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Unit One Wrap-Up

Throughout the next week, Primary Years Programme (PYP) students at the Lower School are finishing up their first Unit of Inquiry of the school year. The PYP units are built around transdisciplinary themes that are relevant to all students and cultures. The units are supported by knowledge, concepts, and skills from traditional subject areas such as math, social studies, science, and language arts, but utilize them in a transdisciplinary model. 
Most units last approximately 6 weeks and use the following outline:

  • Provocations: Opportunities to manipulate and play with materials related to the topic and lessons allow students to openly discover and explore the topic through hands-on experiences.
  • Wonderings: Teachers note what the children are asking about as they participate in the provocations.
  • Inquiry: Teachers then develop opportunities for students to find the answers to their wonderings.
  • Assessment: Teachers check what the students know at the beginning of the unit to check prior knowledge. They assess during the unit to see growth and have students complete a summative assessment at the end of the unit to check overall understanding of the lines of inquiry.
  • Action: Action can be guided by the teacher. For example, the students participate in International Peace Day during their friendship unit.
  • Reflection: Students and teachers reflect on the unit and note changes or improvements for the following year.

The same six units are revisited every year and create a common ground to unify the PYP curriculum around the world. Each grade has its own central idea, which lessons tie back to. As students progress through the PYP, the concepts become more involved and build on previous knowledge. 

The central ideas for Unit 1 in each grade are:

  • 3 Year Old: Who We Are - We change and grow as we get older. 
  • Pre-Kindergarten: How We Express Ourselves - We use our bodies to communicate ideas and feelings.
  • Kindergarten: How We Organize Ourselves - Everyone has a responsibility to make our school work.
  • Grade 1: Who We Are - Friendship creates a more peaceful world. 
  • Grade 2: Who We Are - Our body systems work together and function best when they are healthy. 
  • Grade 3: Who We Are - As people evolved, their lifestyles changed too. 
  • Grade 4: How the World Works - By exploring Earth and beyond, we gain a better understanding of the world and our place within the universe. 
  • Grade 5: How We Express Ourselves - People use media to influence behavior.

As we celebrate a successful end to the first unit, families are invited to join their students in a variety of activities, including picnics, presentations, and other hand-on activities to support and celebrate their student’s learning. To learn more about the PYP in the classroom, view Pre-Elementary and Lower School at ISI.  

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