Write or draw a message to a Ukrainian kid

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The National Source Criticism Day

In connection to the National Source Criticism day, the ISGR library would like to tip you about two resources related to the ongoing war:

A good way to learn about journalism is also to practice it yourself. The library has got a guide from First News, on how to start a school newspaper. It contains both a teacher guide and a student guide. 

Last but not least, the library would like to tip you about the source criticism tests available or provided via the library. They are available in paper and digital, via the library blog, Just click on any of the links: https://lmcgotaberg.wordpress.com/source-criticism/ 

There is the source criticism tests: the 5 w’s / De 5 v’na, that is a general source criticism test, especially suitable for web pages. There is Fact or fiction / Fakta eller fiktion, for news and social media. There is also the source criticism Opvl, initially used by In&S teachers at the school. 

The library is also providing source criticism lessons for different grades: 

  • Basics of source criticism  (grade 6)
  • Source criticism and search engines (grade 6).
  • Source criticism and YouTube, Wikipedia and Google (grade 6).
  • Source criticism and journalism / news (grade 7)
  • Source cricitism and fake news. (grade 7 or 8)
  • Source criticism and algorithms (grade 8)
  • Source criticism and statistics (grade 9.
  • Anything else related to source criticism

There are also a lot of source criticism excercises available in the library as you can do and books you can borrow about the topic source criticism, in both Englsh and Swedish.  

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World Children’s Prize Program. Book tips from ISGR library

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Presentation and writing workshop by Linda Sue Park

On Friday last week, all students in grade 7 and MYP6 had a presentation and writing workshop by Linda Sue Park.

Before meeting Linda, all students had read Linda’s novel A long walk to water. They had also learned about or read other novels by Linda and either watched a TED talk with her, Can a children’s book change the world? or the documentary about The lost boys of Sudan, called God Grew Tired of Us.

Linda’s presentation of A long walk to water

In the beginning of her presentation, Linda said that the content of A long walk to water all came from Salva, one of the main characters that exist in real life. Therefore, the book could be seen as a biography, but Linda and Salva had decided for it to be fiction. Salva didn’t want to be co-author either, by political reasons, even though the book was a cooperation between him and Linda.

After this, Linda told us about the background of A long walk to water: the civil war i Sudan that started during the 1980’s and went on for 20 years til the 2000’s. Millions of people were killed and hundred thousands were living in refugee camps, in nearby countries. In those, there were often no real accomodation. Instead refugees built tents of whatever they could find, because as Linda stated “refugees are often the poorest people of the world. Even though, they nurture what they can call a home.”

In A long walk to water, that part is left out, when Salva spent 10 years at different refugee camps, for example Kakuma in Kenya. But this part exist in a graphic story When stars are scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, Linda tipped about.

When an opportunity opens up to leave the refugee camp, those who are staying over there are medically tested and interviewed. After that there is a lotery who will be allowed to go to another country. Salva was one of the lucky ones and he came to Manchester in New York where he was interviewed by Linda’s husband in 2003 and later on got to know Linda. Nowadays Salvo has got his own family and lives in both Sudan and the US. He prefers to spend the winters in Sudan, since he has never learned to deal with snow or cold winter weather. Linda says that Salva is laid back, funny, loves to tell jokes and that he is cool.

Linda showed a picture of where Nya, the other main character i A long walk to water lives now. There are trees, bushes, grass, bigger barns for animals and smaller for people, who are surviving as cattle herders. Before Salva came to Nya’s village to drill a dwell, people overthere were suffering a lot during the dry season. There was only water in a dirty little pool of water that everyone would share. The choice was between getting sick or dying.

Linda wants access to water to become a human right, as well as education and healthcare. If kids don’t have to go far to fetch water they also have time to go to school and will in the future be able to provide a better life for their families and countries. In some countries in Africa, for example the infrastructure needs to be improved.

Linda’s writing workshop

To the writing workshop, all students had been asked to bring a piece of writing with a certain length. Linda started off saying that; “We are all terrible writers, but we enjoy to improve our writing.”

