Signs & Symbols and our new unit of inquiry: Conservation

  • Kindergarten
Signs & Symbols and our new unit of inquiry: Conservation
Serrin Smyth

As students in Kindergarten conclude the unit of inquiry focusing on "Signs and symbols can be used to communicate ideas and information to people", they have engaged in many learning experiences to deepen their understanding of systems, symbols and communication. 

As risk takers, students were explicitly taught how to use the new striders, bicycles, tricycles, scooters, creeper scooters and twin walkers as part of their PE lessons with Ms Gratham.

The tennis court was transformed into a road safety zone with different signs and symbols where students could practice gross motor skills and apply thinking skills to how the different signs might be set up in a way to encourage communication throughout the activity. 



In homerooms, students presented their 'Signs & Symbols Around Me' activity, practicing communication skills as they presented their observations to their peers. They were given an opportunity to talk about their work and answer questions from their classmates, such as "How do you know what that sign means?"


Discussing the question “Do you know any symbols of Japan?” started great conversations.

Students suggested the Japanese flag, the Olympics 2020 symbol, Shinkansen, Hinamatsuri dolls, Tokyo Tower, Sky Tree, cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums, cranes, kimonos and Mt. Fuji being a symbol of Japan. Students have looked at the flags of countries represented in class and came to the conclusion that every country has a flag that is a symbol of the country. Parents shared the flag, flowers, musical instruments, clothes and animals that are symbols for their own country which is a lovely lead into the Kindergarten International Week that will take place soon!

Our kindergarten has some symbols of its own as each class is named after a flower. Buttercup, Tulip, Bluebell, Marigold, Snowdrop, Violet, Primrose and Daffodil - the Seisen sisters decided on these names. Students explored other Seisen Symbols like the School Crest, the Phoenix and the Houses of Asama, Ontake, Iwate and Chokai. 


Application of learning

Students have been designing their own signs and symbols and thinking about where and why they would be used:

Creating signs for their communities: 

In collaboration with our ICT integrationist, Mr G, students used Seesaw to apply their knowledge of signs and symbols. They used thinking skills by considering the colour, image and shape that best suits a sign fit for a purpose. Application of some stablished categories supported this: red often means “Do not do something” as well as a red line across a sign, yellow means caution/be careful, blue and green often give information about places or where to go/directions. 


In learning about our third line of inquiry: 'Ways signs and symbols help us to communicate locally and globally' students explored the similarities and differences of signs globally. 

Bluebell students had a very special guest via - Ms. Marziya! She shared with us different signs from around Tanzania and the Bluebells were able to compare them to signs in Japan. For example, we have deer crossing signs, and they have elephant crossing signs! Other signs, like "school zone" were similar to Japan's. The sign that surprised them most was the one for hospital, as students thought it was a recycle sign. 


Some students took action to create signs for a new plant in the Kindergarten playground!

If you see your child taking action as a result of their learning at school, we would LOVE to hear about it! As action is often taken outside of the learning environment, we often don't know about these opportunities that you as parents are witness to, even a short email telling us about something your child did or said at home as a result of their learning helps us know how the PYP is supporting the development of life long learners that take action!

Please contact our PYP Coordinator ( or your child's homeroom teacher.

LAUNCHING: Sharing the Planet; Conservation

As we move into our new unit of inquiry, students in Kindergarten will be exploring the central idea: A responsible community member conserves resources.

They will be inquiring into:

  • Our use of resources 

  • Reasons to reduce, recycle, reuse and upcycle everyday resources

  • Actions we can take to conserve the resources we use 

What can you do at home to connect with learning about Conservation? 

SOLO Taxonomy and Word Vocabulary List

This parent version of the SOLO taxonomy may support you to have discussions with your child by asking some of the guiding questions. The questions develop across the SOLO from a shallow understanding where factual knowledge is developed to a more deeper understanding where conceptual understandings are formulate. The Vocabulary Lists are a guide for the possible vocabulary that may be explored throughout the unit of inquiry. It is encouraged that you explain and explore the words within this list with your child in their mother tongue. Perhaps you may talk about the concept of some of the words in English and also in your home language in order to deepen their understanding of them.

More Seisen News

Happy Holidays!
Serrin Smyth

Thank you for a wonderful 2020-2021 school year!