Welcome to our 5th unit of inquiry of the academic year; Exploration leads to discoveries, opportunities and new understanding. A historically exciting, informative and knowledge based 6 weeks of learning.
Our ‘Tuning in’ started with a treasure hunt learning engagement. The learners were provided with a map of the school, a list of clues of where the treasure could be found and also each group had a teacher to assist them. It was heart-warming to see learners running to every nook and cranny of the school with the help of the map and clues to find the hidden treasures. In addition to this, all the teams showed great teamwork, enthusiasm and cooperation in finding the treasure.Even though only one group was able to find one out of the three treasures, they really enjoyed it. “Can we have another treasure hunt?” Razziyah, a student, asked. After that, we engaged the learners in a discussion about the reasons for the treasure hunt learning engagement and it was there that a learner, Jad, used the word ‘explore’. This then lead to student provocations after the introduction of the central idea. The following are some of the teacher-student questions provocations;
- What comes to your mind when you hear the word “exploration?”
- Why do people explore?
- What is the impact of exploration?
- How does exploration help people to understand the world better?
- What do you think is the next biggest exploration to happen or ongoing?
- Do you know any famous explorer? Etc.
In addition, the learners used the web cluster strategy to write their first thought of the word “exploration” and used either a learner profile or attitude to describe the actions of explorers.
Next was the finding out stage. The finding out stage offered the learners the opportunity to research and present two explorers of the top 10 famous explorers in the world in groups of two.
Secondly, the learners presented their findings using either PowerPoint or poster on ‘The Age of Exploration’ showing trade route of early explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco Da Gama, Sir Francis Drake, Christopher Columbus etc., their reasons for exploring and the challenges they encountered on their various journeys. Also, we embarked on a trip to the largest slave dungeon and the first castle to be built on the coast of West Africa by the Portuguese in 1482, the Elmina castle, about 6 km west of Cape Coast. It is worth mentioning that Madam Saandeepa Chavan, our PYP cordinator, volunteered as a guest lecturer and talked about the “Age of exploration”.
After that, we sorted all the information from the finding out stage here; sorting out. We used the PNI (Positives, negatives and interesting) learning strategy where the learners wrote about the positives, negatives and interesting things about exploration. The learner went on to use the six thinking hats to analyse a chosen explorer as well as assigning the explorers to a group e.g. the same date of birth, place of exploration, year of exploration etc.
Making connections was our next stop. Here, the learners used the Venn diagram to compare and contrast two chosen explorers based on their own categories (date of birth, findings, tools used, strategies, crew, technology, nationality, impacts, etc.).
During Going further stage, the learners read about maps and its features, they decided to create their fictional maps with suitable legends/keys. In addition, we watched a YouTube video about the ever stellar solar system.
Finally, the learners had to reflect on their six-week long learning experience and write about ‘If I was an explorer………’ at the ‘Reflection and taking action stage’. It was exhilarating reading some of the wonderful pieces penned down by the learners.
What inspiring young ones we have?!
See you soon,