Looking for information…..

We are inquiring into how different sources of information help people make healthy choices.  This week, the students practiced gathering information from experts, parent surveys, and recipes, as well as collecting their own data to help them make informed choices that affect their health and the way they feel.

Our visit from the dental experts was an opportunity for students to learn more about how we care for our teeth. We learned from the dentists that not only is brushing and flossing our teeth important for good oral hygiene, but that what we eat and drink also has an effect on our teeth and gums.


2M dentist visitWe had a visit with a nutritionist who helped us think about the minerals and vitamins and nutrients in the foods we choose for our snacks.


2M visit with the nutritionist


In preparation for our visit with the nutritionist, we had been reading about vitamins, minerals and nutrients. When looking at a number of food and nutrition guidelines and thinking about what a balanced meal looks like, some students suggested that we create a pretend “Healthy Restaurant” in our classroom so that we can play and teach others about healthy eating. Although we have yet to decide who we are going to invite to play in our “Healthy Restaurant”, we have started to write our breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and specials menus.  We looked at a number of menus to determine the criteria for our menu writing.


2M creating criteria for writing menus

To learn more about the foods we would like to include in our menus, the students looked up recipes online to find healthy and delicious options.

2M looking at recipes

When reflecting on how reading recipes helps us to make informed choices, some of the students ideas included:

What did we do?

We searched for information about the food in recipes.

Why did we do this?

So we can make a restaurant. Because then we can know how to make food taste delicious.

We can make healthy foods.

We can learn about new foods and if they are healthy or not.

What did we learn?

Researching is good because you know what ingredients are in there because there might be healthy or not healthy food.

If we read more recipes and ask more questions then we will know what we can make.

What next?

I wonder how many healthy foods are in restaurants.

We can make more healthy food (by choosing recipes with healthy ingredients).

This week, the students were asked to record data about how much they move at recess and how it made them feel.  Some students chose to run around the playground during their play times and proudly reported that they had run around the playground 20 times during one recess!  We then wondered how far they had run and set out a plan to determine what the distance was. We have decided to find out how far one lap around the playground is and later we can use that information to determine how far 20 laps around the playground is.

First, we had to think about the most appropriate standard unit of measurement to use and so, we started  with a discussion about millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers. After deciding that we would be most likely to run a number of meters, we went outside to begin to measure.


2M measuring


Our thoughtful Grade 2s

This week, the children learned about meditation as part of our unit relating to “Lifestyle choices that people make can affect their health.” We had the chance to practice meditation with Miss Ethel who is a meditation teacher.  She taught us that meditation can “Make you happy, calm your heart and your mind, and help you to be more healthy.”


Some of the ideas the students had about how meditation can affect our body were:

“We can feel calm so we can think.”

“We can relax when we feel bad.”

“Our feelings change when we think about good things.”

“We don’t get really stressed if we meditate.”

“It can help you be happy.”

We practiced three types of meditation.  In the first one, the students sat quietly and repeated the phrases:

“I am a beautiful person.

I am a lovely person.

I love myself exactly as I am.”

In the same meditation, we then repeated to ourselves:

“My toes are smiling.

My ankles are smiling.

My tummy is smiling.

My hair is smiling.

My forehead is smiling.”

We imagined that our whole body was smiling with the idea in mind that if we are smiling in our body, our mood can change for the positive.

The next meditation exercise was to repeat the following phase:

“Peace begins with me.”  For each word, we touched a different finger to our thumb, similar to as if we were counting the words (Peace: index finger to thumb, begins: middle finger to thumb, with: ring finger to thumb, me: pinky finger to thumb.)

IMG_5020Next, we listened to music while sitting quietly with our eyes closed for 5 minutes.  Afterwards we asked the children to tell us what they saw, heard and felt.

I saw…

“My ancestors”

“A blue dragon”

I felt…

“Calm like I was flying in the air.”



