Grade 2 Celebrates


Please visit this link to see photos taken by our Communications team.

Tuesday, the Grade 2s hosted a Cross-Cultural Lunch to celebrate the learning that took place in our unit about how “People can be enriched by their own cultures and the cultures they connect with throughout their lives”.  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.

The students were very excited to share their songs and dances as well as show how they are learning to play different instruments. The 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. 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. 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’.


In groups, the dancers created their own short Bollywood-style dances. 2M danced to ‘Chak Dum Dum’.


In Ise Sensei’s Japanese class the students 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.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. 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.


The students were thrilled to be able to share their culture collections with the parents.  What an exciting and important audience for our young authors.

We asked the children to describe the learning that was happening during the celebration.  Here are some of their thoughts:

“I was (showing) appreciation about other countries’ dances.”

“I think I am open-minded because I am learning about bollywood dancing.  I am (showing) appreciation because I am lucky to learn about bollywood dancing and I am respecting Indian culture.”

“I was caring because I was being careful (of other people’s space when I was dancing).”

“I was caring because I wasn’t pushing people (when I was on stage) and I was a good listener”.

“I was being a thinker because I remembered my space (on stage).”

“I am caring because I was caring about other people’s cultures.”

“I respected the teachers and parents.”

“I was caring when we were dancing in the show.  Ian and Chen Yan were too.  It was exciting.”

“I was communicating because I was helping other people and they were communicating with me.  We were helping each other.”

Please click on the albums below for more photo highlights from our week:

Cultural Celebration

G2 Cross Cultural Lunch

Graphing:  What Cultures are We Connected to in 2M?

2M Graphing

Exploring Poetry

2M Poetry



2M Writes to Describe

We are writing the descriptions of the artifacts in our cultural collections that we will present at our Cultural Celebration on Tuesday.  We asked the children, “Why is writing to describe our artifacts important?”

Noah and Haruki: We are learning about other people’s cultures.

Chen Yan and Koa: We are getting our handwriting better and we are learning to use new words and we are learning to use capital letters and full-stops.

Daisy and Ina:  If you listen to other people and read their writing about the artifacts, we are learning new ideas and interesting words.

Owen and Hiro: We are being caring. We are caring about other people’s cultures when we listen to what they write.

Kimi and Reia:  We get other ideas from other people when we write. “Tickled Pink”( is when we use a pink highlighter to highlight what we did well) and “Room to Grow” (is when we use a green highlighter to mark the parts of our writing we can improve).

Mio and Miu: We can write about ideas and then read it to our parents. (This will help us communicate our ideas during the Cross-Cultural Lunch). We  are being open-minded and brave because we are reading what we write out loud.

Reina and Kate: We can know about other people’s artifacts.  (We are communicating by writing.) We are learning to edit.

We began the process a few weeks ago.  Our learning goal was to use detail in our descriptions, revise as we write to make sure our sentences make sense, and practice our editing skills to check for proper use of capital letters, full-stops and spelling.

First, we looked at examples blurbs/descriptions written to describe an object.  Then, we worked together to create a criteria for writing a description of our artifacts. We asked each other, “What do we want to include in our descriptions?” and together we developed a list of criteria:


Next, our question was:  “What sentences can we use to describe our artifacts?”.  Groups of 3 students wrote sentence starters they wanted to include in our description blurbs.








Together, we decide on the following:

This is my _____________.

              (name of the aritfact)

It is important to be because ___________.

It is connected to ______________ culture.

                  (country name/national/personal/family/ community/world)

It makes me ________ because________________.



Using these sentences starters, the students did a shared writing piece to describe one of Mr. Liang’s artifacts, his CD of Scottish music.


When it was time to get writing, the students added many of their own individualized details to their writing as well.  This process was an important one for students to create an understanding of what it means to write to describe.  We took some time to reflect on our how our writing has changed over the past 3 weeks.

2M Editing

2M Editing


The students also created a list of questions that they think are useful for their parents to have beside them during the Culture Collection sharing on Tuesday:

Where did you get this artifact?

How long have you had this artifact?

How old is your artifact?

Who helped you choose this artifact?

Do you know anything else about this artifact?

What can you do with this artifact? How does this artifact work? How do you use this?

Is it special to your country?

If you could choose one artifact that is the most special to you, which one would you choose?

We are looking forward to sharing with you!

2M Sharing our collections


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


Our Guest Expert on Bollywood Dancing

2M Bollywood Dance

Finding Connections between Skip Counting, Repeated Add Multiplication with our Learning Buddies

2M Skip counting and repeated addition

The Cultures We Are Connected to in 2M

We are inquiring into the similarities and differences between cultures. This past week, we had the chance to do so in a number of ways. In Drama, the students are preparing a Bollywood style dance to present at our Cultural Celebration Lunch.  Last week, we learned a traditional Japanese Dance at ICJC.


2M Japanese Dance


It was an opportunity to have the students compare and contrast their experiences with the two dances.




This week we we very, very lucky to have Kate’s Mom come to our class to to help us learn more about Chinese culture. We talked about Chinese celebrations, clothing, language, art, traditions and more.  Afterwards, Jenny helped the children to make their own moon cake.  

