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To recycle or not to recycle

Hello everyone! This weeks was a very sunny one and everyone enjoyed the warmer temperature and more chances to play outside too! ☀️
On Monday, the students started exploring into their new Unit of Inquiry, the last one for this year. This unit focuses on waste, with the central idea being “People’s choices when building, buying or consuming things can create waste“. The Line of Inquiry 1 is “There are many different types of waste“, so the students started their week of by discussing the concept of waste, what is and what isn’t waste and what types of waste do we know.
They watched videos and read books about different ways of handling waste and discussed how the World in general and our communities can dispose of their waste more efficiently. Some interesting data they discovered is that in Japan, 99% of trash is either recycled or burned and in the USA, 70% is piled on landfills. There were many different answers regarding the good and bad sides of either of these options. Landfills waste space and could be dangerous for plants and animals, but burning releases toxic gases into the atmosphere.
A small community that the students are well aware of is the Shimauchi campus of ISN! On Friday, they took on a role of investigative reporters who went around the school, trying to find out how all of us are dealing with the waste problem. They interviewed the teachers, took photos around their classrooms and drew conclusions based on what they have seen. In general, everyone saw much room for improvement. 🗑️
On Monday, the students discussed food as a type of waste and did a science experiment to see how long it takes for some of it to decompose. Each of the three groups of students had a candle and some matches and a pair of thongs which they used to hold food close to the flame and see the chemical reaction that occurred. The food included mandarin orange skin, licorice, broccoli, bananas, nuts and more. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. 🥦
Another day of fun activities was Friday, when, upon watching some videos, the students themselves shared an idea of making craft out of different recycled material they found in their homes or in the classroom. Yuuki I., Touko and Chihiro made tote bags by using old T-shirts; Yuria made a bag and headband using fabric scraps; Yuumi made a holding box and an iPad holder using old bag and a hanger; Ryan made a plant holder using old fabric and a photo holder using an old hanger; Yuuki K. made a spinner using a chopstick and a toilet roll; Taro made a samurai warrior helmet using old paper printed with a story about preserving nature; Ryu made a table soccer game using an old carbboard box, some pegs and chopsticks.
Finally, the fourth issue of Upper Elementary students’ newspaper ISpotNews was released this week. Thank you, everyone, for supporting the students in making the newspaper, and also in coming next week to the school open day and to the parent/teacher conferences. Everyone looks forward to seeing you there. Have a lovely weekend! ❤️