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Planning the inquiry

1. What is our purpose? Class/grade: Year 6 Age group: 9-11
To inquire into the following: School: NIST School code:
 transdisciplinary theme Teacher(s): Sam, Denise, Angela, Chris, Lex, Dawn, Bill, Siew
Where we are in place and time Date: September, 2009
 central idea Proposed duration: number of hours over number of weeks
PYP planner
“People’s ideas and actions can cause a shift in thinking and change the course of history.”
Summative assessment task(s):
What are the possible ways of assessing students’ understanding of the central idea? What evidence, including student-initiated 2. What do we want to learn?
actions, will we look for? What are the key concepts (form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility, reflection) to be
emphasized within this inquiry?
Students will select an idea, event, individual, movement, action, invention, civilization or era in order to analyze the shifts in thinking or
changes in the course of history. They will select from the Blooms/Multiple Intelligences menu in order to decide how they will present their Change Causation Connections Perspective
learning. We want the students to We want the students to We want the students to make We want the students to
understand that the world has understand that changes are personal connections with understand that different groups
Beginning Emerging Developing Proficient constantly changed throughout caused by societal needs, ideas, change. We also want them to and individuals have different
history, and will continue to beliefs, desires and innovations. understand that changes have perspectives about the need for,
 I am able to explain about  I am able to explain about  I am able to explain about  I am able to explain about
change. consequences, even ones that and effects of, change.
one or two significant three or four significant more than four significant a variety of significant may not be immediately
changes in history changes in history changes in history changes in history apparent.
 I am beginning to have  I have some basic ideas  I am developing some  I have some complex
some ideas about how the about how the world may more complex ideas about theories about how the
world may change in the change in the future. how the world may world may change in the
The unit will have a social studies focus under the strand “continuity and change through time”. The relevant related concepts are: chronology,
future. change in the future. future that I can justify. discovery, progress, exploration, innovation and revolution.
 I am beginning to be able  I am able to give basic  I am able to give  I am able to give very
to give very basic explanations for the increasingly detailed detailed explanations for Social Studies skills to explicitly teach will be:
explanations for the causes of change. explanations for the the causes of change.
causes of change. causes of change.  Use and analyse evidence from a variety of historical, geographical and societal sources
 I am beginning to be able  I am able to identify  I am able to identify  I am able to identify  Orientate in relation to place and time
 Assess the accuracy, validity and possible bias of sources
to identify different different basic different increasingly different perspectives
perspectives about the perspectives about the complicated perspectives about the reasons for, and
reasons for, and effects of, reasons for, and effects of, about the reasons for, and effects of, change in a wide
change in one or two change in one or two effects of, change in a variety of situations. What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?
situations. situations. variety of situations.  I am also able to make
 I am also starting to make inferences about different  Significant events and people that have brought about change in history
 Ways that the world may continue to change in the future
inferences about different perspectives based on
 Causes and consequences of change
perspectives based on information that I have.  Our own personal connections with change
information that I have.  Different perspectives about change

Timed Continuums – Students will reflect on these continuums at regular intervals throughout the unit
I had no I had a lot
knowledge of
What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?
about knowledge
changes in about  What do you already know about “ideas”?
history, and changes in  What famous good ideas do you know about?
I still have history and I  What do you know about action?
no have gained  What famous actions do you know about?
knowledge. a lot more.
 What is the difference between ideas and actions?
 What good/bad ideas have you had in your life?
I am not I am
curious extremely
 Imagine you have a “Good Idea/Bad Idea Filter” inside your head… can you draw it?
about the curious  Do you remember your good or bad ideas/actions more?
history or about the  What “shifts in thinking” have you experienced in your lifetime – what did you think before and what do you think
the future of history and now?
the world at future of the  What do you know about changes in history?
all. world.
 What changes do you know about?
 What change is interesting to you?
It is I find it easy
impossible and
 Pick a change and write about what you know and what you know you don’t know about it.
for me to enjoyable to  What questions can you ask in order to know more?
“put myself try and “put
into myself into
someone someone
else’s shoes” else’s shoes”
and use and use
empathy. empathy.

 Students will make connections with changes in their own lives, both in the past and in the future
 Students may be empowered to bring about some kind of change through their ideas or actions
 Students may change the way they think or behave
 Students may evaluate the impact of their peers’ presentations upon them and the way they think and act

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

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
What are the possible ways of assessing students’ prior knowledge and skills? What evidence will we look for? and address the driving questions?

Show movie clips such as “Home”, “1940s House” and “Bill and Ted” in order to provoke discussion, debate and conversation Timeline showing key events in history. Students could be grouped by class, or across classes, by interest. For example, some students could look at
about change in history and the future. Take anecdotal notes in order to record the ways the students are thinking. changes in politics, some could look at changes in fashion, changes in music, changes in art, changes in health and medicine etc… etc… (How wide do we keep
this? Do we want to narrow it down or not? Do we need to?)
Timeline showing key events in history. Students can plot out the key events that changed the course of history or brought about a shift
in thinking. Use tags so that we can walk along the timeline and assess each student’s input into the timeline and get an idea of their current Thai studies inquiry into the King’s actions, ideas and innovations. Could they prepare something to share with the rest of Year 6? Could each World Language
level of knowledge, and also their misconceptions. take a week or two to prepare something about how that country/culture/individuals from that country has contributed to change.

