A Visit with Kathryn Claire

This week, we had a visit from musician and storyteller, Kathryn Claire, who has visited YIS several times.

Miss Claire began by teaching us the chorus for Inch by Inch. She played guitar and sang the verses, and then we all sang the chorus together and did the motions.

Inch by Inch – chorus:

Inch by inch
Row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch
Row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
Till the rain comes tumbling down

Next, we sang a fun song called Turkey in the Straw. Miss Claire sang the verses, and we joined in for the chorus and motions once again.

Turkey in the straw – ha ha ha!
Turkey in the hay – what did you say?
Bullfrog dance with his mother in law
Pick a little tune called turkey in the straw


Next, Miss Claire worked with us to reconstruct the well-known American folksong, “Oh, Susanna!” Miss Clair provided 2C with an alternate chorus.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

As the alternate chorus states, the children took turns making suggestions for the new verses. When creating the verses, the had to pay special attention to the last word of each line to be sure they rhymed.

Come on! Come on! (to the Melody of “Oh, Susanna!”)

Well I come from England with an iPad in my hand
And I’m going to Japan to travel ‘round the land.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Egypt with a ukulele on my head
And I’m going to India to dance on my bed

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Hawaii with a trumpet near my mouth
And I’m going to Indonesia to travel East and South

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Canada with a hotdog in my belly
And I’m going to the USA to eat some cheese that’s smelly

For our last song, Miss Claire sang “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”, and we acted out the meaning of the song.

Grade 2 Celebrates!

Click here to see a slideshow of Ed Lemery’s photos.

Tuesday, the Grade 2s hosted a Cross-Cultural Lunch to celebrate their learning during Unit 1 about how “People are enriched by their own cultures and the cultures the cultures they connect with throughout their lives”.

To begin our celebration, we shared a wonderful meal with the parents and teachers who supported our learning throughout the unit. Everyone brought a dish from a culture that they are connected with. We tried new types of food and saw so many dishes from other countries and cultures.


Isa…My most favorite part of the day was trying the food. I tried fairy cake, because trying food is fun.

Yutika…I ate mochi and it was my first time to eat it. I tried both of the kinds and i liked the second one. It had a brown powder on it.

We were very excited to share our songs and dances as well as show how we are learning to play different instruments.


Our first song was a welcome song called “People All Around The World”. It showed how some people around the world say, “Hello”. The languages in this song are: English, Japanese, Indian and Fijian. The students had to search for Fiji on the globe and it was very hard to find because the islands were so small! They also made up the actions for this song.

We have been practising using our gentle singing voices in Music. Gentle singing voices are better than shouting voices because they sound more in tune and don’t hurt your voice.

The next song was from Africa and was called Humelela. It is about having fun, singing and dancing with your friends. This is a fun song and dance, and the students really like the music that goes with it.

The final song was a Taiwanese indigenous song called Nuin Tapuskuan. It is about students were trying to catch fireflies at night. In the song, the students were are calling to the fireflies, trying to get them to come closer so they can catch them. Have you ever seen a firefly? Some of the Grade 2 students have! Some played the xylophone to accompany this song. Everyone had a turn during our Music classes and a few people were lucky enough to play for the performance. Some also played a ‘soundscape’. A soundscape is when you use instruments to set the scene or tell a story. Did you hear the fireflies in our soundscape?


Louis…I felt very nervous when I spoke on the stage for Nuin Tapuskuan because there were lots of parents in front of me. It was challenging because I had to learn how to say Nuin Tapaskuan.

With Miss Macdonald, the students explored dances from around the world. We learned that classical Indian dance traditionally tells a story and uses precise and controlled movements. We also learned that Bollywood dance has its roots in classical but is a much more relaxed form of the dance. The students experimented with a variety of moves and formations and learned about how to use their space on stage. In groups, the dancers created their own short Bollywood-style dances. 2C danced to ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ and 2M danced to ‘Chak Dum Dum’.


Sera…My favorite thing was the Bollywood dance because I did really well. I felt really nervous because there were lots of parents when I was on stage.

Vivi…For me, the Bollywood dancing was challenging because I didn’t really remember it that much and that is why I was a little shy.

Rene…I did well on the Bollywood dance. I need to practice the hip shake and horse moves that’s what I wish to be better.

In Ise Sensei’s Japanese class the stuents learned about obon-season in August. During Obon, family members get together. At that time, Japanese people believe that the spirits of the deceased come back to this world, so we welcome and entertain them. To show their learning, the students learned a Bon dance called Pokemon-ondo.

Andrew…At first, the Bon dance was hard because I didn’t remember the dance moves, but eventually I remembered them.

Yutika…The Bon dance made me feel happy because it was a lot of fun to do. Ise Sensei made it fun so we get interested in Obon.

Kei…I liked the Obon dance part because lots of parents and students and teachers joined the dance.

After our performances, the students shared their learning from Native Japanese, Art and their Culture Collections.

In the Native Japanese class, the students learned about “Keirou no hi”, which is a day to honor our grandparents, great-grandparents and all the elderly people in Japan. It is celebrated on the third Monday of September every year. Did you know that every year on this day the Japanese government honors people who have turned 100 with a silver sake cup? To show their understanding, students completed a short writing about what they had learned.

In Art class, students creating sculptures about a special person with whom they share a special cultural celebration such as: Shichi-Go-San, Children’s Day, Christmas, Ramadan, Halloween, and more. We just started our sculptures, so we shared our practice sculptures with our parents. We then explained the connection between the person we are sculpting and what they do to make a this important celebration so special to us.

Louie…The sculpture was challenging because we first used the playdough to practice. Then we used real clay.

Teo…I think that making the clay sculpture was the hardest because we had to make the eye, nose and mouth.

Finally, the children shared their Culture Collection’s with their parents and other parents who attended.

Yukei…I was a little bit shy at first to tell my mom about my Culture Collection, but I got a little bit not afraid.

Kouji…I was nervous when I talked to the mum’s and dad’s, but I see some kids talk, and I feel good.

Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of photos by Ken, Angela and Jacquie.

Real Estate Moguls, French Culture and Salsa and Chips

This week in Math, we learned a new game called, Real Estate Moguls. This game involves shaking two dice and marking off the area on a big sheet of graph paper to show 3 sets of 5 = 15 or 6 groups of 4 = 24. This game helps us to better understand skip counting, repeated addition, multiplication, and area.


On Friday, Yellana and her mom taught us all about their home country, France. We learned so much about places to see, food, sports, geography and more. They even had a few quiz questions for us to answer! We also learned some helpful French words and phrases. Ask us how to say, “Thank you!”(merci) in French. It was very interesting and fun to learn about French life. Afterwards, Yellana and her mom shared one of their favorite French foods with us…crepes! We had a choice of toppings: orange marmalade, strawberry jam, Nutella or sugar. They were delicious!!!

A big “MERCI” to Yellana and her mom for taking so much time to prepare such a wonderful and informative presentation and share their delicious crepes with us. Yellana, you did a wonderful job telling us about your country. You are such a great speaker!


Click on the picture below to see the slideshow in Flickr.

This week in PE, Miss Czubak taught the children a new game called Salsa and Chips. Here are a couple clips. Ask your children how to play and what skills they were practicing.