2017 Inquiry Topics
We continued our investigations into materials, strength of shapes used in buildings and the ways that structures are built for the first 3 weeks of Term 2. Then we moved on to our next topic.
How We Organise Ourselves
History Through Artefacts
Central Idea: Observing changes over time helps us develop a sense of history, including personal history.
- How artefacts can reflect change
- Evidence of how the past is the same or different
ACARA: Science, HAAS
Writing genre: information report
Central Idea: Geography, climate and the types of materials available determine the structures that can be built.
- the different materials that structures are made of
- the way materials influence the design of the buildings and structures
- the effect geography has upon structures
- the effect climate has on houses
- What is a structure?
- What is the purpose of structures in our community and communities around the world?
- What are the essential features in different structures?
- What do houses and other structures look like in our local area?
- Why are specific materials chosen when building structures?
- How do buildings in different climates change and why?
Concept: Key concepts: form, function, responsibility
Related concepts: measurement and transformation
Writing genre: persuasive writing, procedure writing
Curriculum links: Science, HAAS, Geography, Technology – Digital Technologies
Workers in the Community
Central Idea: Communities rely on people doing different kinds of work.
- What makes a community
- The different roles people have in the community
- The needs and wants of a community
- Different kinds of professions and the steps taken to do that job
- Connections between different jobs, eg nurses and doctors in health
What is a community?
What are our needs/wants?
What are the roles/responsibilities at home, people in the school and greater community?
Describe different jobs – both paid/unpaid
Explain how people and technologies in systems (communities) link to provide goods and services to satisfy needs and wants.
Writing genre: recount, information reports interviews, descriptions and discussions
Curriculum links: HAAS
Healthy Body Healthy Mind
Central Idea: Making sensible choices about how we care for our bodies and minds helps us to thrive.
Lines of Inquiry:
- Eating healthily and how it affects your body.
- Affects of exercise on body and mind.
- Affects on self-esteem when making healthy options (food, exercise, emotions).
- What foods help me be healthy and why?
- How does exercise help me?
- Why do we need friends and family in our lives?
- Why do we need rest and exercise?
- How can I become more resilient?
ACARA: Health and Physical Education
Writing genre: explanation
2016 Inquiry Topics
The World is a Stage
People convey culture and beliefs through music, dance and visual arts.
Key concepts: Form, Function, Connection
Lines of Inquiry:
- Cultural expression in music/ dance/ visual arts/ storytelling.
- The components of music/ dance/ visual arts/ storytelling
ACARA: Arts and Social Sciences (Health)
Writing genre: Narrative
From Start to Finish
Central Idea: The products we use go through several stages from start to finish.
- The stages/ processes products go through
- The jobs involved in these stages/processes
- The influence of technology
Concept: Change, connections and innovation
ACARA: Technology and Science
Writing genre: procedure writing, explanation.
Light creates shadows, reflections and colour that effects life on Earth.
- Sources of light
- Causes of shadows
- Reflective surfaces
- Effects of light on living systems. (Photosynthesis)
How is light created?
How can light be manipulated?
How does light affect the world?
ACARA Curriculum links:
Science and Technology
2015 Inquiry Topics
Central Idea: Plants have specific needs in order to grow and stay healthy.
- The conditions plants need to stay healthy
- Our responsibilities towards the plants we choose to grow.
- Characteristics of plants
- Teacher questions:
- What do you need to grow a plant?
- How do plants grow?
- What is a healthy plant?
- What are our responsibilities to keep them healthy?
- Curriculum links: Science
Central Idea: The properties of construction materials influence the design of buildings and structures.
Different building materials and their properties
- The structure of buildings and bridges
- The materials and shapes used in making different stable, weight bearing structures
- What materials/shapes are buildings made of? Why?
2. What properties do building materials have?
3. How have building materials changed over time? (look at origins & uniformity) 4. How do buildings stand?
5. Which materials make structures strongest? Last the longest?
6. Why do we (humans) create all these various structures?
Concept: Change, Connection
- Design Technologies
- Science – Physical sciences – The Past is Present
- Humanities & Social Sciences –
- Geography –Inquiry skills
- Geo knowledge & Understanding
- Literacy, Numeracy, Critical & Creative thinking
Writing genre: Procedure
Who We Are
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Central Idea: We need a healthy and well balanced lifestyle to have a healthy body and a healthy mind.
