Hello, World.

Our Junior Journalists are pleased to share the latest news with you on our newspaper blog.  Throughout the school year, the students will learn about the different features that make up a newspaper:  interviews, weather forecasts, community news, entertainment news, comic strips, editorials, and more!

Visit often for the latest scoop.  Newest posts are usually found nearest to the top; scroll down for older posts.

Please enjoy THE BEGBIE BUZZ.


What is a Newspaper?

Using an inquiry approach to learning, the students worked together in small groups to make their own discoveries about what a newspaper is.  They looked at a simple newspaper called West Coast Reader.

There was good discussion between group members, with students noticing that newspapers often have the following features:

  • title
  • date
  • page numbers
  • photos
  • words (with titles being bigger, and stories being smaller)
  • thin newsprint paper
  • weather news
  • sports news
  • news about shows or movies
  • comics
  • news about the community or world
  • reminders about upcoming events
  • names of reporters
  • word search or crossword puzzles or sudoku puzzles

When asked what is the purpose of newspapers during a class discussion, the children’s responses included:

  • to tell us what is going on near us
  • to give us information

My hope with this special newspaper project is for students to learn the power of communication, and to be personally invested in sharing the written word with their readers.

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” ~ Henry Luce

First Comes Cream, Then Comes…

For Physical and Health Education, our kid reporters learned about different Food Groups that everyone should eat to maintain optimum health.

For this activity, the students focused on Milk and Alternatives that now make up a small part of the new Canada Food Guide.

Without knowing what they were going to make, the children took turns, and shook this jar of whipping cream…

The students shook and shook, until they noticed that something was happening to the liquid…

It had turned into whipped cream!

Alas, we weren’t done, I told the kids.  So they continued to shake, and after a while, this is what happened to the whipped cream…

The kids noticed the sloshing sound every time they shook the jar, and they observed that the whipped cream had split into two distinct things.  In their words, the learners noticed a “heavy white solid” and “almost clear-ish liquid!”

Low and behold, Division 11 made butter and buttermilk!

We washed away the buttermilk, and we were left with creamy homemade butter…just perfect for our whole-grain bread!

Here are the recipes my foodies wanted to share with the world…

The VSO Presents “Peter and the Wolf” at the Orpheum

The Junior Staff of THE BEGBIE BUZZ were excited to go into the city core to listen to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of “PETER AND THE WOLF.”  The children were in AWE of the beauty of the Orpheum Theatre.  Honest reactions to the stunning venue included:

  • “Wow……..” (mesmerized by the chandeliers, with mouths gaping)
  • “Are we going into a castle?”
  • “This feels like a mansion!”
  • “It looks like Elsa’s (of FROZEN infamy) house!”
  • “This is where rich people live!!!!”

The students then watched the live show that included many talented musicians, a wonderful conductor, and a lively narrator.

Upon our return to school, the Junior Staff of THE BEGBIE BUZZ were split into several teams.  The students took on different duties for our digital newspaper…

TEAM #1:

MARKETING:  the kids created print ads for the sole purpose of promoting the live show


RESEARCH:  the children researched the back story of “Peter and the Wolf” so that our newspaper audience could have a better understanding and appreciation of the musical rendition


COMMUNITY ALERTS AND CRIME STOPPERS:  this group was responsible for creating “WANTED” posters to alert the general public of the terrible crime the villain from “Peter and the Wolf” had committed

TEAM #4:

Entertainment News:  the show critics gave their honest reviews of the live performance, sharing their thoughts with the public whether or not the show was worth the cost of a ticket

Rainbow Veggie Soup: A Colourful Way to Enjoy Vegetables


Division 11 has been focusing on different food groups as a part of the Physical and Health Education curriculum.

The students were eager to be chefs again, after their first experience making Strawberry Sauce from scratch on Valentine’s Day.

As soon as I told them we were making Rainbow Veggie Soup, the initial reaction from the group wasn’t quite the same (there was an audible groan), but in the end, EVERY LAST DROP was consumed by the class!  In fact, one student quipped, “I NEVER KNEW VEGGIES COULD TASTE SO GOOD!”

