. Also, adults are stronger, and understand the situation that they’re in better, so I’m sure that there would be less injuries.” to the the defenders.

We don’t know if the children were treated terribly or not, but each side definitely had good evidence to prove their point. The judge decided that this battle is still yet to be continued, because the defence side had a disadvantage of less people.


(***This news article is fake, and the characters are all made up. This is a way of reflecting on the actual trial that we did in class…)




Art – Line Drawings…

In the second unit of art class, we did line drawings. Our unit question was, “How can we communicate visually?” and the significant concept was “Line can be used to convey shape, texture, and tone.”

We looked at the different techniques that are used and a few line drawings by Van Gogh, Dürer, and Rembrandt. Then, we copied line drawings from Van Gogh, The four main techniques that we learned was hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, and scumbling. We also saw that the artists’ styles were very different.

My drawing of “The Bedroom” by Vincent Van Gogh:

photo 2

First, we needed to combine two images to create one. I chose to combine a picture of a field with a cottage and a picture of a rabbit. What I found challenging was how the lighting, shadows, and texture of the two images were different.

Before starting our final line drawing, we used tracing paper (on top of the combined image) to get a general idea of what the final drawing would look like. When I used the tracing paper, I just drew a sketch and the I labeled what techniques I want to use for each part of the line drawing. When I did this, I only knew the four main techniques, so I ended up changing a lot of the techniques that I planned to do.

My “sketch” on tracing paper:

photo 3

When I started the final line drawing, I planned how big the cottage, rabbit, clouds, and trees were going to be. The size of the final paper and tracing paper were completely different, so it was hard to think of the proportions of what I was going to draw. The tracing paper definitely helped, though.

My final drawing:

photo 1

Then, I drew the two trees, For the trunk of the tree on the right, I decided to be a little more creative with the techniques. For the tree on the left, I first wanted to use cross-hatching and scumbling, but I decided to color in the trunk black. I decided this because I didn’t want to use the same four techniques over and over again, or else it’ll look boring.

Then, I drew the cottage. Again, I changed the techniques that I was planning to use. When I drew the cottage, I didn’t want my lines to be perfectly straight, so I didn’t use a ruler and because I was working with longer lines, they became wobbly. This made my cottage look messy, so I think I could’ve tried a few lines on a different piece of paper, and decided whether the lines should be shorter of if it was ok to use longer lines. Also, the lines of the roof was lighter and thinner than the lines of the rest of the cottage.This made it look like there was light shining on the top of the cottage.

Then, I drew the rabbit and the grass. I wanted to draw the rabbit first, and I used short, thin lines. I’ve realized that those lines would look similar to the grass, so I drew an outline of the rabbit because I wanted it to look more clear. I think the outline was too thick, and it drew more attention to the rabbit than I wanted it to. Then, I drew the grass. I think sometimes, I forgot to make the lines that are farther back thinner and closer together. Also, the grass in the front was too thick.

Lastly, I drew the clouds. I’ve realized that I didn’t use stippling and hatching yet, so those were the techniques that I used for the clouds. It was challenging because I was unsure of how to draw clouds. Usually, people imagine clouds to be light and puffy, but I didn’t know how to show that by just using a black marker.I think my clouds ended up looking dark and heavy. It also didn’t match well with the roof of the cottage.The roof looks like the sun is shining on it, but instead of the sun, there are clouds. I should’ve made the lines of the roof darker, as I mention before.

When I drew the line drawing, I used 3 different pens, and the colors of the ink were slightly different, so it was difficult to make the difference less obvious. I also think I could’ve spent more time working on it.I was afraid that I would make a mistake, and I couldn’t erase it because I was working with markers. This made me start drawing later than I planned to. I ended up making lots of mistakes, but I also learned that making a mistake when using markers is bound to happen.

In my first line drawing, I didn’t use as much line techniques and there was a lot of blank space all over the drawing. For my final drawing, I intentionally made the sky blank and I filled in the cottage, trees, grass, and rabbit as much as I could. Also, I used a variety of line techniques. I didn’t just use hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, and scumbling.I also decided to color somethings all black in my final line drawing. I didn’t have the idea of doing that in the beginning of the unit. Also, the first drawing looks more like a sketch. It doesn’t show any depth, texture, shadow, or shape. I also learned how to show depth by using thin and thick lines. That was something that I didn’t use in my first line drawing.

Overall, I think I could’ve planned my final drawing better and that I shouldn’t worry too much about making a mistake. I also learned many techniques of the line drawings and that I changed my plan as I drew. It was interesting how simple lines can show shadow, depth, texture, shape, and tone.

The Golden Ratio

In math class, we learned about the golden ratio, 1:1.68.We also learned that this ratio is used in architecture and art. The golden ratio is also known as phi.


The Great Pyramid of Giza uses the Golden ratio. If you connect the points of half of the base, the slant height, and the height, it creates a right triangle. If the base equals 1, the slant height would be the same as the golden ratio, and the height would be equal the the square root of the golden ratio. This shows that the ancient Egyptians knew about phi.



The Great Pyramid at Giza


Leonardo da Vinci used phi as well.




Connecting stories to the real world

In English class, we finished reading Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo. This story is about Naledi and her brother Tiro, who needs to help from their mother to save their baby sister Dineo. The problem is, their mother is at work, in Johannesburg. We then made connections with the story and the real world of Apartheid.



↑ Cover of Journey to Jo’burg by Beverely Naidoo



Then, we need to do the same with the book that we were reading. I read The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman. This book is about a boy whose family had been killed a murderer. Luckily, he was raised in the graveyard by ghosts. These ghosts give the boy the Freedom of the Graveyard, and a name- Nobody. Bod, (short for Nobody) is allowed to go anywhere. Anywhere in the graveyard that is. If Bod steps out of the graveyard, the murderer will find him. In this story, there were many scenarios that could connect to the real world.



A picture from the book, showing the murderer.

Sadly, there are many children who have lost their parents, like Bod. Even though these children may have not lost their family’s lives to a murderer, they didn’t get to know their own family. Sometimes, we take what we have for granted. What might seem normal to us, might not be normal to another person. Bod’s situation isn’t very realistic because the book is fiction, but I think this story helped me understand the feelings of those who lost their family.

In this story, Bod learned many lessons. One of the lessons that Bod learned was to not judge people too quickly. At first, Bod didn’t like Miss Lupescu, but after a while, he found out that Miss Lupescu wasn’t too bad. This reminded me of the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” This is a good lesson to consider in the real world.

From this story, I also noticed that environments can change someone’s way of thinking. Bod was raised up in a graveyard, and I think that was one of the things that made Bod a really brave and courageous character. Bod got so used to his environment, the graveyard, so he wasn’t really scared of many things. I think if Bod was raised in another environment, he would’ve acted differently to solve problems.

When Bod was put in a public school for the first time, a student was being bullied. This connects to the real world because many kids are bullied at school, especially those who don’t stand up for themselves. The boy in the story who was bullied was too scared to report the bullying to the police. This is another big problem that exists in the book, and in the real world.

By thinking about the connections between The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and the real world helped me realise that even fictional stories have lessons and problems that we have here, in the real world. The 3 connection I found were how many children lost their family, how an environment can change the way you think, and how bullying is a big problem.