- What is well balanced
- What is healthy
- What is a healthy lifestyle
- Our lifelong responsibilities to ourselves and other to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Concept: Reflection and well being
Writing Genre: Report
- Health (physical & mental well being)
Child Protection Curriculum
Workers in Our Community
Central Idea: People have different professions through which they interact.
- Different kinds of professions
- People co-operate with others
- Connections between different jobs
- Steps of doing a specific job.
- How to work together towards a common goal.
Concept: form, change, connection
Writing genre: report and explanation
- Humanities & Social Sciences
2014 Inquiry Topics
Central Idea: Understanding the interactions of living things in an ecosystem help us to make responsible decisions.
- What ecosystems are
- The interactions among living things in an ecosystem
- How human activity affects ecosystems.
Writing genre: report
ACARA: Science and Society & Environment
People can influence the world in positive ways.
An inquiry into:
- The characteristics of heroes
- People in history who have made a difference
- Our personal strengths
- Ways we can make a difference in the world.
- Celebrations & significant Aust events
Writing genre: persuasive
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Cultures throughout the world have told tales as a way of passicng down their beliefs, traditions and history to future generations.
An inquiry into:
- folk tales
- oral storytelling
- Aboriginal stories.
Concept: Connection (Identity)
Writing genre: narrative
ACARA: English, The Arts, Society & environment
Literacy, Numeracy, Critical & Creative
How We Organise Ourselves
From Land to Hand
Central Idea: The products we use go through several stages from start o finish.
- the stages/ processes products go through
- the jobs involved in these stages/processes
- the influence of technology.
Concept: Change, Connection (Innovation)
Technologies – ACTDEK002, ACTDEK004
Humanities & Social Sciences –
Literacy, Numeracy, Critical & Creative thinking
Writing genre: Procedure
How We Share the Planet
Water, Water, Everywhere
Central Idea: Water is vital to all life on the planet, but not all people have equal access to clean, safe drinking water.
- the importance of clean drinking water
- the water cycle
- ways of making water safe to drink
- effects of not having access to clean water
Concept: Connection/ Responsibility
Writing genre: Exposition, report, procedure
Subject areas: Science, Society & Environment
Who We Are
My Buddy, My Body
Central Idea: Different body systems work together to support our life processes.
- how the respiratory cardiovascular and digestive systems function and their connection to other systems
- the relationship between lifestyle (diet & exercise) and the health and function of the body systems
- ways to keep our body in a healthy state
Concept: Well being
Writing Genre: Report
2013 Inquiry Topics
Central Idea: Structures are built with specific materials according to a process.
What is a structure?
What are the materials used to make structures? Why?
How are structures designed?
As a part of our current unit of inquiry we are investigating materials used in structures, why structures are built the way the are, what are some famous structures from around the world and why were they built and looking at the materials used in specific structures and why those materials were chosen.
We are looking forward to lots of Technology activities using the design, make and appraise process to create and asses our models.
With Mrs Langham, in the Library, we are investigating bridges – what types there are, why they were built and why specific designs were chosen.
Here are some photos from our latest session in the Library. We had lots of photos of different bridges from around the world and our groups needed to sort them- by setting our own criteria to sort them. Then we did some reading about bridges and their forms and then resorted our photos. This created lots of discussions about the different types of bridges we had.
Bridge Sorting Activity on PhotoPeach
As a part of our Inquiry unit about Safety we collected sets of pictures and photos showing safe and unsafe situations.
We met with Mr Hanna’s Year 3/4 class and we shared our photos and they showed us theirs. We had some points to discuss while we shared our pictures:
- What could we see?
- What made it a safe/unsafe situation?
- If it was unsafe how could we change it become more safe?
We shared in pairs and then groups of 4 and then changed our groups so we could see lots of different pictures and share our thoughts and ideas.
At the end of our sharing session we placed our pictures onto a line from 1 to 10. 1 meant the photo showed a safe situation and 10 meant it was very dangerous. Then we did a gallery walk to see where the pictures had been placed. It was a really interesting activity to do.
Here’s some photos of our session on Tuesday.
Inquiry – Safety on PhotoPeach
Our first unit of inquiry for 2013.
Look out for me!
Central Idea: Making safe decisions affects our lives.
- Safety at home
- Safety in the community.
- Making safe choices.
We are looking forward to inquiring about ways that we can be safe, make safe choices, how to get help if we need it and how to make safe choices for ourselves.
