I have included this page so that students from Mr. Smith's class and other buddy classes can ask questions about Australia and we will answer them.

  1. Write your name and the class and school you are from.
  2. Write your question.
  3. Someone from my class will answer your question.

Hello class,
I just wanted to say thank you for agreeing to answer some of the questions that my students have for you! We are so excited to be able to correspond with you every now and then. We will have some questions posted for you within the next day or so.

Mrs. Smith


Question from Mr. Smith - Hannibal, MO: 2/13/08
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day in the USA and we'll have a party in class. Is Valentine's Day celebrated in Australia, and if so, what do you do on that day? wikispace

Jasmine and Sarah area 11 O.P.S Australia.
We do celebrate Valentine's Day here in Perth, we celebrate it this way: Ladies might give presents like giftcards and beer.Men might give love hearts chocolate and flowers.We celebrate also by going out for dinner or going to the park and to the fish and chips shop. The beach is one that is popular.
Our class is doing an international project. The project "From Me to You" is really exciting for our class because we get cards from other places and we sent 24 cards to U.S.A and other countries in time for Valentine's day.

Thank you, Jasmin and Sarah! Did you see our welcome video to your class? -- Mr. Smith

Question from Mrs. S. Smith - Tuscola, IL: 2/20/08
(No relation to above Mr. Smith :) )

We are working VERY hard right now to prepare ourselves for the ISAT test that all 4th graders as well as various other students in Illinois take at this point in the school year. Do students in Perth have to do any standardized testing? If so, do students prepare for this testing in any certain way? The teachers here try to make it fun for the students, but sometimes, testing is just testing.

Answer from Mrs Lowe 21/02/08
Students right across Australia have testing in May each year in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Tests include:
Year 3, 5 and 7: Reading, Writing, Spelling and Maths
Year 9: Reading, Writing, Viewing, Maths and Science.
Up until this year our testing has be done in August and the results are out in November in time to go out with the school report. I am not sure when the students will get results this year.
The preparation is not really anything different to what we do in class all the time - hopefully the types of activities we do will cover what may be tested.

From Mr. Smith's Class in Hannibal - 2/25/08 - Cheyenne wants to know - what is vegemite and who likes to eat it?

from Mrs Lowes class 27.2.08 Hi Cheyenne I am Lachlan and Vegemite is some spread that you can put in a sandwich.Vegemite has a strong salty taste with a bit of a tang to it and it looks like a dark brown peanut butter. Most Australian kids and adults like eating vegemite in sandwiches and on toast.

Mr. Smith's Class in Hannibal - 2/26/08 - Hi this Junior have you eaten a summer dessert that is called a Pavlova? I am looking at the book about Australia. Have you eaten it?

Hi Junior this is Euan. Pavlova is a dessert which is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy on the inside. Pavlova often has strawberrys and/or fruit on the top. Pavlova is named after a Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The dessert was created in honour one of Anna's tours of Australia. Here is a picture of Pavlova. Hope my description is useful.
From Mrs Lowe: Here is a recipe for pavlova. You might like to try making it!!

4-6 egg whites
pinch salt
8oz castor sugar/sugar (equal parts)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 level teaspoons cornflour
(Please note the following equivalents:
castor sugar or fine/super fine sugar
corn flour or cornstarch)

Preheat oven to 400F(200C).
Lightly grease oven tray, line with baking paper or use non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the whites of eggs with a pinch of salt until stiff (until peaks form).
Continue beating, gradually adding sugar, vinegar and vanilla, until of thick consistency.
Lightly fold in cornflour.

Pile mixture into circular shape, making hollow in centre for filling.
(Mixture will swell during cooking)

Electric oven: turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours.
Gas oven: bake at 400F (200C) for ten minutes, then turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake a further hour.
(Fan forced oven: temperature and time needs to be adjusted accordingly.)
Turn oven off, leave pavlova in oven until cool.

Top with whipped cream and decorate with fruit as desired.

From Mr. Smith: Thank you - we have copied the recipe for Pavlova and will be eating it in class! Emily's mother made Pavlova with your recipe. Where do we get vegemite? Want to send us some?

From Mrs. Smith's Class: - 3/3/08
We enjoyed watching your VOTW February project, but now we have some questions!
1.) What are lamingtons?
2.) Do you have gum trees at your school? (Maybe on your school grounds?)
3.) How big are emus? Do they run free in Australia? Are they fast?
4.) Have you ever seen a joey in its mother's pouch?
5.) We were going to ask you about Vegemite, but it looks like Mr. Smith's class beat us to it! Do you eat that on sandwiches for lunch at school? Or on toast for breakfast?

Hello Mrs. Smith. I'm Jasmine from area 11 I'm going to tell you about Lamingtons.
Lamingtons are a piece of sponge cake coated in melted chocolate and on the melted chocolate is coconut. Lamingtons are an Australian type of food. Lamingtons are nice and yummy. Here is the recipe...
3 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cornflour
15g (1/2oz) butter
3 tablespoons hot water

Beat eggs until thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating until sugar completely dissolved.
Fold in sifted SR flour and cornflour, then combined water and butter.
Pour mixture into prepared lamington tins 18cm x 28cm (7in x 11in).

Bake in moderate oven approximately 30 mins.
Let cake stand in pan for 5 min before turning out onto wire rack.

3 cups desiccated coconut
500g (1lb) icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
(extra cocoa can be added, according to taste)
15g (1/2oz) butter
1/2 cup milk

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into heatproof bowl.
Stir in butter and milk.
Stir over a pan of hot water until icing is smooth and glossy.

Trim brown top and sides from cake.
Cut into 16 even pieces.
Holding each piece on a fork, dip each cake into icing.
Hold over bowl a few minutes to drain off excess chocolate.
Toss in coconut or sprinkle to coat.
Place on oven tray to set.
Some tips...
Make sure that the chocolate coating is thin and not thick.
If you put too much coconut on it will taste funny and you want see the chocolate.
Make sure that you let the sponge cake cool before
(Cake is easier to handle if made the day before.
Sponge cake or butter cake may be used.
May be filled with jam and cream.)

Sumati and Blake have taken some pictures of the gum trees in our school grounds.

Hi Mrs Smith's class
This is Kalpa from Australia
. . I have written some information about emus.

external image 248_baby_emus_and_eggs.jpgexternal image emu.jpg

An emu cannot fly. Emus are found only in Australia.They most often live in places where there is enough rain each year to fill the waterholes and to allow plants to grow. When it's summer they stay together for about five months. Emu's eggs are dark green and big but an hens eggs are white and small. The female usually lays about nine eggs. The adult male emu is almost 2 metres tall and weighs between 35 and 50 kilograms. Emus live a bout six years. Emus can run up to 40 kilometres per hour. They keep a distance of 2 to 3 kilometres from other emus.

From Mr. Smith 3/26/08 - Hi to Mrs. Lowe's class - this is not a question about Australia, but about the writing project. Kalin and Tomeisha will try to finish their final drafts tomorrow; everyone else is finished (we think). Do you have an approximate time when yours will be done? We would like to go with Mrs. Lowe's idea about picking the Top Ten. Kids here thought we might pick ten of ours and ten of yours. We would use these points like these to choose:
(1) The story makes sense. (2) It use descriptive words. (3) The final draft shows improvement from the first draft. (4) The story created pictures in the mind of the reader.

The idea is not to have winners and losers, but to highlight what most kids in our groups think are examples of good writing. Any ideas or thoughts to add to the 4 points above?