This week, the students began a new Unit of Inquiry, How We Organize Ourselves.
Our central idea is:
Communication connects communities and individuals.
It is an inquiry into:
Forms of communication
Tools used for communication
How individuals access information and connect to each other
How current technology changes the way people communicate
The Grade 2s began with a provocation to help them understand how important it is to communicate respectfully as well as how difficult it can be to communicate when you can’t speak or don’t know the language. The children played a card game in four small groups – without speaking or using written words. The leaders of the group were responsible for reading the rules of the game ahead of time and then teaching the game to their group – but this all had to be done without speaking!
After playing 3-4 more rounds, we stopped and talked about our experiences, problems and how we felt while playing the game.
– I felt like I was going to explode. I just wanted to speak but no one understood me. I felt sorry because sometimes we didn’t take time to communicate, we just started playing and some people were confused.
– I felt like I was going to burst out with words.
– It felt very funny because whenever people started to speak it looked like they were very frustrated.
– I was trying to move my mouth so they can read my lips and know what I was going to say. It was really easy when I drew a pictures, then people knew exactly what I meant.
– It felt weird because I couldn’t speak and I thought I wouldn’t be able to speak anymore.
– It felt weird because when there is no talking I didn’t know what people meant. It was harder in a bigger group.
– It was funny because I wanted to know why did we not talk and it was strange.
– It was hard to explain what I was going to say.
– It was peaceful.
– My mouth felt weird when I wasn’t supposed to talk.
Later in the week, the children attended special communication workshops to learn about and try out different forms of communication that people use everyday for different purposes. Miss Czubak shared her knowledge about secret codes and ciphers as well as symbols. Ms. McCreath prepared workshops on sign language and reading maps, and Mr. Laing taught the children about Braille. During these workshops, the Grade 2s learned about a variety of tools that are used to communicate, how different kinds of communication are organized, how current technology changes they way we communicate, and how to use different types of communication. Please click on the album below to see photos of the students in action.
Here is some of what the students said they would like to do next:
– Try and do all these things and show our moms and dads and friends. We can try and talk to our friends using this type of communication.
– Maybe now I can communicate with people who are deaf and write a letter to someone who is blind.
– I wonder if we can communicate with shapes.
– Now I want to make my own communication and teach it to friends so I can talk in different ways. I want to know more about how people communicated a long time ago.
– Now I know tools that I did not know before.