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Grade 3s Learn About Others Through Culture Boxes

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The Grade 3 classes completed culture boxes last week to mark the conclusion of their “Where we are in place and time” IB PYP Unit of Inquiry. The central idea for the unit was “cultural knowledge shapes a society and its future.” Throughout the unit, students explored the importance of cultural knowledge and the ways that this knowledge is passed down. 

Before they started to create their boxes, the students had conversations with their families about their cultural backgrounds and the many celebrations, traditions and beliefs that are part of their cultures. Students then decorated shoe boxes in the theme of their cultures and chose three important items from home that they would like to pass down to future generations. 

Blue Heal’s box showcased his family’s Barbados cultural background. In the box, he added a special box his parents bought, Calypso sauce, and three family heirlooms.

“I learned a lot more about my family culture, and it was very fun. I liked it,” he said. “There’s more to Barbados culture than you would think there is. For example, Calypso sauce is 50% Bajan pepper—you won’t find it anywhere else. Sugar cane is very sweet and common in Barbados, and Barbados might be a small island but we have a lot of pizazz to our culture.” 

Aimee Zhang’s box expressed her Chinese family culture. She chose to incorporate hair clips, a lotus flower and a lantern. Aimees’s favorite part of the project was then the Grade 3 classes were able to walk around and see each other’s boxes. They allowed them to ask questions to learn about everyone’s cultural background. 

“The most fun part was everyone coming to see [my box] after and asking me questions about my culture,” said Aimee. “When I went around and saw other students’ boxes, I learned what was valued in their houses.” 

Laird Bjornson used his culture box to display his cultural background from Sweden. In the box, he placed a Nobel fish cutlery set that was made to mark the 90 anniversary of the Nobel Prize, a Norfolk sweater and a golden moose (the official animal of Sweden). 

“I added these items, because if I have kids I want them to have these things, and if I have a little boy he can wear the sweatshirt, and I can pass it down to other generations,” he explained. “I want to pass this down to future generations, so if I have kids then they will know about their Swedish background.” 

Rose Moss featured two cultures in her background; she shared items from her Jewish and Chinese backgrounds. In her culture box, she added a small statue of ferries that her parents received at their wedding, a candle that is plugged into the wall on the anniversary of the death of a loved one and a Lai see.

“I want to pass my cultural box down so that people in my family know what my culture and their culture is about, like a teaching tool,” she said.

Way to go to all the Grade 3s on completing their culture boxes—they looked fantastic!