A Visit to the ICJC to Learn about the Importance of Nonverbal Communication

The students visited with a communications expert, Marie Asaoka, to inquire into non-verbal communication as well as culture and communication. Our communication expert works with customer service for Japan Airlines. She coaches employees on how to use their non-verbal communication to show respect and welcome others.

The students made connections to their interactions with others and reflected on how they can use eye contact to show others that they are listening and care about what they are saying.

Marie-san taught us about about bowing. We learned that their are three different types of bowing and had a chance to practice them. She also taught us how to hold our hands, when we bow.

We also made the connection that we can use what we learned about bowing and eye contact when we meet with the seniors to show that even though speaking is often difficult, we can show respect and show that we care by bowing appropriately and by “speaking with our eyes”. We decided to practice this before we visited the seniors. When we first arrived at the senior home and saw some of the seniors, we made sure that we greeted them first and then bowed.

I thought it was interesting how to say, “Hello” with our eyes.
I wonder…does eye contact connect to something else?

During our visit with Marie-san, the children were asked to use their non-verbal communication skills to organize themselves by their birthdates. Some children automatically took the lead by using hand signals and facial gestures to communicate the the month and day of their birthday. The others followed. During the experience, the children modelled good eye contact, cooperation, respect and perseverance. In the end, the they recognized how important it is to use and understand a variety of non-verbal skills.

We decided to reflect on our learning and how we might use nonverbal communication to help us communicate with others.

To reflect we thought about the following questions and used the I USED TO THINK/NOW I THINK Making Thinking Visible routine. What did you used to think about nonverbal communication such as: eye contact and bowing, and hand signals before we went to the ICJC? What do you think about these now that we learned more about nonverbal communication?

Comics as a Means of Communication

This week, Miss Srishti visited the Grade 2s to help us inquire into Comics. Miss Srishti told us that she has always loved comic strips. We talked about comics that we were familiar with or had read before and later looked at many different samples of comic strips.

Next, we made a list of all the things that we noticed about comic strips.

The most important thing we noticed and realized was that comics send messages. Their main purpose is to entertain, and many of them teach us lessons about life.

To help us learn about how to get ideas for comic strips, we watched a video.

From the video, we learned that comic strip writers get a lot of their ideas from things and events around them…problems we have at school, our love for tomatoes, friendship, pranks, and more.

Finally, we got a chance to create our own comics!

At the end of the period, Kei shared a comic that she made with the class. It was about a student, who was a bully.

On Thursday afternoon, our Grade 9 Buddies (Kenryo, Elena, Grace, Chloe, Kelly, James, Hana, Max, Pheobe, An, Jan, Toma) visited us. We shared the comics that we made the other day with them. Then we had the chance to make another comic strip. Some of the groups worked together to make one comic and some students worked individually. The Grade 9s helped us to think of ideas and gave us advice about how to draw. It was a lot of fun to share this time with them!

Here are some reflections from the Grade 9s about their experience.

It was a really good experience. Everyone is cute and kind. I really enjoyed the time with 2nd Grade. They were cute!

It was fun playing around with the kids. I was glad that they were enjoying the time. They think differently comparing to us and it was a good opportunity.

They were a very enthusiastic group of people…easy to work with and drawing better than me.

Working with the 2nd Graders is really interesting to me because I don’t get to interact with kids younger than me that often and it’s nice to bond with them. It teaches me to be a bit more carefree like them.

The children were engaging and were focused on the task. They were humorous and co-operative when deciding on what we should make. I enjoyed doing this. It was fun and stimulating for all.

It was great working with them. They were really all excited to make a comic and had great ideas and knew a lot about some techniques about comics like perspective.

Click on the photo below to see a Grade 9/Grade 2 Buddies slideshow in Flickr.


Here are some reflections from students in 2C…

I thought that the Grade 9s…they gave us good advice.  For example, they showed us how to make people shout.

It was really fun because our buddy was telling us to put more illustrations in our picture.

I felt happy because it was the first time that I was with a Grade 9 student that I don’t know. We made a funny comic.

It was really nice to have an experience working with Grade 9 because we don’t often do this, and it was really fun how we share our ideas and we mix them and create a great comic.

Making Our Thinking Visible Through the SEE, THINK, WONDER Routine

For the past couple of weeks, the children have been building their observation, thinking and wondering skills. During one of our workshops the children were asked to SEE, THINK, or WONDER about art. Many pictures of paintings were placed around the room and the children were invited to choose to choose some and write their comments. Instead of writing SEE, THINK, WONDER for each picture, the children were asked to do just one of these parts. This way they were able to view more pictures and have a go at focusing on just one part of the routine.

For this particular visible thinking routine, we write down all the details that we see in the piece of art. Then we think about what we see. Next, we wonder or pose questions about what we saw or thought about. All the parts of the visible thinking routine should connect.
When we write down our observations, thoughts and wonderings, others can see them as well, and when we share them aloud as a class, we can build a deeper understanding. This is a simple routine that the children are very familiar with and can do with you at home or on family trips.

The Scream, Edvard Munch

  • I see an alien crying and screaming for help and there is a person in the back of the people saying, “What is he doing.”
  • I wonder why the artist wrote a person crying or shouting for help.
  • I wonder why the alien is crying in the night.
  • I see a strange type of person being really surprised.

Salvador Dali, Persistence of Memory

  • I wonder why the artist made the things close up stretchy, but the background isn’t.
  • I see that everything is melting.
  • I think that those are not useful.
  • I see a lot of soggy-looking clocks. There is one lying on a twig, one ant clock, and more.

Rene Magritte

  • I see the sky in an eye.
  • I think the artist chose this because eyes can see anything.
  • I see someone’s eye with clouds in it.
  • I think the artist is trying to communicate that he or she really wants to fly.
  • I see the reflection of the sky in someone’s eye.

Paul Klee

  • I see the orange sun and the vines covering the sun in the great jungle.
  • I wonder why they put an animal upside down on the top of the image.
  • I see the sun but there is a star shadow.
  • I think they are in the forest.
  • I wonder why is the bird upside down.
  • I wonder what are those strange shapes.

Both this week and last week, the children did a thinking routine about a piece of artwork as their Home Learning. In class, we shared our routines with several partners. We also had an enlightening class discussion to share our observations. During our conversation, the children began to think about more ideas. They were asked to explain their thinking. For instance, some of the children thought that the black thing in the foreground on the left was a mountain or a castle. After some discussion, some children thought that the black thing was perhaps a burned tree. Below are some examples of their Home Learning SEE, THINK, WONDER.

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night

  • I see mountains, church, sky, moon, houses, trees wind, starts and words, stone, light, red stones, and hills.
  • I think it is night and everyone is sleeping in their houses and before they sleep they saw a mountain and stars and trees.
  • I wonder what are the people dreaming and when is the stars goign to shine. I wonder when the sun is going to shine.
  • I see swirly wind in the sky. I see a city. I see lot of lights.
  • I think this picture is about aurora in a city or reflection from the sky.
  • I wonder if it is aurora or UFO in the sky or a dust storm or is it night.
  • I see the town is really windy and it is night.
  • I think no one is walking because it is a story day.
  • I wonder if people are in the town?
  • I see a little village. I see the wind howling. I also see the beautiful stars and moon.
  • I think the black thing is a mountain. I also think it’s night because I see stars and the moon shining bright.
  • I wonder how the artist feels and why does he/she feel that way. I also wonder where it is.
  • I see a castle and a fireworks. It is night.
  • I think the castle is for the king.
  • I wonder what is this city’s name.
  • I see some whirly clouds and the moon.
  • I think that this painting is a little confusing because I know that it is night and is going to rain soon.
  • Why isn’t the clouds blocking the moon? I wonder what the whirly cornered black thing is? Is it a castle?