12 June 2012

Connections Across the Curriculum

Our units of inquiry really drive our school's curriculum and that could be seen so clearly over the past couple of days. In this unit Sharing the Planet we have used our language curriculum to support our unit by learning how to research information, take notes and then use those notes to write descriptions in our own words. That's a lot of steps. Today students completed the final stages of their animal descriptions. As editor-in-chief I went through these descriptions to identify opportunities for sentence improvement and errors in grammar and spelling. The students then corrected their descriptions after reading my feedback. These will become the placards that accompany the zoo enclosure models we are building, just like you find in Zürich Zoo.

Yesterday the class spent time looking back on their learning. They showed their knowledge and understanding of the main concepts we have been exploring in this unit:
survival
behaviour
needs
strategies 
habitat
environment
adaptation
classification
responsibility 
rights
The students wrote about what these concepts meant in the context of our unit with supporting examples. It's a demanding task but the PYP is all about concept driven curriculum, so the concepts need to be taught explicitly and in an age appropriate way to students. I must say I was delighted with the clarity of writing and level of understanding! This piece will be in each student's portfolio. 

In addition to all this writing we've been constructing our model enclosures in art. Each model is a 3D representation of what each student has learned about creating an environment to match their researched animal's needs, strategies and behaviours. Our classroom looked like a tornado passed thorough with paper grass, clay, paper maché, glue, paint seemingly everywhere! However, the tidy up crew did a good job at the end of the day. Students demonstrated great creativity with some very clever ideas for making scenery. To be continued on Thursday.............