2M Meets with Author and Illustrator Barbara McClintock

This Week we began our second unit of Inquiry, How We Express Ourselves.  The central idea is:

Stories can be constructed, retold and interpreted in different ways.

We are inquiring into:

Different types of stories

How people create a good story

Different ways to share a story

How stories can be improved

We began our Unit of Inquiry by asking the following questions:


What makes a good story?

How can I share my stories?


Here are some of our ideas:

“Funny stories.”

“Interesting ideas.”  

“Really interesting details”

“We can share our stories with expression.”

“You try to tell the big idea.”

“You can have someone saying what’s going to happen.  Or you can name the title something other than the main character ( like a second or third character).”

“We can share with a picture story and the reader has to use their imagination (because there is no words).”

“A good story explains what’s happening for the reader while they are reading it.”

“A good story is a story that we understand.”

“We can share a story by drawing it.”

“We can share a story by just speaking.”

“We can share a story by moving our bodies.”

“We can share a story by doing Drama like a puppet show.”

“We can make a book and share it.”

“We can imagine a story.”

We were so fortunate to be able to meet with author and illustrator Barbara McClintock. We had lots of fun reading a number of her books this week and we were very excited to get to meet with a real author! For more on Barbara McClintock you can visit her website here.  

A Visit With Barbara McClintock

Before meeting with the Barbara the students had generated questions they wanted to ask the author expert:

Why is the wood bucket falling over when the Gingerbread man jumps out of the oven?

How do you get your ideas for the stories and illustrations?

Did you want people to look at the illustrations to try and find the objects that Simon loses?

How long does it take you to make one book?

What colours do you like to use in your illustrations?

How many books have you illustrated?

Where did you hear about the story of the Gingerbread man?  Why did you decide to retell it? Have you ever written stories for 2 year olds or 4 year olds?

Is there anything else you like to do?

How old were you when you started to write and illustrate books?

How did you get (interested) into books?

What did you use to colour the covers of your books?  Is it paint?

How many colours did you use to illustrate your books?

Do you know the I Spy Books?  Is the Adele and Simon book like an I Spy Book?

What is your favourite book from all of the books you have made?

Click on the folders below to see other photos from the week

Sharing our Thinking about the Weather

2M showing out thinking

Community Reading

2M Community Reading

Creating Stories

2M creating stories

Sharing our Stories

2M sharing stories

Practice with Number Facts

Number facts

Our Visit to the Weather Experts

Today we visited to the weather experts at the meteorological center to learn more about the different methods used to predict and explain the weather.  We learned that the scientists there use important tools which allow them to predict weather.

On the roof of meteorological observatory, we looked at the different types of clouds and the anemometer.



“Today was “sheep clouds”. They do not usually make rain.  But when they gather, they might make a little bit rain.

“I learned they predict the weather by observing the clouds.”

“The anemometer tells how fast and in which direction the winds moving.”

We also learned about the weather balloon meteorologists use to measure the temperature of the air high up in the atmosphere.


“The weather balloon measures weather (up in the air).”

“I made a connection – the weather balloon is like the tea bag rising in the experiment in the High School science lab.”  The air helps it go up.

“I wonder why the (weather) balloon pops when it goes high in the air”

Next, we looked at satellite images of the clouds over Japan this morning and compared what we saw on the screen to the clouds we observed on the roof.

“I wonder how they get the information from the satellite.”

“I learned that scientists use different kinds of tools”.

“I learned what the scientists tools are: the satellite, the weather balloon, the anemometer, the computers, their eyes .”

“I learned that when you put water and air in a bottle (and make high air pressure), then you open the bottle, the water turns to water vapour.


 More photos from our visit.

2M weather center

Photos of Our Visit to the Senior’s Center 

2M visit to senior home

2M Practices Visualizing Strategies to Better Understand the Books We Read

In 2M we love reading.  We love to immerse ourselves in a story and we love to learn more about the world around us by reading information in nonfiction books.  During a discussion about what good readers do to help them better understand what they read, the students shared the following ideas:

“We have to concentrate on what we are reading.”

