Friday, 29 June 2012

Standing on a cliff…hanger

School’s out for summer!

I can’t believe how fast the year went by. One minute I’m shopping with Mom for new school supplies, and the next I’m cleaning out my locker. Yeah, that took a while.  You should see my room sometimes.

Of course I’m going to train for track and field all summer, but I also plan to read a lot – and write! Last week in class, we talked about cliffhangers  - you know when a story ends in suspense and doesn’t tell you exactly what happened?

Well, the storybook Gotta Jet ends like that. Me and my friends “red head”and “Lightening” are at the start line getting ready to race our soap box cars, the starting pistol goes off, and then…GO! But who wins?

Of course WINNING isn’t everything, but the cliffhanger leaves it open for me or even YOU to come up with an ending. That’s what some Grade 4 students at St. Vital Grandin School in St. Albert, AB did after they read the book.

Over the summer, I thought I’d share some of their endings on my blog. I mean, they’re pretty good!

Haven’t read it yet? Don’t worry – there’s plenty of story before the big race.

Gotta Jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

PS – if the story endings below inspire you to write your own, send me your version to Maybe I’ll publish your ending, too.

First up, an ending by Josh P


Chase’s wheels were going faster than lightning. It felt like he was lifting off the ground. He felt like he was flying! Now he really was Superman. His Grandpa was cheering, “Go Chase Go!”

That was when everything went black.

“Chase, Chase, can you hear me?”

Chase opened his eyes to find his Grandpa smiling and yelling.
“Chase, Chase! You’re winning.”

“Winning?” I muttered.

That meant the race was still on! He looked behind him and Lightning was loading his water cannon.

“Readu…Fire!” screamed Lightening.

Now Chase was wet and anticipating his next move…

                                                            THE END

Huh...that's kind of a cliffhanger in itself, isn't it? Check back all summer to read more!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

When I Grow Up

My teacher says this past week was “take your kid to work” week – but I hardly know anyone who actually participated. Mom and Dad said I could tag along with them, but I hung out with Grandpa instead.

I spend a lot of time at my grandparents’ canola farm, mostly running or making stuff with Grandma, but I help out with chores, too. Sometimes, it’s fun. Like running Grandpa his lunch during harvest, or going into town to buy supplies. I know an awful lot about canola farming.

But this week, I tried to pay more attention to what Grandpa actually does.

He works hard.

I know I always talk about being a track star, but my Mom tells me I need to keep realistic, too. What’s my back up plan?

Grandpa would love me to take over the canola fields one day - I know he would. And sometimes I’m sad thinking about how he’s the only farmer left in the family. Mom’s an only child and she definitely doesn’t want to be a canola producer. And my Dad? He’s a suit and tie kind of guy. I can hardly picture him in coveralls.

I don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, but watching Grandpa this week taught me some of things I do want to be: hard working and proud.

How about you? What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Gotta Jet!

-       - Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 8 June 2012

Summer is for…

Well, it’s that time again.

The end of the school year. Coach Taylor isn’t running track and field camp this summer because  he’s taking his family to Disneyland (Disneyland!) – which means I had to find something else to keep me busy.

Of course I’ll still run around Grandpa’s canola field for extra practice, but Mom limits my TV AND my computer time to an hour a day.

So I decided to volunteer for the public library’s Reading Buddy program. Throughout the summer, I’ll have the opportunity to mentor young readers. Awesome, right?

My Language Arts teacher says helping others read is one of the best ways to improve my own reading comprehension. Plus, it’s a great way to become better at writing.

I’ve set a personal goal to read 10 books before September. That’s five a month. Think I can do it? Of course I can.

And so can you! What books are on YOUR To-Be-Read pile this summer?

Gotta Jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Reducing our environmental footprint

I’ve really taken advantage of the weather over the past few days – track and field training outside with the sun shining, breathing in that crisp air. It’s totally rad.

We’re really lucky in Canada because our air is clean, not like the smog that hovers over other cities and countries throughout the world. We’ve been talking a lot about the environment in school, and how Albertans are considered good stewards of the land.

Like farmers.

Environmental stewardship is a top priority for my Grandpa – and all Alberta canola producers farmers, really. In addition to using the best and most-environmentally sound production practices, zero-tilling (seeding in last year’s stubble so that no top soil is lost to soil erosion), planting more seeds per square metre (to discourage weeds from growing and using the soil nutrients to feed themselves rather than the plant) and (I think I have Grandpa’s speech memorized), canola growers are developing products that are better for the environment, too.

Like using vegetable oil to reduce dust on the roads and in barns, using canola for chain saw oil so that spills do not harm the forests, and for outboard motor oil so that sports boats do not harm our lakes.

Canola biodiesel is even the fuel used to power Prairie Gold, the first and only Jet Engine Funny Car to run on 100% canola biodiesel.

Canola biodiesel is really catching on. Last year I went to a carnival where all of the rides were powered by canola biodiesel, and my teacher says that all vehicles must include a percentage of biofuels in the gas or biodiesel that they use in their gas tanks. Pretty cool, right?

Grandpa says canola biodiesel not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions and cleans the air, but it smells better, too. Like popcorn.
Uh…did someone say popcorn? Maybe my friends and I should go see a movie this weekend.

Gotta Jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy