This was the last week of our inquiry into how "We learn about civilisations from what was left behind".
Over the course of the unit, the children have enjoyed finding out about what archaeology is for and what an archaeologist does. They have developed their thinking and observational skills when examining artefacts. They have discovered more about Pompeii and undertaken independent research into civilisations of their choice. They have also reflected on what evidence will be left behind by today's societies and created a small piece to add to a class legacy board, to leave behind themselves.
This week, they have had some hands-on practise with using maps and grids drawn by their peers, to find hidden objects and have then analysed these finds. They commented that it was sometimes hard to follow a map and that it needed details to help us locate things easily.
They have also reflected on what they have learnt and began to make connections between the various civilisations to find similarities and things they have in common.
The students collaborated on a class information book entitled "The Big Book of Ancient Civilisations", in which they shared some of their research. They applied their knowledge of text features and how informational books are organised.
They have expanded their technical vocabulary and many now use words such as "excavate, midden, ancient, temples, artefacts, pyramids, tombs, scientists" in their discussions and writing.
We enjoyed spending some time with 2.2 and K2 this week during which small groups shared their knowledge of maps, compasses and beebots and also read together. We also enjoyed an interactive presentation by some Grade 5 students about food and cooking.
This week also saw the final conference of the year in which the students led their parents around school and shared various activities and learning. It was great to see them taking responsibility for explaining what they had done and showing off the things they were proud of.
Finally, we were proud to have both the winners from the Eco-Design Challenge come from our class. Mia and Liam made a platypus and a windmill respectively to win the Animal and Buildings categories. Our class definitely enjoy using our recycled and art resources areas to explore and create and it was lovely to see this creativity recognised.
There has been lots going on at school this week. Grade 2 have been lucky to learn about what other students have been inquiring into and join in various events.
We continued to support Grade 5 in their Exhibition actions and are incorporating fitness routines into our day. We also had some students come in and teach us a dance.
Singing Club, Coding Club and Eco-Design Challenge were some of the other events organised by Grade 5 that children chose to take part in.
The Grade 2 Salvation Army Donation Drive was a success with lots of items given by the school community. The Grade 3 Clothes Swap was another popular event with many of the children being thrilled with their "free" clothes.
Finally, we visited the Middle School during their STEAM week and saw the interesting learning about water filtration and sustainable and resilient housing that they have been doing.
The children were engaged and able to talk about what they had seen and heard when we came back to class. Haruto was even inspired to begin designing his own house to withstand extreme weather, (he had already done his own water filter!).
All these fantastic events help to make ISS a vibrant, exciting and cohesive community for the children to be a part of. It will hopefully inspire them to find ways to contribute and share their own ideas and learning.
Back in class, we continued our inquiries into maps and directions exploring with compasses and drawing maps of our own.
We also began to think about our third line of inquiry in UOI: evidence we will leave behind. We discussed what archaeologists might find in the future and what the children themselves might leave behind.
Many suggestions were shared and "plastic" items came up a lot as possible MIDDEN of the future. The children sorted their ideas using a Venn Diagram (useful/not useful) and we realised that everything an archaeologist finds can be useful as it tells them something about life in that time. We then thought about whether the evidence was helpful for the planet and this changed the sorting again.
The students returned this week and enthusiastically tuned back in to our inquiry into how We learn about civilisations from what was left behind.
To help with this process we visited Fort Canning Park and were able to see part of an excavation site and some of the artefacts that had been found there. The children also identified other evidence from the past, such as the buildings, cannons, monuments, plaques and paintings
The students have chosen ancient civilisations to research and we continued this in the Library. Mrs. Grant led a session on note-taking, which consolidated the skill of finding key words to use in note-taking.
The children are also taking action and supporting action around ISS. Grade 2 have organised a Salvation Army Donation Drive. The Donation bins will be at ISS on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th April. This connects both to our last unit about Exchange Systems and with World Water Day and the Grade 3 Clothes Swap (Wednesday 11th).
The Grade 5 Exhibition is also underway and the children are getting involved with the various surveys and events or groups being organised by the older students. Singing club, Coding events, an Eco-Design Challenge and fitness activities in class are some of the things Grade 2 are supporting.
We also continued our engagement with the Learning Displays around school by writing letter to Grade 5. As part of their persuasive writing, the Grade 5 students had written letters to monsters with reasons why they should not eat them. Grade 2 took on the role of the monster and after reading and considering a Grade 5 student's letter, they replied with what they had decided. We then delivered the letters.
Haruto very kindly brought in some excavating kits as a special treat for the class. The children worked in small groups to get some hands-on experience of excavation. They were problem-solvers and gathered extra tools they thought they needed such as water and brushes. A dusty, exciting dig, with some students making themselves look like more authentic archaeologists...
Grade 2 has been leading World Water Day in ISS this year. We watched some videos and thought about ways that we could help protect the Earth's water.
We came up with three main actions:
Singapore's theme for this year is Make every drop count and they suggest 5 small actions you can take to help conserve water.
1. Wait until you have a full load before washing in a washing machine
2. Use half-flush on toilets when you can
3. Use a mug when you brush your teeth instead of a running tap
4. Take shorter showers
5. Wash fruit and vegetables in a container
The children have made pledges and posters to raise awareness of World Water Day, which is on 22nd March. We will also be organising a Donation Drive for the Salvation Army when we return after the holidays.
We learn about the past from things like fossils. It is hard but it is fun.
It has been another busy week in Grade 2. The children have been researching about Pompeii, making notes and sharing their findings.
We have begun thinking about what the past can teach us about how people lived. We noticed that archaeologists found artefacts and features in Pompeii that told them about the houses and buildings, the things people did for entertainment, their jobs, some of the tools they used and what they believed in.
Through reading the book, Pompeii, Buried Alive, we learnt that people heard about Pompeii because of letters written by Pliny (a boy who saw Mount Vesuvius erupt). Many years later, people found a stone with the word Pompeii carved on it. From these facts, the children were able to deduce that people from the past gave places names, could write and had tools to carve on stone.
Another observation was that archaeologists found the remains of a dog on a chain. This told the children that people kept animals in Pompeii, either as pets or guard-dogs. They then connected this with how people still have pets today.
We also had some children sharing about their own countries' civilisations and cultures. We learnt that:
As part of our inquiry into mapping and grids, Mr. Gallagher came to support the children in exploring how the Beebots work. They had to work in groups to find out how to create a maze for the Beebot to travel on.
The skills of measuring, discussing, testing, planning, compromising were all practised by the children. As the Beebots operate by following a sequential series of instructions, this is also developing the children's understanding of coding.
When finished, they will share their mazes with the Kindergarten students.
We extended our knowledge of maps and grids by using simple co-ordinates to design games of Treasures or Traps to play in class.
This week the children have been finding out more about what archaeology is and what archaeologists do.
We read the book "Archaeologists dig for clues" and then in groups the children explained the process in a flow-chart after some research. They have also been planning a non-fiction text about archaeology. This is consolidating their understanding of how we structure explanation texts.
We have also had some independent student action with some children exploring excavation sites at home- building their own versions using Lego and blocks. Stormtrooper archaeologists and re-purposed tools!
Some children also brought in artefacts and posters that showed connections to civilisations in their home countries. We will be exploring more of these in the weeks to come.
The children re-visited the visible thinking routine of I see, I think, I wonder, while observing miniature models of well-known building from various civilisations. They are creating a list of shared features of all civilisations- buildings being one of them. Again, this will continue to be explored during the inquiry, particularly in relation to Pompeii, which is our case-study for this unit. They also worked collaboratively and took on different roles (Data-collector, Illustrator, Explainer and Question-collector) within their groups, while observing and recording information about artefacts.
Next week, we will use Pompeii as a way of deepening the children's understanding of how and what archaeologists can learn from studying archaeological sites and artefacts.
Finally, the class is also in the process of creating a mini excavation site in class.
Grade 2.1 are a class of 7 and 8 year old students who attend ISS International School in Singapore. We learn together and play together and enjoy sharing our discoveries with you.