where we are in place and time

Activity on Civilizations

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Grade 5 is in their second stage of the Inquiry Cycle, “Finding out”. They are learning various aspects of ancient civilizations. The central idea of the unit focuses on “Legacies of the past affect our modern civilizations and its people”, under the transdisciplinary theme “Where We Are in Place and Time”. Their enthusiasm and excitement was aptly reflected in the recent activity carried out in the class based on the ancient written languages and written modes of communication.

The activity focused specifically on broadly four major civilizations, namely Egyptian, Chinese, Roman and Indus Valley Civilization. Although each civilization had devised their unique mode of written communication, the alphabets and symbols were very different from one another.

The children were asked and encouraged to write their names in each of the four languages used hundreds of years ago. The hieroglyphs of the Egyptian civilization along with the unique Chinese alphabets stood out as their favorite. The innovative symbols of their languages kept the students constantly interested, in awe and spellbound.

They enjoyed writing their names and sharing it with their classmates. The pride in their efforts was evident in their wide smiles and their new found knowledge.



Ms. Parul Shekhawat

Homeroom Teacher Grade 5




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“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin.

Young minds are always full of curiosity, enthusiasm, creativity, ideas and what not. It is our responsibility to harness their potential to bring along a process where talent maximizes and skills flourish.

Entering a classroom full of bubbly and enthusiastic children encourages you to create something for them where they can learn, share and explore. Learning takes place when you are involved in the act and not just a bystander. So to go with this thought when I started my unit “Where We Are in Place and Time”, based on migration, I decided to start from the very basic things which the child can easily relate to.

I started with the tuning- in process in the form of an activity which could make the meaning of the word migration very clear to the children. I brought in a globe, some different coloured strings and a world map. The children were curious as to what are we going to do next. I could sense the enthusiasm building. The children were to ask their parents, grandparents beforehand about the place they belong to and if they shifted to the present place what was the reason behind it. With all this information in hand we started with the first step of the activity, which was to mark the country which they belong to and where they are presently living on the world map.

The children had to locate the country which they belong to on the world map and secure a coloured string on it using a push pin. Then they had to locate the country they are living in and secure the other end of the string there using a push pin. While doing the activity they kept on amusingly discussing about how most of their parents had shifted here and the place on the map became too crowded with the push pins. The meaning of the key word ‘migration’ (shift from one place to another for a long time) became clear to them here. This discussion then led to the causes of the shift and then the factors responsible for it and also the effects of migration on the country. The inquiry had started and I became a mere facilitator only answering their questions, sharing their experiences and looking at what was unfolding.

The journey had started and the freedom to research and explore a topic will open new arenas of information and learning experiences.


Ms. Sarita Srivastava

Homeroom Teacher Grade 4


Year 1 Travel Fair

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As a culmination activity for Unit 4 under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’, the Year 1 students enthusiastically conducted a Travel Fair on Thursday 16th March 2017. They showed responsibility, creativity and confidence as travel agents, sharing their knowledge of a chosen country or city.  Prior to the event, the students had created research questions, collected the research from various sources and chose how they would like to present their findings.   The students did such a good job, the visitors are now ready to book their next holiday destinations!

Creating “Ondel-ondel”

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For the grade 5 unit of inquiry on “Where we are in place and time”, students created “Ondel-ondel”, a large puppet that originated from the Betawi ethnic group. The unit of inquiry has the central idea, “exploration of land, sea and space can lead to discoveries, challenges and new understandings.”

1Our students designed “Ondel-ondel”, which was introduced by the Betawi tribe, the native inhabitants of Jakarta. It took two units of inquiry for the students to complete the male and female “Ondel-ondel” because creating the puppets involves a paper mâché technique, where students need to cover boxes with two layers of newspaper and kitchen tissue paper. After the students have completed the two layers, they need to cover the boxes with fox glue, let them dry, and then paint the boxes.2

The students worked in groups in creating “Ondel-ondel”. Last school year, each group, consisting of four to five students, designed the small version of “Ondel-ondel”. This academic year, however, students created the big type of “Ondel-ondel”.

For the big “Ondel-ondel”, each group consisted of 10 to 11 students. The learning engagement started with students’ research and investigation about the characteristics of female and male “Ondel-ondel”. After doing their research, students shared their findings about “Ondel-ondel”. When all the groups had presented their research, we summarized the characteristics of “Ondel-ondel”. Afterwards, students worked on their “Ondel-ondel” using acrylic paint.

3.jpgCreating the puppets taught the students to be inquirers and knowledgeable since students had to explore the history and characteristics of male and female “Ondel-ondel”.

Students also learnt how to work together, solve problems within their groups and respect each other. Furthermore, creating the “Ondel-ondel” taught the students to be responsible in finishing their artwork on time and taking care     of their art tools, including the need to clean them up before class dismissal.

By: Irma Dwi Savitri

Visual Art Teacher



PYP 6-A Journey of Lasting Legacy and Art

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Enthusiastic and willing to try new things, that’s the spirit that appeared when 73 PYP 6 Sekolah Ciputra students and 9 teachers journeyed to the city of art and culture, Jogjakarta, 4-7 October 2016. This is part of the PYP 6 program within the unit Where We Are in Place And Time.  The aim of the trip was for students to study the history, art and culture of along with ways to preserve Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. . The city of Yogyakarta is an ideal choice because the people of Jogja carefully preserve their art and culture. Jogja also has a lot of  interesting historical and archaeological sites that the students were able to explore.  Jogjakarta is also a place where students can directly observe how culture unfolds in society, interact with cultural actors, and learn to appreciate the richness of their cultural heritage. The knowledge and experience that students gained during the study tour gave them important insights when they were challenged to analyze the significance of cultural heritage and how it connects to society in today’s life.

