Grade 2 goes to the Oi Bird Park

The Grade 2 students were true inquirers during our field trip to the Oi Bird park on Wednesday.  The purpose of our tip was to make observations of the marshlands and the species living there to help us understand more about our central idea: how human activities can challenge plant and animal survival.

G2 Field Trip

While we were there, the students drew the living and nonliving things they observed.  Next, they named the objects they drew.  Back in the classroom, the children explained how each of the items in the environment are connected.

I see a factory and lily pads and grass.  I think the factory might harm the lily pads and the grass because of pollution. Ophelia

I see a rock and some trees.  They are connected because the trees keep the lake stable. Ali

I see trees and water.  The connection is that the trees drink the water for survival. Lara

I see a bird on a pole in the water. If there is no water, there is no fish and the nature will not survive. Kane

I see fish jumping out of the water.  The fish is connected to the water for survival because it needs water to live. Hamish

I see trees and birds.  They are connected because birds live in trees. Thanina

I see some fish and ducklings. They are connected because some ducks eat fish. Jingyi

I see a dragonfly and the grass. The grass is the shelter. Saneyuki

I see rocks, water, grass and trees.  Rocks save the trees grass from not getting so much water on them. The water helps feed the grass and other plants and things. Ryu

I see grass and mud.  The water is in the mud, the grass will soak it up and the grass can live. Sam

I see birds and water.  The birds drink the water. Mary

I see flowers and trees and grass and water.  It all makes nature.  Andres

I see crabs and frogs.  They are connected to each other for survival because they both eat things from the water. Vivian

I see rocks and fish, and ducks and water and Kosagi.  Kosagi and ducks are connected because they both eat fish.

I see trees and grass.  Trees and grass need mud to survive. Valmik

I see birds and bugs.  They are connected because the birds eat bugs.  Alex

I see sand and mud.  They are connected because they both help hold the roots of the trees.  Lara

Other photo albums from our week….

Creating our Class Report on Great Pandas

Creating Nonfiction Report on Panda

Working with Number

2M Math

Community Reading

2M Community Reading


Taking Action to Help the Survival of Plants and Animals

After this week’s trip to the Nature Sanctuary, the students reflected that we need to take action to protect the living things we saw there.  They also agreed that before we can take action to help living things, we need to be knowledgeable about them, and research ways to act responsibly.

G2 Field Trip (Nature Sanctuary)

For the past few weeks, the Grade Twos have been learning about the features in nonfiction books and soon they will be writing a nonfiction book about an endangered plant or animal. The children found books in the library about their animals and began to research, using an organizer and sticky notes. The organizer is broken up into the following pages, just as some of the nonfiction books that we are reading.

What does it (the plant or animal) look like?

Where does it live?

What does it eat?

How does it behave?

How do humans help it?

It is important to think about what we can do everyday to help these animals that we are learning more about.  We asked the children the following questions:

What does survival mean?

Thanina – Survival means living.

Ophelia – It means that you make it through alive.

Andres – Survival needs nature.

What do living things need to survive?

Johnny – Living things need shelter, water.

Andres – They need to have food to survive.

Thanina – A little bit of sun and a lot of water.

What is ‘need’?

Ophelia – A need it something you must have to live.

How do plants and animals depend on each other?  

Sam – Animals give humans things they need.

Ophelia – Animals depend on plants for air and food.

The class discussed that this is something we want to make a difference with so the ACTION we take is really important. The children are thinking about what they do every day that makes a difference for the plants that we are learning about.

“I watch my step when I hike.  This helps because I don’t hurt plants and animals.” (Ophelia and Ali)

“I water plants at my house.  This helps because plants help to clean the air.” (Johnny, Andres, Ryu, Valmik, Andres, Mary, Saneyuki, Thanina, Jingyi)

“I make sure to turn off the tap if I see that it running for no reason.  It helps because nature needs water to survive.”(Ali)

“I feed my dog/ pet/ hamster/ turtle/fish.  This is important for them to not be hungry and grow.” (Mary, Hamish, Vivian, Valmik, Ophelia, Ryu, Seonyul).

“I put the plants in the sun and sometimes I water them. That helps because plants need the sun and water.” (Alex)

Please click on the albums below for more photos from the week.


2M Poetry

Number Talks and 3D Shapes

2M Math

Community Reading

2M Community Reading

Grade 2 Researchers

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



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.

Please click on the album below for other pictures from our week.

More photos from May 9th-13th


How do Animals Affect the Land?

As a provocation to get  interested in our new Unit of Inquiry, “Human activities can challenge plant and animal survival,” The students were given this question to answer: Do you think wolves or deer can change the geography of the land? Explain why or why not. As expected, one of the children asked, “What is geography?”

We looked at the question again and through our discussion, realized that geography had to do with natural things such as: trees, plants, rivers, seas, oceans, volcanoes, lakes, animals, mountains, rocks, beaches, etc.

The children then wrote their responses to the questions and explained why they thought this.

Sam – Yes because if there are wolves then there might be less animals because they would be scared of the wolves.

Ophelia – They can change plants but not hills. They can change the landscape when they dig holes, burry stuff and make patches.

Kane – Yes. They can make footprints and nests.

Ali- They can change the geography by wrecking habitats. They might kill beaver who are very important.

Lara – Animals like beaver create dams and that can be important if there is too much water in a place.  But I don’t think that wolves can change a landscape or geography because they are too small.  They could not move a gigantic stone, or drink up a whole river.

Johnny – By howling. It would be hard for other animals to sleep at night.

Mary – Maybe because wolves eat other animals.

Hamish – The animals that the wolves eat are in the landscape.  The wolves would get rid of animals and those animals can help the landscape.

Jingyi – Wolves can eat other animals so there is less meat for people to eat.

Ryu – Yes because if they have lots of animals in the place and the wolves eat them all, the place will be silent.

Afterwards, we watched a video called, How Wolves Change Rivers.

As the video moves quite quickly and is loaded with valuable information, we watched the movie several times, while pausing to talk about the video. The children offered examples of cause and effect from the video to explain how wolves were able to change the geography of Yellowstone National Park. To help visualize this, we put our examples into the Cause and Effect Brain Frame below.


After talking about the video and creating the Brain Frame, we asked the children to answer the same question again. This is a version of the I Used to Think… Now, I Think Routine.

Here are some examples of what the children said…

Johnny – Wolves can change geography because when they eat the deer, the grass and other plants grow back.

Thanina – Now I think that wolves can change the geography of a forest because when the wolves eat the deer, the deer don’t eat all the plants.

Ali – Wolves can change the geography by killing some of the deer so that rivers don’t get so wide because the deer don’t eat all the plants and the rivers stay where they are.

Andres – Wolves can change (how the river flows) but they cannot change the geography.

Ophelia – Wolves can kill but they can also give life.  There were no wolves to kill the deer  so the deer ate all the grass and plants around the river. Then the wolves came back and killed deer so there was just the right amount of deer and the plants started growing again and made food for all the animals to live.

Humans vs. 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