Day 24-25

Today, we started our 4th and last eco dome and this time we will leave the eco dome for the entire christmas break and see how long the grasshopper can survive.

Design components:


  •         Soil - base for everything, especially the plants.
  • Oatmeal flakes - for preventing humidity in the eco dome.
  • Branch - safety, environment, and provides space.
  • Leaves - oxygen, food, and moisture
  • Plant with leaves - more oxygen, food, moisture
  • Rocks - environment, elevation (because the grasshoppers like to be at high places).
  • Water, sprayed at every component - extra moisture so that the plants and grasshoppers don't dehydrate.

Changes made on design day:

  • No oatmeal flakes because we couldn't get them, instead we used dry sand. (Except, the sand got covered by another layer of soil.)
  • No separate leaves; we just used a LOT of plants.
  • Tiny rocks AND big rocks. We first decided to put in just major big rocks, but Miuccia dumped in a lot of tiny rocks and pebbles.

  1. Show/insert your final layered alliteration page. Describe what you did on the page and give your opinion of the final piece. What do you like the most about it? Why? How well did the NY student's work fit in?I drew the jellies which are in the background, did the alliteration, and also did some of the drawings that Nghi and I decided for our page. Such as: the jellybean jar, jam, jug, jellyfish, etc. I think that our page is really cool, and pretty because the background is colored with water color and the little details make our page very whimsical. I like the rhinos that we drew the most because they are really cute and each of them has their own thing that represent each of them. The NY student did the background, and I think that was what made our pages really stand out because the background was very pretty, thanks to the watercolor.


2. Show/Insert your other jobs (anything extra you did for the book) ie research, drawings, layering 3 animals/ cover. Discuss what was easy and what was challenging. What are you proud of and how have your skills grown?

I did some of the drawings for the research page. I drew the Walrus and the Yellow-eyed-penguin. Drawing the Walrus was easier because I'm familiar with it and it had a pretty easy body shape to draw, since walruses are similar to seals. Drawing the Yellow-eyed-penguin was challenging because I've never heard of it before and it looked creepy so it was hard for me to draw it properly. I'm proud of my walrus because it turned out cute and looked similar to the reference picture I used. My skills in observing the picture and drawing by just looking at the picture has grown (I think) because by just looking at the picture, I was able to draw the animal without any struggles, except for the Yellow-eyed-penguin.researchssis-research

3. Explain what you did for your publicity job, add a screenshot/link/photo. (ie donation boxes, banners, letters to the school, book launch)

For my publicity job, I made the donation box with Nghi, that will eventually go to the Elementary school. For the box, we made it look like a derpy fox, so that little kids will be attracted to the cute look.

Donation box

4. How did you feel about the Skype call?

I think it was really cool because we could meet our buddies, and since we didn't know how they looked like, I was even more curious and excited. Seeing my buddy was really cool because it felt like "SHE'S THE ONE" and because we worked together, I was really interested in how she was in real life. Nghi was late for class, which is unfortunate, because she didn't get to meet our buddy.

5. Add a screenshot of the shop. Discuss what do you think of our final shop? How will you promote it?

 I think our final shop is really awesome, thinking that WE made this possible and that our book is ready for sale. Our final shop looks really professional and it looks like an actual shopping site, like Amazon. I will promote our book by posting things on Facebook, Instagram, and sending Gmail to other people to let them know about our book and to buy our book.


Day 22-23

So about an entire week passed, because of Week Without Walls, and we opened and checked our eco dome. This time, we left our eco dome inside the classroom where it was not hot at all (I think).


  • We put in 2 grasshoppers; 1 died and 1 was ALIVE.
  • There was mold from the corn we put in previously.
  • All the plants didn't die, they were all very green and bright.
  • There were a bit of moisture; basically water, on the walls, even though you can't see it int he picture below.



Even though our eco dome lasted for about an entire week, because of WWW and such, we thought that the grasshopper wouldn't last long, just like our other previous attempts. I think one of the grasshopper died because of the mold we had in the eco dome from our second attempt. The mold was probably from the corn and that was why the grasshopper died, due to the it affecting the lungs. Or maybe there was a bit of intra-specific war between the two of them and one died. Because the eco dome was sprayed with a lot of water on every single component, I think the other grasshopper was very fine. Water could be one of the reasons why the plants weren't all dried up and green and fresh. Also, I think the location of the eco dome matters because the sun and the temperature outside is really high and hot, so that is probably why the grasshoppers have been dying all this time.


  • Other students even put in sunflower seeds as food supplies.
  • Don't put too much water on your plants before you seal your eco dome. Condensation will build up and form water droplets on the walls.
  • Don't put the eco dome too close to direct sunlight.

Day 14-15

We started the third eco dome. From our second one, we decided to change some things very differently. Actually, Miuccia put everything together because we couldn't get grasshoppers on the day we actually wanted to start our third one, so I kind of forgot.

Design components:

  • Soil - leftover from the previous eco dome - base for everything
  • Plants and leaves - oxygen
  • Rocks - big ones, small ones - environment
  • Wood thing - environment
  • Water sprinkled on everything; the entire eco dome

Changes made:

This time, we left the eco dome inside the classroom where there is nice air-con and not too hot. We thought that the sun and the heat is the main reason why our grasshoppers kept dying.


We didn't have an exact design, because Miuccia put it together, but we have a picture of it after a week it was made.



  • It's good to add twigs or sticks in because it can provide safety and more space.
  • Grasshoppers can't be in very humid or or cold condition. So the way to keep the temperature low from humidity is providing extra "layer" such as dried coconut fiber, oatmeal flakes, or dry sand.
  • Too much moisture for the grasshoppers isn't good, but they need moisture, or the eco dome will be too dry.
  • Grasshoppers can get moisture from their food, so there is no need to spray as much water, but they need at least a little bit of water.

Day 11-12

Today, after about 5 days, we checked our eco dome. We put the grasshoppers last Friday when I was absent, so I don't exactly know how many days passed.


  • Grasshoppers died again.
  • The corn had mold on it.
  • The lettuce rotted also.
  • The plant was growing ON the corn.
  • Some of the plants dried up.


Our grasshoppers died sadly again. I think it's because we left the eco dome outside, so because it's hot outside, they died of dehydration or from the heat. I observed that the corn had a lot of molds in it; it was green, grey, and fuzzy. Also, because we sprinkled some seed soil on the soil when we were building the second eco dome, the seed actually grew into a small plant and it grew on top of the corn. Another thing was that I thought the grasshoppers would "try" to eat or nibble on the paper egg carton we put in for "shelter", but it didn't. And they didn't touch the corn or the lettuce. I don't know why they didn't eat, but maybe that's why they died; dehydration and starvation.


In Ela this quarter, we worked on informational essays, where we choose a topic we want to write about, research on it, and write a 5-paragraph essay. I first chose a topic on dogs, which was the main thing I wanted to write about, and then I came to a conclusion that I wanted to write about rescue dogs.

What was the biggest success?

I think my biggest success was my notecards. Because I'm in Mr. Benck's class for Social studies as well, I already knew how to make and use notecards to organize my facts, so I didn't really have any difficulties on organizing my facts. Even though my research took quite a bit of time, I think my notecards helped me form my paragraphs much easier with the facts I had. Another thing that was a big success was that i could get a lot of different sources to research, not just a few. Whenever I'm researching, I always seemed to use only the school databases and sometimes it gets really boring because all the sites are the same and all the facts are similar. But this time, I tried a variety of sources to provide facts so I didn't have only 3 to 4 similar sources; I had 9 to 10. At first I had like 11 sources for about 16 notecards, but because I didn't use those notecards, I deleted some of them.

Biggest difficulty?

My biggest difficulty was definitely choosing what topic I wanted to do. It sounds easy, but it was certainly NOT. I first started off with dogs because I was SURE I wanted to write something about them. (I think it's thanks to my obsession of dogs that I started with :)) But after that, it was NOT easy; I had to change my topic several times, because I couldn't research the specific topics I had in mind. So after like a million changes on the topic, I finally came across the topic about rescue dogs. Although the final topic was chosen, I still had to change my question as I researched so that it fit with my facts.

What would you have done differently?

After finishing my paper, I thought that I should've done something differently. I think that when I finished my note cards, I should've wrote the facts beforehand (with the citations in it), so that I didn't have to go in the end with all the hustle trying to put in-text-citations. I could've just put all the facts, in order, and then analyzed each of them so I didn't have to do it the hard way, which is writing the facts one by one and analyzing one by one and keep repeating that; it was really hard because sometimes I forgot which was which. But overall, I think I did great on my paper. 🙂


Day 9-10

Today, we started our second eco dome. We made some changes from the first design. We researched on how we should do to improve our eco dome.

Design components:

  • Soil - mix of sandy soil , not too moist, because we don't want too much moisture.
  • Plant - corn leaves and sweet potato leaves - sprayed with water, for hydration.
  • Corn, lettuce, leaves - food supply
  • Branch - design, environment
  • Egg carton - shelter
  • 4 grasshoppers

Changes made from 1st Design:

  • No water cup because the grasshopper drowned.
  • No carrots and banana because they didn't eat any.
  • More grasshoppers because just in case most of them die, we still have more to observe.
  • Egg carton for shelter, instead of just leaves.
  • We will spray water on all the components, instead of putting the water cup.





Changes made on design day: 

  • 2 grasshoppers were put in because we couldn't get any on the day we built it, so we just decided to put in 2, instead of 4.
  • We didn't put the leaves separately, they were on the plant and we put the plant in instead.

Day 7-8

After about a week, we checked our eco dome and how our two grasshoppers were doing, whether they were dead or not. When we checked, our grasshoppers died after only a few days.


  • The grasshoppers died because maybe they didn't eat the carrots and because they were moldy, they didn't touch anything at all, except for some leaves from the plant.
  • The carrots were moldy and the banana peels were rotten, almost very black.
  • On the walls of the eco dome, there were tiny bugs stuck on them.
  • Most of the plants were not dead yet, they were a little weak and not stable. They were weeping.
  • There were tiny water droplets on the walls.



  • Not too much water or moisture  because both of the insects can drown in the water, rather than drinking it.
  • Also, photosynthesis and the respiration cycle is an important part in keeping the cricket or grasshopper alive.
  • Grasshoppers like to eat plants in the grass family, such as corn, wheat, and barley.
  • You can also feed them lettuce or other vegetables, but also some grass and leaves.


Day 1

In Science, we started making eco domes, which are a little environment, for the crickets and grasshopper and see if they survive on their own, without any of our help.

Ecodome Design Components:

  • 1 Plant (with lots of leaves)
  • Oxygen, food, environment
  • Soil (just enough to cover the bottom of the eco dome and enough so that the plant can be stuck in it)
  • For the plant to grow, the base for everything that's going to be in the eco dome.
  • Rocks and Pebbles
  • Elevation (to be able to get on the plant)
  • 1 small cup of Water
  • Moisture, drinking, water source
  • Branch
  • elevation
  • 1 small cup of Food (chopped vegetables)
  • Food supply
  • 1 cricket
  • Because I wanted to see how it survives on its own.


Changes made: 

  • 2 Grasshoppers instead of 1 cricket.
  • A tiny lady bug.
  • Added several plants and a pile of leaves, not just one.
  • Added a lot of tiny stones and rocks around for decor.
  • Mixed different types of soil (very dry and moist soil and some soil that were in a plant pot) .
  • We didn’t add rocks for elevation because the plants weren’t in a pot, they were just strips of leaves.
  • Chopped carrots, instead of a variety.
  • Banana peels.
  • Added flowers for design.

Actual Eco dome:

When this task was introduced to you, what were your first thoughts/reaction? Why?

I first was really excited when I heard about this project because we got to know about people from another country and the fact that we could make something with them was really interesting. Even though they are in New York and we are in Vietnam, I wondered how we would communicate with each other. (We use Edmodo!) I also thought that if we paired up with a buddy from New York,  we would come up with a great idea and our page would look very cool at the end.

What are you excited the most about the collaboration unit?

I am excited the most on how our final product on our page would turn out because right now, we are working really hard on our animal and text, and I think that when all the things that we were working on come together, and we do some final touch-ups, the final page would look really awesome. I'm also excited about how our buddy's work would look, in comparison to ours, because our schools are different and they might do things differently than us.

a) Explain how you have been connecting with your buddy?

We have been connecting with our buddy through Edmodo. We communicated by posting photos of our work we did that class, asking questions, suggestions, and replying to the posts. Our buddy didn't reply to us in a long time that much, but we were able to tell each other what we were doing and decide on ideas.

b) What is your buddy’s name and what did you learn about them?

My buddy's name is Ciara Lehnhaeuser. I learned that she is 13 years old, she has a fish pet named "Mr. Bubblegum" and her favorite color is Pink.

c) What similarities or differences did you notice between you and your buddy?

The similarity I noticed was that she also has a pet, the same way I have a pet; a dog. She likes pink, and I also do (light, pastel pink though). 🙂 The difference I noticed was that she is 1 year younger than me; she is 13 years old while I'm 14. And she lives in New York! I live in Vietnam.

How has (will) your drawing/learning been (be) effected because of the collaboration so far? (for example are you working differently because you are working with someone else?)

Normally when I work on my own, which I like because then I won't need to fight or disagree with a partner or anything and then have issues, I don't usually know how to work with a partner that well. So I think that this collaboration really helped me learn how to (I guess) work with a partner and also use and respect their idea and suggestions. Because I normally work on my own, do things alone, make ideas alone, and more, I sometimes don't like working with a partner. But I think now I'm going to do this more often.

a)What did you think about Graeme Base writing to us?

I think it was amazing, especially because he's an author who published one of the most famous childrens' books. I actually have never ever seen the book before, but the book looked really beautiful and the best quality it could be made. I like how he answered some of our questions we wrote to him; like how he became an illustrator and painter and how long it took him to make the book itself.

b) What did you learn from his letter? 

I learned that the book Animalia took him 3 years to complete, I mean, it looks really professional and high quality, but I didn't know it would take that long to do all the pages. I thought it would take him, like something months, NOT years. I also learned that when he was making / gathering ideas for the pages, he used a single-volume encyclopedia and a medium-size dictionary finding all the words and ideas. I would never have the patience to actually finish it!

c) Describe what you think of his book.

I really love the illustrations in the book because they are so detailed and they are in so high quality. I love drawings and illustrations that are detailed and very beautiful, just like the ones in the book. I also like fantasy and unrealistic things, so the fact that the animals in the book are doing unrealistic things is awesome. One of things I think that the book is unique is because of the alliteration each page has that matches the alphabet. For example: For L, the text is "Lazy Lions Lounging in the Local Library". And for another one all the words start with that letter of the alphabet.

What challenges have you faced so far?

One challenge for me was the frustration on the communication with my buddy because since the school in New York don't have their own laptops and ipads, they don't get enough time on the computers to reply/post back to us. Nghi and I once had nothing to do and didn't know what to do because our buddy wasn't able to reply in a really long time; she didn't post anything on what she had done, or either said what she wanted to do. Even though we had some communication issues, I think we were able to solve it.