5th Grade Literature Circle Chats

Some great discussions came out of reading the books Things Not Seen, The Hunt for the Seventh, and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. The kids really had to think about how to respond both to the questions and to each other’s responses. Great first twitter chat!

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The Benefits of Hybrid/Electric Cars

Dear Chrysler,

Do you own a hybrid or electric car? Probably not because your car company doesn’t make those kinds of cars and you probably own a car that’s made by your company. So that’s why I am here to convince you why your company should make hybrid and electric cars.

First of all, making hybrid and electric cars will reduce carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a primary source in global warming. Of all the carbonn dioxide in the US, 33% comes from transportation. Too much carbon dioxide will be bad because of global warming which can kill species like the penguin and polar bear.

Second of all, with hybrid and electric cars we can save money on gasoline. The average American spends 2000-4000 dollars on gasoline each year. Even though it it is more expensive to buy a hybrid or electric car, you will save money. Also, we will need less oil, so you don’t spend as much money on oil. Another reason is that I took two Toyota Camry 2015 models, one gasoline and one hybrid, and compared the miles per gallon. The hybrid won with 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. And the gasoline powered lost with 25 mpg in the city, and 35 mpg on the highway. So this shows you how much gas and money can be saved by driving a hybrid.

Last but not least, hybrids and EVs have financial benefits. Many people try to find cheap ways to get around like taking a train, biking, walking, instead of driving their car. But with hybrids and EVs you can drive alone. My first reason, is that with a hybrid if you have to resell it you can resell it for more money than a regular gasoline car. Also, insurance companies like Farmers and Geico give discounts for hybrid driving people. My last reason is that hybrids and EVs will need less maintenance, which means less money to pay for repairs.

But your company thinks that it is more important to make money off your cars then help the environment. In an article published on August 8, 2012, it was stated that CEO Sergio Marchionne said that all along its 2013 Fiat 500 Electric will lose money and is not a car chrysler wants to build. The reason they make Fiat electric cars is because California makes them build electric cars because there is zero-emission cars in California.

To sum up my writing, I think you should manufacture hybrid and electric cars. Because they will lower the amount of CO2, let you drive farther, and save you money. But remember, if you don’t make these pollution can be much worse, but, if you do make these cars we can lower the amount of pollution. So now here comes the real thing, will you make these cars?

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No More Unifoms

No More Uniforms

Did you know 23% of school children in America wear uniforms? It doesn’t help in school subjects or bullying. It’s a waste of money for parents and the schools’ children shouldn’t wear uniforms. My cousin used to go to a school with uniforms and said they were itchy, ugly, and a total waste. This is why uniforms shouldn’t be allowed in school.

My first reason is uniforms are very expensive. Uniforms are about $18.50 plus shipping. Most parents will spend at least $250 on washing and drying uniforms. It’s also expensive for the schools funds. Imagine about 300 students with $18.50 uniforms. That equals about $5,000 dollars. You could buy books, have more classrooms, and save it!

My second reason is how they’re too strict on children. If wearing a pin on clothes is that important, why put a strict clothes dress code up? If your school board cares about uniforms more than bullying it’s not my call. When you have a say on something like this, you could maybe tell school board member and help end it!

My last reason is how it doesn’t help with bullying. Because everyone wears the same clothes, doesn’t mean bullying will stop. Some people still bully if you don’t look good in the uniform, you have pimples or a different hair style. In my grade no one gets bullied. There may be some making fun of, but nothing big. In your school is there bullying? In my school everyone wears what they want and everyone fits in with their own group of friends.

Some people say wearing uniforms helps in academic subjects, but to be honest math, history, science, and L.A but peoples grades don’t improve.

In conclusion, I think children should not wear uniforms to school. Uniforms are super expensive, don’t help with bullying, and people are too strict on children about them. Some children will start riots about wearing uniforms. If you take them away then children can wear what they want. They do dress appropriately, anyway.
Sincerely, Alana

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Why animals shouldn’t be used for testing

I think we should stop animal testing because it hurts animals. Poor, helpless animals are being abused by animal testing each day. Is that really the way you want to treat fellow creatures, because I know I don’t. If you want proof, read on to hear my reasons.

My first reason is that sometimes an animal’s reaction is different from a human’s. So then why do it in the first place? I’m going to tell you about one specific test that harms bunnies’ eyes, and 92% of the time a bunnies’ reaction is different than a human’s. It’s a toxic test and it’s called “Draize Rabbit Eye.” It’s intended to predict whether a chemical product could cause eye injury, for ocular irritation. This test consists of placing a small amount of the substance into one eye of a rabbit in a group of about three to six. Then, they observe their findings for about 21 days. There is a high likelihood that it will cause pain to the animal. Isn’t that horrible?

