To find out some answers to our questions about water, we decided to visit the Marina Barrage! The trip was very fun for all the children and they learned about different ways that water was managed in Singapore. The children especially enjoyed the model that simulated what happens when there is a lot of rainfall and the water level rises in the reservoir. We learned that a lot of the water that we find in our sinks are toilets are from the rain water! It gets cleaned and sent to our homes and schools through pipes. does that rain water get cleaned? Hmmm...
Hanoch Piven has written two books that I never get tired of using in the classroom! These books never fail to bring out much laughter and creativity in the children and are a great way to teach the Trait of 'Word Choice'! Each child chose one of their friends in class to describe and we all made collages of these friends. Take a look at the great descriptions and word choices that everyone made!
Our new central idea is: Water is important to all living things.
The children have discussed what they know about water and what they think it means to "share the planet." We have just come to the connection that water is used by many living things and this is something that we need to share on our planet. To get the children tuned in, we started the unit with some good old water play! We also went on a water hunt and found water in all sorts of places around the school. The children are just at the stage where they have formed questions which will guide the direction that our inquiry will take. Here is what they are wondering:
Where does the water in the toilet come from? - Miria
I wonder where tears come from? -Clara
How do the plants get water from the soil? -Joseph
I wonder how plants drink water? -Sam
I wonder how plants grow with water? -Aina M.
Where does the water from the bath come from? -Aina P.
How does it rain? -Sakurako
Why do crabs stand at the bottom of the ocean? -Jacob
Where does the water from the tap come from? -Snehansh
I wonder why crabs need to live in the ocean? -Chloe
Where does the water in the toilet come from? -Alex
Why can't we drink water from the pool? -Allegra
Where does rain come from? -Kisaki
How does the rain come? -Jan
Tuning in to Water on PhotoPeach
'Not a Box' by Antoinette Portis is one of my favorite books to use in my classroom! It is such a simple book but it sparks such creativity in the children and aligns very well with the Trait of Ideas from the Six Traits of Writing. We created our own class book about what we might do with a cardboard box. Below there is also a slideshow of the children playing with a cardboard box and their peers are guessing what they could be. Can you guess what we are pretending to do or be with the box?

Our friend Kisaki
Kisaki has been a very active member of our class and always tries her best even when she cannot always understand what is being said in class. Kisaki is an only child, her favorite book is Peter Pan and she enjoys drawing! The class also realized that even though Chloe and Kisaki begin with different letters, they both make the same sound! Great connection guys! Let's take a look at the letters in Kisaki's name:

  • 'K' is like the 'K' in 'K2'
  • 'i' is a slide
  • 's' is a snake
  • 'a' is a zero with a flick
  • 'k' is some fingers on a hand
  • 'i' is like a volcano

It never ceases to amaze me how children can take learning into their own hands as well as challenge each other. After playing this game of "Guess My Rule" once as a class, the children began to play the game on their own using their knowledge of shape attributes. The objective behind this game is that one child thinks of a 'rule' which can be as broad or specific as he or she likes. For instance, it could be anything from 'shapes with straight sides' to 'only small shapes with 4 points'. The game targets each child's ability to think carefully about the attributes of the shapes in front of him or her and to think of a rule that will make it hard for his or her friends to guess as well! Here is a video of one round of this game that occurred this morning as the children were trickling into school. Here, Alex has come up with a rule and as his friends discover shapes that are in his rule, they start to guess what all the shapes in the circle have in common. At the end they figure it out and put the rest of the shapes that match Alex's rule into the circle.