Miss Hill’s Retirement … and the blog is retiring too.

Well, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and taken retirement.  It’s been a great career, but the time has come!  Mrs Harvey will be taking over in the library so I am confident that the students of Mossie Park will still enjoy great stories and go on borrowing lots of beaut books, just as before.

My retirement means that the MPPS LiBlog blog is retiring too.  I don’t intend to add any new content or reviews, and I won’t be responding to comments, but I won’t be deleting the blog in case readers still find it useful in some small way.

I will, however, still be blogging away at the ANZ LitLovers blog, where you can find reviews and news about Australian and international contemporary and classic literary fiction.

Thank you to everyone who’s supported this blog by taking the time to comment or subscribing to it.  This affirmation is what has kept me going when I sometimes felt that nobody was reading it at all!

Best wishes, and thank you all,

Lisa Hill

Happy birthday to C J Dennis!

September 7th was the anniversary of the birthday of Aussie poet, C. J. Dennis.  He was born in 1876, and he died in 1938, but we still love his poetry today in the 21st century.

C.J. Dennis was famous for writing all kinds of beaut poems, and he also wrote funny poems for kids.  So at this week’s poetry lesson we

  • sang Happy Birthday to C J Dennis
  • read The Ant Explorer, and Hist! and also The Triantiwontigongalope, using the illustrated edition by Patricia Mullins, and
  • drew our own imaginary triantiwontigonoglopes eating sealing-wax-and-soap sandwiches as well!

Onomatopoeia in Poetry, by 4DW

We have been experimenting with onomatopoeia in poetry. We’ve read some wonderful excerpts that show how it works:

  • Meeting at Night by Robert Browning
  • Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost
  • Fossils by Ogden Nash
  • Wind and Rain by Lee Emmett
  • Running Water by Lee Emmett

Then we had a go at writing our own.  Miss Hill chose the poem’s title, The Car Accident, and students had to use words that related to

  • collisions
  • voices
  • water

Here are some of the children’s poems, we hope you enjoy them.

The Car Accident By Chloe ©

A dark evening
On the freeway
A sloshing sound on the roads
Bang, crash, slam!
Beep ! a car slams on the horn
As they come forward though the window
Instantly dead in a split second
This was….. my mother!

This Car Accident by Nikkitah ©

A dark windy night,
Three cars
Bang! screech! Slam!
Splash of petrol
Brakes screeching!
Air gasped
I yelled
I screamed, I gasped ” HELP”!
Plops of water burst out


A foggy night
Two cars crash!
Bam, bang, and clang!
Blood squirting everywhere!


Sunday morning,
Going to my auntie’s place,
All of a sudden,
Three cars all from different places,
BANG!         CRASH!             CRUNCH!
Upside down in my car,
Two children flying out,
So are my brakes,
Everything broken,
All I can hear is a sound of “help,
Loud but sad mumbles,
A little girl calling for help,

Year 5 & 6 Indigenous War Service unit timelines

This term we are finishing off assessment tasks for the Year 5 & 6 Indigenous War Service unit which we didn’t quite finish in Term 2. (Teachers can download this unit from the LisaHillSchoolStuff blog)

So in Week 2 the classes prepared timelines to use in Weeks 3 and 4.

They could choose between profiles* of two remarkable Aboriginal servicemen, Flight Sergeant Len Waters, and Lieutenant R.W. (Reg) Saunders, and then select information to place into a timeline of these men’s lives.   It was a bit tricky, because not all the information was in chronological order, and they had to ‘read between the lines’ and estimate some dates.  Some of the children struggled a bit, because it was the first time we’d done anything like this, but some students did remarkably well.




For their assessment task, the students are going to use these timelines to write a letter.  They have to pretend that they are servicemen during World War II, and they are writing home and telling their families about their mate and his achievements.   Watch this space!

* The profiles came from the DVA publication Indigenous Service, Investigation 3.  Teachers will find the link to download it at the  LisaHillSchoolStuff blog.

Panto Poetry! by 4DW

Every year, Alpha Shows visits Mossie Park with a pantomime – and every year the performance is better than the last!  This year, they performed Cinderella – and had the whole school laughing, cheering – and of course booing the evil villain.

My Year 4 poetry class had a go at writing some acrostics – and here they are…

We’re still working on our presentation skills, but as you can see, the boys have improved a lot!

Australian Animals Haiku


Year 4DW have been experimenting with their first Haiku and have written some Australian animal Haiku poems.  Can you guess which animals these are? Put your guesses in the comment box.  Remember! First names only on the internet!


I love to eat meat

I like to run and howl loud

I love the outback.


It is a carnivore

It has alot of colours

It likes to hunt food.


Australian dog

I love to eat meat and howl

I am dark orange.


White feathers sharp beak

Interesting white feathers

I have a loud laugh.


It can climb very well

It looks very  cute and cuddly

It can smell very good.


 It has orange fur

Sharp teeth sharp claws

Very fast I have pointy ears.

Letters home, by 6CC

This week, Year 5 & 6 classes had a Memorial Box from the Australian War Memorial to use in the library because we’re doing a unit of work about Indigenous Service, researching Aboriginal men and women who served in the defence forces.  We checked out the uniform and equipment used by NORFORCE, and we pretended to be new recruits writing home after they’d just been issued with their new gear. Here’s a sample letter from 6CC.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I arrived at Queensland 2 days ago. We got our uniforms today. The colours of most of our uniform is the colour of the environment.

The Keppi Hat has a flap at the back. It also has a broad brim that protects our necks from the dangerous sun rays.

The camouflage shirts aren’t very comfortable but they protect our arms from the sun rays.  They make us sweat a lot but it’s a pretty good shirt.  The camouflage pants are the same as the shirt except that they protect our legs, not our arms.  We sweat about three times as much as we do back home.

The shemagh is like a scarf that covers our whole face so all the dust won’t go into our eyes, noses and mouths.  Believe it or not, the shemagh is actually pretty comfortable.

The webbing belt holds a pouch that we wear around our waists.  We put any important objects we need in the pouch.

That is all of our uniform. I really miss you all.  I will see you all in about three years.

Love from your son,

PS Students had to write this letter in the layout used for personal letters in the days before Skype, email and texting, but it’s too hard to reproduce this online, so the layout here is not exactly the same.
PPS We’re not sure when soldiers get leave to go home but Miss Hill thinks they don’t have to wait for three years.

Cinquains, by 4DW

Is not a fun game
I do not like footy
I don’t play footy, I hate it,

by Cassie

I love Minecraft
I like to play Minecraft
I watch Minecraft five days week

by Cassie

Crowd is cheering
Collingwood is crazy
Collingwood was about to score

By Isuri

Hello! Welcome!
It is the Swans and Pies
Pies leading by forty three points

by Luka

I like dragons
Dragons are very cool
Some people are scared of dragons

by Payman

I like rugby
I like to play rugby
My favourite team is Melborune Storm

by Joshua

Black Hat thinking: the disadvantages of being a hero

BeowulfWe’re almost at the end of our serial reading of the ancient story of Beowulf, in an edition written for children by Michael Morpurgo, and now we’re starting to see that for the hero, there are always more challenges to face. This week we’ve been using De Bono’s Black Hat thinking strategy to consider the disadvantages of being a hero, comparing how people treat our modern day heroes with how Beowulf was treated back in his day.

This task was designed to assess outcomes from the Australian Curriculum (English Literature):

  • Y5: Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts (ACELT1608)
  • Y6: Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1613)

Some of this work has been edited (just a little) by Miss Hill.

Here are some thoughts from the students in 5KW.


From Beowulf’s to our time the disadvantages for heroes are similar but different.  For example, in battles in Beowulf’s time, there was a good chance you would die, but in our time, you could only get killed if you were in the army – sporting heroes could just get hurt.