My second reason is we are abusing animals. Do you think you are doing the right thing by abusing animals? I don’t. Maybe for a useful, really important chemical like a new drug if someone is dying. But a lot of animal testing is used for makeup.That’s not a very good reason for testing on animal. I mean, hurting animals just to make a girl or women look pretty? Stop and ask yourself, is it really worth it? It’s possible to live without makeup. We’ve done it before! Or if you have to have a makeup test, try it on yourself! I mean, if you’re going to harm animals, why do it at all? Plus we already have tons of makeup products. Why not use those?

My final reason is that about one million animals die from testing each year. That’s not good, I mean, think about it, by harming animals we are also harming ourselves. How, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. By harming animals we are harming the food chain or the circle of life. Say we kill all the bunnies, mice, and rats from testing. I know these are all rodents but what will snakes eat? What will owls eat? See, this ruins the food chain. And sometimes other bigger animals like dogs are harmed! That leaves less pets and again ruins the food chain. What about the economy? If we are using animals like dogs and cats, the pet market will go down, and large businesses like Petco and Petsmart will go out of business.

Some people might say, by harming animals we are keeping humans safe. I’m not saying that that’s not true but, come on. Why can’t we try testing on people who are dying? I mean, there is a chance it might work. Also, as I said before, 92% of the time, the product doesn’t even react. So the first person that takes the drug is testing it anyway. Besides humans and animals’ immune systems are different anyway.

So now that you have read my arguments, you know that I am strongly against animal testing. I feel it is abusive, mean, and harmful to animal nature. And scientists aren’t even trying to fix that! I say you should follow my claim because you could be harming our planet and destroying the balance of the world. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and I look forward to hearing your opinion.
Olivia Trela

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Contact Sports for Kids

Did you know that football is not the only sport that causes concussions? Well if you didn’t then you will love this argument essay. There has been a lot of debate on if kids under 14 should be able to play tackle football. I say that kids should because it isn’t the only sport in the world that can cause concussions or that is dangerous. Hockey and soccer and many other sports can be dangerous or can cause concussions too.

People say that kids under 14 shouldn’t play tackle football. How come? If kids don’t play now they might not want to play tackle football later in their life which would end the NFL ( National Football League). Colin Kaepernick, a professional football player on the 49ers, started playing tackle football at the age of eight. So shouldn’t that mean that your kid should be able to play at that age too.

Another reason why kids should be able to play tackle football is that, although parents think tackle football is too dangerous, what if kids try to tackle more carefully? Kids can be taught to tackle below the shoulders so that way they aren’t tackling by the head.

Most parents don’t like their kids playing tackle football because there are no coaches or medics. What if there organized tackle football? There would be adults there to watch the game to make sure nothing got out of hand and if somebody got hurt there would be paramedics to help kids who got injured immediately.

There are a lot of concussions in tackle football and a lot of parents are afraid of that but if your kids want to play tackle football you shouldn’t stop them from what they want to do.

So in conclusion, I think that kids should be able to play tackle football because there are a lot of other sports that can cause concussions or that are dangerous. Do you want to end tackle football because then there will be nobody to play in the NFL ( National Football Association) because they never got the chance to try tackle football. I am talking to you dads. Everybody knows that tackle football is a dangerous sport but if your kids want to play you might as well let them try. If you don’t let your kids play tackle football then the sport will slowly go away. If you don’t let your kids play you are not letting them risk their lives by playing tackle football. So in conclusion I think kids of all ages should be able to play tackle football.

Thank you for reading my letter and can’t wait for the response.

Sincerely, Owen Gottstein

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My Birthday

Inspired by my mother

(I do not mean to offend Raquelles in the world and the characters are real and fictional and the events are all fiction. Still could happen though… Enjoy!)

“I don’t get it. It’s just a day, right? Is it worth celebrating?” I mumble to myself. I know what you’re thinking. Yes! Yes! No! Why? Why celebrate the day you were born? Today is my birthday, and I’m having a cake and party. But why? I DON’T want one!

The sun’s out, shining like a light-bulb, the grass is as green as neon paint, and my porch is glistening from dewdrops. I walk downstairs, mumbling to myself, “Why? It’s just a day?” I inhale the steamy scent of cake when I step into the kitchen. My mother beams at me and shouts,
“Good morning! Happy birthday, Kelly!” I roll my eyes at her but even though I’m sure she notices, she doesn’t do anything but turns back to icing the cake. I try to pull the old trick and groan, saying,
“Mommy? I don’t feel so good. Maybe we should cancel the party.” She swivels around, eyeing me suspiciously.