I heard…

“The music”

“Different instruments”

“A dragon in the instruments”

Next, each of the students shared a positive affirmation and reflected on how this affects our mood:

IMG_5024“When we think about good things, we can stop thinking about something that is bothering us, even if we don’t forget about the bad things, it is good not to think about them too much.”

Finally, we went outdoors to sit quietly in the sun so that we could listen to the environment around us.

IMG_5030Coming back to our line of inquiry, How the choices people make affect their health, the students had this to say:


IMG_5034“We can do meditation to clear our mind if we have a bad day.”

“In Kyudo (Japanese archery) they said they did that because it helps them relax.  This meditation is also for relaxing.”

“You can find a quiet spot and say happy words without moving your lips.”

“I makes me think that we never need to change who we are, even when we are jealous (of other people).”

“We can always think good things and forget about sad things.”

“I don’t forget about the sad things but it helps me a little.”

“The seniors might like to meditate with us so that we can help them think of good things and feel better.”

“We could choose some music for the seniors to listen to while they relax.”

Observing Growing Germs!

In the HS lab, we were able to observe the gems we collected over the past few weeks to see if they had grown at all.  It was interesting to see which surfaces had the most germs.  Some germs had grown into colonies, but some had not quite done so yet.  Next week, we will take another look and hopefully see more!  Mr. Lorimer and the lab assistant, Harumi-san, have been helping us all along the way in our investigation.

The children first predicted where the most germs would have been collected from.

“I think that the germs that will be the biggest are the ones that were from the bottom of my shoe because that is really dirty.”

“I think that the germs we collected from the washroom are the strongest germs so they will grow the biggest”.

“The germs are going to grow a lot because we put them in the jelly and the jelly has sugar in it.  And germs like sugar.”

Please click on the album below to see photos of the students in action!

2M germ observation

They were excited to see so much growth and keen to draw what they saw as well as take notes. We continue to build our skills as scientists. This means being safe in the lab as well. We are making sure that we don’t walk around with our petri dishes and keep them in the middle of our table.

Afterwards, the students reflected:

What did we do?

“Collected germs from different places and put them in the jelly, then kept them warm for two weeks.”

“We observed the germs to see if they are growing.”

“We saw that there are different kinds of germs because they all look different.  Some are fuzzy and colourful.”

Why did we do this?

“So we can see where the germs are.”

“It is fun to look at the germs.”

“We are inquiring.”

What did we learn?

“Sometimes you can see germs. But you can’t see them before they grow.”

“You have to be careful when you are in the science lab.  You don’t want to spill the germs.”

“The shelf had a lot of germs on it.”

“Some jelly didn’t have any germs growing yet.”

“We have to take notes and draw what we saw.”

What next?

“We can go back to see if the germs have grown more.”

“We should remember to wash our hands before we eat.”

“I wonder if all of those germs are bad for our health?”


A Visit from Musician Kathryn Claire

This week, we had a visit from musician and storyteller, Ms. Claire sang and played a song for us, and then we had the opportunity to create our own song. When creating the song, the children learned about verses, chorus, dynamics, and rhyme. Ms. Claire explained that her songs often tell a story.


The students chose to write a song about “Home”.  Here are some of their ideas from our brainstorm:

Home sweet home

I feel like I’m at home

Oh sweet home

I’ll always return

I’m always excited to go home

I can rest

I memorised the place

When we get home we feel like we don’t want to go out anymore

I never want to leave

I stick to the home

Where you are is home

I play games

I feel happy, safe

I feel cosy

I hear the wind

We haven’t finished the verses yet, but the chorus is finished. Everyone in 2M had the opportunity to contribute to the creation of the song so far, and we will finish it with Ms. Mason during Music class next week.  Here is what we have so far!

Finger picking A – G

A               G

Oh, sweet home

A                        G

I memorised the place

A               G        

Oh, sweet home

A                         G

I won’t forget the space

I walk through the door with grace

Please click here to see a video of our class singing the chorus with Ms. Claire.