In both times, people are jealous, but usually in our time it’s only people doing the same thing who might get jealous.

In Beowulf’s time, there was also a lot of pressure when battling similar things, because even if you’d battled something once, it didn’t mean you could defeat it again.  But in our time there is also a lot of pressure in battles like sporting battles, because the fans want the team to win, especially if the sport comes down from fathers and grandfathers, they also always want the team to win.

In both times, the battles and the responsibility is tiring.  So these are the differences and disadvantages between our time now and Beowulf’s time when the Vikings were around.


In Beowulf’s time, you couldn’t turn your back from war or battle but nowadays it can be the same, for example, because if military soldiers do turn their back on battle it could lead to losing their job or they could damage their reputation or status.

In Beowulf’s time, you might die if you did a brave deed like going out to battle or going into enemy territory, but nowadays it’s not so likely because nowadays brave deeds can be stunts or Guinness World Records because they are considered brave.

In Beowulf’s time if you were a hero you would get loads of power and property from the king, but sometimes it got too overwhelming and took over you.  Nowadays if people do a heroic deed they just get awards and money but the more money they get the more the media has an eye on their every move.

In Beowulf’s time if you did something the news spread like anything but most of it would be hearsay so it could be false. Nowadays the media can change what you did.

Nicholas I:

Back in Beowulf’s day you were always to trusted to succeed but nowadays you are a favourite and people think you can always win.  In Beowulf’s day he got major gifts for winning and nowadays you get popular and you get medals for winning.  When people nowadays fight in war they choose one person that gets a bravery medal out of thousands of people but in Beowulf’s day you had to be the one to win to get the credit because there wasn’t one thousand people trying to kill Grendel at the same time.  You have an equal chance of getting killed in battle nowadays but there are usually more people trying to kill you.


Being a hero is hard work.  Back then in Beowulf’s lifetime, he was being pushed to go and fight and win.  Other people were jealous of his bravery and strength.  Even if you thought you wouldn’t, you could possibly be killed in battle.

But nowadays it is different.  If you are playing a sport, people could be jealous of how well you play.  After finishing a game, you get microphones in your face, the people asking lots of questions like, ‘how do you feel?’ Of course they’re exhausted! You could even be asked for an interview.

 These thoughts are from students in 5/6B.


In Beowulf’s time people would expect a lot of him because he saved them many times – and if he failed them he would lose fame and some people would think of him as just an ordinary person.  Some people might even treat him very badly.  Nowadays people would just scream ‘Booooo!’ at a hero who failed – but it would still be world famous that he lost.


The disadvantages of being a hero in Beowulf’s time were that they had very simple weapons, and if they failed they would lose the name of being a hero.  But if you are a hero in these days, like a footy player, you wouldn’t really need weapons, but would just want to be a champion.

Also, in Beowulf’s time, if you became a really good hero. they would send you back and forth, thinking that you are a really good hero for everything.  Nowadays, we have different heroes who are good at different things, and we choose the best to do whatever task is needed.


Heroes like Beowulf and Christian Ronaldo are very similar but at the same time they’re different.  The difference is that in Beowulf’s day everyone expects him to get back up and defeat some monster or other creature all the time.  But nowadays, everyone is expecting you to win and that’s the only reason they are going for you.

In Beowulf’s day you had minimal weapons so if you lost the battle you wouldn’t be looked at like a brave hero that risked his life to help, they would look at you like you were a nobody.  And in those days when Beowulf was alive only the people in his area would know about his accomplishments.

Nowadays if you succeed everybody would take photos of you and you wouldn’t have any privacy or any time to yourself.  The whole world and everyone that knows you will expect you to win repetitively – over and over again – nonstop, and if you don’t win, haters will start hating you and then you would be wasting your life.

Dylan N:

In Beowulf’s day if you were a hero you would be a hero to the people that you saved, and those people that you saved would always depend on you to save them again.  Nowadays if you’re a hero like Messi or Rooney the whole world will know you are a hero, and they will expect you to be the best team player or hero all the time, and everyone will know you.


