Earthquake Strikes Indonesia

Unfortunately, a devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi on September 28th. Sadly, many have been hurt, killed or displaced. 

As you can see on the map, Indonesia is situated beside Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia and New Guinea. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago (a group of islands) . It contains roughly 17,000 islands!! 

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You may read the full article here as well as some video links: 

For your blog post, you will be writing two separate paragraphs. One paragraph will focus on facts about Indonesia. There are links listed below for you to perform your own mini-research on Indonesia and write about at least 10 new facts (grade 5) or 15 new facts (grade 6) that you did not know about. All of these facts must be in complete sentences. 


Your second paragraph will be roughly 10 sentences (grade 5) or 15 sentences (grade 6) about your thoughts/feelings about what has happened in Indonesia. You can also talk about how the earthquake occurred and why it caused so much damage (look up ‘liquefaction’).  

Since this is a sensitive topic, please treat it as such…which I know you will!

Orange Shirt Day!

Division 5 learned about the significance of Orange Shirt Day and who exactly Phyllis Webstad was. Students wrote about why they personally feel that every child matters and created their own orange t-shirt to stand in support of those who unfortunately endured residential school. We were lucky enough to have our teacher-librarian, Ms. Zimmerschied read us a story to understand the impact that residential schools had on our Aboriginal people.  

Welcome to Division 5’s Blog!

Hello all 🙂 

I am very excited to launch yet another year of exciting blog posts! Feel free to comment on posts from your peers but most importantly, to have fun and critically / creatively examine some of the topics that we will discuss!

-Ms. Panesar !

To Play or To Not Play: That is the Issue!

This is truly a topic that never seems to get settled nor does it ever go away: gender in sports. This will be an interesting topic for us especially because we have observed some instances of it in our own class.

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What am I talking about? Well a professional, female goalie by the name of Stephanie Labbé wanted to play on the men’s Calgary Foothills FC soccer team. She made it onto the team…BUT the league did not allow her. Why? Because she is a woman. That is all.

Nothing to do with her skill level or her ability: it was her gender which got her barred. To make matters even worse, she anticipated that she would be placed on this men’s team and is now having to scramble to get signed on to play for another team.

Here is a new’s article to provide you with a detailed story.

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So what do you think about this? Should sports be segregated – that is, leagues for only men and women or should they be mixed? Do you think that Labbé should be allowed to join this team or is she interfering with the men’s league? Do you think that if she played on this men’s team, she might be treated differently because she is a woman? For example, if she had a tough game and let in 5 goals, would people be more likely to say that she is a woman who is not cut out to play in a man’s league or no?  Do you think that news like this discourages women from playing professional level sports or no?

Thank you to Ms. Dunnett for sharing this story when it broke! 

Our Digital Footprint

Social Media! I know, I know, you can’t live without it, right? But do we ever think about what happens with what we post about ourselves? Like if I, say, post those pictures of our Ninja gang: Fontay, Lyriam, Ro-Ro, Matthew, Darrel, Broodie, and Jesh, that Jessie and Jhanine swore was fake lol?  Where do those pictures go? Could anyone see those pictures? What about our accounts and the information that we post on them? 

These thoughts are all in response to a problem that just hit the news: Facebook got busted! And I mean, a bad bust, an $80 BILLION DOLLAR LOSS! So what happened, you ask? Well, a report revealed that a British company called Cambridge Analytica had taken the personal information of 50 MILLION Facebook profiles. (Just FYI: Canada’s population is roughly 36.3 million people). Why did they do it? Apparently the information was used to track voter behaviour for both the Brexit campaign (British exiting from the European Union) and the US presidential election (where your totally…umm… favourite president was elected to power!) Now, you might ask, well how did they steal all of this information? They were super sneaky! A professor by the name of  Aleksandr Kogan who also has a company called, Global Science Research, built a personality app called “thisisyourdigitallife.” Before taking this quiz, Facebook users had to input personal information about themselves.  Take a guess what he did with the information? His company sold the information to Cambridge Analytica. In total, there were 270,000 Facebook users who signed up for the personality test. But!! The app stole information of each user’s Facebook friends… who could not have provided consent for releasing their personal information. How did we find out? A Canadian who was the Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica by the name of Christopher Wylie. (He is called a whistleblower. A whistleblower is someone who exposes anything that is illegal or unethical). 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think that it is scary that these large corporations, have access to our personal information and can use it in any way that they see fit? Or, is it not that big of a deal? So what if our information is out there, that is the whole point of the internet! Also, please take a guess as to what you think our ‘digital footprint’ might mean and include it in your response. Why are your thoughts on this Facebook scandal? Will this issue cause you to be more cautious in the future when you are using apps or not really? Please write a detailed response of roughly 15-20 sentences! 