Here are the students’ recipes for Rainbow Veggie Soup.  Let us know how yours turns out!

Everything is Awesome, Everything is Cool When You’re Part of a Team!



About a quarter of my class could barely contain their excitement last weekend, because they knew that they’d be watching “LEGO MOVIE 2:  THE SECOND PART” at the cinema with their families.

I *ahem* hinted loudly at the fact that the Entertainment section of newspapers often include movie reviews of upcoming flicks!  Without missing a beat, EVERY single one of those kids who had a chance to watch the sequel wanted to contribute a review and submit it to our blog.  They wanted to share their opinions of the movie!

I may be dating myself now, but I dare say we have a few Siskels and Eberts on our hands.




Fear not for the rest of the class who did not have a chance to watch the LEGO sequel and become Movie Critics.  Rather, those students became Show Critics for The Begbie Buzz.

On February 27th, Begbie students had an opportunity to watch a special live show by RED SKY PERFORMANCE in our gymnasium.  The name of the play was “MISTATIM.”  It was about a special horse who helped to build a friendship between two seemingly different kids from unique backgrounds.

The Begbie Buzz Show Critics were just as eager to share their thoughts about the performance and contribute their reviews to the Entertainment section of this blog.

Check these out!

Let Everyday Be Pink Day!

On February 27th, Pink Day (also known as Pink Shirt Day) was celebrated in schools across the nation.

This event originally began in a small town in Nova Scotia.  A ninth grader was being bullied for wearing the colour pink, so two boys took a stand by encouraging their peers to wear pink shirts in support of that bullied student.

This seemingly small act created a bigger movement and resonated with many, bringing forth much needed attention on bullying behaviour, the promotion of kindness, and the inspiration to be a hero (instead of a silent bystander) for others in need.

Our Grade 1 and 2 writers wanted to share their thoughts on this important community event in the form of Syllable-Count Cinquains.

A Syllable-Count Cinquain is a five-lined poem that has a total of 22 syllables.  It has a specific syllable pattern…

  • Line 1 has 2 syllables.
  • Line 2 has 4 syllables.
  • Line 3 has 6 syllables.
  • Line 4 has 8 syllables.
  • Line 5 has 2 syllables.


The Begbie Buzz – What is a Book Review?

It’s definitely full steam ahead for our newspaper inquiry!

As a class, we recently talked about the Entertainment section of a newspaper, and how it usually includes movie reviews, information about music events and live theatre, and reviews about the latest bestselling books!

Given that the children have been doing an Author Study on Mo Willems in the classroom, it made complete sense to have each of them do a Book Review on one story by Mo Willems!

We discussed the importance of having Book Reviewers in the newspaper world, as they help to shed light on literature that readers may find interesting or even uninteresting.  The children learned that when they write book reviews for an audience, their opinions matter!!!  Yes, they do!!!!

As Book Reviewers, the students know they have a responsibility to tell their readers how they feel about a book (was it good?  was it terrible?), so that their readers are better informed to choose to check out the book (or not).

NOTE:  Full credit for these Book Review Templates goes to Mrs. N’s Classroom.  These free templates can be found on her page on Teachers Pay Teachers.

To see Mrs. N’s Book Review Templates on Teachers Pay Teachers, please click here!

Check out the kids’ book reviews…

Maybe you’ll be inclined to pick up a book or two from the public library after reading Division 11’s Book Reviews?

The Begbie Buzz – What is a Recipe?

Strawberry Sauce for Valentine’s Day Sundaes

The students had a whole group discussion about the Food Section of a newspaper.  The children came to realize that food writers often share their thoughts about a restaurant, or share recipes on how to make a certain food or drink.

The kids made Strawberry Sauce from scratch for our Valentine’s Day Sundaes on February 14th.  What a great opportunity for the children to try their hand at procedural writing!  They learned that recipe writing is very different than prose or poetry; a recipe has to include step-by-step instructions that are clear and concise.  Also, the students realized that a list of ingredients is mandatory, while a photo or picture showcasing a step or the final product is always welcome.

