During the afternoon lessons on Monday to Thursday this week we have been doing lots of experiential learning activities. At the beginning of the week we set ourselves a goal for an ATL the we wanted to focus on. Each day the activity had a specific ATL goal to focus on and practise.
Communication Skills: We had to make different rope shapes in groups. Two group members were blindfolded, so we had to listen carefully and give clear instructions. We took turns to lead the instructions and wear the blindfolds.
Self Management Skills: In our groups we were given the challenge to create an object using only 12 blocks. The object had to have two different purposes. We had to cooperate, share ideas and come to agreements. At the end we shared all about our structures and answered questions from our peers. We practised being respectful listeners.
Thinking Skills: We had to use thinking skills by carefully planning what pattern and picture we would like to make. First we arranged leaves, petals and blueberries on half a piece of fabric. Once we were happy with the design we folded the fabric on top and used blocks to smash the items between the fabric. The natural pigment dyes left many interesting markings on the fabric. We also visited the garden to gather leaves and used these to do leaf rubbings with crayons. This type of art is Japanese Hapa-Zome.
Social Skills: Working in groups of 3 we had to plan a journey for an ant. We thought of stops it could take and made markers with mini flags. We mapped out the trail with string in the ground. We had to discuss ideas with our team members and work together to push in the flags and lay out the string.
On Thursday we visited Lemuel bean to bar chocolate factory at Star Vista. We got to see the chocolate making process and of course taste some samples too! We also went on a food scavenger hunt to find out how many cultures/countries foods could be eaten at different restaurants at Star Vista, we used tally marks to gather our data. There was an orange juice machine as well, so we watched it freshly squeeze the juice and then drew a flow chart of the steps used to make orange juice. Lastly we visited Cold Storage supermarket to look for locally produced foods from Singapore.
This week we went to the library for a special information literacy lesson to practise our research skills. We looked at pictures inside books and read the captions to guess what the title of the book might be. The covers were wrapped so we didn't know what the correct answer was until we got to unwrap all the covers at the end to see if we were correct!
Eugene presented information about the history of potato chips as well as a detailed explanation of the process they go through from growing in the ground to being transported in packages ready for sale in the supermarkets. Then she shared the packet out so everyone could have a taste of the bbq flavoured potato chips. The packet said they were made in Malaysia so we discussed why it could be better to buy crisps made in Malaysia rather than somewhere far away such as America. We decided they were fresher, cheaper and better for the air as not so much smoke from petrol in boats and planes was used.
Una had a tortilla packet from Australia, which is closer than buying the same thing made in countries further away such as Europe and America. We were interested in looking at the sachet inside the packet which helps keep them fresh on their journey from the factory to our plate.
Daniyal brought in a Nutella jar from Australia and a Yorkshire tea box from England. He said he bought the Nutella here, but the tea his parents bought in England and they brought it to Singapore in their suitcase. We wondered if tea grows in England like it does in Sri-Lanka. Then we looked at the box which said it was blended and packed in England, but not grown there.
This week we focused on our line of inquiry 'food accessibility'. First we discussed what it means to have food accessible to you, or not. Then we looked at pictures of what different families all over the world eat in a typical week. We located these countries on a world map. Next we used observation skills and noted what they had a lot of and began to compare and notice differences between some families. Some had lots of food, some not as much. Some had lots of meat, others lots of vegetables. Some had lots of chocolates, others lots of fruits. Next time we will use the concept of perspective to discuss what it would be like to live with one of these families and find out some of the reasons for differences between what families eat. The photos can found at the link below if you would like to discuss the photos at home.
Takumi showed us two onigiri packets which he had bought in Singapore, they had come from Japan. He showed us how onigiri is made from rice, seaweed and toppings. He told us kelp is in onigiri, we looked this up and found it is a type of seaweed grown by farmers in seaweed farms in Japan.
Keigo brought in a yakult bottle and explained it was made originally in Japan by a Japanese scientist. He said it is made from milk and bacteria. We had a lot of questions about what bacteria was, was it a good thing? Can you make bacteria or is it natural? There is also a Yakult factory in Singapore to buy locally made Yakult. This started some discussions about food miles and making choices about what products to buy.
Zoe brought a skittle container and explained that skittles used to be made in the UK and were called Glee's. Now they are made in America and that's when the name changed to Skittles. We had lots of colours about how the colours were put on and how the S was painted. Zoe explained they colour was sprayed and the S was stamped. Then we watched a video to find out more about the process.
Tyler T showed us a milo carton. It had come from Malaysia and he said it also is made in Australia. There is a Milo factory in Singapore as well so again, there is the option to buy locally produced Milo similar to the Yakult. Tyler said his milo was delivered from the supermarket to his condo. We then discussed this new step in the journey of food - someone else does the supermarket shopping and brings it right to the door.
Rei explained about tuna, showing on a map where it is fished from and then explained how it is taken the factory to be put in cans. She showed us a tuna can from Japan that she bought in Singapore. We had discussions about how the tuna might be caught, why they lived on two oceans and which zone of the ocean they would live in.
Reika told us all about organic rice farming in Japan. Farmers use ducks in the rice fields to eat the insects and weeds. This means they don't have to use chemicals. We wondered why only baby ducks were allowed in the rice fields. Rice from Japan has to be shipped in special containers which are temperature controlled, this keeps the rice fresh.
Tyler Y brought a Frosties cereal box, the Frosties had been made in Thailand. Tyler told us they are made from corn which starts out growing in a field. Then it is taken to a factory. We wanted to know more about how they were made, how they got the sweet taste and how they are made hard and crunchy. We watched a video showing the cornflake making process and found out sugar and water is sprayed on the cornflakes to give them the sweet coating.
Feras showed us a popcorn packet which had come from France. We wondered what makes it pop. Feras said it has to go into the microwave. It needs heat suggested Vivaan. So Ms Shradha took Feras and Tyler T do make the popcorn in the staff room microwave. Tyler noticed a change in the bag, it started as flat but ended big and full of popped popcorn. We enjoyed eating the popcorn and at the end saw there were un popped pieces. We discussed these and discovered they are the corn seeds called kernels. The next day we wrote instructions about how to make popcorn.
Emma showed a cereal box. The cereal was made in America. Emma thought it had come to Singapore by boat, but perhaps by plane. She said the boat is slower - but can bring more. After this someone asked 'Why is food from America sold in Singapore?' We had a discussion about who buys American food as well as food from other countries sold in Singapore. We thought it could be for the people from those countries who have come to live and work in Singapore. We then talked about people in Singapore being able to buy foods from many countries, not just the country they are from.
Then someone asked 'How come in Singapore they don't have food from their own country, why does it come from other countries? Our initial ideas are:
-They don't know how to make the food.
-They don't have the ingredients to make the food.
-They don't have a place to grow stuff on a small island.
-They don't have a place to grow rice in fields.
-They don't want to copy other countries.
-Singapore doesn't have enough food.
This connected to our next line of inquiry 'local vs global' and we will do further research next week to see if our predictions are correct.
Haruto showed us a seaweed packed from Korea. He explained the process of drying and packaging the seaweed. Haruto taught us two important words 'import' and 'export' which helped us understand our the 'local vs global' line of inquiry further. Then we watched a video to find out more about how seaweed is made as we wanted to know how the flavourings were added. We discovered seaweed is a very healthy snack.
Yuer brought a package from dumplings which had been made in Korea. They are eaten in soup or heated dry. Yuer said dumplings are a healthy food that are good for you. It said on the front, frozen food. We discussed why it came frozen from Korea. Yuer told us they came by boat to Singapore so we thought the boat must have freezers to keep all the packets of dumplings frozen.
Ashritha showed us a box from green tea. The green tea had come from Sri Lanka. We wondered if it came from a farm or a factory so watched a video to find out more and discovered it is grown on a farm, then processed and packaged in a factory. We were interested to see that on the farm all the tea is hand picked. There are no machines used until the tea gets to the factory.
Ms Ally worked with us in the library this week to support us in developing our research skills. We learned the difference between fiction and non-fiction books and how to use non-fiction books to find answers to our questions by finding the location of the information we might need in the contents, index and glossary.
Inquiry based learning is all about asking questions. We did a focus lesson with the help of Ms Miriam and Mrs Vaughan to help us ask really good inquiry questions. After looking at, touching and smelling a cinnamon stick we posed lots of questions. For our next step we will work on sorting our questions into different concepts (Function, Connection, and Perspective) that we're focusing on in this unit.