Students identify key periods in history and begin to identify what their own interests seem to be. Are they leaning towards an interest in Maths: Students will need to develop a strong understanding of how timelines are put together and how to read them.
politics, the arts, sport, literature, religion, revolution, human rights and so on? These “categories” can be identified by the students and 1. 5 “Elite Mathematicians” create a scaled timeline from the time of Cavemen (30,000BC) to present day. They use string and coloured card.
possibly given colour codes so that key elements in history can be coded and patterns could become visible. 2. Students conduct an inquiry into their typical day. They use coloured connecting blocks to represent their day, with each block representing a block of time
and each colour signifying each “activity” they do. They then represent their timeline on paper. This is repeated with parents for homework.
Students will focus on the areas that they have come to the conclusion they are most interested in . They will form collaborative group by area 3. Students create a timeline on paper showing the significant events in their personal life so far, they then transfer that information onto an online timeline
of interest, but may choose to work alone. using Repeat this again with a parent or grandparent for homework.
 Students can create timelines to show the significant events in the read-aloud book and in books they are reading. Certain concepts could be given a focus,
What are the possible ways of assessing student learning in the context of the lines of inquiry? What evidence will we such as changes that occur in a character’s life, with reasons for the change (causation).
look for?  Students can timeline a person’s life by reading their biography or autobiography.
 Students can develop timelines of their own lives (history) or can develop timelines to help them become more organized (future)
This unit will be primarily research-based. Using principles of constructivism, we will start with the knowledge that the  Students can develop timelines of someone else’s life
 Students can conduct fact-finding missions using timelines (
students bring to the unit. They possess significant historical knowledge and also a significant awareness of their own
 Students will use existing historical timelines in order to locate information to feed into the Year 6 Timeline.
world and the changes that have occurred within it.  Students could develop timelines showing changes in data over a period of time, such as world population.
Language Arts: Students will read and write biographies, developing an awareness of the development of time and strategies/vocabulary to apply in their
Using the teacher provocations, we will “tune in” to what the students are already thinking, what factual knowledge they writing to show the sequence. Students will develop and use effective research skills, with a focus on summary-writing in order to feed information on to the
have and what they are interested in. We will then guide them through the research process in order to develop their timeline.
knowledge and understanding of the events, people, ideas and actions that they choose to inquire into. 

A number of tags will be used in order to make the students’ thinking visible so they can use it effectively and also so What opportunities will occur for transdisciplinary skills development and for the development of the attributes of the learner profile?
that teachers can assess them.
Knowledgeable Principled Empathy Curiosity
We want the students to apply the We want the students to develop an We want the students to be able to We want the students to display
1. The Prior Knowledge Tag – This tag gathers students’ knowledge about changes in history. knowledge they already have and to appreciation for prominent people in look at changes in history from a genuine curiosity about history -
2. The “Egg Diagram” – This tag asks students to record what they know and also, more importantly, what they show a determination to gain and history who have brought about variety of points of view and to people and major events.
know they don’t know. They use the latter section to generate real questions that they can use for research. apply more knowledge during the change through principles. We also consider the effects of change from
3. The Research Skills Checklist is a way to ensure that students follow an effective research process and a way for unit. want them to consider the effects of the point of view of people very
teachers to monitor what they are doing so that they can guide them through the process. their own behavior and how those different to themselves.
may bring about positive or negative
4. The Knowledge After Research Tag – This tag provides students with a standard form of presentation. This liberates
them from having to think about how to present their information, it also places the focus totally on the information
and not on poster designs, Powerpoint gimmicks and other factors that often are a barrier to getting “real Transdisciplinary Skills
information” from students.
Beginning Emerging Developing Proficient
Towards the end of the unit of inquiry, students will gather the tags they have produced and use them to self-assess
I am able to do research with I am able to do research I am able to do research I am able to do research
against the rubrics and continuums on this planner. Teachers will assist in this process, adding their own perspectives. guidance from teachers. independently and still need independently but sometimes independently and I can make
quite a lot of guidance from need a little bit of guidance my own decisions about how
teachers. from teachers. teachers can help me.

5. What resources need to be gathered?

What people, places, audio-visual materials, related literature, music, art, computer software, etc, will be available?

Bill Bryson – “A Short History of Nearly Everything”

Maths links:

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

The corridor outside 6LC and 6AR will have additional corkboards put up and will become a huge collaborative timeline.

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

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’ understanding of the central idea. The reflections of all What were the learning experiences that enabled students to:
teachers involved in the planning and teaching of the inquiry should be included.  develop an understanding of the concepts identified in “What do we want to learn?”
 demonstrate the learning and application of particular transdisciplinary skills?
 develop particular attributes of the learner profile and/or attitudes?
In each case, explain your selection.

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.

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

The invasion of Australia by the White Man in 1788

The impact of Vivaldi on Baroque music in Italy
Changes in Hawaiian culture after Pearl Harbour
The ideas of Galileo
The impact of Terry Fox
The invention of the television
The actions of Ruby Bridges
The work of Alexander Fleming
The effects of Anne Frank’s diary
The impact Dr. Seuss had on literacy
Louis Pasteur and pasteurization
Coco Chanel’s impact on women’s fashion
Karl Marx and the idea of Communism

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.

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2007