My Chicken Talk


In my 6th grade Language Arts class, we did Mock TED Talks. I did mine on the incredible intelligence of chickens! I am very passionate about chickens because I have 19 at home, and the large hen in the photo is Mabel, one of my favorites! I really enjoyed exploring just how smart chickens are! DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THEM, and definitely know what you are eating (chicken) and think (duh).

Tree Books

In my 6th grade LA class, we did a very interesting art project. We made books! These books looked like trees and were covered in words and prints. Our writing works were included on the flaps. At first, I thought it looked kind of ugly when I saw examples and I thought it was strange to be making art in LA, but I soon saw how amazing the books were! 

First, we picked our cardboard pieces and cut them into trees. We printed leaf and plant patterns by putting plants on a gel pad, rolling akua ink onto the plants and pad, and placing a piece of paper on top, and using a roller to press it into the paint. This created a ghost print of a plant. You could also paint only the plant or only the pad, for different effects. There were different pieces of paper that you could use, such as plain, dictionary, maps, and more!

We cut out the prints and glued them in to create a forest on the inside of the flaps. I really enjoyed cutting out images of animals in the dictionary and having them living in my printed forest. There were many colors of ink, and every book was very different.

For the inside, we were tasked with writing a Life List, a Salute To My Roots, and a When This Is Over poem. The Life List is full of things I want to do and accomplish. The Salute To My Roots was writing about how someone in my life has affected my life. I chose my older brother, Parker, as the person to write about. For the When This Is Over poem, we wrote about what Covid has affected, and what we appreciate. This is my poem:

 

When This Is Over

By Leah S 



When this is over

may I never again take for granted

Breathing freely

Feeling the bumpy cruise of a trot

Looking out the window 

to see the airplane wing supporting me

Wrapping my arms around 

my favorite people

Watching lips as they mouth silent words

Laughing and stuffing myself 

in a crowded restaurant

Stealing popcorn and sneaking candy 

as the curtains rise

Blowing out rainbow candles 

on a chocolate cake

Pillow fights at midnight 

when we should be asleep

Seeing the smiles 

as my family unwraps their presents

Being rowdy in the backseat 

of my friend’s car on the way to school

Sitting in the quiet library 

a thick book in my lap

Writing with a pencil 

instead of typing on keys

Watching as jokes spark laughter

Talking face to face

Thanksgiving 

without a computer on the table

Earning my swim band

and building community with my cabin



I really loved that we could display our writing in a little book that we made ourselves. I thank Peg Gignoux for helping us with the beautiful artwork! I really enjoyed this project because I got to see my classmates’ art and their writing.

Stock Market

 

This year, we have been reading a cozy murder mystery called The Westing Game. In this book, a character is very interested in the stock market. My English class did a simulation of the stock market by using a spreadsheet to track stocks that we “bought”. Each student was given an imaginary $20,000, that we could invest in any 1-6 stocks, however many shares you could afford.

Because of a recent stock market crash, many people lost the fake money, but a few managed to earn a bit. I invested in 5 companies, Starbucks, Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Tesla. I chose  Amazon, Apple, and Tesla because they seemed like they would go up, and the other two companies because I love movies and food! I lost $6296.06. 

Even though I lost money, I am really glad we did this because I understand how the stock market works and I feel more prepared for dealing with finances. In the future, I think I will invest in more reliable companies, especially because it would be real money. I thought that consistently checking the stock market was a bit stressful because there was suspense in finding out what went up or down. I enjoyed this project because I learned about money management and the stock market. I recommend learning more!

Planetarium Field Trip

Last Wednesday, my 6th-grade class went to Morehead Planetarium. It was very exciting because it was our first field trip in 3 years! We traveled in two groups to exhibits, shows, and the dome. The dome show was my favorite part, but the live science presentation was very interesting and we got to witness liquid nitrogen switching between a liquid and a gas. We also watched how static electricity interacted with objects. 

The dome was my favorite because even though we weren’t wearing 3D glasses, it felt like we were surrounded by the night sky. We watched a 3D video about astronauts, astronaut training, and what astronauts go through. Surprise, the video was called Astronaut! 

We also got to explore the interactive exhibits. My favorite one was about coastal erosion. There were three tanks, each with a beach, water, and houses. One had nothing to protect the coast, one had a seawall, and the other had natural defenses such as oyster reefs, seagrass, and sand dunes. It demonstrated that natural defenses were the most effective against erosion. It was really fun because we got to learn about science with our classmates. Visit Morehead Planetarium!

Book Recommendation

Between Shades of Gray is a wonderfully written teen novel that I recently read. I read it because of Battle of the Books, but I have since then read it again.

It is about a teenage Lithuanian girl who is taken from her home by the soviets. It is about her incredible journey and hardship, as well as her joys and life. Lina and her family are mistreated and judged because of their kind actions. The book is 341 pages long but it goes by so fast. It is Narrative Nonfiction because this was a true story! Lina was a real girl who captured her experiences into drawings and words that people later discovered. Some creative liberty is taken, but knowing that someone actually lived through these terrible things opens your eyes. This book is by Ruta Sepetys and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or adventure. You will love this book!

My Wisdom Tales Comic

 

A Wisdom Tale is a story that is found in a book of collected stories from around the world. They are usually fables with animals, and they always have a moral. In English class we created comics based off of different Wisdom Tales. I chose one about a deer that loved his antlers but hated his legs. I chose this because I love drawing and watching deer, and because the message connected with me.

To create this I used Comic Life 3, an app that arranges photos and speck bubbles to make comics. To draw these, I used Sketchbook, an app that has many brushes and unlimited colors to create with. I started by drawing the background on separate layers and then merging them so that I could copy them and use them in other images. I drew the deer almost completely free hand, except for the last drawing where I drew it on paper first, then took a photo and traced it. I had never used Comic Life3 before, and it was easy to use and straightforward.

Comment and explore other comic posts! Thank you!

Animals


I love drawing realistic animals. It is quite challenging to recreate a beautiful animal. I personally enjoy drawing hoofed mammals such as cows, horses, and deer. Painting adds another dimension of realism that can make art seem like it is popping out at you from the page, screen, or canvas. Shading and defining muscles is difficult, but using a blender, paper towel, or finger helps to smooth the rough lines into a realistic piece.

Many artists choose to put their own spin on their references, or combine them so that there are two animals in the same drawing or painting. Sculpting is a whole different thing. It is hard to make a figure capable of standing while still looking like the desired animal. Creating art based on animals makes a person feel closer to that animal, and it is a fun way to explore your artistic talent!

Daily Habits

In my English class this year, we have been learning about Daily Habits. A Daily Habit is an activity you do consistently every day. From Sept. 13 to Nov. 23, we did a plank every day. Every week we added 15 seconds onto the original 30 seconds until we reached 3 minutes. It was very challenging physically, and it made me mad when I could not do the full plank. Sometimes I would give up, but I felt really bad afterwards. When I managed to pull through, I would feel proud and I would know that I could do it for the rest of the week.

Adding a little time to the plank every week is beneficial because you have just enough time to get used to the new time before you have to add 15 seconds. You get stronger gradually even if you cannot do the full time, because you would still be going for longer than last week. It felt really good to plank because I knew I was making progress and getting stronger. 

At first I could never remember to do it at home on days when I did not have English, because I would just do my normal routine and never think about it. Eventually, I came up with the idea to put a note on my fish tank because I have to feed my fish everyday. After that, I was more consistent and I felt proud of myself for persevering and finding a way to solve a problem. Once I figured that out I got better at planking because I was doing it every day, and it wasn’t as much of a shock when I had to add 15 seconds. 

I learned that 1 minute is a lot of time when you are straining and concentrating on something. It has made me value time more because if you have little habit every day time slows down and you have some time to think. Now that the activity is over I am doing 5 pushups every day, and I will add 1 pushup every Monday from now on. I am so proud of all I have accomplished while doing my daily habit, and I recommend planking or another daily habit for everyone! It does not have to be physical, but it should be challenging.

Window or Mirror?

A window book is a book that is about something different than your life, identity, or experiences. It could be fantasy or just a different perspective. A mirror book is about something very similar to your life or yourself. I thought that A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée was a window book for me  because it was not very similar to my life. The main character is an African American girl, and although I am female, I am white. This makes it harder for me to understand all that comes with being black (or another race). She protested against gun violence, police brutality, and general racism. I do believe in what she believes in, but I have a very different perspective because none of it directly affects me. She has some problems with friends and the dress code, but she pulls through and manages to make a difference for everyone at her school. Some things that are similar to me are that she is an athlete, and she loves to create things with her hands. I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it to everyone!

 

My Backpack

 

 

This summer, I read a wonderful book called Finding Someplace. In the book,  the main character, Reesie, is home alone during Hurricane Katrina. She is faced with the problem of flooding and has to quickly pull together a backpack with important items that she can save. She takes her sketchbook, pens, toiletries, and a mysterious folder labeled “Important Papers”. If you want to find out what happens, this is an amazing book to read, and I suggest you read it!

If I was faced with a similar situation I would need to prepare, too. In my backpack, I would bring Granola bars, trail mix, and cans of soup to eat if I had no other access to food. I think I would also bring my favorite stuffed animal, EB, because he would comfort me and remind me of home. I might bring a change of clothes and blankets to keep warm, as well as a flashlight with extra batteries for if the power went out. I could bring my wallet and a phone for small purchases and communication. I would bring other emergency supplies like water, matches, a first-aid kit, and extra masks if it was still during Covid. Like Reesie, I planned to bring a comforting thing to remind me of home. In the book, she scrambles and does not grab all of the necessities like clothes and food, which are things I would have grabbed. All of these items are things that I think I would need during a hurricane, but Reesie might not have, because we are different people.