This week, the students began their new Unit of Inquiry, How We Organize Ourselves.
Our central idea is: Communication connects communities and individuals.
It is an inquiry into:
-Forms of communication
-Tools used for communication
-How individuals access information and connect to each other
-How current technology changes the way people communicate
The Grade 2s began with a provocation to help them understand how important it is to communicate respectfully as well as how difficult it can be to communicate when you can’t speak or don’t know the language. The children played a card game in four small groups – without speaking or using written words. The leaders of the group were responsible for reading the rules of the game ahead of time and then teaching the game to their group.
Prior to playing we made a list of what makes a good leader, but also talked about how we should act when working in collaborative groups. The children had some practice time to ensure they understood how to play the game, and then we played the game without talking and without the printed directions. You can imagine what a great learning experience this was for the children.
After playing a round, the student with the most cards moved to the next group clockwise and the student with the least cards moved to the next group counter-clockwise. Then they began playing again. What the children didn’t know was that each group had a slightly different set of rules. You can imagine what happened next.
Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.
After playing 3-4 more rounds, we stopped and talked about our experiences, problems and how we felt while playing the game.
-I liked that it is easy to remember the rules.
-I didn’t know that I was so lucky because I kept on winning. I won two times.
-A lot of people said that eight was the wild card but the five was the wild card.
-I felt confused because whenever I got the five I thought the five was the winner, but the ace was the winner.
-We were doing rock paper scissors, and I got mad and my head went back and I hit the calculator box.
-They just fight and they just pulled the cards from each others’ hands.
-I was at that table. I really got angry because a student didn’t agree with me. -Inside I was really frustrated and angry, and outside I really didn’t want to have a fight, so I just made a face.
-I didn’t know why everyone was saying different things. Eight are biggest (wild). Twos are biggest (wild).
-I felt mostly confused and a little bit devastated, and then once I realized that there was one (ace) and two and then I got even more devastated and confused.
-When I was on that table we didn’t have the same amount of cards, and then they were all mad and were making mad faces. All our turn we didn’t do anything.
-If you have a problem and you want to yell or scream, it makes it worse.
-If 2 countries have a disagreement, and they get really mad, they might have a war.
Later in the week, the children attended special communication workshops to learn about and try out different forms of communication that people use everyday for different purposes. Miss Czubak shared her knowledge about secret codes and ciphers as well as symbols. Ms. McCreath prepared workshops on sign language and reading maps, and Mr. Laing taught the children about Braille. During these workshops, the Grade 2s learned about a variety of tools that are used to communicate, how different kinds of communication are organized, how current technology changes the way we communicate, and how to use different types of communication.
Here is some of things that the children want to do next:
-I want to try to read a real map.
-I want to learn more about compass rose.
-I want to learn about all Japan and learn other countries too.
-I want to find out if there are any type of ancient maps.
-I want to learn about the map scale.
-I want to find out if there are codes on maps.
-I want to create a code and learn tricky codes and crack Miss Czubak’s code.
-I’d like to learn about very ancient codes.
-I want to learn about the Every Second code.
-I want to write all five codes that we learned and create a code too!
-I want to learn a lot about the cipher wheel and write secret messages to my friends.
-I want to learn more about the Pigpen code.
-I want to learn more about symbols around the world.
-I want to learn about more hand symbols or sign language…like my name is …
-I wanna learn about hand signals not just names…words.
-I really want to learn about ancient, ancient ancient symbols because I really want to -know how they used to communicate with symbols that are not very similar to the symbols we use right now.
-I wanna learn about symbols all over the world because I want to know what they mean and what they represent.
-I want to learn more about Egyptian symbols.
-I want to learn more about sign language because I want to learn it and then after that speak with my friends with it people will not know what I am saying Its going to be a secret thing.
-I want to learn more into ancient stuff
-I want to learn about more symbols that are cool like technology symbols.
Here are some of our very interesting wonderings…
I wonder that the things I learned today are they gonna help our life.
Why in war time they use cipher wheel?
I wonder if in the future we are going to invent more symbols and alphabets and more words.
I wonder if when we grow up there will be thousands of symbols.
If in the whole wide world are their some people who don’t know how to use symbol in their whole life.