Month: August 2015

InS 9: Startup

Last class, we discussed how some products have gone from ideas to realities.

Today, we will look into a little more details into the required steps needed to start a business:

Here’s a link at how someone could start their own mini-business. 

  • What do you think of this plan?
  • Is anything missing?
  • What kind of business would work best from such a plan?

As a group, write a SHORT list of the things required to start a business. 


4 Main Areas to Address when starting a business

Land (Where will I sell my product?)

  • Think of how much space would be required?
  • Where the best place would be to attract customers?


  • How many people are required to run my business?
  • What exactly will each person do, what is their specific role in the company?


  • What do I need in order to make my product?
  • Tools? Machinery? Computers?

Entrepreneurship (Brain Power)

  • How can I make my product different from what’s out there already?
  • How can I attract customers?
  • What makes my good/service attractive?


Part 2:


Brainstorm Activity

Using a simple spidergram come up with various ideas about what kind good/service you (as in a student) could produce. You will then make a short video about your product/idea.

  • Provide a description of the business and product
  • Explain the best marketing strategy you will use, how will you sell the product? Is it exclusive and expensive like a luxury good for example?
  • Identifying the plan as to how you will manage the business (how many people will you need to employ, where will you set it up etc.)
  • A brief analysis of the finances needed to start the business and make it successful (How much money will you need and where will it come from?) Research the cost of your primary products, here in Japan. 
  • 2 minutes max
  • Peer Assessment on Criteria A, B and D (End of Part 2)
  • Remember this is a “Pitch” for the product, not a commercial: like a kickstarter project. 
  • Advice from former grade 9 students
  • Due Tuesday, September 8th: Video, brainstorm notes and research log
  • Hyperlink your video, research log and spider-graph here



Part 3

Now that you have developed a strong plan for your business, and  that you have reconsidered some aspects based your our presentation comments, it is time to put your plan into action!

Class 1: , Monday September 14th: Marketing

You have a product, you know there is a need for it, and you know it is good. The first thing you will need to do is plan a marketing campaign to make your product visible.

Today, you will consider all the ways that will be necessary to market your product to your target audience:


  • Videos
  • Letters to parents
  • Facebook visibility
  • HS bulletin
  • Posters
  • Display presentation
  • Uniforms
  • Packaging
  • New, innovative techniques

Do not post or send anything today. You need to have a complete plan and samples of all your literature, ads, emails, videos etc, to be approved by your teacher tomorrow, Tuesday September 15th. Only then will you be allowed to ask the school for permission to advertize within their walls.

If you finish early, begin planning your production. (List the material, tools and people that will be required to create the product)



For our first unit, we’ll be looking at the World Religions have played in development of culture and human history.

The statement of inquiry will be : 

How does religion affect our world?

Inquiry Questions:

What are the major belief systems and how do they affect the world? ,

What are the similarities and differences between major world religions?

  •  What do you find interesting about this unit?
  • What worries you about this unit?
  • What will you need to know in order to answer the unit question?
  • What is your stance/opinion on the statement of inquiry?

We’re going to start looking at different World Religions and their creation stories. Creation stories are often one way that people express their faith at how the world began and attempt to explain their understanding of the world. And different religions believe that the world was created in different ways. There are many creation stories and we are going to look at some of them.

Step 1: You and a partner/small group will look at one of the Creation Stories. As you read, complete the See Think Wonder routine on a large piece of paper.

  • Australian Aborigines
  • North American Aborigines
  • Hokkaido Aborigines
  • Chinese Creation
  • Christian Creation
  • Hindu Creation
  • Humanist Creation
  • Jewish Creation
  • Muslim Creation
  • Yanomamo Sanem
  • Baha’i Creation
  • Another creation of your choice. Must be approved by Mr. McKeown

Step 2: Draw a comic strip depicting the big lines of a religious story of your choice, approved by Mr. McKeown

  • Your comic strip must include drawing and writing
  • You must tell the whole story, beginning, middle and end, though some details can be omitted
  • You will have a double period to finish your comic strip

Step 3: Put yourself in a group of 4 people. Make sure no one has the same religion. Share your poster (you may have to have a digital copy if you don’t have the original).

Step 4: Complete the Claim, Support, Question table, thinking about the similarities and differences between the religions. Be prepared to share with the whole class.

Step 5: Write a paragraph or short story about how religion has influenced your life. What did / do your grandparents and parents believe? What ceremonies or traditions do they follow? What ceremonies or traditions did / do you participate in? What superstitions or beliefs do you have? What religious education or memorization have you done? What clothing or accessories do you have that might be connected to a religion? Be prepared to discuss some of your thoughts with the class.

Post your response to your blog and hyperlink it here:

Step 6: 

We will brainstorm and research how religion affects our world today. All findings will be presented to the class

Step 7: When you are done and Mr. McKeown has approved all of your work, you can begin working on your first summative assessment.

    • 8B Due Thursday September 24th
    • 8C  Due Thursday September 24th

IB 12 – Global Climate Change

Quick review from last class:


  • 1: What is the atmosphere of the earth?
  • 2. What is the importance of a) clouds and b) carbon dioxide in the energy balance of the earth?
  • 3. Why is it warmer in summer than winter?
  • 4. Describe how heat is transferred from the tropics towards the poles
  • 5. Using an annotated diagram only:
    • illustrate the variations in temperature and pressure with altitude in the atmosphere.
    • Explain what happens to incoming solar radiation as it passes through the earth’s atmosphere.

Part 2: IB requirements: Discuss the causes and environmental consequences of global climate change.

A simplified explanation:


Post lecture exercise task:

—Produce a 5 minute presentation that discusses the causes and consequences of global climate change.

  • —Groups of 3
  • —The report should presented as a Google presentation
  • —Include images and diagrams (should be integrated into the report)
  • —Focus mainly on the environmental consequences, but include socio-economic consequences as well
  • —No need to explain climate change itself
  • —Consider the severity of consequences depending on temperature change
  • —Give a short list of possible and plausible solutions
  • —Bibliography
  • —We will present next class, followed by a short debate

Topics: At least 3 per groups

  • —Sea level rise
  • —Increased storm activity/ Change in rainfall pattern /El Nino
  • —Change in agricultural pattern
  • —Temperature variations and heat waves
  • —Acidification of oceans
  • —Melting ice caps
  • —Wildlife extinction
  • —Growth of the tropical belt
  • —Human health: spread of disease, respiratory disease, Natural disasters, nutrition, stress

InS 9: How does an idea become reality?

Today we will discuss how we turn an idea into a product.

  • Do you know of a company or product that started from a simple idea and became very successful?
  • What does successful mean in this context?
  • How did it start?



  • Pick a product that you enjoy, like a Nike trainer or a food that you like, say chocolate chip cookies
  • Answer the following questions:
    • What is it about that product that makes you interested in purchasing it?
    • What qualities does it have that make it unique?
    • Research how it came about, there was obviously a need for the product but you should be able to explain why and how someone turned their idea into reality.
    • Present your findings to the class in a visual way: slides with no more than 3 words, comic strip, animation etc.
    • Due: TBD

IB12 – Welcome back! Now get to work!

Hello seniors! Welcome back.


IA rough drafts due on Monday August 31st

IA Final Draft due Monday October 5th

Coral Reefs and Mangroves review

Examine the development and the environmental and economic value of coral reefs and mangrove swamps.

Examine the causes and consequences of the loss of coral reefs and mangrove swamps. [4 hours]

We will read:

A Fijian Village Adapts Tradition to Try to Save Its Ailing Reefs BY MEEHAN CRIST

and Mangrove deforestation in Madagascar: What are the options? by Brian Jones

Impact on Global Climate Change

Post-lecture exercise:

  • Almost half of the world’s mangrove have been destroyed by humans.
  • 15 million hectares remain (1ha = 10 000m2)
  • Decreasing faster than rainforest

In groups: Using a specific example, explain the causes and consequences of mangrove swamp degradation due to one of the following:

  • Cutting trees
  • Livestock feed
  • Shrimp aquaculture
  • Expansion of agriculture

Present your CS to the class with a presentation containing only pictures.

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