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Planning the inquiry

1. What is our purpose? Class/grade: 3 Age group: 8 – 9 School code: 7500

To inquire into the following:
School: American International School of Abu Dhabi
• Transdisciplinary theme: Where We are in Place and Time:
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and Title: Up, Up and Away
journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the PYP planner
relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and Teacher(s): V. Golzari, G. Dickson, M. Miller, M. Wojtukiewicz, Sarah Qadir
civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
Date: May 2009

Central Idea: The solar system relates to life on Earth. Proposed duration: 60 hours over 5 weeks

Responsible person: Matthew

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,
• Students choose their own inquiry and present their understandings to the perspective, responsibility, reflection) to be emphasized within this inquiry?
class through a skit, puppet show, play, poster, demonstration etc. Causation, Change & Perspective
• Writing Prompt:
What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?
• Assessment activity shows vision of past, present and future • human ideas of the solar system over time (perspective)
• Choice of game board or memory game (needs review for 2009/ 2010)
• the movement of the Earth and the Moon. (causation)

• Space Exploration (change)

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

• How have humans attempted to understand their place in the solar

system? (perspective)

• How does the motion of the Moon and the Earth around the Sun create
the phases of the moon. (causation)

• What reasons do we have for space exploration? (change)

Learner Profile Focus 2009/ 2010: Inquirers & Knowledgeable

Attitudes Focus 2009/ 2010: Confidence & Curiosity
© 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?
Discovery Works, Unit B, Sun, Moon and Earth.
What evidence will we look for?
• B34 Sun Dial; B36 Star Clock; B72 Homemade Eclipses
Pre-assessment: • Draw or recreate the different phases of the moon
• Students draw a picture of what they think the solar system looks like. • Draw or recreate the solar system
• Students draw a mind map of the solar system and/or list anything they • Keep a Moon Journal – draw and write about observations of the moon.
know about the solar system. • Describe and explain about tides, and gravity.
• Brainstorm ideas after watching a video (basics about space from the • Read and record facts about the different planets and other celestial bodies.
library) • Learn about other celestial bodies such as asteroids and comets.
• Students are grouped and named after the planets in the solar system • Complete a table of planet distances and facts.
• Reading: Tommy Tales Parts 1 and 2 Goes to Mars (life on other planets and and
conditions for humans to live there).
• Discuss Science fiction fantasy genres of reading and writing.
• Writing: Read Postcards from Pluto and Magic School Bus Children write a
postcard home, including 2 facts about their planet that they “visited”.
• Writing Prompt: Write a speech for the presentation using a Guided Writing
• Math: Time and Calendar, Geometry (refer to math overview for the year)
• Art: Sketching; Marbleize Paper; Oobleck (cornstarch, water and food coloring)
What are the possible ways of assessing student learning in the context of the • Music: Movement in Direct and Indirect Paths
lines of inquiry? What evidence will we look for? • P.E.: Vocabulary – revolve, rotate, revolution, gravity, paths, orbit, impact,
• Children will keep a Moon Journal and draw and write about their collision
observations of the phases of the moon. • Arabic: The importance of the moon to Islam; the Islamic lunar calendar; name
• Complete a booklet that describes the differences between the planets in the planets and the moon in Arabic.
our Solar System. (a drawing of the planet and at least one fact for each • Moon Journal, (kept) for 1 month or lunar cycle)
• Vocabulary Test of the Main Bodies in the Solar System. 08/09:
• Write the Speech for the presentation. • Bulletin boards to be completed by students
• Read stories focused on past, present and future of our solar system, make
connections in order to come to some understanding of the journey made by
• draw what you think space looks like, then research planets, prepare an info
poster using info from Simple Machine unit)

What opportunities will occur for transdisciplinary skills development and for the development of
the attributes of the learner profile?

5. What resources need to be gathered?
What people, places, audio-visual materials, related literature, music, art, computer software, etc, will be available?