Excercise 1

  • Look through your writing to find a long sentence, about 1.5 line long.
  • Copy and paste this sentence into a new document.
  • Rewrite the sentence.
  • Make small changes to the sentence.
  • With changes, try to make the sentence more dramatic and emotional.
  • Come up with a quantity of varations of the original sentence. Grammar and spelling doesn’t matter during this excercise.
  • Write variation sentences as fast as you can.
  • During the last minutes, write as fast as you can.

Linda then asked the students how may senteces they could come up with. She told the students the record holder was a 6th grader who had written 36 sentences. Now Linda wanted the students to look through what they had written and check if there was any part of any sentence that could be used in the original writing.

Linda taught the students that during revising you want to make your brain free, write anything and like crazy. During the digital age we live in, the brain is halfways connected with the keyboard. When our fingers touch the keyboard, electric impulses are sent to the brain. Through getting our fingers moving, we are waking up our brain.

Excercise 2

  • Select 1-2 paragraphs.
  • Copy and paste the paragraphs into a new document.
  • Swap chromebook with a friend.
  • Take a position opposite to your friend.
  • Take turnds reading aloud your friend’s paragraphs.While listening you are not allowed to comment or do anything.
  • Write down what you remember of what your friend read.

Linda said that revising is about looking at the writing process from different angles. It’s scientifically proved that you perceive a text differently depending on if you read it on paper or on the screen. You also perceive it differently depending on if you hear it or read it on your phone. “I usually read my texts aloud to my husband”, Linda said. “Because then I process the language in a different way. A long walk to water I read aloud three times before it was finished.”

Excercise 3

  • Choose two different paragraphs.
  • Copy and paste those into a new document.
  • Change the font into a font you hate.
  • What happened now? Do you perceive your paragraphs differently?

Lind explained that we all have different, individual handwritings, recognized by our brains. This applies also when we type on a chromebook. We usually have a font we prefer, that makes us feel convenient. When we change font to a font making us feel inconvenient, we can easier find weaknesses in our own writings. It’s because of the individual writing styles, that it’s easier to find weaknesses in other texts than in our own.

Deadlines work well for some people also, when it comes to improve your writings. It could add some objectivity to the process. Linda also tip about connecting to the world through reading and practice the ability to get inspired by the universe. If you read a lot, then you will also become a good write and if you writer regularly, writing will become easier. Linda herself found her way into writing through poetry, 40 years ago.

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Film music workshop by Philip Miller

Last week South African music composer Philip Miller did a lecture and workshop on creating film music with all the 9th graders of ISGR. He brought up concepts, practical approaches and ways of looking at the relationship between sound and image. He also showed different examples.

Before the workshop the students had got the opportunity to sign up for an account on the music creating platform BandLab and familiarize themselves with that.

The students were also encouraged to go visiting Philip’s website to listen to some of his music. Here he is working in his studio in Johannesburg:

During the workshop with Philip he introduced himself. During 50 years he had been working as a music composer, creating music to South and West African documentary films, fiction films, Netflix productions, cinema and theatre. He had worked with different forms of presentation of music. He told the students that physical music production has changed dramatically and now there are digital platforms that work acustically and electronically.

In the beginning of the workshop, Philip showed a film clip that he likes, both with and without sound. It was The shower from Psycho. After this, Philip talked about how music change the image and the opposite. There is a conversation between sound and image. People also associate sounds to aesthetic genres, geographical areas, certain time periods and more. For example, some kinds of music makes you think of comedy, mystery or drama. Sounds of drums are often associated with Africa. Sounds of disco you might relate to the 1980’s.

In music there is an idea of a theme built up by a rhythm and a motif. The motif is the identity of the music. There is also the signature that can be related to special character or place. This can return in different ways.

There is also the grammar of the music and the musical language, where major and minor play an important role. There are also chords that are dominant, comic or more and choice of musical instruments to consider.

After explaining this, Philip gave the students a task to solve via BandLab. The students were divided into groups to create a 1 min theme featuring: action, love, comedy or horror.

Later on, when the students were done creating their themes, they were performing and allowed to guess what themes the performing groups had chosen. Then the groups then got feedback from Philip and if there were technical problems or the groups were not done, they could send their pieces of music to Philip later on for feedback.

After this, Philip were performing the song TU+TU=freedom, created by him and the female rapper Kanyi Mavi. It was a celebration to Desmond Tutu, on the theme of tolerance and it was performed in a language only spoken in South Africa. Philip told the students that if they would like to a pursue a career within film music, they would be part of a group of creative people and cooperate with a film director and an editor. Those would be their main cooperation partners. To succeed on his way there, Philip encouraged the students to watch many movies, listen to a lot of music and also other sounds from the environment – nature sounds and more.

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The manga workshops with Lisa Medin

Before the Winter break, the professional manga artist Lisa Medin was meeting all students in grade 6 and 8 at ISGR. With grade 6 she was doing a workshop on the theme of humor and with grade 8 on the theme of horror.

She started to talk about what is an illustration and comics. She also showed different examples of what these can look like in Sweden and Japan, where manga simply means comics. She also talked about how illustrations and comics exist in different contexts all over the world. Lisa showed pictures and explained both physically and digitally in a powerpoint presentation. She also showed the students a book she had created herself: Medley: En ny våg.

After that, Lisa talked a bit about the history of manga. She showed printing presses in wood from the 18th century, where patterns were carved out. Later on technology made it easy to start mass-producing images, so the comics could spread. Photography also inspired manga, making the artists experimenting with angles and draw “shots” of events.

Manga has for a long time become increasingly popular. Lisa told us that a fourth of all books in Japan are manga and in Japan thick manga books are published like weekly magazines.

During the practical part of the manga workshop, Lisa taught the students step by step to draw vaguely with their hands in the beginning and later on shape figures, clothes and finally facial features and hair. She showed this to the students, both as an animation she had created herself and live. After that the students draw together with Lisa, partly with the help from “help lines” that were later on erased. In the end the students had drawn their own manga characters.

Here are some students comments and a film clip from one of the workshops, created by the Math teacher Luis Mardones.

“I thought I learned something about anatomy. What the first sketch looked like was quite similar to a skeleton.”

“I love drawing manga and anime. You can experiment and use your own style to shift and change the art style and expression of the drawing.”

“What we learned in the workshop could be used to create our own series drawings to tell stories.”

The manga workshops were part of the National project Creative School, underspinned by the National Arts Council.

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Resources and books on the theme of Ukraine

At the moment ISGR library are displaying sources in English and Swedish on the theme of Ukraine. Some of them are highlighting the ongoing war and crisis. 

First News (in English)

“Ukraine report” (see attached file)

“What is happening in Ukraine and why?” (See attached file)

Foreign policy magazine (in English) 

“Putin’s Sick Political Imagination is Behind the Ukraine War”

“The Vision of an Empire Drives Russia’s Policy towards Ukraine”

Globalis (in Swedish)

“Ukraina”

Utrikesmagasinet (in Swedish)

”Mannen som förstörde Ryssland” och fler aspekter på krisen

“Kriget beror på Putins sjuka politiska fantasi”

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Essäistikens essens

I Selected essays skriver Virginia Woolf: “Och om vi kan föreställa oss att skönlitteraturen blir levande och stå mitt ibland oss, skulle hon utan tvivel be oss knäcka henne och mobba henne, samt hedra och älska henne, för så är hennes ungdom förnyad och hennes suveränitet säkerställd.”

Vad Woolf skriver om skönlitteratur gäller även för essän som litterär konstform. Den har genomgått århundraden av förnyelser och refererar snarare till en idé än en egen genre. Essän går ut på att skriva en kortare text för att klargöra sina idéer kring ett valfritt ämne eller att besvara en frågeställning som prövas, som skönlitteraturen ovan.  

