This week in Kindergarten we began a new unit of inquiry. The unit comes under the Where We Are in Place and Time transdisciplinary theme, with the Central Idea: By visiting new places we can learn about the world.
The unit began with a provocation. For this unit a world map and the film Finding Nemo were used. The kids were curious straight away about the world map, prompting much discussion about why the map was there and what it had to do with the new unit of inquiry. Eventually, the kids said that perhaps our new unit has something to with visiting countries, adventure and exploring, I added the word ‘journey’ into the conversation.
By this point background knowledge had been activated and curiosity sparked, just from the world map. I then explained that we would be watching a film that has something to do with a journey.
The film was stopped at various points to allow for some turn and talk (Think Pair Share) about the various things they were noticing about the journey Nemo’s father Marlin takes to rescue him. When sharing back to the whole group I used the What Makes You Say That routine to prompt further discussion.
This then led into using the Think-Puzzle-Explore routine to see what they think they already know about journeys, to find out what puzzles them and what their wonderings are, then finally they tried to work out some ways that we could explore and inquire into their questions and wonderings.
The thinking that the kids shared really demonstrated to me that the provocations sparked their curiosity and immediately got them interested in, and thinking about, the elements of the Central Idea and the Lines of Inquiry (1. Reasons for journeys 2. Types of journeys 3. What we take and learn from journeys). They were then able to focus this curiosity into their thoughts for the Think-Puzzle-Explore routine.
Some interesting puzzles came up, luggage is a serious business, who wouldn’t want to know why people need to take so much on journeys! Then there’s maps, because maps have stuff, stuff makes them interesting, plus you can find your house! On the flip side, puzzling over why some people take lots of journeys yet others don’t and why some journeys aren’t fun, open some very interesting potential pathways for this inquiry.