Nature Scavenger Hunt

Today English Class first and and second graders joined forces to participate in a nature scavenger hunt at a nearby park. Second graders paired up with first graders and then set off to look for the listed items.

Once the children had found the specified objects, their challenge was to create a face using some of the things they had found. Below are more personable characters that the children created.

In addition to learning new vocabulary, the children had an opportunity to socialize and work cooperatively to create something unique from their found materials. It was an engaging learning activity from start to finish.

First Graders and Their Peer Pals Meet and Play

It was an experience of mutual joy when the English Class first graders met their English Class fifth grade peer pals this Monday. Right away they set off hand-in-hand to play together in a nearby park so they could better get to know one another.

The fifth graders take their responsibilities of being peer pals to the first graders quite seriously. Their goal is to create an sense of belonging and inclusion for the first graders. This happens when the fifth graders act as special friends to the first graders, guiding them to the right people at school if and when they need help, teaching them recess games, guiding them in traffic safety, encouraging them when something feels challenging. The Peer Pal programme makes a difference. Ask the first graders or anyone who has been a first grader at our school! ❤

The First Two Days as a First Grader

On the first day of school English Class first graders discovered that someone was even more worried and afraid about the first day than they were! That “someone” was their class mascot, Teddy Bear Bob, who was discovered hiding high above the maps at the front of the classroom. It didn’t take long for Teddy Bear Bob to discover that the new first grade class is simply delightful, so he moved down to sit on top of the piano where can he sit and quietly observe.

As one of the first orders of business the first graders crafted name and picture labels for the coat rack so that they know where to find their things. They also went to the local park for some extra playtime because their teacher, Ms. Tellervo, knows that a socially inclusive classroom begins with children playing together.


Walk in the rain,
smell flowers,
stop along the way,
build sandcastles,
go on field trips,
find out how things work,
tell stories,
say the magic words,
trust the universe.
~Bruce Williamson

Wednesday of this week was neither warm nor sunny, even though May is almost at its end, but that did not matter to the English Class first and second graders and their teachers when they went to Yyteri Beach for their class trip.  Dressed in weather-appropriate clothing, the children brought along their imaginations, as well as pails and shovels, to create sandcastles along the shoreline.

The sandcastles had proper moats and turrets and were decorated with small shells and reeds found along the beach. The children worked in small groups with intensity and interest. There is something almost intoxicating about the joyous experience of making sandcastles!


Shadow Drawing

On a sunny Monday English Class first and second graders paired up to create drawings of shadows that they each cast. The poses were quite expressive, but throughout the playground admonishments of, “Stay still!” could be heard. (Our first and second graders seem to have lots of energy when it is warm and sunny!)

Some of the children coloured in the clothing on the shadow figures. Others added sticks, stones and plant material to add details like hair and facial features.

A few pairs bonded to create a disco of dancing shadow figures. The disco had walls, a floor and even a disco ball drawn above the dancers! (See the photo in the upper left of the photo collage above.) The figure in the photo in the lower right of the collage is wearing a sturdy necklace made of wood!

By far the best part of the experience was listening to the first grade and second grade shadow artists as they participated in the process of creating their shadow folk! All sorts of descriptions and stories unfolded as they worked!

First Graders and the Kindergarten Go on a Nature Walk

Spring has spring in Pori at long last! English Class first graders and kindergarten children, together with Ms. Leena and Ms. Eevaliisa, went to experience spring first hand at Polsanpolku on Kirjurinluoto. After completing their spring diaries, the first graders knew what signs of spring to look for. While Ms. Leena was pointing out wood anemones that were growing a bit offside the path to the two classes, a chaffinch alighted on a nearby branch close to the children and began to singing its song lustily. (You can hear a chaffinch singing here.) The pull-rope ferry wasn’t in operation yet, but that didn’t make very much difference to anyone because there was so much to see and hear anyway.

Back at school Ms. Leena used picture cards to review things that the children had seen and heard on their nature walk. It was a perfect spring field trip!

First Grade Spring Diaries

Spring was slow to come to Pori this year. However, English Class first graders have been keeping track of its advance by keeping journals of their observations in their very own Spring Diaries. From snow to rain, the first blades of green grass and buds on trees to bees, butterflies and ants, first graders recorded evidence of the changing seasons.  For some first graders and their families this record keeping of spring observations became a project that the whole family could enjoy.