Learning in the PYP

What’s been happening in the PYP classrooms this week?

Grade 5 Shizuoka Trip

In my article last week, I focused on the learning that takes place on field trips and how they can help students investigate and locate key information, make concretions as well as transfer their learning to situations outside the classroom. This week I would like to continue this focus and the lens for looking for learning is on Grade 5 students and their recent cultural camp to Shizuoka this week.

A considerable focus for this camp was on developing international mindedness and helping the students build on their previous knowledge about Japanese traditions as well as key Japanese heritage sites. The camp also made clear links to their current “Where we are in place and time” unit of inquiry. This unit focuses on the related concepts of heritage and tradition and the central idea is “Appreciating the past influences what we preserve for the future”.

The world heritage sites they visited in the area during this time included the Kunozan Tuoshogu Shrine, Miho no matsubara and on the last day Fujinomiya-Guchi.


The traditions they explored and engaged in during the four days included creating wax food samples, making traditional chopsticks, learning about the Japanese tea ceremony as well as making traditional tatami mats. On the last night the students were able to put together all the items they had made in preparation for a traditional meal.

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The student’s challenge will be after the October break to process what they learnt from the camp about these sites and traditions and apply this to their inquiries into what makes a heritage site, how they are chosen as well as how they are preserved for future generations.

Finally I would like parents to think about this question in terms of their own heritage and tradition, what is one thing from your own heritage you think is very important and worth keeping to pass on to future generations in your family, why?

Greg Parker
PYP coordinator