Investigating the Global Food Trade
Students investigate the banana trade to uncover issues related to global food systems.
Grade 5 started the new school year investigating the global food system. We started this inquiry by tracking a banana from the farm to our plate. Students learned about the different stops along the banana supply chain and some of the issues each group face. Students were surprised-and outraged- to learn that the banana farmer, despite the difficult and dangerous job, received very little money for their work. To help build empathy, and better understand the situation of small-scale farmers, we played a game where students worked to harvest and sell bananas. Halfway through the game we brainstormed some ways to make it easier or fairer for the farmers. This led to an investigation into Fair Trade.
During this investigation, students were introduced to a note-taking called "BBQ"- Boxes, Bullets, Questions. This note-taking style is useful when working with information texts and videos and helps student uncover main ideas and supporting details. Students will use this through out the year. Here is an example from a student's notebook.
To make connections on the global, national, local and personal level, we investigated how and where bananas in Japan are imported from. We followed that by brainstorming some pros and cons of importing food. Students then went home to discuss the idea with their parents and added new ideas to the list. Finally, we spent a little time researching online for any ideas we may have missed. As a next step, we will take a trip to the local markets to see where products come from and if fair trade products are available in Japan. We will ask ourselves, "What is our responsibility as consumers?"
Here are some photos of students at work throughout the first weeks.
St. Raphaela Day and Writing Celebration
Students investigate equivalent fraction concepts
Grade 5 explores symbolism and archetypes with fantasy books.
Grade 4 / 5 team are second in the Sakura Book Bowl Competition.
Grade 5 students solve a local conflict
Grade 5 students compose music for a simulated video project.
Grade 5 students investigate chemical change.
Music by Massenet, Beethoven, Kreisler, and Honstein filled the Music Room this week.
Students in grade 5 investigate properties of matter and how these properties are used by society.
Grade 5 students handle data and explore landmarks and graphing options.
Grade 5 and 6 share their work from the How the World Works unit of inquiry.
Parents and daughters work together to investigate building healthy relationships during adolescence.
Students investigate intellectual change by conducting a social experiment.
Students explore the role of communication in relationships.
Goal refection and Book Bowl Team.