Fourth grade JIP Students Take Part in Global Classroom Project

April 25, 2023

All year long, students in Kennington Sensei’s 4th grade JIP class has been working and learning alongside a partner classroom of students in Nagano, Japan. Their goal was to learn more about rice as a staple food and how it might serve as a sustainable solution to food scarcity. Students researched, shared ideas, and put together a presentation in which they explored the different types of rice, the impact of agriculture on the environment, and how sustainable each type was in given climates. Throughout this process, students communicated with their partner classroom, learning about one another as well as about the topic.

This past week, Josie and Jaxon represented their classmates in presenting the class's findings at a share fair attended by the representatives of other classes around the county participating in the Global Classroom Project, including elementary, middle, and high school students. Superintendent Michelle Reid was also on hand to see the students' work. We are so proud of Jaxon, Josie, and all their classmates! In their own words, here's the impact Joie and Jaxon say the project had on them:


Before I joined this project or JIP, I didn’t have much experience with the world, so I would assume that my way of thinking was right. What JIP taught me is that other people or maybe even you might do things differently, but that doesn’t mean that they are right or wrong. People also have different cultures and do things differently, like making food, what they wear, or even how they learn. GCP (Global Classroom Project) taught me even more about different ways of living and culture. We focused on learning about rice! You might think that that is odd but half the world's cultures have something to do with rice!  We also had a partner school in Japan called Chubu Elementary, and we communicated through flipgrid. They taught us about Japan and themselves. Most of them grow their own rice! GCP lets JIP students study more about other  cultures. Perspective is the main thing we are being taught. It could be what you and a classmate think about math or illusions. Learning about this helps you understand that difference can bring color and variety to our world! Rice is something to share with the world, and with people of different cultures. 


The GCP showcase helped me learn many new things about rice and how this very basic food item helps people all over the world.  In addition to the different kinds of rice, I didn’t know there were different sizes of the grain and how different regions of the world use the grain differently.  For example, when I was studying about Bhutan, I learned about red rice, the different “nutty” flavor and how they consume many tons of this special food item.   In our class and preparing for the GCP, we learned about the different countries as top rice producers and consumers. China was the leader for both of the two categories by far! That blew me away and made me think that rice was so important to over 1 billion Chinese people!  Studying for the GCP also helped me to think about the global impact of food.  When I saw a Japanese map, I realized that Japan is on the eastern edge but surrounded by other Asian countries, like Virginia is surrounded by other states in America.  That got me thinking that other countries have different perspectives and customs. Different countries have different cultures, languages, and different ways of doing things; even more than eating rice differently. That really taught me something because I used to think that doing things we do in America were the same ways of doing things in other countries too. Now I know I was wrong.  The GCP really made me think more globally because It made me think bigger and made me wonder. Now if I were doing something, it makes me think, how would countries do this? I think that the GCP project made me start to think differently, and  was definitely one of the best projects I have ever done in my life