Grade 1: Where we are in place and time 'History' concludes & Sharing the Planet 'Equal Access' commences!

  • Grade 1
Grade 1: Where we are in place and time 'History' concludes & Sharing the Planet 'Equal Access' commences!
Serrin Smyth

As students in Grade 1 conclude their unit of inquiry focusing on "Historythey reflected on how learning about history helps us to understand the present day

Through the development of a visual timeline, students chose events they wanted to place on the timeline from their own life, their parents life and the life of Seisen:

 They reflected on how things have changed over time and established;

- "Some people had access to things in the past but now more people have access to certain things."

- "We used to make things by hand and now we have more machines for making things."

- "Travel used to be slow and now it is fast."

- "People have discovered how to make new materials."

We observed students taking action through the discussions and questions they were asking.

We overheard many students sharing and discussing the lives of their families and grandparents. Students asked a lot of questions about the location of certain events and requested for their homeroom teachers to share a map of Japan to understand where these places were in comparison to Tokyo.

LAUNCHING: Sharing the Planet; Equal Access

As we move into the new and final new unit of inquiry, students in Grade 1 will be exploring the central idea: 'Communities are affected by their access to water.'

They will be inquiring into:

  • Our water usage 

  • Access to water around the water and its impact

  • Our responsibility as global citizens to achieve fair water distribution

In our aim to further develop globally minded citizens, this unit focuses on students developing an awareness that the world is much larger than the community in which we live and the ability to see oneself as a responsible member of the community and a global citizen.

Students will be exploring this through local, national and global perspectives by investigating their personal water usage at school and at home (Local), our responsibility as global citizens to achieve fair water distribution (National), and access to water around the world and its impact on communities and the environment (Global).

We began the unit through the question; How do people use water? 

Students considered what they already knew, what questions they were wondering and then investigated through media to extend their current understandings and develop new questions:


After reading a collection of books in Epic!, the questions they have developed thus far, which will help to guide this shared inquiry are: 

Is there not water for everyone? 

How do clouds form? 

How do they clean water? 

Why does earth have more salt water? 

What is water energy? 

How does water go underground?

How does the water go to houses? 

I wonder how much water do every day we use? 

Why does salty water make us sick? 

How do people get out of water when flooded? 

Why earth doesn’t really have a lot of water? 

Why does it rain?

Why is the pipe U shaped? Why do sometimes people put things in the drain or sink and how do they get it out? Why does dirty water go to other’s people’s houses?

How do we clean water?

As we begin to grow our knowledge, students followed a procedure to observe the processes of the water cycle (including evaporation, condensation , precipitation, and runoff) and documented their learning through scientific drawings. We made the sun heat the ocean and saw water evaporate into the clouds, condense, and fall back down as rain:

What action have we seen so far? 

Dr. Kiko took initiative and brought in her lab coat since she knew we were being scientists again!

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

SOLO 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.

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.

More Seisen News

Happy Holidays!
Serrin Smyth

Thank you for a wonderful 2020-2021 school year!