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Planning the inquiry

1. What is our purpose?

Class/grade: Year 6

Age group: 9-10 years

To inquire into the following:

School: Discovery College

School code: 300401

transdisciplinary theme

Title: Organisations

How we organise ourselves

PYP planner
Teacher(s): Matt Baron, Kim Cassell, Tanya Surawski

central idea

Organisations can make a difference to human kind and the


Proposed duration: 60 hours over 6 weeks

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?
Students will form their own organisations which will provide a
service for, and have an effect on, their local community. The
organisations will have a service component and will focus on
sustaining or improving the environment or making a difference for
people. Each organisation will be assessed according to the five
essential elements of the PYP (skills, knowledge, concepts, attitudes,
action) using a rubric developed with the students.
Student journals will show a record of learning and understanding
over the course of the unit.

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
Function, responsibility

What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central
The purposes and functions of organisations
The impact of organisations on human-kind and the environment
Opportunities for action and service in our community

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

What are the purposes and functions of organisations?
What impact do organisations have on human-kind and the environment?
How can we serve and take action in our community?

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Planning the inquiry

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


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

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

Prior to the exhibition:

Watch a DVD on previous exhibitions looking at the role of students and complete a lotus digram
thinking tool

Examine a range of exhibitions (Eg museum, tourist information centre etc.)

List and categorise organisations. (NGOs, etc)

Listen to a variety of guest speakers (DB Green, World Vision, Cross Roads, Charles Chan, Discovery
College PTA) and use thinking tools to reflect on the ideas, issues, causes, actions etc.

Introduction to reflective writing (blog)

Identify what makes the perfect DC student? giving evidence connected to Learner Profile attributes
and attitudes
During the exhibition:

Analyse the POI at Discovery College

Reflect on how the five essential elements of the PYP can be demonstrated throughout the exhibition

Discuss how organisations can be structured and identify the roles within them, making connections to
transdisciplinary social skills (E.g. adopting a variety of roles).

Classify issues and their causes relating to humankind or the environment and identify organisations
and their actions that address the issues.

Form smaller groups based on student interests (Eg poverty, animal welfare, illiteracy, pollution etc.)

Write a central idea, lines of inquiry and formulate questions related to the PYP key concepts
for their newly formed organisations.

Use primary and secondary resources to research the issues relating to their groups topic and identify
opportunities for service in our local community.

Identify degrees of action and rank them. (direct, indirect, advocacy, fundraising)

Groups decide on their purpose and identify the impact/effect they want to have on the community

Decide on an action/s that can be taken to address the issue/issues identified.

What opportunities will occur for transdisciplinary skills development and for the
development of the attributes of the learner profile? All transdisciplinary skills and leraner
profile attributes will be targeted as part of the collaborative inquiry process and the creation of
student organisations. As evidenced by student reflections and forums (Moodle), journal writing, PYP
exhibition evening, mentor meetings, teacher manager observations and checklists.

Ask students to describe what an organisation is and list those that they know.
Categorise the organisations. Identify those which relate to serving human-kind
and the environment. Construct a flow chart of how one of these organisations
may be structured. Describe its purpose and how it works. Use DB magazine
and newspapers to group organisations.

What are the possible ways of assessing student learning in the context of
the lines of inquiry? What evidence will we look for?
Classify issues and their causes relating to humankind or the environment and identify
organisations and their actions that address the issues.
Teachers will interview the students about the key concept questions developed at the
beginning of the unit.
Students can summarise the key concept questions relating to their organisations in written
Evidence of action is presented to teacher managers and mentors at various stages of the
collaborative inquiry process.
Mentor feedback (Moodle and reflection sheets after each meeting) will be collated.
Mid-point assessment (checklist).
Parent feedback from the exhibition evening.

5. What resources need to be gathered?

What people, places, audio-visual materials, related literature, music, art, computer software, etc, will be available?
Charles Chan, WWF, DB Green (Kate Wade), Chartwells, DCPTA, exhibition song, Ryans Well (You Tube video and, Kevin Laurie, Crossroads-David Begbie, Jacqui GreenPALS,

How will the classroom environment, local environment, and/or the community be used to facilitate the inquiry?
Pin-up boards prior to unit displaying newspaper articles, exhibit examples, organisations we know. Pin-up boards of each organisation in the shared area to show student progress, collaborative
learning displays in the classrooms, publish the e-invite in the local community, invite representatives from HK Resorts, DB Management, the community centre etc. to the exhibition.

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007

Reflecting on the inquiry

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 teachers involved in the
planning and teaching of the inquiry should be included.

What were the learning experiences that enabled students to:

Display boards exhibited findings for the student questions in the form of photos
and text. As well as the exhibition boards, students presented their findings
through media presentations and quizzes, posters, songs and drama
Students formed an organization and took a variety of roles in developing their
presentations for Exhibition night.

develop an understanding of the concepts identified in What do we want to


Students identified the big issues they were interested in inquiring into and then
wrote Central Ideas and questions for each IB key concept relating to their
issue. The two or three most important questions were used to write the student
lines of inquiry and student questions. The findings of these questions were
presented at the exhibition.

Students wrote self reflections each week. Some of the reflections were not
detailed enough so it was difficult to use them for assessment.

demonstrate the learning and application of particular transdisciplinary skills?

Jig-saw activity to remind students of what the trans skills are; Self reflection of
key trans skills; weekly individual reflections which have a trans skills

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.

Lesson on taking a variety of group roles and using each other skills.
Students investigated the different roles and had to identify which roles they
would take each week

Formative assessment on the transdisciplinary skills and lines of inquiry need to

be built in and assessed throughout the unit by teachers, team members and

Also, develop rubrics on the presenting aspect of The Exhibition night.

develop particular attributes of the learner profile and/or attitudes?

Read Running Shoes by Frederick Lipp and used a reflection tool to analyse
the story through the lenses of caring and risk taker; weekly reflections and
blog entries focused on LP attributes and attitudes displayed; reflection tools for
guest speakers focused on LP attributes and attitudes shown;
In each case, explain your selection.

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

Student journals

Student exhibition note books

Student reflections

Student blogs

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.
Shark finning
Llama sea turtles
Abandoned animals
Sustainable fishing
Childrens rights
Internet addiction
Poverty (Hong Kong and Philippines)
Puppy mills

9. Teacher notes

Idea for assessing trans skills: do an inquiry into all of the skills
(sorting and organizing components into their skill set e.g social
skills). Students self assess against these skills (perhaps like the
laptop user agreement using smiley faces). We need a way for
teachers to input somehow.

Students will develop targets based on their trans skills assessment

(perhaps choose one in each area to work on).

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

Teachers need to develop some form of proforma for recording

actions or evidence which show development in trans skills
throughout the inquiry. Students, teachers and mentors can all
contribute to this record.

What impact do organisations have on human-kind and the environment?

How can we serve and take action in our community?

**Need to ensure that the Math unit which runs concurrently is not a
particularly difficult one.

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.
Student initiated actions include writing to the Hong Kong government; setting up
stalls and activities to raise awareness about issues during action week in the
school foyer; collecting donations of goods and money to support existing
organisations; packing boxes for Crossroads to be shipped overseas; planting trees
in the DB conservation area; providing a dog walking service; volunteering at the
SPCA for a day.

International Baccalaureate Organization 2007