Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Melville Intermediate - Ireland Collaboration

Add caption
As part of our school holidays Mr Webb was busy keeping our class page up-to-date and making sure that he was looking for lots of interesting class pages for us to visit.  One of these pages that was discovered was in Ireland.  If Only the Best Birds Sang is the 2nd Year Room Six Blog.  While the students might be a bit younger than those at Melville Intermediate the work that they are producing is fantastic! We've heard already from their teacher and we received this comment from them.

'Thank you for your message. We are fascinated by the Maori Mihi. We suppose every culture must have their own way of greeting one another and introducing one’s self. We thought the Maori way was very special.

After hearing about the Maori Mihi we talked about how Irish people greet one another and tell people about themselves. Like the Maori people the Irish people try to speak their own language (Irish/Gaeilge/Gaelic) as well as English.

We are doing a little work on this that we will send your way. It will have been somewhat influenced by your lovely Maori custom.'

Today in class in preparation for this collaboration we held a collective brainstorm session to see what the class knew about Ireland. None of the students in Room Five have ever been to Ireland, although Levi's Nan has been there on holiday and brought a t-shirt.

We discovered that we knew the following information about Ireland
1. Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
2. You can kiss the Blarney stone in Ireland and it gives you good luck.
3. Glenview Primary School last year for their school production had dances from around the world and one of the dancing acts that was Irish and the performers danced an Irish jig.  Damien was in the audience and said that the dancers moved their legs from side to side.
4.We think that they have lots of pubs
5. Potatoes has something to do with Ireland
6. The Titanic was built in Ireland, Levi's Nan went to Ireland for a holiday and as a result of that trip she brought a t-shirt that had that fact upon it.
7. Fairies and Leprechauns are creatures from Ireland.

 Our Room Five Ireland Brainstorm Wednesday 30th January 2013.


  1. My goodness you really ‘hit the ground running’ upon your return to school.
    We are very happy to hear you know so much about Ireland as we are so far away from New Zealand.

    1. Dublin is the capital of Ireland.
    Yes that is true. We live to the south of Dublin. On the train, it is approximately an hour away.

    2. You can kiss the Blarney stone in Ireland and it gives you good luck.
    Yes you can kiss the Blarney stone but rather than make you lucky, doing this makes you ‘chatty,’ a good talker. This is a tradition and many tourists include ‘kissing the Blarney Stone’ in their trip to Ireland.

    The children in 2nd Class Room 6 are already blessed with this gift of being talkative

    It is not easy to kiss the Blarney stone, one has to ‘bend over backwards’.
    Long ago, tourists were held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements of the Blarney Castle. Nowadays there is a 'safer way' to do this. But the stone is down a ‘drop’ behind you. We think perhaps that people get so nervous doing this that they ‘babble’ and talk a lot afterwards out of fright.

    3. Irish Dancing: We are fond of the Irish dancing. We have dance class in school, for a half an hour every Monday. Included in the lesson is Irish dancing. Damien’s description is very accurate. Traditionally too, Irish dancers just moved their legs very rapidly and kept their arms stiffly down by their sides. This has changed in the last ten years, with the popularity of a show called ‘Riverdance’. The traditional rules of the dance have been broken but we think that the end result is a better dance.

    4.We think that they have lots of pubs
    Sadly this is a view people have of Ireland. The Irish are very friendly and sociable. They like to get together to talk. We used have a lot of pubs, but many have gone out of business. The government passed a ‘No drinking and driving’ law and also a ‘No smoking in public places’ law which mean people don’t go to the pubs as much.

    5. Potatoes has something to do with Ireland
    Potatoes were to Ireland as rice was to China but this has changed too. When Teacher was at school nearly fifty years ago, all the children would have eaten potatoes each day for their dinner. We had a show of hands today and less than half of the children had eaten potatoes or chips the previous day.

    6. The Titanic was built in Ireland.
    Indeed the Titanic was built in Ireland. We hope Levi's Nan had a great holiday in Ireland. She certainly travelled a long way. We remembered the tragedy of the Titanic especially last year as it was 100 years since it happened.

    7. Fairies and Leprechauns are creatures from Ireland.
    This is a funny one We’ll get back to you on this.

    So now we will have a brainstorm on New Zealand and Teacher will post this shortly. You will have to excuse us if we don’t come up with seven excellent answers as you have done Our excuse is that we are rather younger than you we think. Mostly we are eight.

  2. These are the facts we found out we knew about New Zealand after a brainstorming session.

    1. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand.