Wash 2 cups of strawberries.
Cut the strawberries into small pieces.
Put the strawberries in a pot, along with 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Stir while cooking over medium heat. The strawberries will slowly break down.
Keep cooking until you reach your desired texture.
Once the strawberries have broken down into a smooth sauce, turn off the heat and let cool.
Serve the strawberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

This was the kids’ very first foray into writing recipes…

The Begbie Buzz – What are Comic Strips?


As a class, we revisited features that are often found in newspapers.

As soon as someone mentioned comic strips, the students all declared that learning to cartoon would be our next project for our newspaper blog.  Most of the kids love to draw, and given that a comic strip is just a sequence of drawings arranged in panels to showcase humour or a short narrative, this medium was right up their alley!

To help us along, we took time to study Mo Willems’s artistic style and stories.  The children noticed the following things about the way he illustrates characters such as Piggie, Elephant, Knufflebunny, Trixie, and Pigeon:

Mo Willems often uses:

  • speech or talking bubbles to reveal what the characters are saying to us or to each other
  • thinking bubbles to show what his characters are thinking or reflecting on
  • HUGE words to show someone is loud, excited, or upset
  • all CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation point to show strong emotions
  • tiny font to show someone is quiet, shy, or unsure
  • quotation marks to show a character is talking (“Hello Gerald!”)
  • lots of punctuation marks !!!!???? to emphasize what the character is feeling
  • different facial expressions on the animation to show the different characters’ emotions 
  • feeling words
  • movement or motion lines. 
  • direction to show which way characters are going
  • sound words (“POW!”)
  • humour

The children were very eager to try out many of Mo’s writing elements in their own comic strips!

Full credit goes to Kate of picklebum.com for the free comic strip templates.

Please click on the picture below to see her free comic book templates:

Free Printable Comic Book Templates!

We hope you enjoy our “Sunday Funnies.”  🙂


Gung Hey Fat Choy, Happy Lunar New Year!


Ms. Housego, Begbie’s Music teacher, taught every student a popular Chinese folk song called, “Jasmine Flower.”  All of the children learned to sing the Mandarin lyrics in honour of Lunar New Year!

This song dates back to the 18th century, and is one of the most well known Chinese melodies in China and abroad.

On Thursday, February 14th, Begbie students performed this song at our Lunar New Year assembly.  Many children took such pride in singing a song that was familiar and culturally significant to them.

The English translation of “Jasmine Flower” is:

What a beautiful jasmine flower.  What a beautiful jasmine flower.

Sweet-smelling, beautiful stems, full of buds.

Fragrant and white, everyone praises it.

Let me pluck you and give you to others.

Jasmine flower, oh, jasmine flower.

Have a listen!

Happy Year of the Pig to everyone!

Super Blood Wolf Moon for Super Outer Space Fans


On January 21st, many people in the city of Vancouver caught a glimpse of the moon looking drastically different than usual.  What you witnessed was the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” total lunar eclipse!

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes in between the Moon and the Sun, forming a straight line.  It is sometimes called a “Blood Moon’ because of its reddish colour.  In addition, this year, this supermoon happened to be the very first full moon of the year, and so, its name was coined after howling wolves.

Photo Credit:  (Mrs. Oudt’s brother) DENNIS YIP of dennisyip.ca

The total eclipse lasted about 60 minutes, and space fans were thrilled to see the changes occurring right before their very eyes.

Just click ON the picture below to see a short video by my brother, Dennis Yip.  Check it out!






Division 11 was absolutely intrigued by the Super Blood Wolf Moon.  This seldom seen phenomenon connected nicely with our class unit on Objects in the Sky, as well as the picture book, “Taan’s Moons:  A Haida Moon Story.”  The young writers shared their thoughts and feelings about the moon in haiku form.  They accompanied their 3 lined-17 syllable poems with gorgeous art pieces that highlighted the traditional northwest coast First Peoples shapes such as ovoids, circles, split Us, and U-forms.