Friday, April 16, 2010

Kate's Grandmother Teaches About Australia!

Kate's grandmother was born and raised in Australia. She visited our classroom and shared artifacts from her life growing up in Sydney, Australia.

(An artifact is a fancy word for an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.)

Thank you Grandma Marty!

Do you have any question about Australia that you'd like answered?

Please, leave a comment!


  1. Hi my avatar is Icarus. Im from California. I like this because it looks fun. :)

  2. Hi my name is yuliana. I am in the 6th grade in Chalone Peaks Middle School. I thuink it is very interesting that Martys grandma came and showed all the students what it was like to live in sydny australia. I would like to learn who was on the dollars and how you use tha bommarange they look very interesting.I think it would be cool to get a comment back.

  3. @ Icarus,

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! What part of California are you from?

    @ Yuliana,

    Welcome to our blog! It was so great having Grandma Marty visit and teach us about life back in Australia.

    You asked who is on the dollar and how is a boomerang used. I am going to see if Grandma Marty or one of my students answers your questions. If not, I'll answer them. Please visit again to see if the answers have been given.

    Mrs. Yollis

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I thought it was really cool how Kate's grandmother (Halmoni) came into our class.

    My favorite thing that she brought in was the money because it was made of plastic. I was really surprised because our money is made of paper, and I thought all money was made out of paper.

    I also liked the boomerangs because they had designs on it.

    What was your favorite thing that Grandma Marty brought?


  5. Dear Mrs Yollis and students,
    how wonderful to have a special visit from Kate`s grandmother. Whats even more wonderful is how she made a beautiful patch work quilt which tells a story of growing up here in Australia and from what I could see it appears that her time here in Australia has really left her with beautiful memories.What I found even more interesting was the fact she had a one dollar and two dollar notes. I have not seen this form of currency for a long time. As the one dollar and two dollars no longer exist as they are now replaced with one and two dollar coins. It really bought back some nice memories for me too(thankyou for that).However I was wondering has Kates grandmother been back for a visit. Once again thankyou for another great topic on your blog from AA.

  6. @ Nick,

    It was a pleasure to meet Kate's grandmother! She was so kind and knew quite a lot about Australia!

    Yes, I thought the money was interesting as I've never seen plastic money either. It was strange how you couldn't fold it because it bounced back open. I wonder how it compares to paper money. My guess would be that it would last longer in circulation. (Circulation of money means that the bills are out in the country being used. When they get worn out, the government pulls the money out of circulation.)

    My favorite parts were the quilt and the opals. The quilt was interesting because it was handmade and she had sown symbols and artifacts into the quilt. It was beautiful! I like the opals because they were so colorful and bright. The stones looked like they were on fire!

    Maybe Grandma Marty (or you, Nick) could look up some facts about opals. I'm sure many readers have questions about what opals are...what gives them that colorful fire...

    @ AA,

    It really was wonderful to have Kate's grandmother visit! When she unfolded that handmade quilt to use as a storytelling piece...I was dumbfounded with the beauty!

    That's interesting that the bills she had are no longer in circulation. They looked brand new! The United States has been trying a new dollar coin. So far, people seem to still prefer the paper bill, but maybe that will change.

    So glad you enjoyed the post. It was a great presentation and lives on because of technology! :-)

    Mrs. Yollis

  7. Hi Mrs. Yollis and students,

    I wish I was there to see the beautifully crafted quilt Kate's grandmother brought to share. It was truly magnificent.
    On the other hand, the Plastic money caught my attention. I even searched to find an answer to why they would have plastic money instead of paper. The plastic paper lasts longer, stays cleaner, and works better in vending machines. Even though it is costly to print on plastic, it is still more efficient over time.
    I read in an article that Canada is going to print money on plastic as well by the end of next year, 2011.

    I do not know who is on the dollar bill, but I'll be checking back to get the answer.


  8. Dear Mrs Yollis,
    the video was great with Kate`s grandmum. I really liked watching it. I am happy to tell that the opal is a very special gemstone. I was also glad she bought in a hat which is called an Akubra. I think I know who is on the notes it is Queen Elizabeth
    best wishes Bianca.

  9. @ Soosan, (Ava's mom)

    What a fantastic comment! Grandma Marty's quilt was the perfect item to use to help her describe her life in Australia.

    Thanks so much for the information about the plastic money. After your comment, I looked up some facts about Australian money. They started issuing the plastic money in 1988. The first plastic bill was a $10 bill. By 1996, all the bills were plastic. According to one article I read, a $5 paper note lasted about six months in circulation while the plastic lasts about 40 months! Now that's durable!

    I think Canada is already issuing plastic money. I read a student's blog from Canada, and I thought he said their money was plastic. I'll check that out and get back to you here.

    I wonder if any other counties are going plastic?

    @ Bianca,

    Having Kate's grandmum here was a real treat! Thanks for the information about the opal! It is a beautiful gemstone! In fact, I read that the opal is Australia's national gemstone! I wonder if we can learn some new facts about opals!

    Thank you, too, for mentioning the name of the hat, the Akubra. (We could not remember what she called it.) Do lots of people wear them in Australia? Do you?

    Yes, Queen Elizabeth II of England is on the money. I think plastic money is a fantastic idea. We use paper money here in the United States, and it doesn't last nearly as long.

