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Icebergs, Change Makers and Building Capacity

Posted by on May 3, 2012

Learning about our Cultural Differences.

 Flickr Photo shared by Quinet

Today, we did some brainstorming and THINKING … and this is what we came up with:

What does Global mean?

  • Around the world
  • World wide

What is a Citizen?

  • A person

What is a GLOBAL Citizen?

  • A person in the world


  • A person  who is a part of the world and who shares it with everyone else
  • A person who is a global change maker
  • A person who works toward making the world a better place

There are lots of people who want to make the world a better place by creating organizations to help communities in need all over the globe.  The Red Cross is one of those organizations.  It has been helping people around the world for about one hundred thirty-nine years.   They help by rescuing people, by rebuilding houses after disasters, and by sending food, medicine and blankets.

Justin Lebo is a boy who was ten when he first started building bikes and giving them away to kids who were less fortunate than he was.  He would pick up old bikes from garage sales and he would clean them up and rebuild them.  He did this all by himself … without an organization … but … his parents helped him, his neighbour shared his story with a newspaper … and then the news spread and the REST of the community started to help by donating their bikes to him!

An association called Free the Children tries to give kids in the world the chance to go to school instead of having to work.  We discovered that some children around the world work in factories for hours and hours each day.  In some of these factories, the children make rugs by hand.  Some of these jobs are VERY dangerous. Did you know that the boy who started the Free the Children organization was only TWELVE years OLD? His name is Craig Kielburger.  He started this organization after he had read an article about children who are forced to work instead of going to school.

This makes us think about Peru because the children there don’t HAVE a lot of play time.  Not all kids in Q’enqo get to go to school, and even those that do have to come home and work very hard along-side their families.  We are lucky because we get to ENJOY being a child where WE live.  We only discovered this information about the children in Q’enqo because of a guest speaker.   That made us wonder about what ELSE we didn’t know about Q’enqo and its culture.  Strangely … THAT’S when Mrs. Renton asked us about …

Icebergs … this is what we know:

  • Big
  • Sharp
  • Destroy things like the Titanic
  • You can find them in the northern and southern parts of the world
  • Icy
  • Cold
  • Break off and make smaller ones
  • 70 % of them is … UNDER water …. THANK you, Damian, for this … PERFECT fact!  THAT means that MOST of an ice berg is BELOW the water.

What? There’s a CULTURAL iceberg?!?

Photo by James Penstone

Mrs. Renton talked to us about a CULTURAL iceberg next … we KNEW she was going SOMEWHERE with this chat … we just DIDN’T know WHERE!!!  We discovered that a CULTURAL ICEBERG is kind of like a REGULAR iceberg because 70 % of the Q’enqo culture we DON’T KNOW!  Think about all of the “unknown” stuff as … under the sea … like a REAL iceberg.  So … we know about their language, food, dances, music, traditional clothing and celebrations and such.  All of this is the 30 % of the iceberg that we CAN see about a culture.  Ashli and Geneva are helping us to learn about the stuff that we CAN’T learn in a text book … the stuff BELOW the surface.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

~ Chinese Proverb

That quote means that if you do something kind for someone … you have to do the WHOLE  package … the EXTRA work … to teach them HOW to do it so that they can be independent.  We gave the community of Q’enqo a library and books, which was like giving them a “fish” … and we learned that books are a part of OUR everyday lives in OUR culture … but … not so much in THEIRS.  Now, we need to teach the community how to USE the library and the new books … like the saying “teaching them how to FISH” … showing them HOW to sign the books out and enjoy them … like WE do!

Our work with Mosqoy and the Battalion Library Project has taken us BELOW the surface of the iceberg and we have learned SO much MORE than we EVER would have if we weren’t using Skype to learn from the experts working in Peru.  We have learned that, although we LOVE books … the Q’enqo community hasn’t had them in their cultural experiences like we have.  Many of the parents in Q’enqo DON’T know how to read.  Books are very expensive in Q’enqo … these could be part of the reason they don’t want to ruin the books.  Their stories have been passed down by mouth for generations.  We have discovered that they love stories just as much as us … but … not in the same way.  Our job will be to share our love of books as a COMPLIMENT to the way they have ALWAYS shared their stories.

We have learned that we are all citizens of the world.  That means we all SHARE the world no matter WHERE we live.  We are learning how to be GLOBAL citizens by working with Mosqoy and Q’ente … to build a BETTER world … even though we live on a different continent than the children in Q’enqo!  We hope that once the children in the community begin to use the books they MAY even help their PARENTS learn to read!

To help us learn MORE about the Peruvian Culture … the stuff BELOW the surface … we are going to find out more about:

  • What is important to the people of Q’enqo … learning? Friendships? Families … values and beliefs?
  • The nature of their friendships … how they make friends and what is important in a friendship?

We wonder:

  • Do you have any OTHER ideas for us to get BELOW the surface of the Cultural iceberg?
  • Do you know of any OTHER stories about Change Makers who are CHILDREN?

16 Responses to Icebergs, Change Makers and Building Capacity

  1. Ross Mannell

    Hello Global Grade 3,

    I can see you’ve posted another very interesting addition to your blog. I know it is interesting as it immediately set me thinking. As often happens, my comment is too long for here so I have created a post to share a longer comment I hope is of some interest…

    Teacher, NSW, Australia

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola Ross!

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment – you always leave us with such great thoughts! We found the Butterfly Effect very interesting … but … a little scary to think that the theory says that if a butterfly flaps its wings it could cause a tornado on the other side of the world. When we imagine the theory with people, though, it makes sense. It makes us think about the saying “Alone we are a drop of water, together we are the ocean.” It’s like throwing a stone into the water … the ripple is small but the rings get bigger as the time goes by. We found a video that explaines the Butterfly Theory to children using magnets … although some of the words are still tough to understand.

      One of the Grade Three Bloggers read a book called Because a Little Bug went Ka-choo! It’s by Dr. Seuss … and we LOVE Dr. Seuss. She told us that this reminds her of the Butterfly Effect because it all starts when a little bug sneezes and then a seed drops onto an ant’s head … and then the ant kicks a tree and a coconut drops onto a turtle’s head … and the book ends with the story still continuing! We are going to find this book to read it.

      Have you ever read Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed? This book is fabulous for explaining how one good deed can have the ripple effect … one person does something nice for four people … and then those four do something nice for each of four MORE people … and it grows SO fast that it takes very FEW people to help everyone in the world!

      Thank you, Ross!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

      • Ross Mannell

        Hello Grade Three Bloggers,

        Like you, I’m a Dr. Seuss fan. There were words of wisdom hidden within many of his stories. If any of you have seen “The Lorax” movie recently, you might remember this line from the story…

        “But now,” says the Once-ler, “now that you’re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
        ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

        If we look at the last half of the quote… “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

        How wise are these lines in a ‘simple’ children’s story? To make a difference, we have to start by caring for if we don’t care, nothing is going to get better.

        I haven’t read “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed”. I hadn’t heard of its title so I looked it up and read about the story’s plot. I know a similar story.

        In the story, Trevor has just started Grade 7. His Social Studies teacher sets the class a project…

        “Think of an idea to change our world – and put it into action!”

        Many students started thinking of projects like recycling, changing the canteen lunch menu, ways to make the school look better and other similar ideas. Trevor was different. He decided he would help three people. It had to be something good, something the person couldn’t do for themselves. Each he helped would be asked to pass a good deed on to three others and so on.

        From this simple beginning, the idea first spread around town then his state then the country and soon started spreading throughout the world. His idea had grown because he cared enough to make a difference and put his idea into action. It had been made into a movie in 2000 but isn’t rated for children. You can see how similar the story is to “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed”.

        With such a wonderful story plot, it isn’t surprising other writers have come up with a similar idea. We are lucky the author of “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed” wrote a book children could read. Mary’s idea is something we can all do, even if only in small steps.

        In your lives, you will find many people come up with good ideas but those who make a difference are the ones who put their ideas into action.

        Keep blogging, global citizens.

        Teacher, NSW, Australia

        • The Grade Three Bloggers

          Hola Ross!

          Thank you for leaving us ANOTHER wonderful comment! When you told us about the Grade Seven boy and his teacher’s challenge … it reminded us of the movie that Mrs. Renton had told us about earlier this year … “Pay It Forward”! She told us it was the same one. It’s one of Mrs. Renton’s MOST favourite movies and she would have LOVED to have shown it to us … but … she told us that it is not rated for eight and nine year olds either. Too bad they don’t remake it so that EVERYONE could learn from it!!!

          The lines from the Lorax brought back memories for MANY of us who have seen the movie. We loved the way the boy made a difference and planted a tree in the middle of the town so that EVERYONE could enjoy it. Eventually … the seeds spread and a forest is planted once again. THIS reminds us of the BUTTERFLY EFFECT that you told us about in your LAST comment … how one action can cause a ripple and grow and grow and grow! We love how one little tree becomes a forest … like one little drop becomes an ocean!!!

          We told Mrs. Renton that she needs to go and see the Lorax movie. Until then, we are going to borrow the book … and look at it with different eyes. Natasha says that if we look at it with different eyes … it means a different PERSPECTIVE … and maybe it will be not just a children’s book … it will be an inspiration to do good deeds in the world.

          Thanks, Ross … you ALWAYS make us think. Our next blog post is going to be about “quiet” heroes … we bet you know a FEW!!!

          The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

          • Ross Mannell

            Hola Grade Three Bloggers,

            Mrs. Renton is correct. The film, “Pay It Forward”, is the story I mentioned. Knowing the rating wasn’t appropriate for your class, I hadn’t mentioned it. While the idea is brilliant, there is also tragedy in the film. Some scenes are not suitable for children. It is also a favorite film of mine and is in my DVD library.

            Our local Rotary group sometimes runs leadership groups for senior high school students. One of their favorite films to show is “Pay It Forward”. The teens, I’ve been told, have quite good discussions after the film.

            On reading a synopsis of “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed”, I recognized the same theme as “Pay It Forward”. The author must have thought the message so strong, a version should be available for children. We should be thankful “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed” is available so everyone can share the message.

            I see your next post will be about quiet heroes. To me, these are those people out of the limelight who do important things but are never noticed or choose not to be noticed. I look forward to your next post to see what it contains.

            When reading posts from many schools and students, I often leave “normal” length comments but, sometimes, I come across posts that catch my eye. A memory of something relevant pops to mind and suddenly the length of my comment grows as I research more information. It seems your posts are managing to catch my eye each time. You are quiet achievers doing important things. I know you have this blog but this is a group blog behind which each of you remain “quiet” heroes.

            Keep blogging, “quiet” heroes. 🙂

            Taecher, NSW, Australia

          • The Grade Three Bloggers

            Hola Ross!

            We LOVE how you leave us comments that get our brains working. Each time we read one of your comments we have great discussions and we ALWAYS learn something NEW from you. When you told us that our blog posts seem to “catch your eye”, it made us feel wonderful. When people leave us comments we grow more because we learn about the world from our readers too. It makes us feel like people out there are really INTERESTED in our journey … and we feel heard. You have a way of helping us to look at the world differently … with different eyes … now, all around us, we SEE wonderful sparks of change making – the HUMAN Butterfly Effect all around us!

            Ross, WE think that YOU are a “quiet” change maker. We know you are a retired teacher. Many people who retire often begin to travel, read, do things they always wanted to do but couldn’t because they were working. Not YOU! You take YOUR time on our blog and the blogs of OTHER children around the globe … helping them to see the world with different eyes. You make them ALL feel heard.

            Thank you, Ross, for ALL your thoughtful comments. We hope you enjoy our NEXT post! Have an AMAZING day … you’ve sure made ours … once again!

            The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  2. Daytime Grandma & Grandpa

    We have enjoyed your latest posting on Icebergs, Change Makers and Building Capacity. You asked about children who have been Change Makers and this made us think of Jeneece Edroff, who has become known as “The Penny Girl” here on Vancouver Island. When Jeneece was 3 years old she was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways all over the body. She and her family received a great deal of financial help for her condition from Variety, the Children’s Charity. Jeneece wanted to give back and at the age of 7, started a penny drive at her elementary school. She raised $164.00, which she presented on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon. Over the years, Jeneece’s efforts have raised over $1.5 Million. Jeneece has inspired individuals, clubs and corporations to contribute to her goal of establishing a “home away from home” for families and sick children. Jeneece Place has just opened in Victoria earlier this year. On her website, Jeneece states that “I am a bit like a penny, by myself I am not worth much. But with a little help and lots of pennies, you can achieve a lot. Every penny counts and even the smallest person can make a difference”. Even though some doctors said that she would never walk, Jeneece is walking and making a BIG difference in her province. You all have the ability to make a difference too and we look forward to hearing more from you.

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola Daytime Grandma and Grandpa!

      Thank you for your amazing comment. The doctors said that Janeece wouldn’t be able to walk. But, Janeece did a LOT of things that people didn’t expect. We are amazed at how she persevered and started to walk. We are BLOWN away by what she has done in the world to make it a better place. It is so amazing how one person can make SUCH a big difference … just by collecting pennies. We love that Janeece made a home away from home for families with sick kids. Mrs. Renton told us about the Ronald McDonald House … and how her family stayed there when her brother was sick. It was nice to be in a “home away from home” that was close to the hospital. Janeece is doing something very kind for people who are dealing with a lot in their lives. She reminds us of Terry Fox because she went through something terrible and she wanted to give back … just like Terry Fox. Janeece started off as one drop in the ocean and, with all her hard work and bringing others … together, she became stronger and bigger like the ocean.

