What Makes the Weather Move?

Monday, the students practiced their Research and Thinking Skills with the High School science teachers and students.  We wanted to find out more about What Makes Things Move.  The high school science teachers and students prepared 3 experiments for the Grade 2 students to perform in order to learn more about our central idea:

Relationships between air, water, heat and land influence the weather.

In our first experiment, called Moving Colours, we used the following materials and tools:

beaker of cold water

potassium permanganate


candle/alcohol burner

Some matches

Tripod and gauze



To perform the experiment, we followed the steps below:

  1. Use the small end of the spatula to add some potassium permanganate to the beaker of cold water. Try to add the potassium permanganate without mixing up the water too much.
  1. Put the beaker onto a tripod and gauze. Carefully take the spatula out of the beaker.
  1. Light the candle/alcohol burner and directed the flame towards the bottom of the beaker where most of the potassium permanganate is.

We asked the students to make predictions, observation and explain what what happening during the experiment.  Here are some to their ideas:

  • We saw the colours going up and down.
  • The heat makes the water move.
  • Our flame was lower than the other groups’ flame so the water didn’t move as much (as it did for the other groups).

In our second experiment, called Whirling Spirals, we used the following materials and tools:

stand and string/tape

paper spiral sheet


To perform the experiment, we followed the steps below:

  1. Cut out a paper spiral along the lines drawn on the spiral sheet.
  2. Attach the spiral from the X mark to some string with some tape. Tape the other end of the string to a metal stand.
  3. Put a lamp underneath the spiral with the bulb facing upwards. Don’t let the paper touch the bulb.
  4. Turn on the lamp and observe what happens to the spiral.


We asked the students to describe what is happening to the air above the lamp?  Here are some of their ideas:

  • I wonder if the (heat from the) sun moves the clouds around (like the heat moves the water in the beaker).
  • It’s like the water cycle.  The sun heats air and water in the clouds and when we turn on the light it (the spiral) moves.
  • The fire is hotter than the light so it (the coloured water) moves more (than the paper spiral).  There is more energy.
  • The light is hot so the air is hot and moving the paper.

In our third experiment, called Tea Bag Rockets, we used the following materials and tools:

Heatproof mat

Tea bag



To conduct the experiment we followed the steps below:

  1. Take your teabag and carefully remove the label and staple holding the string onto the bag.
  2. Open out the bag and empty the tea into the bin.
  3. Use the scissors to cut a straight edge for each end of the bag.
  4. Open up the bag to make a cylinder shape and stand this up on your heatproof mat.
  5. Light the bag on the top edge and let the bag burn to the bottom.


Afterwards, we asked the students if the heat inside the tube made the bag do anything unusual? Could they work out why the air in the tube moves up?

Here are some of their ideas:

  • It flew up because of the fire.
  • The air carried the paper.
  • I think it flew because hot air rises.
  • The fire makes the air hot so it rises then it goes up and cools down and falls down again.

Back in the classroom, the students practiced their note taking skills to record their predictions, observations, and ideas to explain the experiment.  There were many powerful observations and new learnings.  Some of the ideas that are particularly useful in our inquiry were:

“I noticed that these (experiment about what makes things move) all all about heat!”

“I think it was more than just heat.  It was heat and air and water.”

“That’s our central Idea!”

“But how does heat make things rise?”

Please click on the album below to see other photos of 2M performing experiment to find out What Makes Things Move?

2M What makes things move?

Please Click on the Albums Below to See Other Photo Highlights from our Week…


Measuring Rainfall

2M measuring rainfall


Taking Notes to Record New Learning from our Research with Nonfiction Books

2M research using nonfiction books


Taking Notes to Record our Predict, Observe and Explain the Experiments to Determine What Makes Things Move

2M what makes things move: predict, observe, explain

Thinking about the Water Cycle

2M water cycle

Using Repeated Addition to Skip Count by 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s

2M Repeated Addition



The Grade 2s had a chance to visit the ICJC again to experience Sado.

Ask about how much they did…folding of napkin, wiping the tools, etc.

In their Japanese classes, the children learned about the names of the tools used to make macha and some of the words that they would learn when experiencing Sado. The EAL students also had a chance to join Ise Sensei’s class to learn a bit about Sado before their experience.

Yabumoto Sensei and his assistant Hiruma-san taught the children how to bow with a straight back. Guests bow to show respect to their Sado host and to greet them.

The children sat in seza position to share Sado.

Yabumoto Sensei chose some colorful sweets in the shape of flowers especially for the Grade 2s. The children placed their sweets on the kaishi (paper napkin) and used it as a plate to hold their sweets. When the children were ready to eat their sweets, they said, “O-saki ni!” which means, “Thank you for letting me go first.”

Yabumoto Sensei used a chashaku to spoon the macha powder from the natsume into the chawan.

It was time to make the tea. Yabumoto Sensei and Hiruma-san added water to each student’s chawan. The hot water became very green.

To mix macha and make the foam, the Grade 2 students learned to move the chasen from right to left or up and down quickly, but not around in circles. They had to do this for a couple of minutes to mix the macha and create the foam.

They learned that you place the chawan (cup) on top of their left hand and hold the side with their right hand to drink.

After they took their first sip they said, “Taiiso kekko desu!” Which means, “It is really yummy!” When they took their last sip, they slurped to let their host, know that they were finished.

At the end of their Sado experience, they bowed again to their host and thanked him, “Arigato gozaimashita!”

G2 Tea Ceremony


Please click on the albums below to see other photo highlights from this week….

2M Building Vocabulary

Guided Inquiry

2M Guided Inquiry

Learning Buddies

2M Buddies

Exploring the Dewey Decimal System

2M Non-fiction

Research using Non-Fiction Books

2M Picture walk

Sharing our Poetry

2M Poetry


We are Scientists

We Are Scientists!

This week, we began our second Unit of Inquiry:  How the World Works.  Our central idea is that relationships between air, water, heat and land influence weather.  Throughout the Unit of Inquiry, the students will be inquiring into:

  • Different types of weather
  • The causes of weather
  • Different methods to predict and explain weather
  • How new evidence can change people’s thinking

We asked the students to observe pictures, videos and materials related to weather.  The students recorded their observations using the I See, I Think, I Wonder Visible Thinking Routine.




“What is this for?”

“I think water is falling.”





“I wonder what are these things (materials for experiments) are for.”

“I wonder how scientists use ink (in experiments).”

Next,  we asked the students to think about their new Unit of Inquiry in terms of what they need to know, what thy are excited about, what suggestions they have, and what they wonder about how weather works.

Here are some of their ideas:

What we Need to Know…

How temperature changes.

Where wind comes from.

How weather changes.

We need to know what temperature is.

How scientists know the weather

What we are Excited about….

We can learn about other weather.

What we are excited about…

Being scientists!

We are excited about ice.  

I am excited about learning more about clouds.

Our Suggestions…

We should check the weather in the morning and at lunch time and at night.

We should learn about how clouds work.

We should check how strong the wind is.

We Wonder…

Does the wind move because the earth is moving?

Is the wind inside the cloud and that makes the cloud move?

How hot is the sun?

Is there new weather (that we don’t know about?)

Where do clouds come from?

I wonder if they know how the wind was made at the very start?

Is it always the same pattern (in the water cycle): evaporation, condensation, then precipitation…or is the pattern sometimes different.

I wonder why we have rivers and ponds.

How can we make rain?


Please click on the albums below to see photo highlights from our week!


Cooking with Haruki and his Parents

Cooking with Haruki and his Parents