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!

An Taste of Different Types of Communication

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.

G2 Jarnga

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.

Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.
G2 Workshop

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.

Links for Symbol Games

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