January 26th is Australia Day! Australia Day is much like the 4th of July here in the United States. It’s a national holiday often celebrated with BBQ and fireworks!
January 26th is the day that Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in present day Sydney in the year 1787. This is often known as the arrival of the “First Fleet.” When he arrived, he claimed Australia for the British Empire. From then on, the anniversary of that event was celebrated. It started out as small celebrations but eventually became an officially recognized day in 1818. Originally it was known as Foundation Day. Twenty years later, in 1838, it become the first ever public holiday in Australia. Today, it is marked by huge gatherings around the country. To learn more about it’s history, you can read about it on the Australia Day website or on the Australian History Timeline.
Australia Day is especially intriguing to us because of some of the great connections we’ve made with classes through blogging. We’ve become very close with 2KM and 2KJ who live in the state of Victoria on the southern coast of Australia. You may recall that we even did a collaborative story writing project with them earlier this year. It’s been so interesting to learn about the history of the country that they live in!
If you’re looking to celebrate Australia Day, whether you’re from there or not, you may want to start with some of the things that they often eat. You may want to try a recipe for pavlova or lamingtons. Or, if you’re hungrier for more than just dessert, you may want to try a meal of sausages or what they call snags. They typically eat them on bread with tomato sauce.
Looking for some Australia Day activities? Click through the pictures and links below to print out some things you can for at home!
Australia Day Wallpapers
Click to enlarge and then right click to set as your background!
Make Your Own Mask
Click to enlarge and then print out to color in and cut out!
Click on the link and then print out for fun Australia Day activities!
Last week we received a package in the mail. The first thing that caught our attention was was the address where it was sent from.
In December, you may remember that we received a package from 2KM and 2KJ. We had a suspicion that this package might be from them too. When we opened it, we found a jar of vegemite!
When we had skyped with Mrs. Morris last month, she had just finished having some vegemite for breakfast because it was 6 a.m. for her while it was 2 p.m. the previous day for us! Everyone was very curious as to what it was because we had never heard of it before. She was kind enough to send us a bottle all the way from Australia so we could try it! She said that it typically comes in a jar but a bottle was much easier to ship to the United States.
As we found out, vegemite is a popular spread in places such as Australia and New Zealand. It’s made of yeast extract, spices, and salt. It’s typically eaten on things like toast or crackers. Mrs. Morris even likes to put a little bit of vegemite on toast and then spread some peanut butter on top of that!
We thought we’d give it a try to see if we enjoyed it as much as they did! We got an idea from Mr. Salsich to videotape us trying it so we could share what we thought. You’ll be able to see our video below along with some pictures of us eating vegemite for the first time!
Thank you Mrs. Morris for sending us the package. We enjoyed trying it!
It’s always fun to write a story. Deciding on a plot, setting, characters, and illustrations can allow you to create a world that can be shared with others. What can be better than that? Well, how about writing stories with friends from Australia?
We paired up with our buddies from 2KM and 2KJ to write our stories. Now, we were trying to determine what the best way was to work on our stories together. We figured traveling there probably wasn’t an option but we thought we’d check it out in Google Maps anyway.
We figured a 16,351 mi (26,314 km) trip probably wasn’t our best choice. Not to mention, Google Maps said we’d have to kayak across the ocean! Although that sounds fun, it also sounds exhausting!
Then we thought maybe we could mail stories back and forth. That definitely wouldn’t work since 2KM and 2KJ finish up their school year at the end of this week. So, instead, Mrs. Morris, Miss Jordan and I decided that we’d use a website called Storybird. This was an idea that we got from two other teachers, Mrs. McKenzie and Mrs. Watson. You can read about their classes using Storybird by clicking here or here.
Storybird is a site that allows students to choose a set of illustrations. From those pictures, we can start to build a story page by page. Another great aspect of Storybird is that we’re easily able to invite someone else to write a story with us. We put students from the two classes into groups and then began our stories.
Our class started by choosing the illustrations. We created the title page and wrote the first page, giving 2KM and 2KJ a start to the story. Then, we started taking turns. 2KM and 2KJ wrote the next two pages. We wrote the next two and we continued alternating until our stories were complete.
We were so impressed by what amazing writers the students in 2KM and 2KJ were. Their use of detail and the way they kept the story flowing was incredible. Everyone did such a great job! Take a look below to read through the finished product!
As we were learning in math class, our principal walked into the room holding a package. He told us that we had something that seemed to travel a pretty long way to get to us. He handed us the package. We took a look and noticed that it was from Australia.
We had a sneaking suspicion that it might have been our friends from 2KM and 2KJ. When we opened it up, it was a book, and it was from them!
2KM and 2KJ is a second grade class taught by Mrs. Morris and Miss Jordan. We’ve been blogging with them since last year. There is always such fascinating information on their blog and the students there are amazing commenters. Many even have their own blogs!
We absolutely loved the book they sent to us. It was a story called Santa’s Blogging Adventure. It was all about Santa’s journey to find the value of Christmas in order to save the world from an internet outage. In order to do so, he has to collect clues from blogging classes all around the globe including Mrs. Yollis, Mr. Salsich, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. McKezine, and us!
The story was amazing. The illustrations were incredible. There was just no way possible to show 2KM and 2KJ how much we appreciated the thought, so we thought the least we could do was share a video of us enjoying the book. The video below is the story that was written by 2KM and 2KJ read by us!
Thank you so much to our Australian friends. You did an amazing job!
*What was your favorite part of the story?*
*What would be different for you if you had to go a day without internet?*
The nomination process for the Edublog Awards has closed and voting has begun. When we hopped on to look this morning, we were ecstatic to find we had been nominated in three categories!
We need your support to help highlight all the hard work and effort we have put into our blog and wikis. You can vote once a day from now through December 14th. Winners will be announced at an online awards ceremony on December 15th at 7 p.m. We look forward to finding out who all the winners are!
If you’d like to vote, you can do so by clicking here. Use the dropdown menu to choose the category you’d like to vote for. Then, scroll down to you find us! The page you’re on should look something like what you see below.
We’re nominated in three different categories. You can click on each title below to be taken directly to that category.