After six weeks of in depth inquiry, it’s time for the boys to share their extensive knowledge, skills and passion with the rest of the school community. The excitement levels are high as the boys design, modify and setup their exhibition spaces.
With the whole school available to us, our exhibition space is large with groups in classrooms, hallways, outdoors and in our library.
After setting up the boys had the opportunity for an Exhibition practice as the rest of the school (K-5) visited their exhibitions throughout the afternoon, adding to the hype and excitement. It was refreshing to see the younger boys so engaged and interested in what was being presented with many amazing questions asked and a real sense of awe at what they were seeing…
With just under two weeks until our presentation, there is a real buzz in the classroom as boys are busy preparing items for their groups Exhibition. There are boys working independently and collaboratively as they piece together artworks, artefacts, written and spoken texts, images, music and the list goes on!
As the boys work on these elements of their exhibition they are sorting out their information and making connections between different components as well as with other topics (under the banner of how we organise ourselves).
Mr C led a workshop on the effective and appropriate use of technology as a learning tool. We considered the ‘purpose’ of technology within the context of presenting our Exhibition and analysed the different levels of complexity that we can incorporate into our presentations by considering the following triangle.
When brainstorming different examples of technology (hardware, software, online) we were able to think of a large number of examples and discussed which level of the pyramid they would fit into. It was interesting to see what was suggested as there were many examples that we were familiar with but they weren’t necessarily on our mind at the time!
Today, there was a buzz in the classroom as we considered how we were going to present our extensive knowledge of our topics. There were many familiar ideas and a few unique ones as well.
We agreed that our information had to be ORGANISED and the presentation style needed to MATCH the information and vice versa. We also discussed the importance of demonstrating a variety of presentation styles (remember, we’re aiming for the summit in our assessment rubric) to attract, inform and persuade our viewers.
Today we watched and reflected on two prompts that demonstrated how people take action in different ways. Action is an important element of the PYP and through our Exhibition inquiries we aim to demonstrate ACTION of some sort.
The two prompts that we watched sparked an interesting discussion and sharing of ideas. We all thought that they were powerful forms of action!
Over the last couple of weeks we developed our Central Idea, worked out our Groups and Lines of Inquiry, designed our Essential Questions. Now we’ve been assigned our Mentors and Supervisors and we’re right into the Finding Out phase of our inquiries.
During this phase it’s important that we make contact with our Mentors and Supervisors as they’ll help us to make sure that we’re on task and on the right track… We’ve also got to talk to them about our plans to find out what we need to and explain to them how we plan on doing so.
This week already, there have been many groups who have written emails and/or made phone calls to primary and secondary sources of information. Some groups have even visited organisations that relate to their inquiries. It has been very exciting and we’re all learning a lot with each experience! The biggest things that we’ve learnt so far is the importance of being prepared (questions and information) and the huge value that can be gained from talking to an ‘expert’ in their area!
Our Exhibition is an important celebration of our learning and our skills and it will our form our summative assessment for our Unit of Inquiry into the theme how we organise ourselves.
Therefore, before we started too much work it was important to collaboratively develop some criteria on what success during the Exhibition Unit of Inquiry could look like and what to aim for in order to achieve success!
Together, as a class we worked out what was important to be assessed and then what the different levels could look like…
Here’s what we came up with and, of course, we are aiming for the summit!
We’ve got our theme, we’ve worked out our central idea and we know our topics… so that now leaves our lines of inquiry and the essential questions that will drive our units of inquiry. We’ve spent a lot of time learning about good questioning techniques and the importance of good questions to drive meaningful inquiry so we are relatively knowledgeable in this area.
Lines of inquiry are a little trickier but now that we’re in groups we’re able to share our thinking skills and feed off each other.
Collaboratively, we designed lines of inquiry that we felt would help us address the central idea. Some of our lines of inquiry require tweaking and we’ll be working on the tweaking and essential questions this week.
We’ve created some posters to demonstrate our topic, concepts and lines of inquiry. Here they are…
It is time to decide on topics and organise our groups so that we can start planning and thinking about our chosen issues. We revisited our list of real issues that we identified as fitting under the theme of how we organise ourselves, and being relevant to our central idea, both locally and globally.
From here we chose an issue that we were passionate about and then found others who were also passionate about the same issue. There was a good spread of topics and groups with some minor tweaking here and there to ensure that everyone was in a group as they needed to demonstrate social skills throughout the inquiry.
The issues that we chose can be found on the Exhibition page above.
This week we’ve been working out what a central idea is all about and how to work out whether a central idea is a good one or not…
Firstly, we did some human graphing based on central ideas to work out who thought that they were good and why. Then we learnt about the criteria that make a central idea effective. These are the criteria that we have learnt to consider. Central ideas need to be; written in a neutral voice that does not convey value, invite a range of responses, relevant to the theme, promote conceptual understanding, globally significant, challenging and extending, and a statement written in one sentence.
Armed with this knowledge and understanding we wrote our own central ideas and then looked at each other’s. It was hard at first but after we considered a few it became easier. As a group we identified three central ideas that we thought would work with a bit of tweaking…
The tweaking didn’t take too long and before we knew it we had a central idea that we could test against our topics. It worked for all the topics!
The central idea for our exhibition is; the wellbeing of citizens is affected by the action and inaction of individuals and communities.