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.
This week we began our show and tell sessions. The presenters practiced their communication skills while the viewers practiced their active listening skills. Ceyone brought in a milk carton and explained in detail about how milk is produced. This particular milk is from a family run farm in America. We wanted to find out more about how the milk got from the cow to the truck, how cows make milk and had a discussion about other animals that make milk.
Anjali had a package or rice cakes from Thailand. She was very knowledgeable about the rice growing process. Anjali also made connections to our previous lessons about eating a balanced meal and said you should not eat a lot of rice cakes because they have a lot of salt and so are unhealthy. Our discussions after included questions about rice seeds and where they come from. Then we discussed lots of other fruits that grow from seeds. And then a big question was posed about pineapples, how do they grow because they don't have a seed? How did the first ever pineapple grown on the Earth? We had several different beliefs about this and learned to share our perspectives respectfully. This connected back to our Who We Are unit as we have a diverse set of views and beliefs about how the world began within our class community.
Viggo brought a Kex biscuit box which were made in Sweden and are sold in IKEA, Singapore. He explained that the boxes of biscuits come to Singapore by ship. Then we discussed how they get from the ship to the shop in Singapore. Some of us thought by car, but then we decided it would be truck as more boxes would fit in a truck. We were also interested in the packaging that would have been inside the box to keep the biscuits fresh.
Szofia brought a coke can which had come from Malaysia, although coca cola is originally from the USA. She told us there is also a coca cola factory in Tuas, Singapore. Szofia said the recipe is a secret and you should only drink coca cola as a treat because it is very sweet. Some of us were curious about what might happen if you leave a tooth in coca cola. We might try this to see the results if someone is willing to donate one of their lost baby teeth to science!
Lucia brought in a raisin packet which had come from California in America. She showed us pictures on her ipad and described the process of drying the grapes to make raisins. It takes 3 weeks to dry them in the sun or 1 day in a machine. Lucia reminded everyone of the importance of brushing your teeth after eating raisins. We discussed the difference between green and red grapes and also wanted to find out what grapes are used to make sultanas. We will research more about this next week. We also were interested to find out if we could dry our own grapes to make raisins. This is something we may also explore further next week.
Vivaan showed us an atta packet. When he said it was for making bread we guessed it was flour. Vivaan told us that flour is made from wheat grown in India. The wheat is ground to make the flour. Then it is put in a ship and sent to Singapore. After that it goes in trucks to different supermarkets. A few of us were interested in how bread was made from flour so we watched a video about making chapattis from atta.