The Sugihara Story


At the end of last week and the beginning of this week, Grade 5 classes read the story Passage to Freedom by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee. This very powerful story tells of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986) and how he saved approximately 10,000 Jewish refugees during WWII.

We had some very interesting discussions about the moral dilemma he and his family faced when confronted with a difficult decision. We also learned that the ‘Golden Rule’ is universal among all people.


Decisions and Circle of Life for Grade 5


Something a bit different for the grade 5s this week. We read Karen Hesse’s The Cats in Krasinski Square and talked about how people fought back against the Nazi regime during WWII. This was an interesting discussion, especially as the Grade 5s have recently finished the unit “Who Makes the Decisions.”

Their current unit is “Circle of Life” and we then looked at the amazing TED video by Alexander Tsiaras that shows conception to birth. I think it makes us appreciate how each of us came into the world. You can watch it below:

Sky High


Grade 2-5 classes this week are learning about a little known part of US history from the book Sky High: the true story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss (author of Amelia’s notebooks, and many others). This book is about one woman’s dream to fly planes and how in WWII she joined WASP (Woman Airforce Service Pilots) and helped the US in the war.

This inspiring story of determination shows us that if we have persistence and make the most of opportunities that come our way, we can achieve our dreams.

To learn more about WASP we watched this video from the Wings Across America website: