ES Picnic Day!

G2 Negishi Park

We had a beautiful, yet hot, Grade 2 Picnic Day at Negishi Park! We spent all day investigated the pond and creek, running through the woods and playing games. The highlight of the day was probably when the children caught a large crayfish using some string they found, a stick and some dried mango! Who would have thought that crayfish like dried mango! Ina…that’s who! She said that it was an investigation, and what a success it was!

A Visit to Zoorasia to Learn about the Bali Mynah

The Grade 2s visited Zoorasia to learn about the Bali mynah bird as well as inquire into the habitats of certain endangered animals living in captivity there.

2C trip to Zoorasia

Ahead of our visit, we learned that Zoorasia has a breeding program for the Bali mynah bird, which is critically endangered. It is a wonderful example of how people are trying to help species survive. To prepare for our visit, we read about the Bali mynah, watched a video and wrote questions for our trip.


These are photos of Bali mynah birds living in captivity at Zoorasia.

Here are the thoughtful questions that the Grade 2s prepared ahead of our meeting with the zoologists.

I wonder what the zoo people teach the baby and adult mynahs.
Why don’t the people at the zoo teach the babies to survive?
I wonder why Bali mynahs don’t eat vegetables.
What kind of fruit do mynah birds eat?
What kind of insects do mynah birds eat?
How do they catch the bugs?
Where do they find the insects?
Which plant does the nectar come from?
What do mynah birds do everyday?
Why do mynah birds mimic?
Do they live with their families?
What do they use to make their nests?
Do Bali mynahs hibernate?
How do people catch the Bali mynahs?
Why don’t the mynah birds escape from the humans?
Wouldn’t the mynah birds escape from the humans if the mynah birds noticed the humans?
I wonder why people just want to ignore the law because birds are such an important living thing.
Why can’t people understand that lots of animals are endangered and you should conserve? For example, the Bali myna bird is almost extinct because people are capturing them.
How can the mynah bird sense the predators with their group (flock)?
Will mynah birds be extinct in the future?
How can you breed the Bali mynah and make 100,000,000 birds?
How many Bali mynah birds are there right now?
How can we bring the mynah bird to Bali again?
Why are there no Bali mynah books?
What is the difference between the female and male Mynah birds?
What is the Bali Mynah’s favourite food?
How do zookeepers make (breed) the Bali Mynah?
How many more Bali Mynahs are in the world now?
How long does it take for the Bali Mynah to lay eggs?
Can the Bali Mynah adapt to living in the snow?
Why do people want to have the Bali Mynah as pets?
How many Bali Mynah are in the zoo right now?
What do the Bali Mynah do during the day?
How do the zookeepers get the Bali Mynah into the zoo?
What do the zookeepers do to keep the Bali Mynah safe?

During the presentation, the children took notes about the answers to their questions. They have been learning to take notes, since Semester One. It is amazing what second graders can do!

While at the zoo, we observed two Bali mynah birds in captivity as well as several other endangered animals and completed a Draw, Name, Connect, Explain thinking routine for them. This helped us to gain a better understanding about what it is like for animals to live in captivity in contrast to their natural habitat.

Humans and Nature

In the photos below, you will see human-made things and nature. There are examples all around us. Think about what you see outside your window or on your way home from school.

How can humans affect nature?

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photo from Barcelona Zoo

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photo from India Tours and Travels

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photo from Wikipedia

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photo from the Telegraph

Creating a Recipe…Angel Wing Pasta

Toward the end of our unit relating to health, 2C decided to create our own healthy recipe. We talked about recipes and how they are organized or written. Between all of us, we thought they have the following features: name, ingredients, amount and directions. The children decided that they wanted to make some sort of vegetable pasta, and we made a list of ingredients that they thought might be good for their recipe.

Then we looked at some vegetable pasta recipes as examples and discovered that we were correct. Recipes have a name, a list of ingredients and the amount of each ingredient as well as step-by-step instructions on how to make the dish. Looking at the recipes helped us to see how they are generally organized with the list of ingredients and the amount just below the name and the instructions on the bottom written in a paragraph or numbered sentences.

As part of our learning experience the children worked in small groups to weigh most of the ingredients, so they could get an idea of how much different vegetables weighed before being cut up.

Later, the children collaborated with their iPad partners to decide on a specific amount for each particular ingredient. They came up with a lot of interesting measurements. To help them get a better idea of how much to include, we decided to see what some of their recommendations looked like.

Our Original Guestimates

Olive oil 7 ml
Garlic crushed 130 grams
Roasted onion diced large 4 grams
Dried Crushed Red Chile 20 grams
Zucchini sliced in discs 200 grams
Spinach chopped large 8 grams
Fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half 7 grams
Basil chopped large 140 grams
Fresh Red roasted peppers chopped medium 160 grams

Once the children did some real-life measuring, many realized that the amount was not quite right. For example, Caren and Haziq felt that 8 grams of spinach would be a good amount to add to the recipe, but when they saw that 8 grams was one leaf, they decided to change it. “Now, we think 90 grams because if it is 8 grams not everybody can eat it.”

Vivi and Rene recommended adding 7 grams of tomatoes. When they saw that this was less than one cherry tomato, they decided to change the quantity to 20 cherry tomatoes (200 grams). They said that 7 grams was a little bit, but “with 200 grams, each student in the class will get a piece of tomato.”

Teo and Kei originally recommended adding 130 grams of garlic. After seeing how much this was they decided to change it “to 26 grams which is about 8 cloves of garlic because at first we thought 130, but then we realized it was way, way, way too spicy.”
Teo stated, “I tried it raw the other day, and it was really hot.”

Once we settled on our new measurements, we looked at examples of instructions for recipes. We talked about writing the instructions and realized that they are written in the command form. In other words, they tell you what to do, but don’t use the word “you”.

We collaborated together as a class to write the directions in sequential order and remembered to add words such as: first, next, then, after that, and finally.

We all made suggestions for names. Someone came up with the name Angel Pasta. Since there is a pasta noodle called bowtie pasta that looks like angel wings, we decided that this would be the perfect name.

We finally cooked our recipes. Each student worked with their iPad partner to prepare their ingredient. We learned to chop and how to use the knife safely. Unfortunately, it took longer than expected, so we only got one bite and then the kitchen warmed it up for us the next day for break. It was delicious, although, some students felt it was a bit spicy. Next, we are going to reflect and possibly change the recipe.

2C cooking pasta

Miss Pender tried it and said that it was delicious and had just he right amount of everything! We hope that you will try this recipe at home. Enjoy…and tell us what you think!

A Visit to Oi Bird Park

This week, the Grade 2s visited Oi Bird Park. We are learning to observe and understand the connections between living things in their environment as well as how humans, both challenge and help species to survive.

Click on the photo below to see a slide show in Flickr.

In preparation for the field trip we asked the children the following questions to get them thinking about the purpose of our trip as well as how we can achieve that purpose.

What is our purpose?
(Why are we going to the Oi Bird Park?)
What skills will we need in order to be successful?
How will we act to help us in our learning?

While at the park, we used the Draw, Name, Connect, Explain thinking routine as a tool to investigate the park’s living things in their natural environment.

First, they drew the living things and nonliving things that they saw at that location. Then, they named the things they drew. Next, they drew a line to show connections between all of the living and non-livings things in that environment. Last, they explained how these things are connected.

Next, we will ask the students to Think ( I think I know that…), Puzzle (I wonder if…), Explore (To find out more, I would like to try to…) about their learning at the bird park. We look forward to hearing more about their thinking!