Tuesday, May 22, 2018

About Chuntu
17 may 2018, Thursday
by Anita Bhattarai

Chuntu is a cute girl. She is three years old, but she does hard work at Evolution School and she likes this school.

Everybody likes Chuntu, or Nee La (in Newari Nee means Pure and La means Water, so she has a beautiful name which suits her very well).

She has short black hair. She has small, squishy hands. The first time she came to Spiny Babbler she looked scared because we asking her so many questions. Like how old are you? What is your name?

After a few days she got used to us and all of us are happy to meet each other every day.

Chuntu, or Nee La loves Jamuna ma’am and doesn’t want to leave her, ever. But now we know how to coax her and she lets Jamuna ma’am go do her other work if she needs to.

Little Chuntu is a little short tempered but is fun to be around if she wants you to be around.

She is also very smart. She understands English, Newari (although she can’t speak the language) and Nepali. She also does splendid artwork.

When we do boxing, she joins us for the warm up, the punching, and does exercises like pushups.

In music, she knows lesson one and two orally. Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, Saaaa. She also knows some of her a, b, c’s.

She goes swimming with us even if she is scared of the cooold water and is getting the hang of walking in water.

We are very happy to have her with us to add joy to our lives.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Arthropods: Assorted insects
Weekly Science Experiment
by Utkrishta Mulmi

Over the past three years we have done many studies of insects or arthropods. The study of insects is called entomology. The specimens that we have studied have included the wasp, the praying mantis (we kept one for about 7 months), the butterfly (we did several lifecycles ranging from caterpillars to butterflies and moths), the honey bee, the cockroach, the dragonfly, hornet, and more.

Insects are easy to find and fun to learn from. Arthropods, by the way, have the largest population in the kingdom Animalia and form half of the entire animal species, wow that’s a lot. You find them at school, ants, flies, moths; you find them on walks roaches, beetles, grasshoppers; you find them on hikes, hornets, spiders (careful careful with those), crabs (which are ALSO arthropods I found out much to my and everyone else’s surprise).

Ok, so here we go with this week’s work. Well, this week has had a history. We had been collecting butterflies, beetles, wasp species, moths, ants, flies and more for months to study. But every time the science experiment day came around, we had Pisces such as piranha, pangasius, grass carp to study and they were also fun and laaaaarger. We planted lemon and gourds and more. So by the time we opened our treasure chest of arthropods to study, we found out that wings had fallen off, legs were broken, antennae were gone in most specimen. Heads even were gone in some specimen. So we decided to do assorted insects and keep the fresh ones for another day.

Altogether, we had houseflies, butterflies, moths, wasp species and altogether 5 workable samples.

Our objectives were to orient ourselves on the Arthropods through:
-          Research of the species
-          Observation of the 5 specimen
-          Discuss what we had seen and learned
-          Prepare a science report and publish it

Desk review
Arthropods are a phylum in the Kingdom Animalia and it is the largest phylum in the entire Animal Kingdom in terms of population. Here are a few examples:

Common name: Housefly
Scientific name: Musca domestica

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:   Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Muscidae
Genus: Musca
Species: M. domestica

Common name: Honey bee
Scientific name: Apis mellifera

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Apis
Species: mellifera

These are the common things that all arthropods have
·         segmented body
·         exoskeleton
·         jointed appendages (arms, legs)

The life cycle of an arthropod is different in each specimen. Most arthropods would have gone through metamorphosis where the larva of the arthropod would build a cocoon like structure and become the pupa and turn into the adult, for example the butterfly’s life cycle would have four stages. Egg to larva, to chrysalis, to butterfly. But some arthropods have an incomplete metamorphosis which means that the larva is just a smaller version of the adult and they keep growing till they are as big as the adult. Arthropods were the first organisms to evolve to flight and are the only flying invertebrates we know of.


We started by bringing all the bugs we had in the cup out of the cup and put them on the table. We also caught a live moth and swatted three flies and used those as well.
We had two butterflies, a beetle, a cricket. We also used our arthropod models. Not only did the real specimen have broken legs and wings, the kids had been playing with the models and they too had broken wings and legs lol.

We discussed about arthropods: like they are invertebrates and invertebrates don’t have backbones. Arthropods have a layer of exoskeleton covering their bodies however. They have six legs and compound eyes. We wrote these facts down. We made sketches of all the different arthropods as well.


While preparing this report, I asked all my peers (aged 3 to 14) what they observed before putting in my own version, so here goes:

Chuntu (3 years old): There were two insects I saw: ants and the butterfly. The butterfly had wings and could fly but the ants could not fly.

Suprit’s observations, he is seven: We also looked at insect models. There was a toy ladybug, a dead grasshopper, three houseflies one of which was squashed (not really though). I drew the beetle, the ladybug and the grasshopper.

Arambha who is 6 observed: I saw a butterfly: it was brown, it’s legs were broken, the grasshopper was brown, but its legs were not broken.

Vidheha who is 4: I saw a dung beetle, a wasp, butterfly, moth.  The beetle was fat and round, its legs had broken, there were two butterflies, they were brown and white.

Snigdha, 6 years old, says, I saw a moth, a grasshopper, three houseflies. They are all insects and they are arthropods.

Anita is 12 and she observed: all arthropods have six legs, there were two butterflies. There was a moth we caught and was alive. I saw a wasp. And I saw housefly. We will study the house fly again and all the implications to our lives. They are easily available.

Amulya who is 4 talks: The flies were black. They are stinky. I also saw a lady bug but it was model. It was red and black. I like ladybugs.

My observation: We had collected dead insects inside a plastic cup. We have always been studying insects since I joined school. I researched a bit on the insects and we discussed the facts about arthropods like they have six legs, compound eyes, antennas. I saw that all the insects we had had some things similar, they had a head a thorax and an abdomen, segmented legs but some of the insects’ legs were broken. We could see their segments clearly. Bugs are great to learn from and praying mantis, caterpillars, grasshoppers make great pets and taking care of them is rewarding.

Science Experiment
Butterfly, Stinky Beetle, Wasp are Arthropods
by Vidheha Ranjan, as told to Baba

We did an experiment. We wanted to learn about insects. We would learn about the number of legs, where they eyes were. We would make artwork.

Arthropods have six legs. They have two eyes but there are thousands of little eyes in those two eyes. Praying mantis have more eyes, 5 of them Baba tells me.

Stinky beetle, butterfly, house flies, ants, hornets, honey bee are arthropods.

Some of them fly, some of them are fat.

We went to the zoo and we found one hornet and it climbed on Baba’s foot. We put it in a bottle and brought it home. We did an experiment.

We were walking and near Alka Hospital and we saw a beetle. We brought it to school and watched videos of it.

I like arthropods, I like drawing but I was not able to make the shape the same so Palistha ma’am helped me.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day Terry!

On Friday we had a discussion and an artwork day to send a gift to a special person we know. Everyone was busy thinking about Terry and making portraits of her. Our English teacher who wakes up eaaaarly to be with us each week, a friend, and a contributor she has been a part of our lives in many different ways.

What was thought and said is being worked on by Utu and will be added to this post later as we got caught up on a two-day weekend.

Had to share the images though on the international Mother's Day. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Shila and Snigdha made a portrait of Terry using mango leaves. :)! Mango season coming up Terry, any plans to come out of Skype and visit Nepal?


Wow, just wow! Terry is a doll! Anita has outdone herself.

Anita is busy making a rag doll of Terry. See, she has the blonde hair all sown up.


Terry teaches us English so Sanket and Suprit decided to use word puzzles pieces to make her portrait.

Vidheha was very excited, she wanted to make Terry using plum seeds that we use to learn maths with.

Utu and Amulya made a mask using paper and tape. Amulya had to leave before we could take photos! Oh no!


Terry: Talented, Extraordinary, Radical, Rare, Year long (?) Utu needs to explain that one, Happy Mother's Day.


Terry: Talented, Extraordinary, Radical, Rare, Year long (?) Utu needs to explain that one, Happy Mother's Day.


Bishes made this great artwork of Terry with flowers in her hair, a piano and street dogs of Kathmandu. 


Then Bishesh is busy, he too wants to work with the seeds. Sadly, he had to leave before he could finish his masterpiece, the van was beeping. 

Then Vidheha has a bright idea, let's make another portrait using blocks this time!

Big smiling Terry is ready and Anita loves the idea and comes up with two excellent pieces of Terry artwork using different types of blocks. 



Shila made Terry's portrait using pencil some while ago and wanted to contribute it to this document. We had just studied Clemente, Bacon, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Morandi and Khalo so we were practicing portrait making.


Vidheha wants to send  ice cream and flowers and a tent and candies and books and boots to Terry.

Anita also runs to get her art copy to share the portrait study she had made of Terry.


Happy international Mother's Day Terry. Love from Kathmandu. Utu's documentation to follow! 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

A trip to the market
 by Anita Bhattarai 

This is my most favorite shopkeeper in the world.

I like to go to the market. I go to the market every morning to buy milk. The  first time I went shopping I didn’t know how to calculate anything. Then I got better at it and I go to the market with Shila and others who want to come along.

At Balkhu, Kathmandu's super super super vegetable market.

Today Kalpana ma’am, Sanket dada and I went to Balkhu from our school and we saw lots of vegetables. We needed to buy Bannana, chilly, lemon, ladyfingers, beans, radish, bitter gourd, pumpkin tomato, cucumber. First we bought the pumpkin then we saw small lemons for sale and we discussed with shopkeeper and he said that these lemons are good and better than the other lemons because this is local lemon, so we bought it. 

This is where vegetables from all parts of Nepal and India and China end up.

Then we saw brinjals, but we didn’t buy these brinjals because this brinjals was bad and we didn’t need brinjals. Then we looked around and we saw tomato this is big and fresh and this time I buy tomato. Then we went another shop and we buy parval, cucumber, ladyfingers, radish, beans, bitter gourd and we also buy banana and we enjoy there our van came and we came back to our school.  

We buy chilies then I take photos and Sanket Dai and Kalpana ma’am buying the vegetable and I asked a man how much the total cost was and he told me and I made a list.

We dig around for great deals. You have to be careful, what was cheap yesterday may be 2x the cost today!

Cost of the vegetable:
Banana: Rs 100
Chilly: Rs 35
Cucumber: Rs 200
Lemon: Rs 100
Tomato: Rs 90
Pointed gourd: Rs 100
Ladyfingers: Rs 200
Radish: Rs 90
Beans: Rs 150
Bitter gourd: Rs 100
Pumpkin: Rs 100

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Visit to the Bookshop
Compiled and edited by Utkrista Mulmi
Photo editing Anita Bhattarai

Vidheha (4 years old) submitted this report typed, she had a little bit of help with the grammar and spellings: We went to Thapathali Ekta Bookshop. We saw lots of books. Amulya and Bishesh and I played around and read some books. 

We went upstairs, and we saw millions of books. Utkrishta dada and Baba chose books and I read the Peppa pig book. I helped them finally select the 26 books we bought.

Arambha’s part: I read 4 books, I read the cow book, I read the hen book, I read the superhero book.

Shila’s picking: First we go to the bookshop. The bookshop is so big and has many books. Pallav sir said Vidheha, Utu and I were picking books for the school. I chose Noddy series, I chose 8 books that we bought for the school. 

I like that bookshop. Utu dada chose the Ladybug series of books. Vidheha likes book reading, she also helped chose level 2 and 3 books. The books were so heavy.

Snigdha’s part: First, I see the books. Then, I read the books. I read 4 books, they were the cat and cow book, and the duck book, and the hen book. I looked at the books. 

Then we went upstairs and we saw the books Pallav sir had selected to buy. I and Vidheha, Bishes and Amulya sat down with a lady who had also come to buy books and we read.

Amulya’s experience: First, I saw lots of books. I read books and we put the books and we saw a puzzle book too. And we took some books from the shelf and we saw some more books upstairs. And we took the books to school.

Suprit’s part: We went to the van and we went to the bookshop. I chose one book which is Batman and I read it. Then I read construction book. And I read the good dinosaur, it was fun as we could roll the eyes which were like marbles. I then went with Vidheha and we saw some puzzle books.


Utuman’s narrative:

We went up a loft to get more Ladybug books. Last time we only brought level one and two books so we decided to get level 2 and 3 books as well as some 4 to 6 level books. Them we got some Noddy books. 

Everyone got to walk around, look at the books they liked, read some stuff, run around, laugh and converse and enjoy other books.

I really liked the fact that the Ekta Bookshop did not bug us, scold us, or bother us. You know how kids can damage books and they had so many new ones. 

But then, at our school, we learn to love books like children, we are taught how to handle them, not to damage them. Pallav sir had further briefed us to be careful and Palistha maam, Jamuna maam and  Rizen sir were supervising the kids.

It was great that I, Shila, Vidheha actually got to choose the books we were buying for the school. We chose 26 titles. Anita was the banker and she paid for them! She had to stay within her budget.

After we paid for the books we went onto the ground floor because we were in the basement. It was the adult section with novels and stationary items and more. We spent some time running around and looking at books and Suprit found some Pok√©mon comics that we read.

Then we went another floor up and we got to the A level studies section. And something caught my eye! It was the Physics books. We were trying to get a physics book for me for this and the following years and there was three options.

We had several options. We asked the cashier how much they were and 1 was 3030 and 1 was 5000 so we took the cheaper one. The more expensive one was endorsed by Cambridge University while the cheaper one was fully produced by Cambridge. 

I will be asking my baba to send me money so I can buy the Physics book, it really looks big and fat and contains a lot of learning.

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