Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5 essential elements of PYP and formative tasks

While preparing a unit of inquiry, the PYP programme requires one to constantly keep the 5 essential elements (Knowledge, Concepts, Attitudes, Skills, Action) in mind. These elements have to be assessed by the end of the unit. I created this screen cast to show how I go about planning a unit.(I also feel confident enough to 'um' my way through the screencast and post it :). By talking to myself, I endevour to make connections with the various elements.

In order to guide the students through the unit , it is imperative that I read up a bit about the concepts that will be addressed in the unit. (in this case, migration, change and perspective.) Reading books, watching documentaries, talking to colleagues in school , and sharing my thoughts on the blog and twitter, help me slowly build up knowledge and a passion for the unit. It is only then that I am ready to guide the learners on their journey. Along the way, I continue to learn with them and about them. In preparation for the unit, I watched The Last Train ( a documentary on Chinese annual migration) and finished reading Chris Cleave's, The Little Bee. I felt connected as I was able to peer into the lives of migrants and empathize with them.

As indicated in the screencast, learners will appreciate the need to resolve conflicts as they understand how conflicts may arise as a result of migration.

In the following videos, the students have been asked to show their understanding of how to identify a conflict and resolve it. This formative task was assigned after a mini lesson. (Their ideas are listed in one of the videos.) And of course, they had to fight in their groups!

Most of these children are learning to speak English. This did not deter them in any way!

Integarting the arts with the unit of inquiry is not only fun, it is essential. Many people may back out from this, thinking they are not creative. Banish the thought. Every single person has creativity lurking somewhere in them. You have to cajole it out. And you have the responsibility to cajole it out of the kids.
The students had lots of fun painting on pebbles. I modelled how to work on one. I made sure they noticed my passion and the fun I was having creating art. Later, when I looked around the class, I saw each and every child focused on their task. At first my plan was to make them paint something related to the unit, but I saw their hesitation and realized that they needed to play around a little bit and feel comfortable with the new medium. The gradual progression of their work will show how the concept of migration unfolds, unaided.


Perspective on new shoes : Sad

Perspective: Happy

Perspective: Vain



Mother Child refugees

A sea of faces

Pebbles Migrating?

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