Describing the world around us

Grade 6 Individuals & Societies Class sketching our local environment

Grade 6 Individuals & Societies Class sketching our local environment

In an early unit for the Grade 6 students at PIA, we’ve begun to explore ways of describing the world around us in geographical terms.  Students have been analyzing and creating their own maps and building their vocabulary as it relates to our immediate environment.

On Friday, we spent the morning practicing techniques such as field sketching to capture and communicate the world around us.  Students finally got a chance to get up close to the cows in the pasture across school as they sketched the landscape around campus.

Read more about our morning and check out photos here.

This activity is building towards a summative assessment, in which students will be asked to create an informative brochure, which focusses on part of our island.   Students will be drawing their own maps, describing the local area through words and drawings and demonstrating their knowledge and communication skills through this independent project.

Positive action inspiring positive action

It started for me with the ALS #icebucketchallenge – sent from the suburbs of Boston all the way to my home in Phuket. I was up for the challenge and then decided to bring the story to my Grade 7 council.

We had a laugh at a few wet/cold celebrities and then watched the Pete Frates back story on ESPN to understand how and where this inspired action began.  I was thrilled by what happened next.   My reflection for Council was something like:  ‘What is something you feel is important enough to do something about?  What are you passionate about?’   I was worried that the awkward question would be met with awkward silence.  I was wrong.  In turn, each student shared very personal stories and passions for causes that they will tackle.   This included animal protection, access to education, pollution and environmental conservation, cancer research, Alzheimer’s, polio and ebola.  One by one they took their turns sharing, referencing uncles and grandparents, family friends and pets to inspired their passion in whatever ideas they spoke about.   Many of us had tears as we explained ourselves.  We all left feeling ready for action.    

Now it is on me / us to plan for ways to support this passion.   How can we nurture and incubate a spirit for action?   Does it fit within the IB MYP Individuals & Societies curriculum?   Does it happen through the Global Issues Network (GIN) or some other structure?   The kids are ready!

 

MYP1 Humanities in Action!

 

MYP1 Students in action

MYP1 Students in action

MYP1 Humanities in Action!

 When the students saw the extent of the problem, there was no other option – they needed to take action.

What began as a simple Humanities unit on Earth Systems evolved into an island-wide action project.  MYP1 students (grade 6), age 11-13, took it upon themselves to design, plan and execute two very different, but no less engaging, action projects. With inspiration from our community and like-minded students around the world, the classes divided themselves into two groups and dug in to learn as much as they could on their chosen topics, with focus on the biosphere – all living things – and on coastal conservation – oceans and beaches here in Phuket.