Visit with Zoorasia Experts to Learn More About the Bali Mynah Bird

The Grade 2s visited Zoorasia to learn about the Bali mynah bird as well as inquire into the habitats of certain endangered animals in living in captivity there. Ahead of our visit, we read about the Bali mynah, watched a video and wrote questions for our trip. Zoorasia provided our grade with a special presentation to learn more about the bird and how Zoorasia is helping to breed them in order to place them back in their native habitat. It is a wonderful example of how people are trying to help the species survive.


The children prepared many thoughtful questions for the zookeepers to answer. Here are the questions we brought to our meeting with the zoologists:

I wonder what the zoo people teach the baby and adult mynahs.

Why don’t the people at the zoo teach the babies to survive?

I wonder why Bali mynahs don’t eat vegetables.

What kind of fruit do mynah birds eat?

What kind of insects do mynah birds eat?

How do they catch the bugs?

Where do they find the insects?

Which plant does the nectar come from?

What do mynah birds do everyday?

Why do mynah birds mimic?

Do they live with their families?

What do they use to make their nests?

Do Bali mynahs hibernate?

How do people catch the Bali mynahs?

Why don’t the mynah birds escape from the humans?

Wouldn’t the mynah birds escape from the humans if the mynah birds noticed the humans?

I wonder why people just want to ignore the law because birds are such an important living thing.

Why can’t people understand that lots of animals are endangered and you should conserve? For example, the Bali myna bird is almost extinct because people are capturing them.

How can the mynah bird sense the predators with their group (flock)?

Will mynah birds be extinct in the future?

How can you breed the Bali mynah and make 100,000,000 birds?

How many Bali mynah birds are there right now?

How can we bring the mynah bird to Bali again?

Why are there no Bali mynah books?

What is the difference between the female and male Mynah birds?

What is the Bali Mynah’s favourite food?

How do zookeepers make (breed) the Bali Mynah?

How many more Bali Mynahs are in the world now?

How long does it take for the Bali Mynah to lay eggs?

Can the Bali Mynah adapt to living in the snow?

Why do people want to have the Bali Mynah as pets?

How many Bali Mynah are in the zoo right now?

What do the Bali Mynah do during the day?

How do the zookeepers get the Bali Mynah into the zoo?

What do the zookeepers do to keep the Bali Mynah safe?



While at the zoo, we observed two Bali mynah birds in captivity as well as several other endangered animals and completed a Draw, Name, Connect, Explain thinking routine for them. This helped us to gain a better understanding about what it is like for animals to live in captivity as opposed to living in their natural habitat.



Performing Momotaro For the Senior Citizens

This week, the students demonstrated their communication skills and their commitment to their Service Learning goals. Weeks ago, they decided that they would like to perform a story for the Seniors.

“We want to entertain the Seniors and make them happy”

The students chose the story of Momotaro because they felt that the Seniors would recognize it and be able to follow the plot even though it was performed in English.  They practiced using facial expressions and gestures to communicate the story. The reaction from the Seniors make it clear that the performance was very much enjoyed!

“We used expression and gestures to tell the story”

“This was important so we can make the Seniors enjoy (our story).”

“It was good because we can learn about the play and let the Seniors remember the story and feel like a kid again.”

“I think that they really, really liked it.  It made them feel happy.”

“Even though the Seniors are old, they can still remember being a kid.”

“The Seniors know the Momotaro song!”

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

Visit to the Senior’s Center

2M senior visit

Shape Riddles

2M shape riddles

Looking for Lines of Symmetry

2M Looking for the lines of symmetry in 2D shapes

Leaning to Use Nonfiction Text Features

2M Learning to use no fiction text features during our library sessions

Field Trip to Zoorasia

2M Zoorasia

Humans and Nature

In the photos below, you will see human-made things and nature. There are examples all around us. Think about what you see outside your window or on your way home from school.

How can humans affect nature?

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photo from Barcelona Zoo

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photo from India Tours and Travels

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photo from Wikipedia

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photo from the Telegraph

Can Wolves and Deer Change Rivers?

The Grade 2s have been inquiring into how human activities can challenge plant and animal survival. In particular, we are thinking about the concept of causation and the interconnectedness of living and nonliving things. The students were given the question: Do you think wolves or deer can change the geography of the land?

After much discussion about the meaning of the word geography and landscape, the students shared their answers:

  • Yes, wolves can change the geography and landscape by eating the plants. Animals will not have food and the wolves will drink a lot of water.
  • I think wolves can change the earth, but I am not sure how they do it.
  • They do eat other animals, but they cannot change rivers.
  • They might eat animals who normally eat trees, so there will be more trees.

Next, we watched the video below, How Wolves Change Rivers.

We stopped the video frequently to summarize and sequence the events described there. The student’s level of comprehension was incredible considering how quickly the video moves along. They were clearly captivated by the subject matter and very keen to understand.

We wanted the students to reflect on their thinking about our original question: Can wolves or deer change the geography of the land?  It was interesting to see how that thinking changed.

Now we think….

  • Yes, they can.  When the wolves killed the deer, the deer moved out of the area where they used to eat. Plants grew bigger and other animals came back. Beavers came back and built dams. The dams changed which way the water flows.
  • And the forest grew back five times bigger because the deer were chased away (they used to eat the leaves on the trees).
  • The plants hold up the soil so the mountains and hills do not fall into the river.  That is also changing geography.