To learn about the elements of visual arts, the students visited the Kasongan village, known for its pottery and Batik Kelik for batik making. Students learnt to be creative in making and painting pottery.  At Kraton Yogyakarta,  Borobudur and Prambanan temples, students saw real examples of how culture is both preserved and experienced by today’s society.  At Padepokan Seni Bagong Kusudiardja,  gathering place for artists of Javanese culture, students were able to interact with artists and learn about creativity in dance and theatre directly from the experts is.

The most interesting experience was when the students visited the Tourism Village of Kebon Agung, just 1 hour from the city. In this village students interacted with people who still live traditionally in a rural setting. Students plowed a rice field and planted rice in a paddy. Moreover, students learnt various skills, such as Javanese gamelan, stringing coconut leaf, processing of rice, and making munchies ‘jemblem’.

The four-day study tour created a lasting impression on the students. In addition to gaining knowledge, they also learnt independence, self-management skills and appreciation for history. This was an important step for our students in learning to organize themselves and adapting to a different social life where the people still uphold cultural values. These life skills will be beneficial for them in the future.



PYP 6 Team Leader Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya




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PYP 2 students  just finished learning about how processes work in creating products, under a unit of HOW WE ORGANIZE OURSELVES.  Students had shown prior knowledge of some concepts, such as function,  change. process and product.  I sent the students a link of a movie that I made at the beginning of the unit. They have to discuss the movie with their parents at home. When they came back to school the next day, they came with some ideas to share, and were ready to classify some products that I brought from home.  I usually call this teaching strategy a Flipped Classroom approach.

Students were learning by  visiting a cow farm to feed the cows and goats, milk cows, and they went to  hydroponic garden to see the  examples of  the cultivation process.  They experienced processing the raw materials such as milk into pudding, or other materials such as paper into a story book or crafts that they made  in the classroom.

Distribution Concept

In the 4th week, students started to learn how products are distributed. It  still needed one more process to reach consumers.  I asked them to have a short chat with their neighbour about any products that they have used.  Then they explored some products made in other countries that my partner and I provided.  The students came up with the ideas of brand, package, location and destination of the products, and also the ideas of export and import.

Students have had enough experience to start to interview their parents and did some research to find more products which were exported or imported.  They watched movie to find out more information about it, too.

Showing a world google map is one of the strategies that  provoked the students to think about how products are distributed around the world. They were challenged to imagine how long  products to arrive in a destination by looking at the map.  They also thought about the transportation needed to distribute large amounts of products.  The students constructed their own conceptual understanding about distribution by finally making a flowchart of how they produced their own product at the end of the unit.



Sekolah Ciputra-Surabaya


Reenactment to Provoke Student’s Inquiry in Learning Indonesian History

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Do you remember how you used to learn about history? I remember memorising so many dates, so many names of heroes, so many names of places and so many other things that I had to memorise to pass the history test. But did I understand why the Diponegoro War happened? Why our beloved country is the way it is now? Why history can influence our life in the future? I am not so sure about that.

In our grade 4 unit of history, with central idea: “Understanding the history of a nation allows us to reflect within ourselves and build future nationalism”, the teachers were thinking about what would be the best way of provoking students inquiry. What would be the provocative activity to get them wonder, and thinking about what’s going on?

At the beginning of the unit, teachers dressed up as college activists with loudspeaker on, they gathered students and provoked them with yells and chants such as; “Turunkan pemerintahan! Turunkan harga sembako! Turunkan harga beras! Turunkan harga minyak! Turunkan presiden! Kami mau reformasi!”


Students were surprised with what’s going on, they followed the teachers to the Multi Purpose Hall, where there were some teachers, dressed as Indonesian armies, tried to block the mob. They all went through the big door, where there was a big paper with “Gedung MPR” posted on the wall. Inside, there was a podium in the middle and students sat on the floor, with the pretend college activists still yelled and chanted all those provoking words.

Suddenly, a very sad well known Indonesian song “Gugur Bunga” echoed and built a sacred ambience around the hall room. A teacher, dressed as President Soeharto gave his last speech of resignation. The Indonesian armies and police officers were behind him. It was the day when Indonesian Reformation happened. It was May 21st 1998.


The college activist cheered with happiness, followed by the students. It was like the day of victory.

And then what?

After the activity, students asked questions like; What was that? What just happened? What is reformation? Is that what happen to our country? Why the president did resign? Why people of Indonesia have all that demands? Why people of Indonesia wanted the president to resign? Can that happen again?

Actually, that were the questions that the teachers are waiting for! That is, a provocation activity all about. The goal to make students interested to the unit was succeeded. From that moment, the teachers and students went back to trace the Indonesian history, starting from May 1998 event, Indonesia’s Independence day event, and went a long way before that.

Students will think about Indonesian History, as an event that they never will forget because they experienced the events. And they don’t have to memorise the dates because they sure remember because they understand. Because history, is in the heart of the people, is in the heart of the students.

Marsaria Primadona (Pima)

PYP Coordinator

Courtesy of Year 4 Teachers

Sekolah Cikal