Last week our class members created posters that taught a lesson about water – we needed to use the information that we learned from this unit of inquiry.
Our posters needed to have a clear message, the pictures needed to support the writing and we needed to take pride in the work we presented.
It was clear that the students who presented their work clearly understood the inquiry points from this unit and could thoroughly explain their learning. Great job guys!
Water posters – teaching our classmates a lesson on PhotoPeach
During the last few weeks we have begun answering the questions we posed on our “Wondering Wall.” We’ve used books, posters, charts, pictures, diagrams and internet websites to locate the “right” information to help us collect facts to answer our questions.
Today we began planning how we would like to present this learning. We brainstorm a big list and then showed examples of what they could look like. For example: posters, making a chart, making a mind map, using the StoryKit app or Cartoon Strips on the iPods or iPads, or using different programs on our computers like Keynote, iMovie, Pages.
The room was just buzzing with excitement at presenting our learning in any way we wanted. We needed to record a plan of how we would present our learning and brainstormed a list of items that must be included in our presentations. We need to include all our information, use diagrams or pictures with labels to match the writing, make sure our information actually answers the questions we asked and that our learning in presenting in an interesting way.
Here’s our planning and first working session from today!
Inquiry Learning Presentations on PhotoPeach
As a part of our Inquiry into Water we looked at photos of how people from all over the world collect water. We completed a placemat exercise to record:
- what we could see
- how the people were collecting water
- the problems the people may be experiencing
- and any wonderings we had from the picture.
Water – Placemats on PhotoPeach
As a part of our new Inquiry topic we begun by using lotus diagrams to show what we know about the topic. We used the titles/ key words to brainstorm everything we knew about the topic. We shared our ideas in small groups and then the whole class. It created a really interesting discussion about Water.
Lotus diagrams on PhotoPeach
Then we began to ask some questions to about our topic and listed some key words for our word wall.
On Thursday Miss Sporn said we could make it rain in our classroom. Can you believe it??
We used a kettle, boiling water and trays to catch the water/ condensation. We watched the water heat, steam began to rise and then formed on the surface of the tray- as condensation. Then we looked at how this links to the water cycle.
Water cycle – Steam & Condensation Activity on PhotoPeach
Then Mrs Langham read us a story book called Ruby Loses His Loop.
We discussed the story and how water affects bird life – plus any of nature’s creatures.
Our new inquiry topic starts this week.
Water Water Everywhere
Water is essential to life, and is a limited resource for many people.
- Sources of water and how water is used
- What happens to water after it has been used
- Distribution and availability of usable water
- Our responsibilities regarding water
- The water cycle
- The importance of clean drinking water.
- Where does our water come from?
- Why do we need water and how do we use water?
- What are responsible ways to use water?
- What can we do if we don’t have access to clean drinking water?
Function, Responsibility, perspective
Conservation, Equity, processes
Australian Curriculum Links:
Nature and the Development of science: Identifying and describing sources of water.
As our final learning task we were presented with a challenge.
Task: Create a new community that services the needs and wants of the people living there. You will need to discuss, plan, map and create your community – considering all of the needs and wants of the people who are going to live there. Your group will present it’s community to the others in our class- all group members need to be included in this presentation.
Here is a video of the girl’s community called Willowsville.
The girl’s really explained their community very clearly. They co-operated very well as a group and always listened to each other and shared ideas clearly. Their explanation shows just how well they understood the needs of the people in their community.
A wonderful effort girls! You worked well as a team and your creation of Willowsville really showed what you understood about the needs and wants of a community.
Weeks 7 – 9
These are some snapshots of our planning and building sessions. This was a part of our final assessment piece – to show what we’ve learnt about community – needs vs wants, planning a community, mapping skills, how to come to an agreed decision (like Councils do for communities that they serve) and actually starting to build models of the buildings and services we would need.
Inquiry – Building our Communities on PhotoPeach
We have continued our work with Mrs Langham from our Library. Our investigations into communities, resources, services and systems have continued and we’ve been posting lots of big, fat juicy questions on our student question board.
Today we were presented with a challenge:
You and your partner have to build a new community. You must include 30 buildings that will suit the needs of the people wanting to live there. What will you include and why?
We looked at some different planning maps, showing a bird’s eye view and we looked at the keys or legends used. We used the National Geographic Education website for some ideas. We planned and listed what we would like to include and needed to give the reasons why we had included them. It created lots of interesting discussions.
