Friday, February 10, 2012


4G have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what it might be like at the centre of the Earth.  We decided to let our imaginations go this week and write some short stories.  Below is one of the many fantastic pieces of work.  Enjoy!

Journey to the centre of the Earth
by Milo

I don't know why it happened to me.  Maybe it was my destiny?  Why me, why not my Dad or someone who knows about this stuff.

It all started at a beautiful scarlet dusk, a time when you just know somethings going to happen.  My Dad, Professor Nathan was working on his latest invention.  He said it would change the world for the better.  I wasn't sure.  The thing is, I was never really close to him.  It made me feel empty.

I felt mischievious.  I decided to check it out.  He was wacking a large hammer on a copper devise with electrical sparks flying out of the iron lump. Then Joey, the family dog, started to bark.  "What is it now?" asked Dad with frustration.  He stomped out of his garage to find me!  "Oh bother" I thought as Dad stared at me with agression.

"Now Leighton how, how did you get here?"  I was outspoken, there was no point in replying.  "Go away before I kill you" screamed my Dad like a foghorn.  "But, but..." I said shocked.  "Go to bed, NOW!" he bellowed thunderously.  I had no choice.  I skulked up to my room.  I wasn't finished with him!

I waited until he marched to his room then I slipped down quietly.  His invention was now glowing bright yellow.  Smoke gas clouds filled the room making it hard to breath. As I got closer, I saw a swirl of colour, supreme, amazing.  I was now blindly pacing towards it like a zombie.  It was magical, unlike anything I'd ever seen.

Suddenly I tripped.  I flew towards it as my scream pierced the air.  I tumbled down at the speed of light. I saw all my memories as I zoomed down this everlasting roller-coaster.  Then, out of nowhere I landed with a thump!  The land I saw was a sea of blood red and I was on a brown, rocky island.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" I screamed.

I got up and looked around.  Where was I?  What or who had sent me here?

"I demand to return to civilisation!" I shouted.

Then a path appeared in the sea of red but I now believed it to be lava.  I ran along this empty land on the rocky path.  Next, a door opened.  I went through.  What I saw was amazing, nothing else.  A devil was on the plains of hell.

"Who are you?" he asked.  "For I am the devil!  And you are my prisoner".

I was checked into a cell and here I remain today.  A wasted life, so silly of me that all I have to say is I found out I am in the centre of the Earth.  My dream is to go back home.  To where I belong.  It always will be.


We decided to take some pictures to give a snapshot of some of the work 4G have been doing.  We hope you like our research so far.  Stay tuned, lots more to come!  :)

Facts and diagram by Zana on Mount Vesuvius
Fact file by Marlon on Mount Vesuvius

Mind map by Razana - research of the Icelandic volcano

Saturday, February 4, 2012


As we saw in our last post, Pompeii was a Roman city in southern Italy which was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius when it fiercely erupted in 79AD.  The fascinating thing about this story is that the people could see the volcano erupting but did not try to evacuate the city.  We pondered why this might be and discovered it was because back then they would not have known what a volcano was.  Thanks to progress in science, we now all know how dangerous volcanoes are but back then nothing was known about Vesuvius.  Can you imagine how confused the people would have been to see the black ash shooting up into the stratosphere and not knowing why.

When we first talked about Pompeii we thought that lava had poured down the mountainside and killed the people of the city.  However, we now know it was in fact the volcanic ash that caused their deaths.  The video below provides a fascinating explanation as to how the red hot ash and rock brought so many lives to an end on that fateful day.

The city of Pompeii lay beneath layers of ash and rock, almost like it never even existed.  However, since 1798 archaeologists have excavated the city.  After careful digging over the centuries they managed to unearth what was left of the city.  When digging through the layers of ash they came across some hollows.  They realised these hollows were left after the bodies of the victims had decayed, leaving their outline behind.  Plaster was then poured into these hollows and when it hardened archaeologists continued digging and were able to see the actual shape of the people who had died.  This video helps to explain the process:

Explaining the Pompeii bodies

Since the excavation of Pompeii, many tourists from all over the world have come to see its ruins and the casts of the people who died.  These visitors bring large amounts of money to the area therefore helping the economy.  Tourists will spend money in hotels, shops, restaurants, tour guide offices and many more places helping the local people to have jobs and make a living.  Pompeii is a great example of how tourism can help to bring cash to local businesses and provide jobs for local people who provide services for tourists.


Mount Vesuvius
This week 4G have been doing some research into Mount Vesuvius.  This volcano has brought about some serious discussion in our classroom.  It is necessary to learn about the history of Mt Vesuvius before we can even begin to think about the devastation it could cause in the future.

Here are some of the key facts we found out about Vesuvius:


Location:  Southern Italy, near the city of Naples
Height: 1281m (4203ft)  
Age: Approximately 17,000 years old
Last eruption: 1944
Most famous eruption:  79AD when it destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii

We found the videos below extremely helpful in getting a picture in our minds of what Vesuvius looks like. The videos also give us a glimpse into the past so we can understand just how powerful and devastating the eruptions can be.

Something to think about as you watch the videos:  Why are the people of Naples and other towns still living so close to Mt Vesuvius?  What might happen to them if it erupts?

DID YOU KNOW:  Mt Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland.


This week we made our own volcanoes!  I bet you never knew you could have a volcano in your own classroom!  Well it is quite simple if you carefully follow the instructions below.  But be warned - this can get messy so make sure you wear an apron or old work shirt before beginning.

A large dish/tray
Sand and gravel
A plastic bottle/jam jar
1/2 cup of water
Liquid hand soap
1/2 cup of Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
A jug
Red or orange food colouring
Few table spoons of flour

1. Begin by taking your bottle or jar
2. Add the water to the bottle/jar using a funnel or jug
3. Mix the baking soda and flour together and add to the water
4. Add the liquid hand soap (about 5 or 6 tablespoons) 
5. Add the red or orange food colouring
6. Mix everything together.  If using the bottle put the lid back on and shake it all together.
7. Place the bottle/jar on the middle of the tray
8. Pack sand and gravel around and build up into cone shape (the volcano)
9. Measure out 1/2 cup of vinegar
10. Add vinegar to the bottle/jar
11. Wait for the eruption to begin!

DID  YOU KNOW:  When you mix the vinegar and the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) together it causes an acidic reaction.  This is the reaction you see when the volcano erupts.  This reaction makes a gas called carbon dioxide.