What is Healthy?

This week, we began our new Who We Are Unit of Inquiry by asking the students: What is Healthy?

Some of their ideas included:

  • I think healthy is something great for your life.
  • If you eat so much junk food you will get sick. If you keep doing that your whole life you gonna keep getting sick. Eat a lot of veggies and fruit.
  • Healthy is stuff that is good for your body…broccoli, peppers, and spinach.
  • You will get healthier if you drink lots of water.
  • Healthy means you exercise a lot.
  • I think healthy means don’t play too much video games or otherwise you will get sick. Or maybe your eye won’t get to see anything. Only a little bit is okay.
  • Swimming or play soccer is exercise. If you exercise everyday is good for you.
  • Wear a jacket if it is winter because if you don’t wear a jacket when you go outside you will get sick.
  • Healthy means drink some milk.
  • To be healthy you can go outside for some fresh air. If you stay inside the air might be a bit dirty.
  • Don’t play in the rain a lot. We can get sick.
  • Don’t spread germs by coughing at other people.

We wondered, “How do we get sick?”

I got chicken pox because my sister have a chicken pox too.
I was outside, and I was playing, and it was chilly, and I got a cold. I was wearing a coat.
We get sick from other people’s germs that they spread around.

Some of the students then began to wonder about where germs come from and where they can be found. They shared their thinking with the class.

  • nose…like if you pick your nose
  • in your hair
  • mud or dirt or worms
  • Your eyes or mouth and nose are the places that have most of the germs.
  • Insects have germs.
  • under your feet
  • inside your shoe
  • Inside your body
  • in the air
  • on trash
  • in toilets
  • sink is a little bit dirt around it
  • on the ground
  • on the tap

Some additional ideas in particular led us onto an interesting inquiry into germs and more about where they come from.

When you cough, it creates the germs. If you cough in your arm, you already have those bad stuff. If you cough somewhere else you create the germ in someone else’s body.

You can get germs from other people. If you don’t cover your mouth when you are sneezing or coughing other people can catch the germs.

When you touch the dirty thing and there is lots of germs.

Some germs are good!

We decided to find out more about germs and where they are in our school. To further our inquiry we asked the science lab for help. They prepared petri dishes for us so that we could collect samples of germs from around the school. We are allowing them to grow, and hopefully, we will get to see them under a microscope in a few weeks!


Click on the photo above to see more photos in Flickr.

We are looking forward to finding out more about germs and how the choices we make help our body to fight them!

Please click on the album below to see other photo highlights from our week…

2C Sharing Stories with our Buddies and Learning about Safety in PSE

Thinking About Inquiry…

This week, an expert inquiry teacher, Kathy Murdoch, visited YIS to work with the staff to help build our skills as teachers of inquiry. In preparation for her visit, we collected data to determine what the students think about learning through inquiry. We asked the student the following questions:

What does “learn through inquiry” mean?
Do you learn through inquiry? Why or why not?
When do you inquire?
Where do you inquire?
What do GOOD inquirers do?
How do you inquire?

Here are some of the students’ ideas….

What does “learn through inquiry” mean?

  • Try again and again
  • When you play and create
  • To learn something else
  • To learn through inquiry we create
  • To learn through inquiry we predict and experiment
  • To learn through inquiry we write and reflect then we change
  • When you do an activity
  • We do not give up to learn
  • We are changing
  • Creativity
  • Learn from mistakes
  • To learn through inquiry we look close or carefully
  • To learn things
  • To learn through we observe and look for details
  • To be good at thing
  • To get better
  • Learn about story and making sequencing Brainframes

Do you learn through inquiry? Why or why not?

  • Yes, because we do stuff to inquire
  • Yes, because I want to learn.
  • Yes, because I like it.
  • It makes me say this because I like it.
  • Yes, because I learned how to draw some things
  • Yes, because I love Free Inquiry and I love creating.
  • Yes, because you try to say anything.
  • Yes, because we want to learn about Math and create things.
  • Yes, because we get to learn about stories.
  • Yes, because we get to make a story.
  • Yes, we learn the best we can.
  • When I think about something I figure it out.
  • Create things
  • expression
  • Experiments and gardening

When and where do you inquire?

  • I inquire at Art.
  • I inquire at class.
  • We inquire in anyplace.
  • In the home
  • In Drama
  • In Math in Free Inquiry
  • I inquire about Unit of Inquiry
  • I inquire about Free Unit of Inquiry
  • We inquire when we do Free Inquiry
  • In the park
  • Make stories
  • We do learning about many things.
  • On our Learning Wall
  • At the weather center
  • Japanese class
  • EAL class.
  • At home
  • Science Lab
  • You inquire in the class.

What do GOOD inquirers do?

  • Work as good pairs
  • Work as a partner
  • Think about what you’re doing at first
  • In Art, to be a good artist we concentrate.
  • We make things.
  • Scientists experiment, look at weather, try again experiments.
  • Work hard
  • Be kind
  • Build
  • They describe.
  • They reflect.
  • They create.
  • We talk.
  • We do many things and learn.

How do you inquire? What does it involve?

  • It involves free inquiry.
  • It involves learning.
  • If you play, you do it.
  • To learn
  • In Free Inquiry we can do everything we want.
  • We try again.
  • Reflect.
  • We keep trying and trying.
  • We try sometimes, and we never give up.
  • In Free Unit of Inquiry we inquire.
  • Do something.

After sharing our results and thinking about the children’s’ ideas, we realized that our students know what it means to inquire and identify themselves as inquirers, as well as understand the ways that they learn through inquiry.

To reinforce this, the children were asked to describe how the characters in the book they read during Book Club are inquirers, or how THEY are inquirers when they are read and talk about what the stories during Book Club. Below is what some of them had to say.


I think the Little Red Hen is a thinker because the Little Red Hen is fair.

One of the fish was an inquirer because he thought about “what if everybody dies”, so he went to meet the Judge Rabbit so he could save them (Judge Rabbit Helps the Fish).

I am an inquirer because I read Little Red Hen. When I’m reading, I think.

I’m an inquirer because I thought about how the Emperor’s voice sounded like, and I read like that (The Emperor’s New Clothes).

We also thought about how we are inquirers when we write. Here are some of the children’s ideas.

We are questioning ourselves when we write and if it is not right we try again.

First, you do a story and then you say, “Hmmm…that part doesn’t make sense”, and you change it.

We use creativity when we are creating a story because we think when we write.

Be sure to check out the photos in the links below to see some other learning from our school week.

Writing and Reflecting

Subtracting Using 100 Charts

An Inquiry into Non-Fiction Books

For the next few weeks, the Grade 2s will be working with Miss Katy and Mrs. Karr to investigate non-fiction texts and their features. To get us started, the children were asked to get into pairs and come up with one question related to our central idea, “Human activities can challenge plant and animal survival.” Within a few minutes, the pairs began putting their questions up on the wall.

Here are some of the children’s wonderings…

-How can we save the world? Takafumi and Kai
-What if water runs out? Carolina and Chanu
-How do humans survive deadly animals like snakes, big centipedes, alligators, tigers, bears, etc. Ali
-How can we stop us from littering? Lavanya and Nina
-What is there life cycle? Troy and Shunye
-Why do people kill animals? Yellana and Mika
-How do dolphins jump very high? Himari and Damia
-How does pollution affect animals? How can we stop pollution? Sam
-How do people pollute? Daniel and Chaeeun
-What should we do to save our planet’s animals? Seonyul
-How do humans affect animals? What shouldn’t we do? Ophelia
How do we care for animals and plants? Jingyi
How do we save plants? Mary
-How do humans affect how animals act to each other? Johnny
–How can we save animals and plants? Seonyul
-How do we save the trees animals and other nature stuff? Ryu
-Why do you get a lot of money for shark fin soup? Albin
-Why do people attack rhinos? Mari and Lindsey
-Human and animals which is important? Kane
-I want to learn more about wolves. Hamish
– How do we save nature? Saneyuki
-What do centipedes eat? Valmik


Last week, Mrs. Karr read a non-fiction book to the children. During our session, we looked at the different features that make up non-fiction books such as: table of contents, photos, captions, diagrams, graphs, subtitles, bold-faced words, glossary and index.


This week, the children looked at various non-fiction books with their partners. Most of the children had books that they had found to research their chosen animal or plant. They were asked to work together to find a fact of some sort about their animal or plant. Then they had to think about what non-fiction feature helped them to find this fact. To show their thinking, the children wrote their facts on sticky notes and placed them underneath the feature that helped them.

Investigating Communication: Commenting on Blogs


In Grade 2, we have been learning about how communication connects communities and individuals. We are talking about different types of communication and how they are organized. Through our communication workshops, we are learning about types of communication that we don’t know much about and trying them out. During this unit, we will also get a chance to do some individual inquiries into communication and how it is organized. What are you interested in learning about? What makes you say that?

Write a comment telling what type or types of communication you are interested in and explain why.

Here are some inquiry ideas that 2C and 2M have talked about and some new ones:

Maps, Writing Postcards, Charades, Braille, Sign Language, Blogging, Commenting on Blogs, Numbers Systems, Emailing, Symbols, Cyphers (Codes), Pictionary, Acting, Music, Art, Foreign Languages, Twitter, Skype, Photography, Ancient Writing, Messaging, Animal Communication, Books, Internet, Radar, Ecolocation, Satellites, Facial and Body Gestures, Letter Writing, Texting, Dance, Speech, Morse Code, Signal Flags, Signs, Signals, Infographics, Pictographs and Petroglyphs, Sonar, Telephones, Emojis, etc.

What else can you think of?

When commenting on blogs, be sure your comments:
Make sense
Have good writing
Are helpful