In my last investigation into Inquiry Learning, I looked at Mathematics and how Inquiry could be used to teach this subject. I found this really enjoyable and eye-opening, and since then I’ve started to experiment with some very short inquiry learning experiences in my Year 3 classroom. I’m finding them very valuable to my students’ learning, in particular to those kids who require extension! Inquiry just seems to give them freedom to explore.
I’m still practising my Mathematical inquiry planning skills. One thing I’m finding difficult is being able to extend my inquiry units past more than a couple of sessions. The Mathematics curriculum does not have comparable inquiry skills listed, like HASS or Science do. Looking at these skills, it occurred to me that it may be a good idea to look into how I can plan a unit using these skills first.
For my next foray into the world of inquiry, I’m going to choose one of these subjects and see if I can design an extended inquiry unit from scratch. I decided to choose HASS.
I teach Year 3 in a small primary school on the north side of Brisbane. Our school is located in quite an old area, and the school itself was established over 100 years ago. We have quite the staying power! One of the areas in the HASS curriculum for Year 3 is how the community has changed or stayed the same over time.
You would think there would be a lot of readily made information for kids to read or watch to learn about their area and community. But it isn’t the case for us! In the past I’ve had to go for a general Brisbane unit of study, but I always felt like it wasn’t relevant enough to my students. I was always talking about parts of Brisbane they had no knowledge of. And I hated it. It was so boring and I dreaded teaching it every week. To me this sounds like the perfect opportunity for an Inquiry Intervention!
The unit will sit within the HASS and English curriculum, with elements of the ICT general capability. The HASS part of the unit will surround the Historical Skills and Knowledge and Understandings about the history of the local area, while the English part will cover how to write an information text about what they find. Students will use their ICT skills as they research information on the internet.
Intended Learning Outcomes: Students will learn research skills and use them to find out about aspects of the local area and how it has changed over time. They will learn about the features of information texts and write their own piece of text on an aspect of the local area for a class book, intended to be read by upcoming Grade 3s and younger students.
The unit will extend for a total of 6 weeks.
Please click through to the next page to see my unit plan.
Image from Pixabay, 2017.