See the albums before for other photo highlights from our week…

Research Using Nonfiction Texts

using nonfiction text to research

Rehearsing for our Performance at the Senior’s Center

2M rehearsing for visit to the Senior's Center




Draw, Name, Connect, Explain

This week, the Grade 2s visited Oi Bird Park. We are learning to observe and understand the connections between living things in their environment as well as how humans, both challenge and help species to survive.

In preparation for the field trip we asked the children the following questions to get them thinking about our purpose there and how we can achieve that purpose. Here are some of their ideas.

What is our purpose?  

(Why are we going to the Oi Bird Park?)

What skills will we need in order to be successful? How will we act to help us in our learning?
To learn more about animals.

To learn about our unit of inquiry and what people are doing that we should never do.

To learn about how we share the planet.  

We will need our listening skills to listen the teacher and to listen to the animals .

And we have to think about what we see and how we can help the animals so we will use our thinking skills.

We will stay with the teacher so that we are safe.

We will be respectful and not too loud to scare the birds.

We will not litter because this is where the birds live.


While at the park, we used the Draw, Name, Connect, Explain thinking routine as a tool to investigate the park’s living things in their natural environment.

To do this they:

First, they draw the living things and nonliving things that they see at that location. Then, they name the things they drew. Next, they draw a line to show connections between all of the living and non-livings things in that environment.  Next, they explained how these things are connected.

G2 bird park

Next, we will ask the students to Think ( I think I know that…), Puzzle (I wonder if…), Explore (To find out more, I would like to try to….) about their learning at the bird park.  We look forward to hearing more about their thinking!

Thinking about How We Communicate Messages Without Speaking

The students visited with a communications expert, Marie Asaoka, to inquire into non-verbal communication as well as culture and communication. Our communication expert works with customer service for Japan Airlines. She coaches employees on how to use their non-verbal communication to show respect and welcome others.  


The students made connections to their interactions with others and reflected on how they can use eye contact to show others that they are listening and care about what they are saying.

We also made the connection that we can use what we learned about bowing and eye contact when we meet with the seniors during our Service Learning visits to the retirement home. Even though communicating by speaking is often difficult, we can show respect and show that we care by bowing appropriately and by making eye contact( speaking with our eyes).

We have also been practicing using our eye contact in the mornings when we greet each other.  Our morning meetings are even more lovely, now!

The children were also asked to use their non-verbal communication skills to organize themselves by their birthdates. Some children automatically took the lead by using hand signals and facial gestures to communicate the the month and day of their birthday. The others followed. During the experience, the children modeled good eye contact, cooperation, respect and perseverance. In the end, the children realized how important it is to understand a variety of non-verbal skills.

We asked students to reflect on their learning and how they might use this to help them communicate with others. We asked them “Think about how you use non-verbal communication.” Here are some of their ideas:

I used to think…. Now I think…..
I didn’t know a lot about Japanese. I know how to bow and how to say some words.
That eye contact is not so important. Eye contact is very helpful. We can send a message with our eyes and we can make people feel good when we look at their eyes if we say “hello” or “I’m sorry”.
In Japan not everyone says “good morning”. Now I know you say” good morning” to show respect and you say lots of other things too.  You say “Let’s eat together”, and “Thank you for the food” and “I’m home from school!”
If I don’t speak Japanese then I cannot speak to the Seniors. I can speak with my eyes!


Please see the photo albums below for other highlights from our week:

Working with Number

2M working with numbers

Learning How to Use Google Slides

2M learning how to use google slide

Visiting the Grade 5 Exhibition



Comics as a Means of Communication

This week, Miss Srishti visited the Grade 2s to help us inquire into Comics. Miss Srishti told us that she has always loved comic strips. We talked about comics that we were familiar with or had read before and later looked at many different samples of comic strips. Next, we made a list of all the things that we noticed about them. The most important thing we noticed and realized was that comics send messages. Their main purpose is to entertain, and many of them teach us lessons about life. To help us learn about how to get ideas for comic strips, we watched a video.

From the video, we learned that comic strip writers get a lot of their ideas from things and events around them…problems we have at school, friendship, pranks, and more.

Finally, we got a chance to create our own comics!

On Thursday afternoon, our Grade 9 Buddies (Kenryo, Elena, Grace, Chloe, Kelly, James, Hana, Max, Pheobe, An, Jan, and Toma) visited us. We shared the comics that we made the other day with them. Then we had the chance to make another comic strip. Some of the groups worked together to make one comic and some worked individually. The Grade 9s helped us to think of ideas and gave us advice about how to draw. It was a lot of fun to share this time with them!

G2 HS BuddiesBelow are some of the reflections from our Grade 2 and HS buddies:

Something that worked well was:

  • We had fun sharing our comics!
  • Together, we made great stories.
  • We worked well together.  We listened to each other’s ideas and laughed together.
  • We worked together to improve our drawings.
  • We learned how to make bigger comics that are easier to see.
  • We learned that it is harder to make a comic on our own.  It is easier with friends.

Something we would like to try next time is:

  • We could add even more details to our drawings.
  • Maybe we could finish all the illustrations.
  • We know each other better now, so next time it will be easier to share our ideas together.

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

International Flag Signals and Ancient Languages Workshops

G2 Workshop #3

Sharing our Writing

Sharing our Writing in 2M

Community Reading

Community Reading 2M