Essän reder ofta ut olika definitioner och klargör ett ämne på ett banbrytande, intellektuellt och konstnärligt sätt. Att läsa en sådan text kräver en aktiv läsare och i bästa fall uppstår en indirekt dialog mellan skribenten eller essäisten och läsaren. Det är som att essän låter sitt ämne genomlysas av prisma, en lins med förmågan att sända ut ljus från en fyr under natten, till en kunskapstörstande båt som försöker navigera essäns hav.  

Essän skapar flera konversationer inom ramen för sitt format. Dessa konversationer förgrenar sig, vävs ihop ihop och skapar cirkulära samtalsstrukturer. Essäisten följer sina associationsbanor. Hen skriver personligt om ämnet, men samtidigt utifrån ett visst perspektiv och med en viss originalitet, så att det bildas ett djup i essän.

För att kunna hantera sin uppgift, behöver essäisten en bank av kunskap eller erfarenhet att ösa ifrån för att tillhandahålla rätt mängd relevanta fakta. Hen behöver ha ämnesförståelse, för att välja ut vilka definitioner som ska inkluderas. Därtill behöver hen kunna redogöra för sina tankar och åsikter om ämnet, vilket gärna får ske på ett underhållande sätt. Det går också bra att inkludera tvetydigheter, tvivel och tvärsäkra yttranden. 

Termen essä kommer från franskans essai, som betyder försök eller prov. I dess nuvarande betydelse, som benämning på en litterär konstform, etablerades den på 1880-talet med hjälp av författaren Michel Montaigne, som var verksam under 1500-talet. Essän har dock anor tillbaka till antiken. I och med de Montaigne kom dock essän att handla mer än tidigare om att upptäcka sig själv, komma nära sina tankar och erfarenheter. Något Montaigne gjorde var också att dra sig tillbaka, för att se klarare på omvärlden. 

Essän med sitt flexibla och relativt korta format, passar bra för att kommentera aktuella händelser och förhållanden. Enligt författaren Gunnar D Hansson kan detta göras inom såväl litteratur som filosofi och vetenskap. Vad som essän har gemensamt, oavsett vilket ämne den skrivs inom, är det litterära, konstnärliga formatet. 

Inom vetenskap används essän som en ventil, för att låta tankarna vandra iväg, som ut genom ett fängelses galler, och prova sina gränser. Detta fyller en viktig funktion, då det inte är särskilt tillåtet att vara kreativ i den här bemärkelsen inom traditionella, akademiska texter. I essän kan dock vetenskapsmän och -kvinnor vara gränsöverskridande. Där kan de blanda personligt och professionellt, åsikter och fakta, tradition och nytänkande för att, som Hansson skriver, fylla ut ett tomrum mellan konst och vetenskap.  

Idag är det oftast i kulturella eller litterära tidskrifter som essän påträffas, men det kan även vara i dagstidningar, samhällsorienterade tidskrifter, essäsamlingar och på andra håll. Enligt universitetslektor Ann-Sofi Ljung Svensson är det kännetecknande för essän att den håller sig inom ett visst antal tecken, som kan variera. I Sverige karaktäriseras essän av ett kortare format, medan det exempelvis Tyskland är mer tillåtet för essäister att brodera ut sina texter. Essäerna som publiceras i Sverige är dock inte mindre stilistiskt medvetna för det, även om de  har något homogent över sig, vilket enligt Ljung Svensson, ett längre format nog kan råda bot på.     

I essän Ett eget rum av författaren Virginia Woolf, som hör till det längre formatet, finns det en ramberättelse som består i att Woolf planerar en föreläsning om kvinnor och litteratur. Hon söker svar på vilken status kvinnliga författare har haft genom tiderna, från 1500-talet och fram tills 1900-talet, i Europa och framförallt England. Det resulterar i en biografisk översikt, en kvinnornas litteraturhistoria. 

Samtidigt behandlar och förhåller sig Woolf på ett personligt plan till många olika kvinnor, deras rättigheter att få utöva skrivande, i vilken utsträckning de får delta fritt i det offentliga livet och samtalet med mera. Hon föreställer sig hur olika kvinnors liv kan ha sett ut, som författar-systrarna Brontës och Jane Austens. Hon uttrycker också åsikter om deras livsstilar och verk. 