Here are some photos to give you an idea of what our session looked like today.
As a part of our Inquiry unit today we worked in the Library with Mrs Langham.
We made groups of 4 or 5 people and all received the same task card.
During our 10 minutes planning time we created maps, using a bird’s eye view, and listed different needs of a community – buildings, resources and services.
Each group shared their plans and then some groups added ideas to their plans.
Next we had 20 minutes to build our community. It was a busy and frantic time for each group to get their community built on time. We used blocks, foam shapes, books, Lego, crepe paper for roads and brennex paper for water or green paddocks.
It was really important that our groups co-operated, shared, compromised, took individual responsibility for their part of the team and helped each other. Most importantly each group needed team work.
Here are some photos showing our learning.
Building a Community – from planning to construction to completion on PhotoPeach
Then each group needed to present their community to the rest of the class. We gave each group feedback, asked questions and clarified what we were looking at.
Here are the finished communities.
Each group’s video will be posted on this page – soon!
As a part of our Inquiry unit about communities, systems in communities and the resources we need we brought models from home to show the different types of buildings in our community.
Here is a list of some of the buildings we think are important in our community:
- child care centres
- mechanic workshops
- swim centres
- sports arenas
- Blackwood Recreation Centre
- Coromandal Valley Community Centre
- Parliament House
- a self care house
- basketball stadiums
- Blackwood Footy Club.
Here’s a slideshow to show our models – we have the most amazing models on display in our classroom. Pop in and see them when you can.
Important Buildings in our Community on PhotoPeach
This week we started our new unit of inquiry. It is called Get Down to My Town.
The central idea of this unit is: A community is made up of people and places and the services and systems that operate within them.
Our inquiry points are:
- Why people live in communities
- The various factors that can influence the growth & location of a community, eg climate, geography and resources
- The systems that are needed to support a community
- The effects planning has on a community, both good and bad.
Inquiry with Mrs Langham on PhotoPeach
As a part of our inquiry into the qualities and values of a hero our Sharing Time topic was to create a model or drawing of a medal you would award to an Olympic athlete. We needed to include a model or a drawing of it, a description telling us who could win the award/ trophy and explain the values and qualities that each athlete would need in order to achieve this.
It was a really interesting Sharing Time topic. We had lots of different sports represented and the trophies and drawings were really creative.
Here are the photos of our ideas!
Sharing Time – Olympic Athlete Qualities and Values on PhotoPeach
As the presentations were made during the week we noticed that many qualities were similar.
For example: athletes would need to:
- be reliable
- be responsible
- be caring
- be honest
- play fairly
- be a good sport
- be positive
- take risks
- try something new
- be determined
- play hard
- show respect for your opponent
- work as a team member
- care for your team mates
- listen to advice from coaches
- train hard
- be persistent.
Today we saw the Camp Quality Puppet Show at school.
The play was about a little girl called, Kylie, who had cancer and had chemotherapy as her treatment.
Kylie met her friend Deano after she had finished her chemotherapy treatment. It was Kylie’s first day back at school, after being away for 3 months. Kylie felt very nervous being back at school and how she looked now after her treatment. At first Deano teased Kylie because her hair had fallen out and she looked as pale as a ghost. Kylie was also very skinny. Kylie’s feelings were very hurt when Deano teased her. BUT Deano realised his mistake and knew he needed to apologise.
After Kylie had explained her cancer and the treatment Deano said sorry and that made Kylie feel a lot better inside. Deano realized that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – it’s what’s in the inside that counts.
We really enjoyed the play and we learnt a lot about cancer and how to treat it. We also learnt some important messages about not teasing people and treating them fairly.
Some of the values and behaviours we admired in the play were:
➢ Don’t be a bully
➢ It’s what’s on the inside that counts
➢ Be kind
➢ Be caring
➢ Be thoughtful
➢ Don’t tease others because they are different
➢ Accept and respect differences
➢ It’s not cool to be cruel!
➢ Work together
➢ Be friendly to others
➢ Use nice words
➢ Be happy
➢ Be positive
➢ Be welcoming
➢ Use your manners
➢ Be brave
➢ Be respectful
One of our tasks this week has been to create a “comic book hero.” Each description needed to include the characters name, their strengths and the skills they possess. We then needed to write a 6 pane comic strip showing this character at work.
Here are some of our finished pieces of work.
Heroes Comic Strips on PhotoPeach