“I concentrate so that I can sound out the words.”

“I always look at the pictures to understand what the words were saying.”

“Sometimes when I read I am thinking about other things like what am I going to have for lunch.”

“Sometimes I think about what I was doing at recess.”

“Then we don’t know what the book is about.  Even if I read the words.”

“We have to concentrate on the ideas, too.”

Last week, we practiced identifying and describing important and interesting ideas in the fiction and nonfiction texts we read. This week we explored the visualizing strategy to better understand those ideas.  When we can create an image in our minds to match the ideas in the books, we know that we are really understanding what we read.  

First, we practiced what it means to visualize.


Next, Mr. Liang helped us to visualize using our UOI words.  Click here to see a list of our UOI words.

We played a game where one student had a UOI word pasted to their shirt but could not see which words it was.  Their partner drew a image to represent the word so that they could guess which word was stuck in their shirt.

2M what does it mean to visualize?

Next, we went to our nonfiction books to practice visualizing what we read.  One partner read an idea about how the weather works, and the other partner drew an image to match the idea.  We continue to use this strategy whenever we read.  

2M creating a visual image

2M Finds Out More about the Weather

The students are learning to collect information from nonfiction books and record new learning in note-taking form. We know there is so much information to learn from nonfiction books. Still, sometimes we have trouble finding the books that we need and using the features of nonfiction texts in order to collect information and answer the questions we have.  The students have all chosen a type of weather that they would like to research and learn more about.  This week, they began researching using non-fiction books, and recorded the information they collected using note-taking form. Please click on the album below to see more pictures.

2M researching the weather using nonfiction books

On Thursday morning, we used our observation skills to collect information about evaporation.  We noticed that there were puddles left on the playground after the rain.  Some puddles were in the shade and others were in the warm sun.  We noticed that they were quickly drying up.  The students wanted to know whether the puddles in the sun would evaporate more quickly, or would the puddles in the shade evaporate at the same time?  

Before heading out to perform our research, the students made the following predictions:

I wonder if…..

…it is evaporation.

…it is soaking into the ground.  That’s like ground water!

…the sun makes the puddles disappear.

…the shade makes the puddles stay.

…it is called drying out.

…the clouds will be the same shape as the puddles.

Then, we went out and traced the puddles so that we could keep track of how quickly they evaporated.  We were surprised by how quickly the water was drying up!  Please click on the album below to see more pictures.

2M Puddles

Back in the class, we recorded our observations.  Some the ideas included:

I see…

Puddles were all getting smaller.

Some puddles disappeared. Some puddles did not.

All the puddles in the sun got smaller.

The puddles in the sun evaporated faster than the puddles in the shade.

(When I stood in the) sun, it felt hot and dry.

(When I stood in the shade), it felt cold and there was moisture.

We then tried to explain what we observed…

I think….

Water fell from the sky and evaporated back into the air.  There were no clouds in the sky.

Some puddles evaporated faster because there was less water in them.

Liquid (rain water) turns into gas (water vapour).

Gas goes up because of heat from the sun.

The puddles stayed longer in the shade because there was less heat from the sun.

Next we searched nonfiction texts to find out more.  What we read was that the water in the puddles evaporated. The water turned into water vapour.  The water evaporates more quickly if the air is warmer and dryer.  The water vapour in the warm, light air floats upwards into the atmosphere.

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

Looking for Pattern in Number When We Use Repeated Addition and Skip Counting

2M Repeated Addition, Skip Counting and Patterns in Number

Editing and Peer-editing our Poems

2M peer editing our poems

Looking for Big Ideas in Stories to Help Us Understand What we Read

2M Main Idea

Creating Calligraphy for the Food Fair Exhibit

2M Calligraphy