“Don’t give me any of that, missy, after I spent the whole night making this cake. No sirry-bob!” she says viciously with a smile. She turns around again, baking away. I groan and stomp away. I’m interrupted by my big, teenager sister who, for the first time in a long time, smiled at me.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” she shouts. I stare at her. Is she.. can it be.. being… nice to me?! I stutter in surprise,

“Um, thanks, Ellie…” Why were people acting this way? Could my birthday have enchanted their minds into being nice?

The doorbell rings. I’m dressed in my birthday summer dress with flowers sprinkled on it. I smooth my dress out and open the door, only to be pushed down by the stampeding crowd of students. I gawk at how many people actually came! My jaw falls open, like a toddler who lets go of a balloon, when I see my archenemy, Raquelle, standing with an armful of presents. She dumps them in my arms. I glare at her and remember why she was my archenemy. She had painted all over me on “accident”, told me that my hair looked like it was on fire, and told everyone that we had pet mice and that my family was a coven of ugly hags. I remember she’s still there and she says sassily,

“Where IS the dessert table? Surely you have one?!” I glare at her before saying, with gritted teeth,

“No, Raquelle, you’ll have to wait PATIENTLY.” She scoffs, flips her hair, and stomps away, chatting with the other girls. Her long black hair floats behind her, unlike her red and black jacket which stays stiff. I, mockingly, scoff at her back and stomp away. THIS is why I don’t like parties.

“Let’s play some games!” my mom cheers. Turns out we play Twister and it was going hot between Raquelle and me. We glare at each other before I secretly knee her in the chest. She falls down, and I win.

“She cheated!” Raquelle blubbers, about to cry. Nobody listens to her, so she sobs, running to her house. I smile, and for the first time, I think I’m liking this birthday thing.

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Pro Bowl Should be After the Super Bowl!

Dear Roger Goodell, 3/9/15

12.2 million people watched the NFL Pro Bowl in January of 2014. As many people watched the Pro bowl I was one of those viewers. The game was very exciting, and they had very cool jerseys.

People in the Super Bowl would also like to play in the Pro Bowl. Richard Sherman, a NFL defensive back says, ” I’m happy I’m in the Super Bowl, but I would also like to play in the Pro Bowl.” If they had the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl he could play in both. But if he played in the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl, he could get injured in the Pro Bowl and not play in the almost Super Bowl. This was a safety rule made by the NFL.

Another reason is more people will attended the NFL Pro Bowl if it’s after the Super Bowl because, there are 32 teams in the NFL and 30 play in the Pro Bowl. In January of 2015 the Pro Bowl stadium was almost filled and if all 32 teams were playing more fans from those teams will come. More people at the Pro Bowl means it’s better for the economy. The city hosting the pro bowl will have better food and seats if the pro bowl is after the super bowl.

My final reason is that many fans would like to have an extra week of the NFL. Lots of people like football and lots of people would like an extra week. There will be an extra week because first there will be the NFL playoffs, a week off for practice, Super Bowl, then Pro Bowl.

Some people might think that it is good to have the Super Bowl after the Pro Bowl because they want some of the bad players to make the Pro Bowl. But when you think about it, you want the best against the best, not the medium against the best. If the Pro Bowl was after the Super Bowl it would allow all the best NFL players to be in the Pro Bowl.

In conclusion, I hope I made it clear that the Pro Bowl should be after the Super Bowl. My reasons to support this are that so the people in the Super Bowl can play in the Pro Bowl. Also there will be more fans. Finally, there would be an extra week of the NFL. The consequences of not doing this results in less fans, which leads to less money. The good thing about doing this is that it attracts more fans, which is more money. Roger Goodell, I hope you make the change to have the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl. Thanks for reading this essay. If you have time please write back.

Sincerely, Eli Joselit

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Loppy Choppy Hybrid

Why get hybrid car? One reason is because it can save you lots of money on gasoline.

It also is very fuel efficient. And better yet, if the battery breaks ( which is supposedly going to last for the lifetime of the car) you will be able to get it replaced, free of any charge. (plus, it would be cool to have a hybrid Challenger)

Well, global warming has been a BIG problem for a while. Wouldn’t you want your children living in a nice place?(ahem, it’s us) Maybe so you wouldn’t have to have to wear dust masks to keep out pollutants? Well, start now! Start making hybrid vehicles. I have noticed that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, AND (well, Fiat did) Ferrari really hasn’t made anything hybrid. Doesn’t it make you feel kinda bad that you drive a gasoline car, putting smog and other bad pollutants (CO2 and such) in the air you BREATHE?! 33% of CO2 comes from transportation.

Electric cars can save up 2000-4000 $ every year on gasoline fuels. But, of course, the car itself is very expensive. Take a Tesla for instance. It’s about $70,000 worth of money. It’s pretty expensive. Then take a Toyota Prius hybrid. It’s $24,000 dollars. Pretty cheap compared to Tesla. It sounds like it isn’t much to make the car. And plus, the hybrid Prius gets 51/48 mpg, while the gasoline only gets 24 mpg. Big difference. And financially, hybrids save money. People take trains and bikes to work, but, insurance companies reward people for driving.

