This week we have been working through part of the inquiry cycle much more independently. After choosing our topic of interest we wrote some open ended research questions. Next we used books, websites and videos to try and find answers to our questions. We have been taking notes and sketching our findings. We have met many obstacles along the way - but have persevered by refining our questions, altering our topic and sharing useful resources with others. Our self management skills have been developed too.
This week we have been sharing poems. Jiwoo, Ella and Rania all shared poems they had written themselves about gymnastics. Nayonika read a Bengali poem about a river by Rabindranath Tagure. John's was about a scary castle. We heard a Japanese poem by Kenji Miyazawa from Sota. Mikhail found a poem in a book all about friendship and playing games with friends. Gaku shared a Japanese poem titled 'Me, a Songbird and a Bell', by Misuzu Kaneko. He read the English translation for us. Mao also had a poem written by the same poet. It was called 'Is it an echo'. She read it for us in both Japanese and English.
We have been developing our observation skills through the concept of change by looking closely at images comparing Singapore from 30 Years ago to now. Some changes we spotted straight away, others we had to look more carefully for. You can have a go too. Here is the link the website with the photos we used. https://mothership.sg/2019/01/old-singapore-before-and-after/
Omer told us about the railway and trains in Israel. The trains there are red. They run ever day, except Shabbat. Shabbat is a Jewish day of rest so no trains run on this day every week. If you need to get anywhere and don't have a car you can take a taxi instead.
Sawyer showed us pictures of his visit to the Galveston Railroad Museum with his grandpa in America. He talked about riding in an open air caboose. We were interested in finding out more about a caboose so did some research online. Old trains used to have a caboose for the train workers to rest in as well as store all their tools needed for fixing the trains and tracks. There is not as much need for trains to have a caboose car today.
Jiwoo presented about trains in Germany and how they have changed a lot. Now the trains are very fast and there are more than 3000km of railway compared to just 36km in.....We enjoyed watching a video of German trains and compared the older one which used electric over head cables to the news one which has no cables.
Rania shared her experiences on the London underground and we looked at the map showing the many lines and stations. We discussed the driver we could see in the picture and compared this to the driverless trains in Singapore.
Jiyin told us about the MTR in HongKong which is very similar to the MRT in Singapore. We were interested to find out that the reason there are only train and car tunnels under the sea between Hong Kong island and the mainland is to allow space for ships to pass. Bridges would block the way.
Swini shared a video about the history of trains in India. We were interested to see the jobs people had. Some had to break the coal and others had to throw sand in front of the tracks to increase traction. We also found out that before train stations people would gather at Banyan trees and the train would stop to pick people up there.
We have been learning about the past by looking at artefacts, wondering what they are, what their uses were and what we now use today. So far we've looked at CDs, casette tapes, VHS tapes, vinyl records, a video recorder, a copper kettle, old mobile phones, a portable CD player and a floppy disk. It has been great fun guessing what these objects are and how they were used. We can certainly see many changes in technology in our parents and grandparents lifetime. We also looked in more detail a a typewriter and an ipad, comparing their similarities and differences.
Sota talked to us about one of the underground lines in Japan - the Ginza line. The line used to run above the ground until 1927 when tunnels were dug by hand for the line to run underground. There were no machines back then, this is a remarkable change in the way tunnels are dug for transport. We were curious to find out how tunnels are made today and did some research on this. During this research we also learned about the Euro tunnel which runs under the sea between France and England!
Amanda told us about Chinese trains. Today they are some of the fastest in the world, for example the Maglev trains. She compared the old and new trains in China by talking about the aircon. Old trains had windows which could open to let the breeze in, new trains have sealed windows to keep the aircon in.
Siu showed us a map of the Korean rail network today and explained that the fastest train in Korea is the KTX (Korean Train Express). He has travelled in one to see his grandma. The seats face each other in groups and there are toilets on the train too.
Mao compared the old steam trains powered by coal in Japan to the linear rail train which is being developed and tested at the moment and due to be fully operational by 2027. These trains will be much faster than the old ones and have no wheels. Old trains went on top of tracks. The new linear rail trains float and glide above the track.
Zahin told us about the high speed train in KL. He has been on it when travelling from the airport into the city. He explained that it can go over water by using a railway bridge. It is a driverless train and is controlled by buttons on a computer.
Ella presented about the KTX in Korea. Her auntie uses the train to get to work in Busan. If she were to drive to work the journey would take 5 hours, but by using the KTX train it only takes 2 and 1/2 hours. The KTX trains started running in 2004.
We had a special guest visit the class this week...it was Ella's grandma. She came to talk to us about what school was like for her when she was young. She explained there was a blackboard and chalk instead of a whiteboard with pens. Her mum prepared her lunch every day as there was no canteen to buy food from. Winter was cold, so they had a stove in the middle of the classroom. In summer it was hot, but they had no aircon or fans. We were shocked to hear that if you did something wrong the teacher would hit your hand with a stick. Ella's grandma walked to school each day as she lived only 15 minutes away from the school. We found it interesting to compare it to school nowadays.
After our trip to compare old and new railways we have begun our show and tell about changes in trains, railway from our own countries. Nayonika shared about the history of trains and how they changed from steam to diesel to electric. The oldest working steam train today is in India. Here it is!
Keshav shared a book that had pictures of the Alaskan railroad and old coal trains. The book was a gift to Keshav after his Grandma had been to visit Alaska.
Gaku shared about the Shinkansen which is one of the bullet trains in Japan. They travel at high speeds across the country and the first one was developed in 1964. It is the 3rd fastest train in the world.
Mikhail told us about the Trans Siberian Railway which is the longest single railway in one country. Many people who enjoy train travel go to Russia to travel on this famous railway.