• 中学校

1-E Peace Project

Following on from Aoki-sensei’s excellent introduction to the topic of “Peace”, students in 1-E recently took part in a day-long exploration of Hama-Rikyu gardens in nearby Hamamatsu Cho, to explore a peaceful place nearby and examine aspects of peace through reading and research.

Before the outing we prepared ourselves by reading about the history and uses of Hama Rikyu. We saw how the garden rests on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay, and evolved over time. We learned about falconry, duck hunting, the tea ceremony and haiku writing, all endeavors engaged in by the various users of the garden. We had a vocabulary list and some readings to digest before setting out to spend the day there.

An additional science activity, supervised by Dr. Stevens, was taking seven water samples from the moat, the ponds, the river bordering the gardens as well as Tokyo Bay, the source of the brackish waters used in the various water bodies in the garden.

We mined our current reading books for peace references which resulted in an exemplary presentation of the characters from the book Refugee by William Grantz and extended to an investigation of United Nations and other agencies that aim to help the plight of refugees worldwide.

Finally, on November 29th, we held an exhibition and sharing event in the lobby of our school to teach and raise awareness of our fellow students and staff on the merits of experiential learning and the ability of us all to find peace in our local environment and lives.

This example of experiential learning proved how much the confidence and communicative language of 1-E students – an eclectic and variably experienced group – had grown since we first met in April. Two important take-aways from the trip were the amount of time spent during the excursion without the use of smartphones (which were only used in the photography activity) and the equitable use of the various levels of English experience that exists in the class.

Many thanks to the students of 1-E and to the teachers and supporters of this ambitious undertaking – an example of deep and collaborative learning that can neither be tested nor evaluated other than by face-to-face encounters with the makers of the haiku, the photography, the science experiment, and the literature presentation.