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Planning the inquiry

1. What is our purpose? Class/grade: 3 Age group: 7-9 years

To inquire into the following:
School: Trinity Lutheran College – Primary School School code: 7274

• transdisciplinary theme Title: Sharing the Planet

PYP planner
Sharing the Planet Teacher(s): C. Byrne, V. Lewis, S. Grey and D. Mackenzie

• central idea Date: Term 2, 2009

It is our responsibility to live in harmony with the environment. Proposed duration: 15 hours over 6 weeks

Summative assessment task(s):

What are the possible ways of assessing students’ understanding of the central 2. What do we want to learn?
idea? What evidence, including student-initiated actions, will we look for? What are the key concepts (form, function, causation, change, connection,
perspective, responsibility, reflection) to be emphasized within this inquiry?
• Observations and reflections in Inquiry book.
• Assessment of Research skills using checklist Responsibility Related concept: Connection
• Assessment of webquest. “ Endangered Animals” focusing on causes and effect
of man’s impact and solutions being made to assist the animals survival.
Evidence that students have used this learning in their own story. What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?
• Teacher observations of participation and thoughts expressed in class activities
and discussions. • Interdependence within ecosystems and environments
• Students to construct a narrative based on the main character which is an • How humans can affect the balance of ecosystems
endangered animal. Narrative to show an understanding of the habitat and
problems facing the creature, and the resolution to show a possible solution/s. What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?
• Complete a workbook and web quest on the Lorax. Students create a flow chart
showing the effects of the Oncler’s actions, draw a diagram to show their Modified: What is an ecosystem?
understandings about living things, habitats and the relationship between living
things in an environment and create a story board for possible changes that Core: Explain how things are interdependent within an ecosystem.
could have been made to sustain the environment.
Student self/peer assessment: Extension: What would be the effect on the ecosystem if a part of it was removed or
Students complete personal reflections on an Activity sheet to show their thinking on altered?
their own learning.
Modified: What problems do humans create within an ecosystem?

Core: How are some parts of various ecosystems becoming endangered?

Extension: Justify why it is our responsibility to ensure ecosystems remain balanced?

Other questions:

What are the differences between extinct, endangered and threatened species?

How does what I do now change what happens in the future?

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Planning the inquiry
3. How might we know what we have learned? 4. How best might we learn?
This column should be used in conjunction with “How best might we learn?” What are the learning experiences suggested by the teacher and/or students to
encourage the students to engage with the inquiries and address the driving questions?
What are the possible ways of assessing students’ prior knowledge and skills? What
evidence will we look for? • Web of life activities: Show how all parts of an ecosystem are interconnected
using a ball of wool. / Animals of the Antarctic – sorting, classifying, diagram /
Journal entries; Mind-mapping; group discussions; ‘More true-than-false’ or ‘More group task.
false-than-true’ strategy; fishbone graphic organiser; Y-chart – perfect environment • Read narrative texts set in different ecosystems/ explore the features of these
(looks like, smells like, feels like); Mystery objects; Photo gallery ecosystems
• Create bulletin board of ecosystem and label
What are the possible ways of assessing student learning in the context of the lines • Draw a food web for ecosystem/group activity/research connections
of inquiry? What evidence will we look for? • Complete web - quests/Lorax and Endangered Animals
• / Individual activity/ ICT and class time - sustainability
• Completion of webquest activities • BBC science bites/ food webs Learning Federation object – Bernie’s
Pond./Man’s impact
• Responses to literature-based activities • Read Lester and Clyde / Discuss man’s impact
• Research in books and Internet on natural features of these environments.
• Accurate depiction of the ‘web of life’, either verbally, kinaesthetically, diagrammatically or in • Participation in community programs to care for the environment. Conduct a
written form rubbish audit of the school.
• Discussion and reflection on environmental messages in picture storybooks.
• Demostrated understanding of why animals become endangered/threatened • Viewing and written analysis of the movie “Fern Gully” and /or “Happy Feet”-
cause and effect of man’s impact.
• Possible solutions to the problems of chosen endangered animal • Designing of a poster communicating our responsibility to the environment.
• Exploration of various environmental websites (see resources section) Big
• Personal goals and reflections on how to live in harmony with the environment.
Books and information texts / endangered animals
• Internet web-quest – Endangered Animals
• Design t- shirt promoting need for saving animals
• Investigate organisations – conservation
• What opportunities will occur for transdisciplinary skills
development and for the development of the attributes of the learner
Caring, Thinker (Attitudes: Commitment, Appreciation)

5. What resources need to be gathered?

What people, places, audio-visual materials, related literature, music, art, computer software, etc, will be available?
- “Dear Greenpeace” Big Book, ‘Where the forest meet the sea’ Big Book, classroom collection of fiction and non fiction books
- ‘Fern Gully’, “The Lorax”, ‘Happy Feet’ Videos, A variety of picture storybooks with an environmental theme “Refugees”, “The Last Tree”, “Where the Forest Meets the Sea”, Information
texts and brochures, -Internet , “The Lorax”, “V is for Vanishing”, “One Less Fish”,” Letser and Clyde” “The World that we Want”, “The Lonely Whale”, “Uno’s Garden”, “Whaddya mean?” –
Environmental organizations, Arts Council “Enviro Show”, Dominic (GECKO) 0415515185 educators@gecko.org.au , Websites:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/sysm/eco/flash/flash.shtml - Eco friendly mission; http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/alienattack.htm - Save the Earth Quest;
- What is wrong with this picture?; http://www.epa.gov/kids/ - Environment Kids Club; www.futurescapes.com ; www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/ Gold Coast City Council website
- Cassowary and “Bernie’s Pond” Learning Federation objects, BBC science bites- food web interactive
How will the classroom environment, local environment, and/or the community be used to facilitate the inquiry?
Visits to school environment and local environment and parklands; displays in rooms utilising library resources, bulletin boards, art work and group posters
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007
6. To what extent did we achieve our purpose? 7. To what extent did we include the elements of the PYP?
What were the learning experiences that enabled students to:
Greater integration with ICT teacher and planning learning experiences with
their support gave purposeful direction to the guided inquiry. Web quests were Concepts were planned for carefully in the web quests and literature studies so that
refined and added to from previous year so that they were more clear in their children were able to readily engage with a variety of sources suitable for their reading
direction to meet assessable outcomes. abilities. These activities built on their knowledge of s us tainability and our
res pons ibility in ensuring harmony is achieved. Interactive sites and group tasks
Integration with English was extremely successful as it allowed for the building further explored the concept of c onnec tions by looking at c aus e and effec t.
of children’s knowledge and understandings by drawing on their collective
enthusiasm for narratives and viewing of videos. Relevant information was • Within the unit students developed and applied a set of transdisciplinary skills.
presented in a manner that was suited to the age of the students. Thinking skills were developed through class discussions and individual story
writing by students using the information gathered to explain relationships within
ecosystems and the importance of conservation through harmonious involvement
Group activities allowed children to share and build on their knowledge by of humans. Social skills such as cooperation, group decision - making and roles
sharing and discussing their ideas in a non - threatening environment. within groups were applied during small group and whole class activities to enable
successful learning. Communication and research skills were built on through
The classroom environment supported the unit through bulletin boards and students accessing search engines that were pitched at their level allowing them to
displaying of group and individual findings so that children were constantly make inferences and draw conclusions from the information. The graphic planner
exposed to their learning and discoveries. assisted students with the organising of their note taking and supported their
independent narrative writing with factual information.

Inclusion of independent inquiry related to the unit in the weekly homework grid From their study students have considered ways to show that they c are for the
allowed students to explore concepts further and also encouraged parents to be environment. They have considered ways that even the smallest action can impact
involved in the inquiry process with their child. Many children also chose to do positively and created artwork that will help get the message of conservation out to
the optional activities which demonstrated their enthusiasm and keen interest. others. Their investigation of environmental organisations have shown them the positive
impact man can have and explains how they can become involved. Their inquiry has
challenged them to think creatively about what they have learned and to present the
environmental concerns for animals to a wider audience by sharing their stories on
endangered animals.
Reflecting on the inquiry

8. What student-initiated inquiries arose from the learning? 9. Teacher notes

Record a range of student-initiated inquiries and student questions and highlight any that 2007 - Prior to the excursion to the park, teachers spoke to the parent-helpers about what
were incorporated into the teaching and learning. we were hoping students to get out of the excursion. This was a really useful exercise
which resulted in higher-order thinking from the students and gave them a purpose for
Students independently investigated ‘favourite’ endangered animals (Siberian tiger, visiting the park.
Peregrine falcon, Lynx, etc) using google searches and the search engines from the
Trinity intranet site at home. POSSIBLE SPEAKERS FOR USE IN 2008

Students were interested to investigate the difference between the terms ‘endangered’, • Guest speaker from the Gold Coast Council talking about the programs in place to
‘protected’, ‘threatened’ and ‘critically endangered’ counteract negative effects of nature and man on the environment.

Inquiries into native and introduced species of Australia led to a number of discussions • Guest speaker from Gecko on environmental issues/Web of life/ Things we can do
about dingoes. A number of students found their prior knowledge of dingoes was to make a difference
challenged when they discovered through the inquiries of others that dingoes were
introduced thousands of years ago.
• 2009-05-30

• Greater integration with ICT

At this point teachers should go back to box 2 “What do we want to learn?” and highlight
the teacher questions/provocations that were most effective in driving the inquiries.
Qld Syllabus outcomes

What student-initiated actions arose from the learning? SOSE

Record student-initiated actions taken by individuals or groups showing their ability to TCC 2.3 Students cooperatively evaluate how people have contributed to changes in the local
reflect, to choose and to act. environment.
PS 2.2 Students predict possible consequences for an ecological system when an element is
A small group of students identified a rubbish problem in the school grounds and
questioned whether students at our school were taking responsibility for living in Science
harmony with the environment. They independently organised and managed rubbish
pick-ups during lunch breaks. LL2.1 Students look for patterns and relationships between the features of different living things and
how those living things meet their needs.
LL2.3 Students make links between different features of the environment and the specific needs of
living things.
Students shared their knowledge through performing a presentation in front of the whole
school about caring for the environment. E s s ential L earnings
P lac e and S pac e –Resources and environments can be used, conserved and protected by valuing and
applying sustainable practices.
S c ienc e – stewardship of the environment involves conserving natural resources
Some students decided to enter the ‘wipe out waste’ competition run by the Gold Coast Living things depend on the environment and each other.
City Council.

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007