Birth Tourism

Welcome to yet another controversial topic which asks for the thoughts of you – vocal and opinionated smarties! 

There is something that has been happening in our province that has been stirring up a lot of hullabaloo. Did I say stirring, I meant crying! You are probably wondering, what! Ever heard of ‘birth tourism?’ Well birth tourism is when women travel to another country so that they can give birth to their baby.                                           

 Why do people do this, you ask? If you are from a country that is perhaps less socio-economically developed (remember, we don’t use words like First World or Third World anymore!), why not have your child born in a country that will give them better living conditions? In fact, this child will get free public schooling, healthcare, other aid and eventually be able to sponsor their parents. Sounds good, right? Well, this is what some people are starting to think and are travelling to countries, especially like: Hong Kong, the United States and Canada (top three for birth tourism).                                                          

Why are these countries such hot-spots? Well nations like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Tanzania and Fiji offer unconditional birthright citizenship. This means that if you are born in one of the above countries, you are now a citizen of that country.                                                                                               

To prevent birth tourism, countries like South Africa, New Zealand, France, Germany and the United Kingdom all have birthright citizenship with restrictions – that is, one parent must be a citizen of that country.  Interestingly, India is one of the only nations that does not have birthright citizenship because of its large population.                                                                                                                                                                      

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Now think about it for a second. You know that your child could have a successful life if he/she/they were Canadian, wouldn’t you want to help your child in any way you could? What happens if schooling costs lots of money in your home country and you would not be able to pay for your child’s education? But let’s also think about people who are trying to immigrate to Canada and have to wait so long to be reunited with their family. They have to go through lots of detailed paperwork and scans? How is it fair to them?

Take a read of this article:

So of course, it is time for you to weigh in. What are your thoughts about this issue? Do you agree or disagree with birth tourism, and why? Do you think that it is a big deal or is the media / government making us feel that it is? Please provide detailed responses of 15-20 sentences.

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Air Canada or Air Awful?

When you travel, which airline carrier do you choose? Some of you may say Air Canada, as would I, especially since it’s our national carrier. But there have been allegations that have surfaced which are not so nice to hear.  In order to improve their customer service, apparently Air Canada forced their flight attendants to go through personal harassment and discrimination. Employees had to perform a model walk which they could only pass or fail on. (I know many of you would be able to complete a fantastic model walk, especially Paanini and Rohan!) You might be thinking, those aisles in an airplane are so narrow, why would they be needing to do that for? Well it does not end there! Apparently managers lined up flight attendants and critiqued their nails and makeup. In a formal complaint given to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, flight attendants “were subjected to degrading and discriminatory comments,” like “eyes were too small” and skin colour was “too white.” 

The complaint also spoke about an updated handbook (a book for employees to reference for help / information) which gave extensive makeup advice for female employees. and advice on how to apply lipstick and how to emphasise their eyebrows. Air Canada has responded by saying that, “we have zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment.” 

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So now it’s your time to weigh in. Do you think that if these allegations are true, that Air Canada went too far in assessing its flight attendant’s appearances? Or is it their company and they should be able to give feedback on how they would like their employees to look like? Take a moment to think about a potential job that you would like to have in the future. Is there a dress code for this job? (For example, when I worked at Starbucks, I had to wear black – yes, Jhanine loves that lol. I could not wear nail polish or have my hair out. I also had to wear an apron.) Do you think that this is fair or you should be able to dress and wear whatever you would like? Or, perhaps you support something in-between? Be sure to respond to all of these questions in your detailed response of 15-20 sentences!

“We Missed the Mark”

Remember this ad? 

Better yet, do you remember what Dove said about this advertisement? They apologised and said, “Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of colour and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused.”

THEY MISSED THE MARK!!! WHO SAYS THAT? Well, maybe me in golf…lol. But let’s look at another company that also messed up… pay attention to what their excuse is. 

In your response below, be sure to interpret this ad: what is it saying and what is its’ hidden message? It’s your turn to weigh in- do you think that these are just honest mistakes or do you think that there are other reasons why companies make such mistakes? Is an apology or a short statement enough or should these huge companies face some sort of consequence? Your response should be roughly 15-20 detailed sentences.