    2. The New Zealand rugby team are the best rugby players in the world.

    They are a competitive, strong and brave team.

    3. The only famous person we could think of from New Zealand is the rugby player Sonny Bill Williams.

    4. We have seen the ‘haka’ before rugby matches. We heard it was a war chant to scare the enemy long ago. We are big fans of the ‘haka’

    5. Kiwi fruit comes from New Zealand and it is also the name of a flightless bird.

    6. English is spoken in New Zealand!

    7. Hobbits live in New Zealand.

    We would appreciate your help to advise us if we have got anything wrong!

    Teacher will also fill us in on some of the gaps in our knowledge.

    As part of this project we are going to learn the ‘haka’ from the link above.

    From doing this collaboration 2nd Class Room 6 have learned two very useful things already.

    1. When we have our Christmas holidays, students in New Zealand begin their Summer holidays.
    We hope you get holiday time too, later in the year.
    We enjoy our Summer holidays for the two months of July and August.

    2. We learned that time wise, New Zealand is thirteen hours ahead of the time here in Ireland.
    So when we were enjoying reading about your brainstorm at 11.15 am on Wednesday morning, it was quarter past midnight on Thursday where you live.

  3. Making Connections is a comprehension strategy we use in school when we read.

    It is good to make connections in other subject areas too.

    Like New Zealand we have two languages here in Ireland:

    our native language (called Irish/Gaelic/Gaeilge).

    and our adopted language, English.

    Irish is taught in schools.

    Teachers have used the popularity of the haka from New Zealand

    to teach Irish:

    I believe this lively video is from a 6th class in Balbriggan ETNS.

    Uillinn dheas, uillinn chlé (right elbow, left elbow)
    Buail do chos, buail do chos (stamp your feet, stamp your feet)
    Gualainn dheas, gualainn chlé (right shoulder, left shoulder)
    Bualadh bos, bualadh bos (clap hands, clap hands)

    Lámha ar na glúine (hands on knees)
    Cromaigí, cromaigí (bend down, bend down)
    Lámha in airde (hands up)
    Éirígí! éirígí! (rise up, rise up)

    Síos ar na glúine (down on your knees)
    Lámha sna cluasa (hands in ears)
    Bualadh bos, bualadh bos (clap hands, clap hands)
    Léimigí suas..... AAAAAAA! (Jump in the air)

    (by Dominic ó Braonáin)

    The older children in our school are familar with the song from New Zealand 'Pokarekare Ana'.

    In Senior Classes they learn how to play this tune on the recorder.

    In the 1970s, the tune of Pokarekare Ana was used in Ireland for a hymn to Mary,

    Other connections: Both countries are islands and have a strong connection with the sea.

    Both New Zealand and Ireland are green and beautiful.

    Family is important.

    Both countries have an interest in the sport of rugby.

    New Zealand is thought well of.

    The rugby team are good ambassadors for New Zealand.

    We see in films like 'The Hobbit' that New Zealand is very beautiful.

  4. Hello Again,

    Today we are sending you a podcast introducing ourselves.

    When we visited the Melville blog, we loved the Mihi.

    So we talked about our nearest mountain and river also, though this is a lovely custom of your country, not ours.

    We are not sure if the podcast code will 'take' on this comment so we are sending you the URL link. Just in case you find it hard to work out what we are saying, we will also write that down for you :)

    Or you can hear it on our blog.

    'Dia Dhaoibh (May God be with you)

    to our new friends in Room 5,

    Melville Intermediate School

    in Hamilton

    New Zealand

    We liked your greeting,

    your Mihi.

    So we decided to send you one back

    In Irish we say

    'Céad míle fáilte romhat!'

    to a visitor.

    This means

    'A hundred thousand welcomes'

    We come from Ireland

    We live close to the

    Little Sugar Loaf Mountain.

    The Three Trout River is our nearest river

    The name of our county is Wicklow

    This means 'Viking Meadow'.

    The Vikings were

    fierce warriors

    who came to Ireland

    from countries to the North

    from 795 AD

    We meet in our local town Greystones

    In the 1800s the sailors who had passed

    our local beach would call it

    'The Grey Stones'.

    They would say

    'There was a storm at the Greystones',


    'There was good fishing at The Greystones'.

    This is how our town got it's name.

    The name of our school is Saint Brigid's.

    She was born over fifteen hundred years ago!

    But people remember her because

    she was good to the poor, the sick and the old.

    February 1st is her Feast Day

    so we will have No Homework :D to celebrate.