In Beowulf’s time they all expected him to win, and if he did not he would be a disgrace. In his time you could lose your life.

Now in 2014 paparazzi go crazy chasing you.  You can’t go outside in peace without getting mobbed.


The disadvantages of being a hero in Beowulf’s time was that everybody counted on you to succeed in everything you would have to do, while nowadays, the disadvantages of being a hero are that everyone know who you are.  Another disadvantage of being a hero nowadays is that everyone knows when you don’t succeed, but back in Beowulf’s time they didn’t have the technology so they couldn’t prove if he failed or not.

Another disadvantage of being a hero in Beowulf’s time is that you couldn’t record your heroic defeat of the monster that you battled.

These thoughts are from students in 5/6V.


The disadvantage of being a hero back in the 8th – 11th centuries was that you had more of a chance of dying because you had dragons and sea hags trying to kill you.  Now you have less of a chance of dying because when you’re on a soccer pitch the other players are not trying to kill you.

The disadvantage of being a hero now is that you have people saying ‘He has to win!’

In Beowulf’s day he could not communicate with other warriors but now our soldiers have walkie-talkies to communicate.


Back in Beowulf’s day during the 8th – 11th centuries, when a hero like Beowulf came into the hall everyone greeted him properly, but nowadays when a famous hero who’s finished a tennis match gets off a plane, excited people run up and stick a microphone or their mobile phones in his face and ask him questions when he is tired.

In 6CC…


During Beowulf’s time in the 11th century the hero was always expected to save the day, but today it depends on what you have done to gain the title “hero”.

Back in Beowulf’s time, everyone expected you to succeed, but now people just want you to come out alive, or do your best.  People back then would lose hope in you if you did not succeed, but in the 21st century not all people will judge.

In Beowulf’s time, as soon as you had finished a task people all around came to see what had happened before you even had time to rest, and believe it or not, the same thing happens today.


Back in Beowulf’s time it would be annoying because even when he got back from a massive battle they would expect him to go off to another massive battle and do the same thing again.  If you are a sporting hero nowadays, and you win the final or the grand prix in car racing, then the next year people always think you can do it again – and if you don’t win your supporters that you gained from winning last year will get angry and maybe go to another club or racer.

Yasmin E:

Back in Beowulf’s day the disadvantages you got were that EVERYONE expected you to save them.  In these days, just say you’re a movie star and you made two really awesome movies, then they expect you keep making awesome movies – and if you don’t do what they expect, you are kind of frowned upon.  It would be the same in Beowulf’s day too.

Also in the olden days you got fame, gold and all sorts of treasures. However these days you would get fame and medals, but no fame at all in some cases.

In those days you would be expected to tell a story about your adventures, but these days all you get is paparazzi and The News all over you and you would have absolutely no space for yourself.

Our heroes: Senior classes compare ancient heroes with those of today

BeowulfYears 5 and 6 are enjoying the ancient story of Beowulf, in an edition written for children by Michael Morpurgo.  This week we’ve been comparing how our modern day heroes stack up against heroes like Beowulf, who fought the evil monster Grendel and his wicked mother too.

Here are some thoughts from the students in 5/6B.

This one is by Elisar:

My hero is my dad.  My hero gives me lots of love and doesn’t need armour, loyalty or avenging me to show that why he is my hero.  My dad would risk his life for me and so would Beowulf, but my dad doesn’t kill anyone and doesn’t use weapons to show that he cares.

The times are different – because Beowulf had weapons and travelled by rowboat, but my dad just has his heart and he is always right next to me.

Sama compared Beowulf with his soccer hero:

Messi and Beowulf are both inspiring for what they do.  Messi is a really good soccer player but he is not good at killing people.  Beowulf is good at killing monsters but he is not good at soccer.

Shakelea wrote about why her father is her hero:

My hero is my daddy.  My hero risked his life for me.  He works to put my brother and me first before himself.  He will save us if we are in trouble, he is the greatest hero in the world to me.

Dragana’s hero is her sister:

Heroes from long ago were brave and strong and up for anything – they were not scared of anything.  My sister is scared of spiders but she will never stop protecting me because she loves me.

Beowulf and my sister are alike because she would do anything for people, but they are also different because Beowulf is not scared of anything.

Dylan admires his neighbour:

My hero is my neighbour Mick.  He is brave like Beowulf, he is strong like Beowulf, and he is kind like Beowulf.

Nikolia’s hero is Superwoman:

What’s good about Superwoman is that she is similar to Beowulf because they both save millions of lives and conquer super villains.  They rescue towns from villains. But they are different because Superwoman is considered a super hero that everybody knows whereas Beowulf is a hero except that not a lot of people know him.

Zealand finished her work early so she wrote about what she thinks will happen next!

I think that Beowulf and his crew will be having a party when they hear two big monsters stomping around.  They go and check and they can’t believe their eyes because it’s Grendel and Grendel’s mother! They thought that Beowulf could kill them but they were much stronger and had more power.  I think that their grandmother put a spell on them so that they will never die.

These thoughts are from students in 5KW.

Rukhsar thought about this deeply:

There are many heroes like my mother and Beowulf.  They are tough, strong, courageous and fearless.  Beowulf and other heroes like a mother are good, and it doesn’t matter which time they come from.  They are good because they help innocent people and solve problems before they get out of hand.  Beowulf and my mother are good because they are clever and kind.  Beowulf and my mother are alike because they are determined to help out everyone in any way possible even if it’s life-threatening, but they are different not just because my mother is a woman and Beowulf is a man, but also because they use different things.  Beowulf uses weapons like swords but my mother uses iPads and stuff.

Mia thinks that actually Beowulf has an advantage!

There are heroes like fathers and Beowulf who are protective, strong and helpful.  They are clever, and they help out.  My dad has no weapons but can still stop a fight. Beowulf had weapons and a special suit to help him!

Ali hasn’t been learning English very long but he’s been listening carefully to the story and this is what he thinks:

My hero is a fireman because he is brave and strong.  Beowulf is a hero because he is brave and strong too.

Miss Hill loves dogs so she really enjoyed reading this one from Angelina:

My hero is Rex, my dog.  Rex and Beowulf are both very brave.  They are both courageous, and they are both dashingly handsome.  They are heroic, fearless, and confident. They are both tough, but Rex is strong in pushing people down and doing puppy eyes – and (in a way) that’s tough, sort of!

Gabby compared BatGirl and Beowulf:

Batgirl is powerful, brave, bold, and trustworthy and Beowulf is trustworthy, generous and courageous.

Khushi’s is a heart-warming tribute to her mother:

Heroes like Beowulf and my mother are honest, loyal, and trustworthy and they stick to their word.  My mother is heroic in a different way to Beowulf.

Beowulf is physically much stronger than my mother but my mother would definitely be more comforting.  Both of them are very, very talented.

Sadly, they were in different time periods, and they were heroic for different causes.  Beowulf was heroic because of his strength and bravery but my mother is heroic because of her warm heart and the way she’s friendly and welcoming.  She loves helping everyone out just like Beowulf except she is less serious and her voice is different.  Beowulf used tools and weapons but my mother uses her heart-warming hugs and verbal acts.

Luka compared Beowulf with his soccer hero:

Heroes like Beowulf and Ronaldo Fenomeno are brave and strong, and they believe in themselves.  The difference between them is that Beowulf is a fighter, and Ronaldo Fenomeno is a very good soccer player.

Nicholas I compared brains and brawn:

Heroes like Bobby Fischer and Beowulf are dedicated to do something and always get the job done.  They are similar because they are smart but Beowulf uses weapons and magic and Fischer uses his brains to do things.

These thoughts are from students in 5/6V.

