Yesterday, we launched a new Unit of Inquiry. It was great, interactive and students were engaged for close to 80 minutes during our tuning in. Day two of launching a new unit can be tough though. Kids are excited to find out what they will be learning about, but when presented with a new Central Idea, Lines of Inquiry and Key concepts, they often lose a bit of their enthusiasm. So, we tried something new. Students were divided into groups and were given a large copy of the new Central Idea. The task for each group, was to deconstruct the new Central Idea. This was done is so many different ways. One group translated it into Mandarin, another into Korean and another group worked to figure out what each word meant to build a more kid friendly explanation. Following this activity, each student was excited to share their understanding of what they believed we will be doing for the next six weeks.
I received an email a few weeks ago from a student's mom after completing a Unit of Inquiry about Migration. It was a heavy topic and we often talked about the Syrian Refugee Crisis amongst other things. As a teacher, you hope your students will have perspective and you hope your students will feel empathy and ultimately you look for evidence that somewhere, somehow, action is taken. How can kids truly understand the impact of something so big, when most adults and people in power don't even get it?