2M Chinese culture

Please click on the photo albums below for more highlights from our week.

Creating Criteria for our Graphs

2M Creating criteria for graphs

Editing the Descriptions of our Cultural Arifacts

2M Editing


Yesterday, the students experienced the art of Ikebana at the ICJC.  We are inquiring into the effect that cultural experiences have on us.  Please click on the photo album to see the pictures from our session:

2M Ikebana

We asked the students to explain how Ikebana made them feel.  Here is some of their thinking:

“I feel happy and relaxed because the flowers make me relaxed and calm.”

“I feel proud because this is my Japanese culture.”

“I feel good because this is the first time that I made this.  I wonder if we can use flowers or leaves.”

“ Good because I am learning about Japanese culture.”

“I like to do this because we are creating something beautiful with nature.  I learned a new skill.  I know how to put the plants at the back. “

Back in the classroom, the students reflected on their learning during the Ikebana lesson using our learning wall.

“I learned about something I don’t usually do.”

“I learned that if you make a triangle with the flowers, it will make the Ikebana more beautiful.”

“I learned about something that I have never done before.”

“I wonder how Ikebana started.”

“I learned that there is a special way to put all the flowers.”

“I learned that when you put the flowers, it looks like they are (speaking to each other).”

“I learned when you do Ikebana, part of it is thinking about the future.”

“I wonder who started Ikebana.”

We all agreed that we are lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy and learn about Ikebana.


2M Collects Data to Determine which Cultures we are Connected to.

We are learning to collect and represent data.  I asked the students:  What do we want to find out about the cultures that we are connected to?

Alex, Chen Yan, Hiro, Kimi, and Mio: What counties do we come from?

Ina, Lennon, Reia: Where does your mother come from?

Kamil, Kate, Daisy: Where does your dad come from?

Haruki, Ian, Miu, Noah, Owen: Where do our favourite of foods come from?

Koa, Reina: Do we like games from other countries?

I asked the students what they thought the first step ought to be.

Hiro: We can ask everyone the same question and then write down what they say.

All the students were keen to get started.

Please click on the album below to see more photos of the students collecting data…

2M Collecting Data

After the students collected and recorded their data, we asked the question, “What do we do when we collect data”?

Mio: We ask people our questions. And write everything down.

Ms. M:  Were you successful in finding the answers to your questions?

Hiro:  I had a problem….There are 18 people in the class, but I have 19 answers.

Kimi: My problem was that I only had 14 (answers).  We solved the problem.

Hiro:  We used a class list to see what names we are missing.

Ms. M:  We must double check the data that we collect to make sure it is accurate.

Mio:  Accurate means the right number.

Kate:  My problem is that I can’t read what I wrote when I collected the data.

Daisy: Me too.

Alex:  A little bit for me too.

Lennon: A little bit

Miu:  I used a list with lines to organize the data on the page.  Then it is easy for me to see my answers.

Ms. M:  Now that we have this information, what is our next step?

Koa:  We have to use the squares in our math books to draw what we found.

Chen Yan:  Yes, when you colour in the squares and it goes up in a line to show you how many there are.

Ms. M:  Do you know what that type of image is called?  It is a bar graph.

Next, we will look at examples of different bar graphs, to determine what the criteria will be for the bar graphs we will create to represent the information we collect about the cultures we are connected to.

What does Culture mean to 2M?


We are inquiring into the concept of culture and asked the students “What is Culture?”.  After generating ideas about things that are connected to culture, we sorted these ideas into categories. Next, we made labels for those categories:  Food, Art, Flags and Symbols, Buildings, Celebrations, Games, and Language. To begin our inquiry, the students asked questions related to the different elements of culture that they are most interested in:

Hiro – Language in different countries

Ian – Buildings in other places

Haruki – Food. And the way we eat food.  Sometimes you can eat with your hands, in other countries we eat with chopsticks (Ina).

Kate – Celebrations

Chen Yan – Traditions

Daisy – Dance in Japan and China

Lennon- Buildings in Italy

Reina – The way we look

Alex – Art

Owen – Symbols on different flags and art

We then began to look for answers to our questions.






Watch this space for more about what we uncover about elements of culture around the world!

In preparation for our walking field trip to Motomachi street and Chinatown, we spent some time thinking about our central idea:

People can be enriched by their own cultures and the cultures they connect with throughout their lives.

Ms. McCreath :  “What does this mean?”

Chen Yan – Culture makes our lives better!!

Mio – The culture that we find makes our life more fun.

During our Culture Walk, we were looking for evidence of culture that has come from outside Japan, and influenced life in this area in some way.  Some of the questions we asked were:

What evidence of other cultures do you see?

What country does this represent?

What part (element ) of culture is this?

Please click on the album below to see pictures from our Culture Walk.

2M Culture Walk

Please click on the Albums below to see more pictures from our week.

Writer’s Workshop

2M Writer's Workshop

Sharing our Thinking in Maths Using Pictures and Words Instead of Number

2M Showing Our Thinking in Math Without Using Number

Exploring Patterns

2M Patterns

Organizing our Classroom Library

2M Organising the Class Library

Choosing “Just Right” Books

2M Just Rightbooks