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Planning the inquiry

1. What is our purpose? To inquire into the following:

Class/grade: Five School: GEMS World Academy Title: Explorers

Age group: 10-11 School code: 500586

transdisciplinary theme PYP planner

Where we are in place and time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilisations from local and global perspectives.

Teacher(s): Tony Potts, Neal Clark, Sarah Noye Date: August October Proposed duration: number of hours over number of weeks 6

central idea

Throughout time humans have been driven to explore the world and make new discoveries.
Summative assessment task(s): What are the possible ways of assessing students understanding of the central idea? What evidence, including student-initiated actions, will we look for? 2. What do we want to learn? What are the key concepts (form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility, reflection) to be emphasized within this inquiry?

Causation: Why is it like it is? Press conference/interview/hot seating (using the green room to video!) Change: How is it changing? Responsibility: What is our responsibility?
What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?

Further options: to get them using video tools for their ICT collaboration, animoto etc...? Assessment in ICT as far as skills using digital tools e.g video/digital camera, and online software.(LF) Create a google earth film, using 'screencast' tool (webcam in laptops), students give commentary over destinations explored across the planet (ICT)

Explorations; past, present and future Reasons people explore The impact of explorations and discoveries on our world today

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

Students will, in pairs, assume the roles of reporter/interviewer and famous explorer. Students will be required to present a role-played interview which uncovers the life of the explorer, the reasons they chose to explore and the impact of discoveries made.

1. 2. 3. 4.

How have explorations changed over time? (Change/Form) How has exploration changed our knowledge & understanding of the world? How have explorations impacted on us and the world? (Causation/Responsibility) What responsibilities accompany new explorations and discoveries?

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Planning the inquiry

3. How might we know what we have learned? This column should be used in conjunction with How best might we learn? What are the possible ways of assessing students prior knowledge and skills? What evidence will we look for?

4. 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?


Students to write individual, then group, definitions

of "explorers" and "discoveries" Brainstorming charts of famous explorers and their journeys/discoveries Brainstorming charts of famous discoveries - even if the explorer/discoverer is not known
What are the possible ways of assessing student learning in the context of the lines of inquiry? What evidence will we look for?

Diaries of explorers and famous expeditions; students can try their hand at being explorers and keeping journals - books, video & audio clips could all be good stimulus material Exploration of the school - students as explorers and reflections afterwards Interviews with explorers Youtube etc Reading buddies practicing using good questioning techniques in order to produce mini-biographies

TEACHER DIRECTED LEARNING EXPERIENCES Specific interviewing techniques, questioning skills etc. Language link: biographies of famous/less famous explorers. Focus on note taking into retrieval charts and students can practice orally summarizing their notes. Use jigsaw techniques to have students teach their peers about different explorers. Add information to a giant grid on display in the classroom.

Interview of explorer. Will look for evidence in interview of factual information of explorer as well as reasons why he/she explored


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?

Access to explorers' journals as a primary source - eg. Douglas Mawson (Antarctica), Cook (Australia), Video footage of first moon landing, space exploration Movies - "Explorers" (1985) - Ethan Hawke/River Phoenix - fantasy/space exploration film; "Scott of the Antarctic" (1948) - videos of explorers, scott of the antarctic etc...

How will the classroom environment, local environment, and/or the community be used to facilitate the inquiry?

A visit to Ibn Batutta mall to look at the travels, explorations & discoveries of Ibn Batutta Heritage village in Dubai/Abu Dhabi? (worth investigating) Any Emirati nationals who have explored/discovered and made significant contributions to the local/national/global community? Links with the GWA planetarium - space exploration & discoveries of significance

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Reflecting on the inquiry

6. To what extent did we achieve our purpose? Assess the outcome of the inquiry by providing evidence of students understanding of the central idea. The reflections of all teachers involved in the planning and teaching of the inquiry should be included.

7. To what extent did we include the elements of the PYP? What were the learning experiences that enabled students to:

develop an understanding of the concepts identified in What do we want to learn? Students categorized their research into different who, what, where, why, and how concepts that proved to be the driving force behind the content of their explorer interviews.

Students exhibited an understanding of the central idea through the process of researching, collecting and organizing information about their selected explorers as well as their ability to produce an interview that detailed their learning experience. Students showed an adequate understanding of the reasons why people explore as well the importance (or relevance) of making new discoveries for mankind.

demonstrate the learning and application of particular transdisciplinary skills? Graphing was a major focus of this UOI. Mapping skills and coordinates were addressed with great success.

How you could improve on the assessment task(s) so that you would have a more accurate picture of each students understanding of the central idea.

Assessment could include exploration in a larger context beyond famous explorers and their discoveries/achievements. Science as exploration, discoveries in medicines and vaccines, exploration of space and timeall components which could be woven into the framework of the central idea regarding why people explore. Artisitc connection could be utilized to further assess the students understanding of the central idea.

develop particular attributes of the learner profile and/or attitudes? Students were able to reflect upon their learning through journals while engaging their thinking skills through the creation of the script for the explorer interview. Students communicated their ideas in a creative way by acting out the roles for their interviews.

What was the evidence that connections were made between the central idea and the transdisciplinary theme?

In each case, explain your selection.

Knowledge and application of personal histories, discoveries made and journeys taken by explorers were evident in the process of building the students explorer interviews.

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Reflecting on the inquiry

8. What student-initiated inquiries arose from the learning? Record a range of student-initiated inquiries and student questions and highlight any that were incorporated into the teaching and learning.

9. Teacher notes

How has exploration changed our knowledge & understanding of the world?
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.

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 thought of ways to improve their interviews after watching them. Students showed an eagerness to apply their ideas of exploration to other subject areas including science and religion Students seemed genuinely engaged through the process of being their selected explorer

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007