Last week Grade 4 PYP classes went on a virtual field trip to Sunvillage in Shunyi. Grade 4 PYP students are studying a unit called Sharing the Planet. Our Central Idea is: Children worldwide encounter a range of challenges, risks and opportunities.
We started our unit by learning about what challenges, risks and opportunities are as words and then we jumped into learning the different types of challenges, risks and opportunities children around the world face. We are currently studying our 2nd and 3rd Line of Inquiry: Line 2 : How children respond to challenges, risks and opportunities. Line 3 : Ways in which individuals and organizations work to protect children from risk.
To make the children feel a deeper connection to some of the challenges and risks faced by children, we found a special place in Beijing that helps children in need. That place is Sunvillage. The first Sunvillage was founded in Shaanxi around 1996 and now there are 9 villages with the mission “to help children of Chinese convicts and fights for their survival and development.” They are an NGO(Non-Government Organization) which means they receive no money from the government.
Now in our 6th week of online classes because of the COVID-19 outbreak we must be more creative with our teaching and students’ learning. We decided we would take a virtual tour of Sunvillage. Our virtual tour started on Tuesday when we introduced students to Sunvillage by doing some online research and exploration. We did a Grade 4 live class to watch a short video about how Sunvillage was founded and learn about their purpose. We had a discussion and students shared their thoughts and feelings. Next, students went to work studying the Sunvillage website and answered some questions.
On Wednesday the students had another liveclass to share what they’d learned from the Sunvillage website. We also watched a documentary about some children who live at Sunvillage. While watching the documentary children were able to write their comments and share their feelings. Many students said they were very sad watching some parts and others said they were crying while seeing the children leave their parents. Watching this truly makes you feel sad for the children and thankful that Sunvillage is there to help them with their challenges. After watching the documentary the studentsand teachers discussed their thoughts and feelings again. They were assigned a task to answer a few questions and reflect upon what they had seen.
Here are some of the student responses:
How would you feel if you had to live at Sunvillage?
“I would feel sad and nervous, but I will think there is still hope and feel better.” Olivia 4.2
“I am very very sad.” Yuxuan 4.2
“I would feel sad and miss my mom and friends if I had to live at Sunvillage.” Ivy 4.1
“I would feel sad because I couldn’t see my parents.” Eric 4.1
“If I lived in Sunvillage I would be very sad because I couldn’t see my mother.” Tiger Z 4.1
“I would feel angry and sad. I would feel angry because my parents did something wrong, they went to prison which made me stay at Sunvillage. I would be sad because I’d miss them.” Jenney 4.2
“I would be sad and want to cry and I would miss my family very much.” Jessica 4.2
“At Sunvillage someone would take care of me and I would feel safer and there re many people with me so I won’t feel lonely.” Gavin 4.2
“If I had to live at Sunvillage I would feel really sad because my parents would be in jail. If they cared for me then they wouldn’t do something bad. I will miss my parents too.” Tracy 4.1
“I would be happy because I could have many friends.” Wendy 4.2
“I will feel very sad.” Shannon 4.2
“I will be sad because I can’t see my mom.” Kevin 4.2
“I will be afraid and I will miss my parents very much.” Danya 4.2
“Although my parents do not care for me or in prison or died, I also want to live well.” Bertram 4.2
“I would feel not very comfortable and I wouldn’t be used to it.” Ian 4.2
“I would feel very sad.” Eason 4.2
This was a great experience for ourstudents to see a local organization that was helping kids who live very closeto them. By inquiring into organizationsfrom around the world as well as locally we hope to reach and touch children ina way that will motivate them to take action to help those who encounterchallenges and risks. We hope ourstudents use this valuable experience for good, on their way to becoming globalcitizens. Even though we weren’t able tophysically go to Sunvillage we believe that the impact was great and learningabout the organization and seeing the stories about the children who live therewill enrich their lives. Thanks to allthe G4 PYP teachers and students who took part in our virtual field trip.