Teaser Week

(Year 6-8)

Kia ora! Welcome to the Summer Learning Journey (SLJ) programme. The SLJ is a free holiday blogging programme for Year 3 - 8 students attending schools in the Manaiakalani and Outreach Clusters. The programme runs for six weeks over the summer from Monday 16 December 2019 to Friday 24 January 2020.

This year the SLJ team have created an extra week of activities called the ‘SLJ Teaser Week.’ The ‘Teaser Week’ will be offered at the end of Term 4. The purpose of this week is to provide you, the students, with an opportunity to try the programme before it officially starts. You will need to register for the programme before you complete the ‘Teaser Week’ in order to receive comments from our Blog Commenting Team.

The theme for the SLJ this year is “People Who Have Changed the World.” Together, we will be learning about people who have done interesting, inspirational and/or influential things that have had an impact on others. The people included in this programme represent a small selection of the hundreds of men and women who have led impactful lives.

The SLJ Teaser Week has fifteen activities - three options per day over five days. You can do the activities in any order that you want. To complete an activity, please post your answer on your school blog site.

Please note that there are no points allocated for the Teaser Week activities.

Image Attribution: Universal Studios, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_Court_(song)

DAY 1: Arts & Entertainment


Activity 1: New Zealand Royalty

‘Lorde’ is a New Zealand singer who rose to fame in 2013 with the release of her song Royals. She currently has over 6 million followers on both Instagram and Facebook and close to 8 million followers on Twitter. Lorde has won many awards and influenced many people with her music and her original dance moves.

Lorde’s real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor and she was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1996. Her mother, Sonja Yelich, is Croatian and her father, Vic O’Connor, is Irish. Lorde’s parents encouraged her to read a lot as a child. They also encouraged her to follow her passion. Lorde started performing covers (other people’s songs) when she was at intermediate school and started writing her own original music as a young teen.

For this activity, we would like you to do some research and find out all that you can about Lorde. Once you have finished your research, please create a Profile Page for her. A profile page is a digital infographic or poster that shares information about someone.

Here is an example of a profile page about Taylor Swift.

On your blog, post a copy of the profile page. Please include at least five interesting facts about Lorde on the page.

Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.


Activity 2: Exploring Our Roots

Taika Waititi is a New Zealand filmmaker, director, actor and comedian. He has produced and/or directed a number of popular films including “Boy,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” As a child, Taika Waititi lived in Raukokore (a small town on the East Coast of New Zealand). When he graduated from secondary school Taika moved to Wellington to study drama at Victoria University. Despite moving away from home, he has never forgotten his family or his roots (where he comes from).

Speaking of roots, Taika comes from a culturally diverse family. His dad is Māori (Te Whānau-a-Apanui) and his mother is Russian-Jewish. I, on the other hand, am Pākeha (New Zealand European). Most of my ancestors come from England. When I talk about who I am, and introduce myself to others, I sometimes use a pepeha.

For this activity, we would like to create your own pepeha. You can write the pepeha in any language that you wish. If you need some help, please visit this pepeha website or use this template.

I have used to website to create my pepeha. If you have trouble reading it, please click on it and enlarge it.

On your blog, post a copy of your pepeha.

Please remember that smart learners do not share their full name online (first name only).

You can use your last name initial (e.g. Laura N) on the pepeha website. If you use this website, please do not submit your email address - take a screenshot of your pepeha!

Activity 3: Big Friendly Giants

Roald Dahl was a British writer, fighter pilot, spy, and inventor. He is best known as an author having written dozens of books, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvellous Medicine, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), and Matilda. Many of his books, including the BFG, have been made into films. Have you seen any of them?

In each of Roald Dahl’s books there are many unique characters, including adult villains (the evil, nasty characters) and good, kind-hearted children. There are also a number of unique words - words that Roald Dahl created all by himself. Here are some examples: Scrumdiddlyumptious, catasterous disastrophe, sizzle pan, bundongle, churgle, darksome, snozzcumber, frumpet, gollup, grunches, and mideous.

For this activity, please listen to David Walliams, a famous British actor and comedian, reading a short clip from the BFG. In this clip, the BFG is talking to a young girl, Sophie, about one of his favourite hobbies. After listening to the clip, what do you think the BFG looks like?

On your blog, write a character description of the Big Friendly Giant that includes at least 10 descriptive words and a picture that you have drawn of the BFG. You could describe what he looks, smells, and sounds like, and tell your readers all about his personality.

Here is an example of a character description of Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Willy Wonka is the eccentric, crazy owner of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. He wears a violet velvet coat every day to work, with the same, strange top hat that sits slightly at an angle on his head. Sometimes he also wears enormous sunglasses which make him look like a bug. Willy Wonka is very small but he has a huge personality - there is no-one quite like him! Willy Wonka, of course, smells of chocolate and candy. He is always dipping his finger into the big containers of chocolate in the focatory and dribbling it down his chin.

DAY 2: Sport & Leisure


Activity 1: Faster than a speeding bullet

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a world famous athlete (sprinter). She currently holds the record for the 100m sprint and has been crowned “world’s fastest woman” a record four times!

Shelly-Ann was born and educated in Jamaica, a small country in the Caribbean that has produced many successful athletes and sportspeople. During her college years she did well in athletics, winning the Jamaican Schools Championships at the age of 16. She subsequently went on to win many races at both the Olympics and the World Championships. Over the years people have compared her running speed and that of other elite sprinters, like Usain Bolt, to many things, including animals!

When people make these comparisons, they often say things like: “Shelly-Ann is as fast as a cheetah” or “Shelly-Ann is fast like a fighter jet”. These comparisons are examples of similes. In many cases, similes are not exactly true.

For this activity, please create four new similes. You can use the starters below or you can make up your own.

… is as fast as… (eg: The brand new Ferrari is as fast as a lightning bolt)

… is as tall as…

… is as small as…

… is beautiful like...

On your blog, share the similes that you have created with your readers.

Activity 2: Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Fiao’o Fa’amausili was the captain of the New Zealand (NZ) Black Ferns, our national women’s rugby team, until 2018. The Black Ferns have been a very successful team, winning the Women’s Rugby World Cup a record five times. Wow!

Despite this success, the Black Ferns have only recently become ‘professional’ rugby players who are paid to play rugby. Although they are paid, the Black Ferns make less money than members of the men’s professional rugby team - the All Blacks. This difference in pay is often called the ‘gender pay gap’ and it is not uncommon in sports.

What do you think about this? Is it fair? Should female athletes, like the Black Ferns, be paid the same amount as male athletes who play the same sport?

For this activity, please think about this issue of the gender pay gap carefully. It is quite controversial (some people agree with it and some people disagree with it).

On your blog, tell us what you think. Is it fair? Why or why not? Be sure to explain exactly why you feel the way that you do.

Activity 3: The Greatest of All Time

While there are thousands of talented athletes in the world, there are a small number of individuals who rise to the top of their game and earn the title of G.O.A.T - The Greatest of All Time. One of these is Grandmaster chess player, Garry Kasparov. Garry was the top-ranked chess player in the world for fifteen straight years (1985 - 2000). He started playing chess when he was just seven years old.

To become an expert, he practiced for hours every day. According to some scientists, you have to practice a skill for 10 000 hours (about 9 years) in order to become an expert. Wow, that is a lot of practice!

For Garry, this meant training to play chess every day at a special school with special coaches. He was not able to attend regular school and did not have much ‘free’ time to spend with family and friends.

For this activity, please imagine that you are Garry Kasparov and that you were the best chess player in the world.

On your blog, list three pros (advantages) and three cons (disadvantages) of being the GOAT of the chess world.

Image Attribution: https://thewaterproject.org/

DAY 3: Environment & Exploration


Activity 1: The Rainman of Rajasthan

Arguably, the most important resource that we have on this planet is water. Without water, we simply would not survive. Here in New Zealand, almost everyone has access to free, clean drinking water but this is not the case in other parts of the world (e.g. Rajasthan, India; sub-saharan Africa, etc.).

In fact, almost 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. People like Peter Chasse have set up organisations like The Water Project to help address this issue and bring drinkable water to communities that do not currently have access to it.

For this activity, please watch this short introductory video from The Water Project.

On your blog, share what you have learned about The Water Project with us. What is the goal of the organisation? Where do they work? What have they achieved?

Activity 2: When the Rubber Hits the Road

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It is located in South America and is home to an incredibly special and unique environment. Unfortunately, the long-term health of the forest is at risk with hundreds of people entering the rainforest and cutting down trees without permission. Activists, like Marina Silva, are fighting back against this illegal logging and, in some cases, they are winning.

Marina actually spent her childhood working in the Amazon rainforest as a rubber tapper. She did not attend school or learn how to read or write until the age of sixteen. In fact, she was the first person in her family to ever go to school and the first one to earn a university degree. Her family must have been so proud of her accomplishments.

For this activity, please interview three friends and ask them what they are most proud of. It could be something that they, or someone in their family, have accomplished.

On your blog, please share who these people were (first names only) and what they were proud of.

My friend told me that she is very proud of her younger sister because she always volunteers to coach netball and touch rugby teams at the local school and she really wants to help the kids in her teams become better players. She is also like a big sister to them and helps them out if they are having difficulties with friends or school. My friend is proud of what a great role model she is to the students in her teams.

Activity 3: The Columbian Exchange

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer born back in 1451. He started sailing when he was 14 years old and spent a lot of his life looking for a passageway from his home continent of Europe to Asia. He never found one. Instead, he spent much of his time in the Americas (North, Central and South).

Christopher Columbus was, and still is, a very controversial man. Some people would even call him ‘infamous’ (well-known for doing something bad) because he spent much of his life sailing around the world, enslaving innocent people, spreading diseases and taking natural resources from the countries that he visited. His actions had a significant impact on the lives of others.

Who has had a significant impact on your life?

For this activity, please think of someone who has had a positive impact on your life. Who is this person? What did they do that was positive?

On your blog, please tell us about this person.

Please remember to be Cybersmart and provide their first name only (unless they are a famous person!).

DAY 4: Politics & Activism


Activity 1: Leading the Charge

Helen Clark was the first woman to be elected as the Prime Minister (PM) of New Zealand (NZ). She served as PM for nine years (1999 to 2008). During this time, she introduced a number of new policies and fought to ensure that New Zealand continued to be nuclear-free. In 2008, Helen Clark was defeated by Sir John Key in the national election. Mr Key went on to serve as PM of New Zealand from 2008 - 2016.

Before entering politics, Helen Clark lived on a farm near Hamilton. She became interested in politics while she was a teenager, and went on to study politics at the University of Auckland. After completing a lengthy career in politics in New Zealand, Ms Clark moved overseas to take on the job as Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She was the first woman to ever lead this international organisation. As the head of the UNDP, Helen made a number of important changes to the way things operated within the UNDP.

For this activity, let’s imagine that, like Helen, you are hired to lead an organisation. In this case, you are hired to be the principal of your school for one week. How exciting?! What changes would you introduce? Would you make the school day longer? Would you introduce daily trips to the swimming pool?

On your blog, list five changes that you would make to your school if you were hired to be the principal for one week.

Activity 2: Fighting for Freedom

Mahatma Gandhi was an activist best known for his role in helping India become an independent country in 1947. Prior to this, India was under British rule. During the fight to become free from England, Gandhi (and others) led peaceful protests, marches, and hunger strikes in India. His birthday (2nd October) is widely celebrated in India as the International Day of Nonviolence.

