English Student Work

Harbord CI Tigers Learn at Home

Miss Zhou's Grade 9 English Students Work


Ms. Zhou’s grade 9 English class was tasked with observing the seasonal changes of plants and animals with the arrival of spring, and writing and designing something creative to present their thoughts and findings. Even though it was a challenge to go outside at the start of the pandemic, students stayed connected with nature in their own way and created some beautiful pieces: poetry, photo journals, sketches, collages, videos, scrapbooks, and even a talk show script!


The Phenology Challenge

by Elly Niedzviecki




The Phenology Challenge - Wildlife Report

By Max Bartman


For the past couple of weeks I have been completing school work beside a window facing my back yard, so I have been observing wild life on a daily basis. I have observed many interesting and funny things animals and birds have done. One being that in my backyard there is a bird feeder but it has attracted a different animal than intended. On Thursday April 23, I was eating lunch when I looked out the window and saw two squirrels eyeing the bird feeder. A few minutes later one of the squirrels was swinging the wire that was holding up the bird feeder and then his accomplice jumped on it and started to eat the seeds. On Friday April 24, just one squirrel was pulling up the wire that was holding up the bird feeder and I took a picture of it all in action. Both incidents were a very funny sight to see because that just showed me how squirrels are intelligent enough to work with each other.


Picture of my backyard, lone squirrel



For the past three years there have been a couple of cardinals living in my backyard and last week I saw them return from their migration but I never got a chance to take a picture until Friday April 17. The picture I took of the cardinal is the male and we nicknamed him “Red”. Red has a yellow beak and a bright red body, while Red's mate whom we call “Red's Girl” has an orange beak with a pale brown body. It was a very happy moment to see them again in my backyard.


Photo taken by Max of Red from his backyard


Examples of male and female cardinals.
Photo credit: https://www.perkypet.com/articles/how-to-attract-cardinals


My last observation of wildlife was on Saturday April 25, when I came home from a nice walk. As I was making my way on my porch I had spotted a falcon or hawk, it was some kind of bird of prey. This must have been a significant sign of some sort, because why would a bird of that caliber be sighted in downtown Toronto? I did some investigation of my own on the internet. According to one site run by California Psychics, “When you have a hawk sighting, it's a sign from the spirit realm that you are ready to take on a larger, more powerful expansion and vision of your world.” I found that sign amusing. I also found scientific answers from Toronto Animal Services: “Toronto is home to a significant number of hawks, falcons and owls, many of which live year-round in the city. […] Because Toronto is on ancient migration routes, lots of birds also pass through.” I guess my house was en route or maybe there was just a mouse in the area.





An example of a hawk.
Photo credit: https://ebird.org/species/reshaw/CA

Through my observations, I have come to acknowledge the wildlife that lives in my backyard. I guess I never noticed them before because I have never had this much time to stare out my backyard window.


The Phenology Challenge - Scrapbook

By Annika Hardeman




The Phenology Challenge

By Sabiba Chowdhury


Like the start of any life, the flower bud is small but sturdy. The tender bud is closed firmly waiting for the time to blossom. The youthful, green bud reminds me of the days at the beginning of spring. The rebirth of nature when green leaves and plants begin to bloom after a bitter cold and dreary winter. The bud almost resembles a butterfly’s cocoon. When one day it will burst open, revealing a fascinating and graceful butterfly or flower in this case.



Specimen: Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis) as a bud
Date Taken: 14/04/20



The moth orchid bud had recently blossomed, their broad and full petals showcasing vibrant and warm colours. The orchid has soft yet thick petals, with magenta veins flourishing outwards against a pale, bright yellow. In a way, their mesmerizing veins remind me of a populous forest of slender trees against a tranquil sunset. Its cupped inner petals seem to encircle a fragile, young bud or stem. With the way it’s facing towards the sun, you could believe it opened its inner petals to let the bud embrace the sunlight and bask in its glow. As the name suggests, I believe the flowers resemble a moth, especially if the flower in the photo was to be turned over. Its petals look similar to the shape of moth wings. It emits a very warm feeling and reminds me of the last days of summer before the dawn of fall.



Specimen: Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)
Date Taken: 25/04/20





Just like the sun behind clouds, sunlight spills through the openings of the flower. Adding a halo of light around the edges, showing its thin translucent petals. The withered flowers lay lifeless on the soil as the remaining flowers laze in the sunlight as they near their death. My mother says they won’t last for more than a week. The way the flowers appear to droop seems almost pitiful but nonetheless, the harmonious purple and white flower’s beauty hasn’t faltered as it still stands hopeful, graceful and delicate. The way the golden sunlight spills onto the flower seems to emit an image of hope.



Specimen: ? Date Taken: 16/04/20