Friday, 24 March 2017

Where We Are Place and Time (Past Civilizations)

Unit of Inquiry #5 - Where We Are In Place and Time (Past Civilization)

Grade 5 continued their learning of past civilizations during the second week of the unit! Over the coming weeks, students will be inquiring into their new central idea: Evidence of the past civilization can be used to make connections to present-day societies. Students displayed great independence and cooperation with their groups to research and post their learning on the hallway bulletin boards.

Central Idea: Evidence of the past civilization can be used to make connections to present-day societies.

Lines of Inquiry:
  • Characteristics of civilizations and societies.
  • Connections between past and present societies.

Investigation Activities

Learning Intention #1:  To organize dates and multiple past civilizations on a timeline in chronological order.            

As a getting started activity, each student viewed and organized dates on a timeline in chronological order. In small groups, students transferred their timeline draft onto sentence strips to post on the bulletin board.

Learning Intention #2:  To locate a past civilization on maps.  

The next day, each student browsed through a variety of books on past civilizations and took notes of civilization location and its beginning of recorded time period. Small groups collaborated to locate and plot multiple past civilizations on a word map and a timeline.  

Learning Intention #3:  To describe the local features that aided the civilizations growth.

On Friday, students continued compared physical feature maps to plotted location of past civilizations on maps to note surrounding land forms and bodies of water. They used their research skills by seeking and selecting best sources of information how people used their surroundings that helped their daily lives and civilization growth. Throughout the week groups used efficient collaborative skills with by sharing ideas respectfully, recording and retelling findings, and doing fair share of work.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Getting Started in Where We Are in Place and Time

Students in grade 5 started their new unit under the theme of Where We Are in Place in Time.

As a getting started activity, students browsed through a variety of books on ancient civilisations and made a note of any questions or wonderings.  In small groups we sorted our questions into 3 categories: inquiry questions, thin questions, or somewhere in between the two.  Students brainstormed characteristics of each type of question.

We decided that inquiry questions are:
Debatable, have many possible answers, are good topics for discussions, and you must synthesize a lot of information when answering them.

Here is a preliminary list of sorted questions.

After browsing more books and watching a short video on the rise of civilisations, students added to their list of questions and looked at the questions from the lens of our key concepts and lines of inquiry. Students decided which concept best matched their question and which line of inquiry it would help to explore.

Among other things, students began to investigate the local features that aided a civilisation's growth.
In conjunction with our earlier book browse, students also made note of important places they uncovered and added them to a class list. Using Google Earth, we took a virtual tour (first stopping at our own houses) of a variety of ancient ruins and locations.

Students ended the week with a field trip to the Yokohama History Museum.  This site was being developed for residential housing in the 1980s when scientists discovered the remains of a community dating back over 2000 years. This marks the transition in Japanese history to a more sedentary and agriculturally based society.  It was a great opportunity for students to see replica dwellings and actual tools that were used during this time. Students also got to witness the huge change in lifestyle that came with the advent of agriculture.

Here are a few photos from the day.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Science Day

How the World Works: Does it Matter
Grade 5 and 6   Science Fair

Central Idea: People use their knowledge of properties of matter to suit specific needs.

Lines of Inquiry:
  • How scientists investigate properties of matter.
  • Conditions that cause reversible and irreversible changes in matter.
  • How societies take advantage of the properties of matter

Learning Intention:
To present scientific investigation findings to an audience.

On Friday, March 10, Grade 5 celebrated their science learning at the Grade 5 and 6 Science Day Assembly here at Seisen. Through dedication and hard work, students were able to present their scientific investigation findings to parents, Seisen staff, and Seisen students. They also shared how their findings can benefit society.

Investigation stage by testing hypothesizes.

Prepping for Science Day

Grade 5 and 6 Science Day!

Check Out Our Science Day Videos 

Thank you parents for attending!

Where do we go next in our learning destination for Unit of Inquiry?

Where We Are In Place And Time -  The Rise of Civilizations

Central Idea:
Evidence of past civilizations can be used to make connections to present-day societies.
Inca Empire

Sunday, 5 March 2017


Friday, March 10 is Big Science Day here at Seisen. Students across the school-from kindergarten to high school- will participate in demonstrations, activities, and present their independent science investigations. The culminating event will be a presentation by Akiko Nakamura from Kobe University. Ms Nakamura is a well know scientist in Japan who studies the formation and evolution of planetary bodies. There is even an asteroid named after her!

Grade 5 will host its own Big Science Day for parents and elementary students on Friday morning.

Here they are getting ready.

Students will focus their independent investigations on testing the properties of matter.

Students will:
Formulate a testable question
Make a prediction using scientific language and concepts studied
Decide what variable will be tested
Decide what will be measured and recorded
Draw conclusions based on the evidence gathered
Make a connection between the experiment and real world applications

You won't want to miss this.  Doors open at 9:00. Admission is free!