But, hybrids and electric cars alike, are known to not make any noise, and so pedestrians are likely to be hit. But, people are making a sound prototype that can make the car audible. Maybe also make a fake sports car sound. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be writing about this.

Hybrids can save you lots of money with gasoline, and help with global warming. You want a better environment, don’t you? If we don’t take action, the Earth will become very polluted, more than it already is. So if we do make them, everyone will be happy, right?

From: Jake Lee

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If you are a sport lover than I suggest you play soccer. Soccer is rough and tough sport, but it is very exciting. Soccer is where the ball is constantly moving. It is fun to play and can be played anywhere at any time. “It is a great feeling when you score a goal,” Cristiano Ronaldo says. In this book, you will learn how the best players in the world got to be where they are today.

How to Play Soccer and Rules

When you are playing soccer it is very important to have the right equipment. I will list the equipment you will need. You need: cleats, socks, shin guards, and one more thing: goalie gloves (only for goalies) You can get the following equipment at www.soccer.com, www.worldsoccershop.com, www.footballfanatics.com/soccer , or you can go to a local sports store.

Now I will tell you the rules of soccer. You cannot slide from behind. If you do you will be awarded a yellow card. A yellow card is like a warning. If you get 2 yellow cards in the same game you will be awarded a red card. A red card means you will be suspended for the rested of the game and a few more. You can also get a red card without getting 2 yellow cards, by committing a very bad foul. You will have 90 minutes to play 1 game. Each half is 45 minutes. If you foul someone in the penalty box, the other team will get to shoot a P.K. (penalty kick). You can slide tackle, but not from behind. If you slide tackle and only get the ball, there will not be a free kick. If you slide tackle and only get the player, you will get a card and the other team will get a free kick.


If you are a sport lover than I suggest you play soccer. Soccer is rough and tough sport, but it is very exciting. Soccer is where the ball is constantly moving. It is fun to play and can be played anywhere at any time. “It is a great feeling when you score a goal,” Cristiano Ronaldo says. In this book, you will learn how the best players in the world got to be where they are today.

How to Play Soccer and Rules

When you are playing soccer it is very important to have the right equipment. I will list the equipment you will need. You need: cleats, socks, shin guards, and one more thing: goalie gloves (only for goalies) You can get the following equipment at www.soccer.com, www.worldsoccershop.com, www.footballfanatics.com/soccer , or you can go to

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Northbrook Days

Northbrook Days
By: Leslie Casey

When I went to Northbrook Days I went with my mom, dad , and my sister.
I went on almost every ride there that I wanted to go on. I went on the Freak Out and I went on the Rainbow, and the bumper cars. I also went on a ride and it was a dragon ride that went around in a circle, and it went really fast. My sister and I went on it twice because it was so fun. The bumper cars were really fun me and my sister went on it together and I was driving , it was a little hard to drive at first but then I got the hang of it.
The Rainbow was a ride that went around in a circle, and it had a sun on it with a smiley face on it. It went down really fast. When I went down it felt like I was going down on a roller coaster and it made me have a weird feeling in my stomach. I was scared to go on it when I was waiting in line. I was like in my head “I don’t want to go on this… I don’t want to go on this!” I was really scared, but I had to go on because I was already in line and if I got out of line and then went back in then I would have to go to the end of the line..
There was a ride called Alien Invasion. It was very fun. It was when you went in this little room, and you lean against the wall and it spun in a circle really fast that you could not lift your head up. My sister was like “ AHHHHHHHHHHH!!” and I was like “HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” because it was really funny that she was screaming so loud.
I saw some of my friends there and they said “hi.” to me and my sister Leah. When my sister wanted a balloon she went with my mom but when she got one I wanted on too, so my mom took me back and I got a really cute giraffe. My sister got a pink turtle and it was very cute too. When I showed my mom and my sister it they were like “AWWWWWW!”
After that we saw a big fun house and my sister and I wanted to go on in it. It was hard at the beginning because there were these steps that moved up and down. You had to stretch your leg to the next step and it was very hard. At the end of it you had to run through a circle that was moving around in a circle. When I went in it I just leaped through it.
When I went on the Freak Out it was really scary ,and my glasses almost fell off when it was moving. I went on it by myself because my sister was too scared to go on it because she thought that she would fall off. The last ride I went on was called the Tilt-a-Whirl that you sit in a cart and it moves fast and spins around so fast that me and my sister could not lift our heads up either because it was going so fast. It was so fun that I went on it twice with my sister. I had alot of fun at Northbrook, I will always remember the time that I went to the Northbrook Days.

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