Across this week students in Mr. Dobson's MYP Science classes engaged in a variety of challenging science puzzles designed to help them review content while also having a blast. In MYP Grade 8 Science, students worked to crack cipher codes. Earlier in the week, they played a Breakout game called "A Game of Moles" to review atomic measurement and related concepts. in MYP Grade 10 Science, students played the Breakout gamed called "A Day at the Beach" to review concepts related to waves and electromagnetic radiation. In the Breakout games, students solve content-related questions and problems that generate codes. Each code, in turn, relates to a combination specific to each type of lock on the Breakout box. Gamifying content is a fantastic way to make learning exciting and fun!
Photos M. Dobson
More than ten grade six students joined in a Book Picnic this past Monday. On the beautiful new lawn by the theatre (that used to be a parking lot!), students stretched out on picnic blankets and took turns sharing with each other books they are currently reading, as well as other titles they have read and would recommend. The students brought some individually wrapped snacks to share and enjoyed the warm sunshine and each other's company. It is a delight to see so much passion for books in an era when many different products compete for one's attention.
Photos T. Maguire
The votes were tallied and we just announced the winning titles for this year's Leopard's Paw MS Book Award and the Leopard's Eye HS Book Award. The titles were chosen from among the most popular Project Lit titles students were reading this year. Our overwhelming middle school favorite was Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, a work of realistic / historic fiction with a bit of magical realism. The novel explores systemic racism and the power of forgiveness. Our high school favorite was Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. This novel-in-verse is based on Salaam's actual experience of being wrongfully incarcerated following an assault. The 2019 Netflix miniseries drama "When They See Us" is based on Salaam's (and the other young men incarcerated with him) experiences. You may want to add these titles to your TBR (To Be Read) list!
One of the best parts of a long break is the opportunity to delve into some outstanding reads or audio listening! If you are looking for some excellent suggestions, please check out some of the recommendations on this Secondary Library Holiday Learning libguide (password is the same as for the parent portal). Some of the content on here is also AISL student-created!
For adult works, some of my go-tos are New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults (they have scores of other lists you can explore!), the NYT column "What to Read Now," and for listening NPR's Book Concierge for fantastic reviews and recommendations.
Wishing you a marvelous holiday! Stay well, stay safe, and keep reading!
Image credit NYPL
A beautiful new tree graces the reading loft of the secondary library. This was a gift to the library from four of our Grade 11 Visual Arts students: Natasha, Victor, Jerry, and Christopher. These four students spent countless hours after school and during unstructured time working on the design, creation, and installation of this piece. All of the art work in the secondary library was made by our visual arts students- from the ceiling tiles created by this year's Grade 9 Visual Arts students to the Girl With the Hoop Earring painting, a Zambian take on Vermeer's classic Girl With the Pearl Earring piece. Our space has been literally co-created by our students. We look forward to when we can have parents passing through once again to enjoy our beautiful space, but for now, we are sharing some pictures of the new tree along with the story of how it was made here. Please congratulate Victor, Natasha, Jerry, and Christopher on this wonderful accomplishment that is such a gift to our school.
Photos by T. Maguire
Our Grade 11 students who are planning to apply to university in the United States attended a workshop led by Ms. Baldry and Ms. Maguire recently that helped them to understand the role of the common application essay in their admissions process. Students had the chance to
- Learn about 8 tips for writing a strong Common App essay
- Read and evaluate sample student essays and then hear feedback from admissions officers on their impressions of these essays
- Unpack this year's Common App essay prompts and generate writing material
All of the videos and resources that were used for this session may be found on this College Essays Libguide (the password is the same as for the Parent Portal- please ask your child if you need it).
For students who plan to apply to the UK using the UCAS process, we will be hosting a workshop specifically geared toward writing strong personal statements on Wednesday 2 June at 09:55. Resources for this workshop may also be found on the College Essays Libguide (simply navigate to the page titled UCAS Personal Statements). We hope that these workshops help provide students with support to make these writing tasks a bit less daunting!
Across this week during advisory, our Grade 7 students have been sharing their learning based on the passion projects they have engaged in for the past three months. Inquiry is at the heart of an IB Education, and giving students opportunities to explore their own interests helps them develop many important skills, such as research, creativity, time management, communication, and more. Students topics covered a wide range of pursuits, among them:
- Learning American sign language
- Learning Japanese
- Understanding the stock market
- Raising awareness of LGBTQIA rights
- Developing a game through learning to code
- Improving footwork for football through specific drills
- Coding a design to use with 3-D printing to create coffee table coasters
And many more topics! Some of our Grade 7 advisors shared passion projects of their own, too. Mr. Mark James (in for Ms. Venkataya) shared his work with Engineers Without Borders and a school in Southern Province where they are raising funds to develop the school with access to water, electricity, and a better building. Ms. Monica Carriles shared her work with Community-Based Toy Lending Libraries, a form of outreach involving going out to rural communities and connecting groups of children with games, and she shared her work with yoga for young children as a way to promote mindfulness and fitness. Ms. Maguire shared her family's project to increase access to potable water by raising funds for a community well in Rufunsa.
Although the formal sharing of passion projects concluded this week, we hope that many students may carry on with the work they have begun. Students will also be able to continue developing either this project or a new one when they enter Grade 8 and pursue either a Passion Project or a community-based project.
Photos T. Maguire
Dear AISL Community,
Thank you all so very much for your wonderful support in getting library materials back to us for our annual inventory and for taking care of bills for lost items. This allows us to take stock of our collection, weed items in poor condition, and identify gaps where replacement items are needed.
Book checkouts will resume Monday 31 May! Patrons may have up to five items out at a time. We can't wait to help our patrons make their "holiday stacks" for vacation reading. Any books checked out beginning Monday 31 May will have a return date of 9 August (the first day of school). Note that you may return books any time after school closes by dropping them with the guards at the secondary entrance gate (where secondary students normally enter campus).
Book Requests Over the Break
Please use THIS Google Form to request books during the long break (the form is also on our website and virtual library). We will offer two opportunities to request books during the long break as follows:
Thursday July 1: Requests due by 09:00
Friday July 2: Book pick-ups along the main drop-off loop from 09:00-18:00
Thursday July 22: Requests due by 09:00
Friday July 23: Book pick-ups along the main drop-off loop from 09:00-18:00
Audiosync is back with their annual free audiobook downloads each week (see image below for upcoming titles). The books are geared toward a YA (young adult- roughly ages 13 or 14 and up) audience and are paired thematically. There are two main steps:
1. One will need to visit the site and register
2. The app for downloading the books is called SORA (it's the student version of Overdrive), which needs to be installed on the device that will be used.
Once you download the books, they are yours to keep! The catch, though, is that you cannot go back and download books from previous weeks. This week's pairing is fantastic! One of the selections is Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom, the story of a Mawi's own journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to a full-ride scholarship to Harvard.
Tales2Go is an incredible collection of more than 6,000 audio books for children all the way through young adults and is one of our AISL Library subscription services for the community. The app works best (though you can use Desktop) and you can save bookmarks across two devices. There are also French and Spanish offerings among the titles. Each student has a unique log-in ID based on this format: graduation year + first initial + last name (example: 2026jsmith). The password is zambia. For more information on how to log in, here is Ms. Maguire's video tutorial on Tales2Go. Although you do not download audio books, you can load a segment at a time on any device and each segment is about 1-2 hours long. To load the next segment for off-line listening you would simply need to use some data or connect to wifi briefly.
As always, if any member of our library team may help provide recommendations for anyone in your family, please let us know!
Our Grade 11 DP Visual Arts students went on an actual (not a virtual!) field trip this past Friday to Chaminuka Lodge. Chaminuka is located near the international airport and offers the largest private collection of African art in Zambia. This was the perfect venue for a field trip because the lodge is open to the air and many of the art pieces are sculptures set throughout the beautiful grounds. Some students were gathering information for their Comparative Studies, one of the major assessments for DP Visual Arts, and others were researching specific Zambian artists for Visual Arts Extended Essays. The field trip presented an outstanding opportunity to learn about Zambian art, and there are even pieces in the collection by two of our AISL Visual Arts teachers: Ms. Laurey Nevers (Secondary School Visual Arts) and Mr. Mwamba Mulangala (Primary School Visual Arts). Chaminuka also has an incredible collection of traditional art that we were able to explore. We are all grateful to the Chaminuka staff for warmly welcoming our students for this wonderful learning opportunity. If you have not been to Chaminuka, it is well worth a trip!
Photos T. Maguire
Across last week students in grades 6-10 came to the library to explore more than a dozen poetry activities in honor of April as Poetry Month and Earth Day (22 April). Students experimented with many different poetic forms, such as
- Found poetry
- COVID Mask poems
- Impromptu poems
- Diamond brick poems
and many more types! Celebrating the beauty and power of language through poetry is an enriching experience that helps to develop one's creativity and self-expression.
Photos by T. Maguire
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend: