Thursday, 17 April 2014

A response from an author

Our Hurricanes reading group were learning about the author's purpose for writing a story. The story they read is called Needling an Elephant and it was written by John Parker found in School Journal 1995 Part 3 Number 1.

One of the response activities was to find out about the author's background and if he had a special interest in animals. During the research the Hurricanes group found a website which belongs to the NZ Book Council and it had information about John Parker including his e-mail address. The group decided to send him an e-mail to ask about his reasons for writing this story.

On 15/04/2014, at 9:34 AM, Dora Masua wrote:

Hello John Parker we are a group of students in Room 7 at Glenbrae School. This week we are reading Needling an Elephant. We just wanted to ask you if you have a special interest in animals. What inspired you to write a story about this elephant?

We would appreciate your response. 

Thank you
Hurricanes Reading Group Room 7
That was the e-mail the group sent from Dora's e-mail address. The following day we were all surprised to find a response from John Parker. 

From: John Parker <>
Date: 15 April 2014 08:13
Subject: Re: To understand the author's purpose for writing a story.
To: Dora Masua <>

Hi, Dora

Nice to get your email. 

I wrote this story for a number of reasons. Yes, I am interested in animals and feel we have a grave responsibility to treat them well. How we look after our flora and fauna defines us as human beings. I thought that Auckland Zoo was caring and compassionate in its treatment. 

Secondly, my daughter's a vet, so that made me interested as well. 

And, thirdly, I thought it would be good to read for school children such as yourselves. After all, here's this huge animal being treated by a a comparatively small needle. It seemed new and novel. It felt like someone trying to deflect a tank with a little finger - but it worked!

And, of course, I'm a professional writer, so I wanted to earn some money as well. Nothing wrong with that, is there! 

All the best

John Parker

It was really great to communicate with John Parker and find out why he wrote the story. Thank you John Parker for your response.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Long Bay recount

Long Bay,survival skills trip.

First thing on Tuesday morning we got ready to go up north for our Long Bay trip,we were learning survival skills on the trip. We had to go in the hall and sit down in certain lines so they could put us in groups,there were 3 groups,and I was in the second group. Mrs Raj did a prayer before we went on the bus.

When we were ready to go we had to line up outside the bus then walk inside while being counted by our teacher. I guess its good to count so none of us are left behind when the school comes back. On the way there I was talking to Hemi about what Long Bay would look like.

When we arrived there, we first went to the wrong spot and we were redirected to the right area. The bus driver then reversed the bus and we entered the park area. Along the way inside the park, we saw cars, playgrounds, camping areas, shelter and some people walking around. We finally found where we were suppose to be and we started to come out of the bus.

We then met the three Park Rangers who were going to be our teachers for the day. We were told about the activities we had to do and our first activity was putting up tents. I was in a group with Mafoa and Mateaki. We quickly started putting our tent up directed by Mateaki who had the instructions.

After that we cooked our own sausages on a mini portable stove using methylated spirits,and a spatula,a frying pan,and a blow torch. After cooking, we ate it.Then we had our lunch.

The next activity we had was a race, but first we had a checklist of belongings we need to take camping.The first person in the group had to run to get the first thing on the checklist and the next person gets the next thing on the checklist, but we weren't supposed to get the things with a cross on like coca cola.

Our final activity was the hike. We had to choose a spot on the map where we wanted to walk to. A student was the leader of the group and we also had a Charlie tail and a counter. We walked towards Site 5 and decided it was too far then we decided to walk to Site 4 instead. After we found Site 4 we returned to where everyone was.
At the end of our trip, we said goodbye to the Park Rangers and thanked them for teaching us. We then hopped inside the bus and started our travel back to school. It was a fun and hot day. We learnt a lot and heaps of fun.