    Bye for now.

  5. Thanks for your message. 2nd Class Room 6 are a positive class I think Room 5 Melville Intermediate must be too. Children, in general are positive people. Finding the time to post work can certainly be challenging.

    We are looking forward to seeing pictures of your work about Ireland.

    We would love to answer your questions ... if we can.
    As one of our students Zac said,
    we learned a lot about Ireland ourselves
    through our collaboration with you.

    We will certainly have to address the
    question of leprechauns in Ireland!
    We still are getting great enjoyment out of this
    and also that your students have found our accents ‘funny’.

    Many of the children in this part of Ireland
    would be considered to have a ‘neutral’ accent.
    You’d need to go to your student Elizabeth’s
    ancestral home in Dingle, Co.Kerry
    to hear one of the best Irish accents.

    Sadly we are not set up here to skype.
    Though you would be very good to come
    into school at night to do so.

    It is interesting to see how far ahead
    other parts of the world are in terms of blogging.
    But we are fortunate in that there are so many
    excellent blogs and bloggers out there (like your good selves)
    who are so helpful to us.

    Having worked 'flat ou't for the last five weeks,
    we now have midterm: a week’s holiday
    so our blog will be ‘resting’ over
    the next week.

    But we look forward to our return to school
    and ‘catching up’ with you.
    We will put our ‘thinking caps’ on to decide
    what should go in a package to you.
    We will see can we catch a leprechaun!

    With every good wish, 2nd Class, Room 6 and Teacher

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    In reply to your message: Thank you for the way that you have laid out your questions so clearly. We think you must be an organized person.
    You have an early start at 8:20am. We don’t start until nine. And you have a longer day. We finish
    at twenty to three. But then our class is a bit younger than yours. We have breaks of 10 minutes
    and 30 minutes. Perhaps your breaks are longer.

    So to answer your questions
    1. Where did the Leprechaun stories come from?
    Some say that they descended from the legendary tribe of Tuatha de Danann. When a new tribe, the Milesians invaded Ireland, legends tell us that they conquered the Tuatha de Danann and forced them to live underground. Some people say that this is where the leprechauns came from. Leprachaun comes from the old Irish words for ‘little body’. The Legend of Leprechauns has been made popular by TV and films and also as something that tourists might enjoy.

    2. Had you ever heard of New Zealand before we started talking to you?
    Many of 2nd Class Room 6 are big rugby fans so that is the main reason we would know about New Zealand. Also when the earthquake of 2011 happened, the children in 2nd Class Room 6 at the time, would have seen a lot about New Zealand on the TV news. Because it was in the news they did a project on New Zealand and learned a lot more about your country. Children in the class who are interested in nature knew about the unusual animals that live in New Zealand like the Moa and the Kiwi. We knew there was a lot of sheep in New Zealand and a lot of farming and dairy products from New Zealand are well thought of, as being of excellent quality here in Ireland. Finally,’The Hobbit’ movie is very popular here at the moment. We could see that the scenery in New Zealand is very beautiful. Jack says he would like to live in a Hobbit house when he grows up

    3. Do any of you have ancestors from New Zealand?
    No, nobody has ancestors from New Zealand. But we know of people who have gone to New Zealand to find work.

    4. Except for St. Patricks Day, what do you celebrate?
    Perhaps some of these are similar to New Zealand
    Besides St.Patrick’s Day we celebrate:
    ‘Pancake Tuesday’. That is happening tomorrow. Some of us will have pancakes for breakfast, dinner and tea.
    We will eat them with lemon and sugar, or perhaps with chocolate spread or banana. In our grandparents’ time Pancake Tuesday was the day the house was cleared of everything nice to eat because for forty days in the run up to Easter Sunday people ‘fasted’ and did not eat sweets or cakes or biscuits. These forty days are called ‘Lent’.
    ‘Easter Sunday’ which is a church feast when we will have Easter Eggs
    ‘Valentine’s Day’ on February 14th
    ‘Halloween’ on October 31st
    and ‘Christmas’

    5. Do you have a St. Patricks Day Parade and if you do, what’s in it?
    Nearly every town has a Patrick’s Day Parade. Many of 2nd Class Room 6 will march in it representing the rugby club or tennis or football club. If children are in the ‘scouts’, they may march wearing their uniforms. Businesses advertise in the parade. They have displays advertising their companies. So do voluntary groups. There will be musical bands and dancers too.

    We hope this has answered your questions
    With every good wish, to you and your class and Teacher