Category: Reading

Social Issues Book, The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park

In the book, The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park, Jakes grandfather, Skelly, unfortunately, gets Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a disease where the person with the disease forgets most things. This causes Jake to change his actions and change his lifestyle.

A way that this challenge affects Jake’s interaction with the world is that he is very embarrassed to bring his friends over because he is afraid that Skelly will do something super embarrassing. He doesn’t even want them to call him because he is afraid that Skelly will pick the phone up. For example, the story states that when Jake was making a new friend, he invited him over to a sleepover. When the kid came they were having a good time but when Skelly was on his way to the shower he heard them talking and came in. The only thing is is that he wasn’t wearing pants! Not even underwear! This made Jake feel super uncomfortable and frustrated. I would feel the same way.

A way that Skelly getting Alzheimer’s disease affects Jake being alone is he just wants to think about his life without anyone disturbing him. As an example, when Jake goes to the restaurant with Skelly he sees two popular girls. Then he decides he doesn’t want to be seen with Skelly so he tries to walk home. On his way out he trips and the girl sees that Skelly is his grandpa. At that moment Jake wants to be alone so he runs home. On his way home he sees Skelly’s babysitter and she won’t leave Jake alone, Jake was just trying to think about what happened. I think if I was Jake I would be frustrated because if I just wanted to be alone and think about my situation I wouldn’t want anyone to be annoying me even more.

Overall, I think that even though Jake went through hard times he learned to push through the challenge and at the end of the story Jake realizes that Skelly should be important in his life and should see the big things that Jake goes through even if Skelly forgets them.


Science Filtration Process

Around  the beginning of February my class and I began reading the book, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.

Image result for A long walk to waterThe book was split into two different stories. One story was in 1985 and it was about a boy named Salva. The other story was in 2008 and it was about a girl named Nya. In Nya’s household water was scarce so everyday she had to walk back and forth from sunrise to sundown just to get water. Even though she walked so long to get the water, the water was still very dirty and probably not the safest to drink either. We also read the book, Salila’s Turtle by Engineering is Elementary Team. Salila was working hard on trying to filter water. This inspired my class to start looking into pollution and how pollution forms. We realized most and/or all the pollution is caused by humans. Since lots of people don’t have a water system in there home they use ponds, lakes and oceans to “tidy” themselves. This causes water to have lots of contaminants.

My class was split into groups. My group was Max and Jessica. Our goal was to find a way to make a useful filter but we had to move in small steps. First, we brainstormed the criteria for determining the quality. These are the ones we came up with,

  • Number of particles left behind
  • Clarity
  • Taste
  • Odor
  • Color
  • Speed
  • Durability

After, it was our first time filtering water. We were only allowed to use each filter by itself. We did this to see what each filter could do by itself. We were given paper filters (coffee filters), sand and gravel and a screen (mosquito net). We were looking at how many particles the filter could remove, how much color the filter removed, and how long it took. We also were assigned to a bottle full of a contaminant. My group got assigned to soil water. Then, we filtered the water with the three filters we had. We found that the sand and gravel worked the best. It didn’t take that long but it could have been faster. It took about 2 minutes. I think it took so long because the holes that water seeped through were so small but that’s also why I think the water was filtered so well. Finally it was time to really start thinking about the criteria we needed to make a good filter. Our class thought of these.

  • Reusable
  • Hardy
  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Efficient
  • Safe for environment and kids
  • Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Long lasting
  • Easy use for kids
  • Good quality

Before we started,

2 groups got paired together. (I think we did this to make things easier.) Our teacher asked us to find the top 4 criteria that we wanted our filter to be based off of. We chose safe for all ages, reusable, efficient, and good quality. Then, we started thinking about materials to use. Our teacher said every single idea should be written down no matter how weird it is. Here is the a list.

  • Elephants trunk
  • Pink fluffy unicorn
  • Layered paper filter
  • Medal
  • Soybean powder
  • Self contained tank
  • Cheap thin fabric
  • Dried and washed non toxic baby wipes, stretched out

In the end our materials for our first filter were,

  • Non toxic baby wipes
  • Paper filter
  • Folded screen
  • bottle

We made the filter like this, we put the folded screen in the bottom of the bottle then, we put 5 paper filters right on top, and lastly we taped the baby wipe to the top of the bottle. We also had a rating system. 5 meant super bad and dirty water, 4 meant a little bit lighter and still a lot of particles, 3 meant pretty clear and just a couple particles, 2 meant almost completely clear and very little particles, and 1 meant completely clear water.

Before we started to filter our water we had to answer some question in our note book. Here is a picture of what it looked like.

Then, finally we were ready to filter our polluted water. Our first attempt took about two minutes which isn’t bad. It was a 2 ½ because there were not many particles but the color was in between the two. We thought it was really good for our first try.

Our 2nd attempt went the exact same but we went with a different design. This design was a little bit more sophisticated. Here are the materials we used.

  • Folded screen
  • 5 Paper filters
  • Non toxic baby wipe (we put the baby wipe inside the paper filter)
  • Sand and gravel

Our 2nd try we also think it got a 2 ½ because the color was in between and there was a little amount of particles left. Since our end product turned out being the same we wanted to see what would happen if we filtered it again. (we double filtered it). The color didn’t change but there were no particles at all. We came to a conclusion and said that the rating was a 2. I think if we filtered the water 5 times it would be a one but we didn’t have time.

Our last attempt was the the worst and the best in different ways. These are the materials we used for our last design.

  • Folded screen
  • 5 paper filters
  • Flattened out cotton balls
  • Sand and gravel
  • Non toxic wipe

Our last filter was weird because after we filtered the water there were absolutely no particles in it that were visible but yet the color was still very dark. This is confusing to me because i thought that the cotton balls would take most of the color out but it didn’t. But i do think that the cotton balls helped with making the water have no particles.

Overall, I would definitely do this again at home because it is a fun project but it can also help stop pollution.

A Long Walk to Water

My class and I are reading the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  We have been discussing leadership, survival and more. Our book had been very and intense and it makes me realize how much I actually have and how I take it for granted. Nya and Salva, the two main characters, go through lots and lots of hard times and times they want to just end. But Salva was told by his uncle to take things bit by bit, day by day. This encourages Salva to never give up and keep going. These two characters, Nya an Salva stories are at different time periods. Salva’s story was a true story that happened in 1985 and Nya’s story was based on a true and happened in 2008.

My class and I have been thinking about some questions. One that we discussed and talked about was, What are the qualities of effective leadership? I was thinking about this hard and the first one that popped up in my mind was perseverance. I feel like perseverance is super important characteristic because if a leader gives up the people following might as well give up too because a leader is suppose to show bravery and being strong but if the leader just gives up they will think that if it is to hard for the leader they have no chance to do it either.  Another quality of effective leadership is being bold. I think being bold is super important because if a leader has an idea they should not hide it they should tell it to everybody. Even if the idea does not work, it would be the right choice to at least try because if they don’t then they are losing a chance of a possible good idea and a possible chance of something working and succeeding. In the book A Long walk to Water, Salva shows these characteristics. Salva shows perseverance when he is kicked out of Ethiopia and his refugee camp and ends up leading about 1500 boys and always tells himself to take things bit by bit and day by day. When he keeps telling this to himself  and others he finishes his journey and he gets 1200 boys to Kenya. Salva shows boldness when he decided where he is going. This is boldness because Salva did not hesitate to tell anybody he just decided to go because he knew it would be best. he knew Kenya was the best choice because there would be refugee camps there. Eventually a lot of boys started to follow Salva.

Salva is wise and has great knowledge. His philosophy can help me in my life because Salva shows me that at such a young age I can do sooo much. Salva also inspired me to act more like a leader like persevering and being brave. I chose these two characteristics that Salva has because being brave can affect so many things. For example, if there was a spider and no one else wanted to go near it to kill it, I would go so that the other people that didn’t want to approach it would relax after I killed it for them. I think perseverance is a huge one because if I stop trying, I will never know what it would benefit for me. For example, the Spartan Race. If I give up in the middle of the Spartan Race, then I won’t be able to feel the experience of accomplishing and finishing the race.  Out of all the characteristics, I think that perseverance is the most important because there is always a chance to get to your goal and if you give up, you are missing an opportunity. I think I can develop the ability to persevere if I tell myself the same thing Salva’s uncle to Salva, “bit by bit, one step at a time.” I think this will help me because I will just focus on the things I am doing at the time rather than overthinking  what I am going to do later.

Overall, this book really makes me so thankful for what I have because Salva has almost nothing but yet, can persevere through all of it just from some words, “bit by bit, one step at a time.”


We have been reading the book HOME of the BRAVE and we have been having great discussions and questions. Here is one of the questions: Gol is a cow, but Katherine Applegate (author of Home of The Brave) also uses her as a symbol. How does Gol represent Kek’s past, present, and possibly his future?  

A way Gol symbolizes Kek’s past is because Gol means family and it may remind Kek of his life because his father herded cows and when he hugs Gol it feels like he is hugging his past, his family. Another idea for this response is that Gol lost her family and is very lonely and Kek also lost his family and can feel Gol’s struggle in life because they don’t have anybody to communicate too. A way Gol symbolizes Kek’s present is because Gol’s family is gone and she is lonely and Kek can relate to that because his family is gone as well. Another way Gol symbolizes Kek’s present is because Gol is old and Kek can relate because he feels his life is so much longer because of how his life story went how he is so lonely. He feels that his 13 years of life have been much longer.

A way Gol symbolizes Kek’s future is that they both want to have someone to depend on and be able to tell them more personal things and their inner feelings, so maybe they will try together to find someone who can help them with their struggles. In the book it says that Gol is going on into a new life and a new start and now Kek can feel the great feeling of being able to feel home again. Overall, I think that Gol is a SUPER important part in this book because Kek has someone to relate to and I also think that Gol is important in this book because she is a good example to Kek because she faught through the loneliness  just like Kek but they both got through it.

Image result for HOME of the BRAVE