Spring has passed, and summer is coming. In the natural world, there are many cycles like this. In the last six weeks, the students of PYP Grade 1 have been inquiring the secrets of natural cycles. Under this trans-disciplinary theme, let’s see how great their acquirement and growth have been.
The theme of this unit is “How the World Works”. The central idea is “Earth’s natural cycles influence the activity of living things.” In UOI lessons, teachers first lead students to know some typical natural cycles, such as, day and night, season cycle, water cycle, life cycle, lunar cycle, and then encourage kids to think about how the living things respond to natural cycles.
The things that most interested the kids were: nocturnal animals, hibernation, moonflowers, migration. They surprisingly found that the farming activities and even what clothes we should wear are related to the natural cycles.
As a trans-disciplinary program, PYP requires that all the subjects are linked to the unit theme as much as possible, in order to let the students immerse themselves in the topic they are studying.
In mandarin lessons, we learnt characters, words, texts and poems about seasons and weather. This helped kids understand the beauty and charm of nature in their mother language.
In math lessons, the unit “pattern” is closely link to this UOI theme. The natural cycles are regular. In the process of inquiring the natural cycles, students not only felt the connection between math knowledge and life, but also deeply understood the concept of pattern.
In English lessons, the material is closer to UOI. We learnt the words about seasons, weather and clothes, and some useful sentence structures and grammar. In addition to this, we read some books about natural cycles and designed practical tasks to improve our speaking and writing skills.
In art lessons, we created a season tree, drew the migratory animals and imagined what will come out from the eggs. Kids found these activities very funny!
In dance lessons, we used the movements we have previously learnt to create a new dance that could represent the difference between day and night. We also learnt a cute dance called “Mr. Sun”.
In music lessons, basing ourselves on some fundamental musical knowledge, we learnt several new songs, including “Mr. Sun”, “The Little Rain”. Kids really enjoyed them.
On the stage of PYP, we remove the divisions between school subjects and turn the boring process of assimilating knowledge into an amazing inquiry of every theme. Students not only acquire knowledge, but also improve their skills and develop their profiles as an IB learner. At last, let’s appreciate their works of summative assessment.