    Best wishes,
    Mrs. Yollis

  10. Dear Mrs Yollis,
    opals are found in mines in Cooper Pedy in South Australia.You need to dig 30 metres to find them.
    Well done Mrs Yollis for finding out about the opal being our stone!!! of Australia.Opals come in different colours the colours are blue,green and orange and red being the rarest and most valuable.
    Now I am going to tell you about the our Akubra hat.Stockmen and women, farmers, graziers and horsemen wear the hat.However alot of people wear the Akbra hat just for protection from the sun.
    From your bubby Bianca.

  11. @Mrs Yollis
    forgot to tell you no I do not wear an Akubra hat but my dad has some times
    from your buddy Bianca.

  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    When AA commented to you, she asked a question. Has Kate's grandmother come to visit? On Sundays I see her watching Kate and I play soccer together. Yesterday Grandma Marty came to watch Katie and me play soccer.

    Best wishes,
    Jollene :)

  13. Dear Grandma Marty,

    Thank you for sharing with the class about the culture of Australia. As a parent, I really enjoyed watching the video of your visit to the class. Our family had the opportunity to live briefly in both Sydney and Melbourne. Seeing your boomerangs, Australian money, jar of vegemite and opals really brought back memories of our visit there. Our family even has a collection of Australian boomerangs and aboriginal art hanging on a wall in our home as a reminder of our visit! Thank you again.


    Ethan's mom

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    My favorite thing was the boomerangs. I wonder if it really comes back to you, and how if there is gravity?

    Moraiya =D

  15. Dear Mrs Yollis' class,

    WOW, I loved watching your video about Grandma Marty's visit!

    Her artifacts were terrific!

    I loved reading all the comments on this post because it is so great to see that people ask questions and other people reply. Blogging conversations can help you learn so much!

    Australian money has sparked a lot of interest! We should have showed you some money when we Skyped with you! Well done, Mrs Yollis for researching Australia's money. One thing I noticed was that everyone in America calls the money bills, in Australia we all just call them notes (or coins). When I visited America (and other countries) I had trouble telling the notes apart because they are all a similar colour. Australia's notes are very colourful so they are easy to tell apart!

    I loved seeing some Aboriginal artwork and boomerangs on your video because our new topic for this term is all about Aboriginal Australia! We will start this topic next week and we'll be sure to let you know what we're learning. We are even going on an excursion in a couple of weeks to an Aboriginal centre and hopefully we will be able to try throwing some boomerangs!

    I have some questions for Grandma Marty. How old were you when you moved to America and why did you move to America? I don't know any Australians who have moved to the USA. It must have been a great adventure.

    From Miss McGeady

    PS - does Grandma Marty have an Australian accent still?

  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis.

    I really enjoyed visiting and meeting your class to talk about Australia.
    To answer one of your questions! The boomerang is thrown in more of a circle so as to have it return to the thrower. It takes a lot of practice to achieve this.
    Grandma Marty

  17. Kate's Grandmother has been back to Aust. many times and has a large family to visit.
    I am surprised that the money of Aust. has prompted such interest with the children.

    Grandma Marty

  18. Miss McGeady,
    I was 37 when I came to CA (34 yrs ago)with my family of husband and 3 sons ages 9,8 & 5.My husband works in the movie industry. Yes I still have an accent. If I can be of any assistance with your school project, please let me know.

    Kate's Grandma Marty

  19. @ Bianca,

    Thank you for all the wonderful information about opals! The class has been very interested in reading your informative posts! Thank you!

    What are Akubra made of? Are they all the same color?

    @ Jollene,

    How lucky to get a chance to see Grandma Marty again! Was she wearing her Akubra? :-)

    @ Moraiya,

    I enjoyed holding the boomerangs as well. However, I have never seen one actually thrown. Miss McGeady said they were going to attempt that when they go on their field trip. Maybe she can film it, and we can see for ourselves.

    @ Miss McGeady,

    Wasn't it a great presentation by Grandma Marty! It was a real slice of Australia!

    I agree with you about the comment section...lots of questions and great answers! Commenting is my favorite part of blogging.

    We will be very interested in hearing about what you are learning next term. Good luck with the boomerangs! :-)

    Your friend,
    Mrs. Yollis

  20. @ Grandma Marty, wow it must have been a real change for you to move to CA at 37 years old with your young family! What an exciting industry your husband worked in. I wonder if you have met any movie stars! Thank you for your offer to help. I will let you know!

    @ Mrs Yollis, I agree that commenting is the best part of blogging. I will certainly be filming our boomerang attmepts if we get the chance.

    Miss McGeady

  21. @ Mrs Yollis,
    thankyou for your comment about the Akubra hat. I did some research about the Akubra hat and found out that it is made out of beaver, hare and rabbit fur. My dad wears his Akubra hat with his dry as a bone jacket when it is raining. A dry as a bone is a long water proof jacket.Stockmen and women wear them with their Akbra hats to protect them from the weather.There is over 100 different styles of Akubra hats with different colours. Akubra hats were first used in World War one and were called slouch hats.
    Hope you learned more about the Akubra hat from your buddy Bianca.

  22. Alex for the last time :(. This is so awesome that you guys got to meet someone from another country! I bet you guys really enjoyed her visit. I only have one question: Is it hard to learn how to use a boomerang? Good luck with your future endeavors!


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