• Cornstarch MUST be ordered for Ooblick. (try Lulu at al Whada or Abella supermarket)
• AISA Library for books and videos about the solar system (see attached list).
• Internet sources and interactive sites i.e. NASA
• Children’s own books to share with the class
• Scott and Foresman Text, Reading A-Z books and Enchanted Learning booklets to be made
• Moon Journals to be made or bought (Science books with 1 page lined to write on and 1 page blank to draw on).
• Materials needed for the children to make and participate in the various activities
• Discovery Works, Unit B, Sun, Moon and Earth.
• Scotts Foreman: Story: Floating house

How will the classroom environment, local environment, and/or the community be used to facilitate the inquiry?
• Word Wall
• Books on display
• Images of the solar system

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Reflecting on the inquiry

6. To what extent did we achieve our purpose? 7. To what extent did we include the elements of the PYP?
Assess the outcome of the inquiry by providing evidence of students’ What were the learning experiences that enabled students to:
understanding of the central idea. The reflections of all teachers involved in the
In each case, explain your selection.
planning and teaching of the inquiry should be included. (successful)
• develop an understanding of the concepts identified in “What do we want to
• The response of the students inquiry and presentation showed knowledge
of the central idea.

• demonstrate the learning and application of particular transdisciplinary skills?

How you could improve on the assessment task(s) so that you would have a
more accurate picture of each student’s understanding of the central idea. Report card:
Thinking Skills – acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application.
• We need to emphasis the second part of the central idea – how their Communication Skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing,
inquiry relates to Life on Earth. ( make more connections between Earth presenting.
and Space). Self Management Skills – organization, time management.
• Include a few more hands on activities, not just researching in books.

• develop particular attributes of the learner profile and/or attitudes?

Confidence – Students look up different sources of information to answer the
What was the evidence that connections were made between the central idea questions they have about space.
and the transdisciplinary theme?
Knowledgeable – Students will acquire concepts, ideas and find issues about
• Timeline of the past to the future. space that may concern us here on Earth
• How life may be sustained by other planets in the future. Inquirer – Students will develop their enjoyment and curiosity as they pose their
individual questions about space and search for their answers (and share them
with each other).

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

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 • Arabic: Behaviors – what are they?
that were incorporated into the teaching and learning. • How to take care of things e.g. the beach and the sea
• What is a worm hole? • Thinking about helping others and solving problems (conflict resolution)
• What do astronauts do on the moon and why do they go there? • How to read the Koran
• Why is Jupiter the biggest planet? • The importance of learning in Islam
• Why has Pluto been demoted and what is it now? • Social Studies – What are our belongings and how to take care of
• What effect does gravity have on people on earth? them, civic duties e.g. schools and hospitals
• How does weightlessness affect astronauts in space? • Vocabulary: New Moon, Crescent Moon, Quarter Moon, Gibbous
• Why do people want to know about Mars so much? (Three Quarter ) Moon, Full Moon, Gibbous, Quarter, Crescent, New.
• What is the life cycle of a star? • Always try to start with a full moon. Waxing when growing, waning
• What are the different kinds of planets in our solar system? when getting less. Right to Left
• Will people ever live in space and what will they need to do this? Math: C12 Dividing 2 digit numbers with 1 -5, with remainders
• How old is the sun and how long will it stay like it is? Fractions
• Why does the Earth have atmosphere and what does it do?
• What are asteroids and do we need to be concerned about them? 08/09:
• How do rockets get into space from Earth and how long does it take to get to • focus on a week past, a week present and a week future worked well
our nearest neighboring planet?
• the moon journal took too long and didn’t achieve what we expected
• there are many great websites to explore
At this point teachers should go back to box 2 “What do we want to learn?” and • smart board next year will totally accommodate us in this inquiry
highlight the teacher questions/provocations that were most effective in driving the • art activities tied in well
inquiries. • combination science and social studies (journey) worked for 4 teachers
out of 5. Our theme is social studies based; we need to be aware of that.
• Summative assessment: Choice of game board or memory game needs
review for 2009/ 201 as it doesn’t reflect understanding of the central idea in a
relevant way

What student-initiated actions arose from the learning?

Record student-initiated actions taken by individuals or groups showing their ability to
reflect, to choose and to act.
• Students continued with the Moon Journal independently.
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

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