Should we build the Parthenon? Balanced Arguments

In literacy we have been looking at balanced arguments and relating it to our topic on the Ancient Greeks. We held a debate on whether the Parthenon should be built or not and followed this up by writing our own balanced arguments. Each argument should introduce the subject, outline in detail the cases for and against the proposal, and conclude by stating the author’s preference. We were also looking to include several technical features including passive sentences, subordinating and coordinating conjunctions, conditionals and personal pronouns in the final paragraph.

Here’s Sam L’s balanced argument:

Should the Parthenon be built in Athens?


Following the victory over the Persians, Athenians are debating what to do with their money. Pericles has stated that Athens should have a temple, others (like Thucydides) say they should put money to good use by building defences.

Pericles has stated that Athens should build a Parthenon. Many argue that if they go ahead with the building, then goddess Athene will be honoured and would surely protect Athens from any further attacks. No one can deny that building a temple would provide jobs for citizens. It is their contention that they must build a Parthenon to show everyone how rich and powerful Athens is. The city can be smart again: no one can deny that the Acropolis has been a pile of rubble for years. Building the Parthenon will cost millions. However, the money will only go to other citizens because the city of Athens will be paying them to build, so throughout Athens the wealth will be spread evenly.

Athens was abandoned in 480BC at the time of the Battle of Salamis so that the rest of Greece could be saved. Pericles believes that Athens ought to do something to recognise what they sacrificed. Building a Parthenon would make Athens look proud and victorious. At the moment the closest thing to a temple is a pile of rubble that is the Acropolis. Pericles and his supporters (the pro- Parthenon lobby) ask if that is the sort of image that Athens wants to have. Furthermore, although it could be destroyed, it’s unlikely that the Persians will attack because they have been defeated more than once.

The people against building the Parthenon, led by Thucydides, would say that using the money to decorate the city is just like a woman covering herself in precious stones. Furthermore, it is not right to spend millions on a building. Thucydides argues that the money should be spent on things that Athens needs like defences. How can they be sure the Persians won’t strike again? After all, they are pretty sore about being beaten.

Additionally, Thucydides believes that building the Parthenon would be a waste of money if only to see it knocked down by the Persians. Before Athens build it they ought to talk to their friends in other parts of Greece; they could help the Athenians decide. Thucydides argues that Athens should keep the money in the treasury just in case. Personally, I believe the Parthenon shouldn’t be built as it’s a complete waste of money. If we spend millions on this temple, then we will look pretty stupid if the Persians come and knock it down. Thucydides is right, we should either spend it on something we need or keep it just in case.



The Arrival – City information guides

As many of our parents will know, we have been studying Shaun Tan’s – The Arrival in Literacy at the end of last term and the beginning of this term.

As an end of unit write, we decided to compile our own city guides for the city to which the man and his family emigrate. The children identified the key information they wanted to include, added instructions where they felt it was appropriate and used clear and concise language. This was also an opportunity to use some real imagination and the children came up with some fantastic ideas as evidenced below…..

Katie K

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Sam L

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Tom H

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The Arrival – first person recounts

In literacy we have been looking at The Arrival, a picture book by Shaun Tan about immigration. This is an excellent book and one that I would recommend to parents to read as well. A link to the animated version is embedded below.

We looked carefully at the stories of three immigrants that the main protagonist meets when he arrives at a new country. The children were set the task of retelling from their point of view how their lives were different before they reached their new home. The children were asked to produce a piece of writing which would result in an emotive reaction as the reader felt empathy with the character. Here’s Sam’s recount.

Sam L

I’m Moi Song Yong. When I was younger I was caught reading a book of a banned religion. Some horrible men didn’t like the book so they got angry.

They grabbed me round the neck, gave me a death stare and looked at me like a tiger about to swallow its prey. They snatched the book off me and threw it in a drawer, locked it away, and finally shoved me in a furnace room. In the room I would survive only on rations of bread and water, my only companion the bright orange flames that licked against the pipe just above the furnace.  It was silent, cold and boring. All I was allowed to do was scoop coal into the depths of the brightly lit furnace.

My next task was to climb up the highest chimney. It was as if I was a rat and the chimney was a giraffe. Until about half way up I was doing well then it was bendy poles acting as a ladder. I did this job every day for my whole childhood.

One day I had enough. I grabbed a shovel… rammed it into the door… pulled the door open… and as silently as a snake stalking its prey, I crept out of the door.


I hoped they didn’t hear me. ‘Now for the tricky part,’ I thought.  I crept down the hallway and stole my book back. I sat in the door way until a train slowed down to stop for a delivery. A wave of excitement crushed over me, I sprinted down the wet, swamp like field and climbed into the train.

And that’s how I got here.



Shaun Tan – The Arrival Animation from Frederik Vorndran on Vimeo.

Anglo – Saxon Newspaper Reports

In Literacy we have been looking at newspaper reports over the last couple of weeks. We have practiced our skills at writing newspaper reports and, as an end of unit write, decided to write a newspaper report about King Alfred burning the cakes. Here are some of the articles submitted for the Anglo – Saxon Chronicle. (Please note that some documents are slightly altered by Google Doc embedder, but are fine when downloaded)

James E

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