Our whole school is practising writing explanations and learning about the features that make a piece of information an explanation rather than, for example, a recount.
In Huia 1 we are going to write an explanation about "Gumboots". Many of the students in Huia 1 had never worn gumboots before and, in the best interests of authentic learning experiences, we carried out first-hand (first-foot?) research by wearing gumboots and splashing around in a mud puddle which made a timely appearance after a particularly heavy downpour of rain.
Thanks to Mrs Dillon and Mrs McCarty for the loan of your gumboots. We will try to get them back to you as clean as they were when we first borrowed them... but we DID learn that gumboots are specifically designed to get dirty, and tested this rigorously.
Disclaimer: No child suffered in the making of these images.
We had fun learning about the importance of gumboots in rural New Zealand. Check out here for Fred Dagg's Gumboot song. We have watched this video many times to research what it is about gumboots that makes them so special. Most of the class are now singing along with the chorus.
Mrs Dillon, from Kiwi 3, visited Huia 1 (to check out if we were looking after her gumboots?) and told us about her experiences wearing gumboots in Iceland, where she worked as an inspector in a fish factory some years ago. We learned that, in Iceland, gumboots have a wedge in their sole to help prevent the wearers slipping on ice.
Interesting things we have learned in the process of our gumboots research...
1. We learned how to pronounce the Icelandic volcano (Thank-you for the Icelandic language lesson, Mrs Dillon.)
2. The song Waterloo by Abba refers to the Battle of Waterloo, ("...Napoleon did surrender...") won by the Duke of Wellington - name sake of wellington boots also-known-as gumboots.
3. Vulcanisation is the process of treating and heating rubber with sulphur to make it hard and durable. Little known fact - Vulcanisation has its own Facebook page. Truly!
4. An infirmary is another name for a hospital.
5. A gumboot dance was developed by miners in South Africa as a means of communicating with each other in darkness underground and as a way of coping with their extremely hard conditions. Check out one of the many You Tube videos of gumboot dancing here.
6. We learned a whole lot of new words from the background reading and research we did on gumboots:
durable, flexible, surgeon, versatile, perish, vulcanisation, essential, abattoir, tough, hygiene,
7. The word gum can be traced back to Egyptian.
Check out Spelling City here to test yourself on these words and to play games and activities to help you learn and understand the meanings of these words. Please note that the pronunciation is very American (is is a
This is a fast-frame record of some of our gumboot experiences. Click on the pause button if you want to see any image for longer.