Gandhi originally studied to be a lawyer in London, England. When he completed his studies, he got a job in South Africa where he saw that people were treated differently because of their skin colour. He thought this was unfair and wrong, and so he organised protests to highlight the rights of Indians living in South Africa.

Gandhi impacted the world by using non-violent protest to bring about change. Recently, school students around the world have followed his lead and participated in peaceful protests about climate change. These were started by a girl called Greta Thunberg who, like Gandhi, is using nonviolent protest to try and make a change.

For this activity, please think about an issue you would protest over (non-violently, of course!).

On your blog, explain the issue clearly and tell us why it is so important to you.

If it was me, I would consider non-violently protesting over the lack of diversity in my local council and health board. I think there should be people from different ethnicities, different jobs, and different ages who represent the city that I live in.

Activity 3: Mass Migration

The current President of the United States of America (U.S.A.) is a man named Donald Trump. He was elected President in 2016. At the time, he promised the American people that he would build a wall between the U.S.A. and Mexico - the country immediately south of the United States. He made this promise because he wanted to stop people from crossing the American-Mexican border.

Earlier this year, a migrant caravan (people moving in a large group) came through South and Central America on its way to the Mexican-American border. The people in the caravan were heading to America to find jobs and build a better life for themselves and their families. You can learn more about them in this video.

Donald Trump’s plan to build the wall is very controversial (some people strongly agree with his idea and others strongly disagree).

For this activity, let’s imagine that Donald Trump called you up and asked for your opinion on this controversial issue.

On your blog, please tell us what you think about his plan to build a wall between the USA and Mexico. Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Why do you think so?

DAY 5: Science, Technology & Invention

Activity 1: The Social Network

Sheryl Sandberg is a business woman from the United States of America. Although she has had many interesting and high profile jobs, she is arguably most famous for working as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook. Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg as a messaging service for students at Harvard University but quickly grew to include people from all over the world. Although it was not the first social media site it is currently the most popular with over 2.23 billion users.

Many people on Facebook like to share pictures and videos. Some of these videos are even streamed (shared) live.

For this activity, please think about what you have learned in class about being cybersmart.

On your blog provide five rules that people should follow when sharing pictures and/or streaming videos online.

Activity 2: Impossible Burgers

Who enjoys a delicious beef burger? How about a juicy steak on the BBQ? Many people in New Zealand enjoy eating meat, however, about 10% of New Zealanders are vegetarian. Vegetarians don’t eat any meat or meat products. Instead, most vegetarian food comes from plant-based products.

Pat Brown is the founder of Impossible Foods - a company that makes food (“meat”) from plants. They have discovered a way to genetically engineer plants to form a product that tastes, looks, smells and feels like meat. Pretty amazing ‘eh?!

Let’s look at the nutritional facts for two of the burgers made by the Impossible Foods company - the New Impossible Burger and the Original Impossible Burger.

For this activity it is your job to read the nutritional facts about these burgers and to work out the difference between the two burgers in the following areas:

  1. Calories
  2. % Daily Value of Saturated Fat
  3. % Daily Value of Sodium (salt)

On your blog, share your results. You can use the following three sentences as a guide.

  1. The new Impossible burger has (insert number) less/more calories than the original Impossible Burger.
  2. The new Impossible burger has (insert number) % less/more of the daily value of saturated fat than the original Impossible Burger.
  3. The new Impossible burger has (insert number) % less/more of the daily value of sodium than the original Impossible Burger.

Activity 3: Choose your own

Here is your chance to choose your own scientist, technologist or inventor who you think has changed the world. Be creative - there are no right or wrong choices!

Here are some suggestions in case you get stuck:

Jane Goodall

Elon Musk

Donna-Rose Addis

Peter Beck

Keith Alexander

For this activity, choose one person and read all about them.

On your blog, provide us with:

  1. The name of the person
  2. A description of the work they do/have done
  3. An explanation of how they/their work has had an impact on the lives of others