      Thank you for sharing Janeece’s journey … it inspires us and we are touched by it!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. Zack and mom

    Hola Grade 3 bloggers

    Congratulation for the great accomplishment you did for the children in Q’enqo. Really you are the HEROES! You are inspiring people around the world by caring, giving and making a a different in their lives.

    Zack and mom (;

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hola, Zack and Noor!

      We love how you commented on our blog! We also like how you COMPLIMENTED us TOO … because it made us feel special! We feel very proud of the work that we have done with Mosqoy and Q’ente. You say that we are heroes … but you and ALL the grade threes and their families at our school are heroes too by helping to build the library in Q’enqo Peru. We could never do it without you! Thank you!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  4. Becky

    I loved your post! I was wondering if you have ever heard of KidKnits? It was started by a 9 year old named Ellie. She believes “You’re never too young to change a life on the other side of world.” She started her organization to help people in Rwanda. She buys handwoven yarn from widows in Rwanda, and pays them an above-average salary, so they can take care of their families. They have a curriculum where kids can buy the yarn, and then knit a hat, and learn about world poverty, about life in Rwanda, and be challenged to make a difference. I have nothing to do with them:), I just think it is a great example of kids changing the world. Keep up the great work! You are already global citizens! 🙂

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Becky!

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful global project with us! This morning we checked out the KidKnit website. The Grade Three Bloggers think that Ellie’s idea is pretty awesome! We think that her quote is inspiring and TRUE:

      “You’re never too young to change a life on the other side of world.”

      Some people think that Super Heroes are only made up in fairytales and comics, but we KNOW that they are true because we have been reading and researching all about them … like Ellie, Serena Buffalino, Ashli, Sarah and Geneva (Mosqoy), and Jeneece, etc., in our last few posts.

      Thank you for your compliments – we really enjoy writing our blog posts and sharing our journey with our audience. It makes us feel good to know that there are people out there who enjoy reading about our discoveries. Please check back – we will be writing a new post this week … about a “Pennies for Peru” walkathon we are doing to raise money for more books in the Q’enqo Library!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  5. Sophie

    Hi grade 3 !

    Hi Mrs. Renton and class, I hope all of you are have an amazing year so far! Mrs.Renton is the best teacher. You grade 3s are VERY lucky you got such a kind teacher! If you are wondering who I am, well.. I am Sophie H. from Mrs. Renton’s last year class. I remember the first time seeing the blog i was so surprised what an amazing blog it had already looked like even though it had no posts or anything! Enough about the AMAZING blog.The journey you guys are about to go on is FANTASTIC and you can do ANYTHING if you try. Have a fun begining of the adventure !


    • The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

      Hi Sophie! 🙂

      Mrs. Renton says “Hi!” and “Thank you for your compliments.”

      I hope you had a great year last year. We all agree that Mrs. Renton is an AWESOME teacher! You are lucky as well that Mrs. Renton was YOUR teacher last year. (*Mrs. Renton is BLUSHING right now!!! She feels VERY lucky to be a teacher!!!) 😉 Some of us know you from other places like on the bus. We are making crystals right now. The crystals didn’t work the first time. Did yours work when you made it? Do you remember when you made crystals? We are going on a fieldtrip to the Leighton Art Center in a bit of time. Have you ever gone to the Leighton Art Center?

      Thanks for the lovely comment.

      The Battalion Hawk Bloggers 🙂 😉

  6. Chris's mom

    Hi Grade 3s

    The video about the dot was very inspiring. You are right we should perservere and never give up. I really liked the blog. Chris is very interested in rocks and minerals we looked at Ross’s dinosaur fossilized poop! I thought it was very awesome that you have so many hits. I will come back soon.


    • The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

      Hi Christine!

      We are SO happy to hear that you are visiting our blog and we are THRILLED that you have said you will come back! Thank you for the great compliment about our Dot video. We had fun reading Peter H. Reynold’s book, The Dot, and creating our own dots was even MORE fun! We were so excited, the next morning, when Mrs. Renton had put up the Animoto movie with our Dot pictures! Studying Rocks and Minerals has been fun … and Ross has sure shared some AMAZING information about volcanoes, rocks, and fossils. We still don’t know how scientists can tell if it is dinosaur poop or not … we still have to get to Ross’s comment to ask him. It has been SO busy and it is hard to get to all the important comments left behind. It’s important, though, because these comments are how we learn with the world!

      It is SO cool that we have so many hits on the blog! It fills us with PRIDE to know that people around the world want to read about what we have to say!

      Thank you, Christine! We look forward to hearing more from you!

      The Battalion Hawk Bloggers 🙂

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