Salma D admires Sir Peter Blake, a famous Kiwi yachtsman:

Both Beowulf and Sir Peter Blake are adventurous.  Sir Peter Blake was a sailor until he was shot dead by pirates, and Beowulf would not give up until he saved the kingdom.

Beowulf was strong, tough and really muscular, but Sir Peter Blake was more caring because he never killed anyone.  Beowulf was not really an optimist like Sir Peter Blake because he did not look on the bright side of life.   Sir Peter Blake was not as sturdy as Beowulf because Beowulf killed Grendel with his bare hands, but he was still strong enough to use an oar.

Liam is another who admires superheroes:

Heroes like Beowulf and Superman are honourable, generous and strong so they encourage us to be the same.  Superman is like Beowulf because he is as brave and strong, but Beowulf uses weapons and armour and Superman uses magic and a cape.  Superman’s transportation is flying but Beowulf uses boats for transport.  Another difference is that Superman is by himself but Beowulf has an army.  Finally, Beowulf has fighting skills but Superman doesn’t – he has super powers.

In 6CC…

Jayden I admired the nuclear physicist Albert Einstein:

Einstein and Beowulf were the same because they were persistent, courageous and smart.  They both have done good things that help our world today.  Einstein had to think a lot, and Beowulf needed to be really strong.

The times were different, because in Einstein’s time people knew a lot and Beowulf didn’t.  Einstein had lots of transport but Beowulf could only travel by rowboat.

Lauren X’s hero is Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela and Beowulf are alike because they were powerful, noble and brave.  Nelson Mandela was powerful because he stopped racism and Beowulf is noble and brave for killing evil people.

Neha admires doctors:

My hero is all doctors because they help people.  The good thing about heroes from our time and long ago is that they’re courageous.  They’re alike because they’re both helping and determined to do their best.  They’re different because Beowulf kills people [evil ones] and doctors save people.   These days the rewards are different.  Doctors get paid but Beowulf got treasure.

Shevin’s hero is his father:

My father is brave, strong, caring and helpful.  Beowulf is brave, strong and daring.  They both help other people and are up for any challenge. In Beowulf’s times, heroes fought against monsters while heroes nowadays help people with work of whatever.  Heroes now use their skills while Beowulf had magic swords and stuff.  Beowulf used his strength and my father uses his brain to work out a problem.  Beowulf will jump to any challenge but my father thinks about the consequences first.

Habib’s hero is also from his family:

My mother is my hero.  She is really caring, nice, kind, well-mannered, intelligent and helpful.  Beowulf and my mother are alike because they are both well-mannered, helpful and intelligent.  They are different because Beowulf is stronger and more courageous than my mother.

These days you can be a hero by being yourself, being a brave explorer and in many other ways.  My mother helps me a lot when I’m feeling down, she cares for me and is really fun to be with.  Beowulf wants peace and harmony and will try his best to accomplish it.

Rukaiya admires Martin Luther King:

Beowulf was heroic, he was healthy, muscular and fearless.  He was honourable, adventurous and noble.

Martin Luther King was fearless, he was tough and he never gave up when his speech about racism was not taken into consideration.

Beowulf was different from Martin Luther King because he was a person who fought against a cannibal, but he was the same because he fought against evil just like Martin Luther King fought against racism.

Still, after Martin Luther King Jr died, his speech has brought changes to society, and if Beowulf had died, his actions would have changed the world too.

Yasmin E recognises that heroes help out others who are too scared to do things themselves:

My mother is strong and courageous like Beowulf because she catches spiders when we are too scared to do it, and she can lift really heavy shopping and items that are too heavy for us.  She is like Beowulf because he defeated the monster when everyone else was too scared to do it themselves.

The heroes from our time are passionate about a certain topic and will express themselves in any way to achieve a goal and to make people support what they believe in.

Miss Hill is proud to share these wise thoughts about heroism from the students of Year 5 & 6 at Mossgiel Park PS.