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What Makes A Community?

This week we have been going deeper into the concepts of our studies into how jobs relate to our communities.

We began the week by visiting the shrine close to school. We talked about how a shrine is a community space. Many people share the space and it connects different people together. We even thought about how cherry blossoms can create communities of people since people gather in celebration. Students painted wonderful pictures of the area, encompassing the shrine, the blossoms, and the beautiful mountains of our own community. They are up in our classroom, please take a look if you have time.

We also had a wonderful performance from a visiting student – Robert – who was visiting from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is only twelve years old, but thanks to his great music talent, he was able to visit Matsumoto and give a concert performance in town. We were also lucky enough to have our own private performance, which all elementary students relished. We really loved talking to Robert and learning about him and his life. He mentioned how his dream is to make people happy, which inspired us to think about how we are going to make the world a better place. Thank you for joining our community, Robert! We hope to see you again!

As our thinking around communities deepened, we began to think about what communities we belong to ourselves. How many communities do we belong to? How do those communities link together? Each student wrote the communities they belong to on hexagonal pieces of paper, and then made complicated representations of how those communities connect. It was very impressive to see the deep thinking from students.

We then focussed on how communities can form based around a common purpose or work. One of those communities was the people who make Disney movies. We all know this movies, but how many people does it take to make one, what do those people do, and how do they connect together? We looked at Moana, and all the jobs involved in creating such a lovely piece of art. We considered what each person does, what knowledge those people need, what tools they use, and what IB learner profile attribute they would be. The resulting discussions and posters were very interesting indeed. I was happy to see how well students saw the complex connections.

Finally, we also looked at a very important place, especially in Japanese communities. Convenience stores! We looked at a variety of items we might find in a convenience store, and considered first what those things are made of, and second, how many people it would have taken to get that product made and transported to the shop. It really made it clear how communities can form and be connected not only by places, but also through a common purpose, or work.

We continued this week with our music studies and singing. Our recorder technique is getting better as we focus on how to create a clear sound with our new instruments. Our morning singing and dancing has also got much better, with most students now remembering the words for “A whole new world”! On Friday we will singing and dance together with the rest of elementary, so we will test our new skills with the older students!

Our Japanese lessons have continued well this week too. It is clear students are now much more used to how things are done in their Japanese lessons, and we have all been excited to move further in our learning.

Finally, since the weather has been so nice, we have continued exercising outside every day. Our power, speed and stamina have all gotten much better, which is certainly having a positive impact on our studies too. It is great to get our in the fresh Matsumoto air and move our bodies!

There will be a few new changes after golden week which will help us even more in our very positive progress and interesting studies. Until then, have a wonderful Golden Week, and see you in Reiwa 1!