Learning to Love, Loving to Learn

Grade 1 finds out about their family history and the Ainu people

Grade 1 finds out about their family history and the Ainu people
Erika Geer Egawa

In Grade 1 we have been getting started with our Where We Are in Place and Time unit of inquiry.

We started off our unit by bringing in old pictures and artifacts that show some of our family history!

Some things we learned:

"My ancestors were priests at the Ise Shrine." - Soyoka

"People wore kimonos long ago and sometimes we were it today too." - Ria and Rei

"I can find out about my grandmother because she wrote a book about her life." - Maya

We then did a sorting activity in which we looked at different pictures and decided where fits along a timeline. As a class we co-constructed a timeline and decided this made the most sense to us:

We then collaborated in our table groups. We looked at different pictures of things from the past, discussed as group what time period we think it belongs to, and then we came to a joint decision. We took turns writing down our ideas on the sticky note and posted it up on the timeline.

We revisited this lesson the next day and the other groups got a chance to look at what other table groups had said. If we found any that we disagreed on, we supported our arguments by giving our reasons and adding another sticky note. These are some of the ones that we debated. What do you think? Do agree or disagree with us? Why?


Our next step is to investigate how can we find out about the past. 

To support us in this investigation, we would love to have parents and friends of the Seisen community come in and share about their family history or about what life was like in the past.

Seisen Community, please keep an eye out for an e-mail this week from the Grade 1 Team. Our hope is to get lots of guest speakers to share their knowledge with the Grade 1 students!

We actually had our first special guest speakers on Wednesday. They shared with us about the Ainu culture and its past. We learned that the Ainu people are an indigenous tribe native to Northern Japan. We even got to listen to Teruyo-san play a traditional Ainu instrument called a mukkuri!

Thank you, Teruyo-san and Kai-san for teaching us all about Ainu culture and its wonderful past!


  • Ainu
  • collaboration
  • Communicators
  • family history
  • Where We Are In Place And Time

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