In my last exploration into Inquiry Learning, I investigated the effectiveness of using an inquiry learning approach in early childhood, multi-age classrooms. I found the research very eye-opening, informative and relative to my teaching context. This led me to want to build on the acquired knowledge and apply it in practice. For my Inquiry into the Curriculum, I have decided to create a multi-age inquiry unit using the Australian Curriculum with Science as the driver for the inquiry but incorporating English and Media Arts. As I work in a small Prep to Year 6 school in western Queensland that offers only multi-age classrooms, I have created an inquiry unit for a Prep to Year 2 class.
One of the knowledge and understanding areas of the Science curriculum is biological science and I have chosen this as the core component of the unit as it enables a guided inquiry approach to be incorporated easily and gives me the opportunity to include English and Media Arts as a means for students to express knowledge and findings. Students will investigate the question ‘Where are all the animals?’ after being engaged in the inquiry through the text ‘Uno’s Garden’ written and illustrated by Graeme Base. They will explore where animals live, threats they face, how they grow and change and what we can do to help animals. This unit will be literacy rich with a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts incorporated throughout to meet selected outcomes of the English curriculum and information literacy. The students will engage in collaborative group work in order to learn together and for all ages to be supported through the guided inquiry. This unit is 10 weeks and the Intended learning outcomes include:
- Developing students’ understandings of endangered animals and their environments
- Understanding different habitats, what they look like and how the habitat meets the needs of living things
- Investigating the impact, we have on environments, and how living things meet their needs
- Understand how animals grow and change
- Recognise the signs of animals in environments using their senses
- Research Australian endangered animals
- Suggest actions to help endangered animals
- Create information texts and understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts
- Learn research skills and how to find and use information
- Create artwork using a variety of media to present information creatively and for a purpose.
- Describe ways to think and work scientifically
This unit also incorporates the General Capabilities of Literacy, Information and Communication Technology Capability, and Critical and Creative thinking. The children will complete two assessment tasks in this unit, one individual and one group task. They will research an Australian endangered animal and create a multimodal presentation to share the information they have found as well as create an animation to share with the local community on how we can help to save endangered animals.
You will find my unit plan on the next page.