Woolf deltar aktivt i berättelsen, därför att hon resonerar och drar slutsatser. Man får dock inte veta resultatet av Woolfs planering av föreläsningen, men däremot vilken inställning Woolf väljer att inta till sin publik: en uppfordrande. Man får också veta att Woolf kommer fram till att författare ska vara androgyna i sin upplevelse av världen och i sitt skrivande, för att bejaka både sin manliga och kvinnliga sida, som alla människor har i sig. 

Om Woolf väljer en uppfordrande attityd till sin publik, så väljer hon en ödmjuk inställning till sig själv och omvärlden. Ingenting är för lågt eller för högt. Woolf skriver i närbild när hon observerar vad som händer på gatan utanför sitt fönster och i fågelperspektiv när hon undrar hur den kvinnliga författarrollen kommer se ut i framtiden. 

En scen som är viktig är när en man och en kvinna kliver in i en taxi tillsammans. Här skriver Woolf att hon finner scenen trösterik för sin själ. Denna bild utgör också en symbol för det androgyna författarskapet som Woolf förespråkar; en öppenhet för sinnesintryck och erfarenheter. Förutom denna förutsättning för ett lyckat författarskap, nämner även Woolf att kvinnor inte ska behöva oroa sig för ekonomi och utrymme. Annars kan kvinnornas begåvning slösas bort och bli lidande, på ett sätt som förstör sinnesskärpa, intellekt, känsloliv och till och med liv. Ett exempel på bortslösad begåvning är Shakespeares presumtiva syster Judith, som inte får förkovra sig i teater och litteratur. Därför blir hon våldtagen av teaterdirektören och begår självmord.  

Ett eget rum innehåller många träffande beskrivningar, inte bara av oförrätter som skett mot kvinnor, utan Woolf är generellt sett skicklig rent språkligt och stilistiskt. I hennes essä förekommer inslag av humor, bildspråk och partier där tankarna svävar iväg. Texten lättas upp av repliker, citat, fotnoter och dialoger. Där påträffas många kvinnor som har levat och representerar skönlitteratur eller essäer i allra högsta grad. Det är sant som Woolf skriver att ju mer dessa bearbetas desto mer levande blir de. 

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World Book news

During the last few days there has been a temporary disconnection to the database World Book. That has been fixed now, so the database is up running again as usual, with the same login as before. 

You reach it here via the library blog: https://lmcgotaberg.wordpress.com/ listed under Databases in the right menu bar.  

World Book is appropriate for grade 6 and 7, through its database Student and for grade 8, 9 and 10 with the database Advanced.

There are also the database eBooks available via World Book  – where you will find classics, nonfiction, novels, easy readers and biographies. The ebooks can be downloaded online or via the World Book eBooks app after creating an account in the eBooks database. 

Then there are also the Spanish-language database, Hallazgos and the French-language database Découverte.

Here are some materials promoting and facilitating the usage of World Book 

You are also welcome to book your librarian Elin for supervising, workshop sessions or any help related to what you are studying in class, citation, research or anything else. 

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Safer Internet Day 2022

Here comes some resources highlighting The International Safer Internet Day. This day is annually taking place on February 8th. It is especially aimed at kids and young people bringing up topics such as cyberbullying, digital identity, social networking and online issues.

The ISGR library Campus Götaberg has collected some resources (see below) that are highlighting the The International Safer Internet Day and its content. Hopefully they will shed some light on current concerns and generate some conversations in class and at home, encouraging a more safe and positive use of digital technology. You could use the resources to find some good advice and worksheets supporting  discussions on healthy relationships online. 

The theme of this year’s Safer Internat Day is “All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online”. Of the resources listed below, the ebook Safer Internet Day by Britannica is the most focused on games, bringing up some history of online gaming for example.

Here you can watch a series of ten thought provoking videos on how you can balance virtual activities and real life. They are a bit humorous and sarcastic bringing up common issues related to internet safety.

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