Freedom to demonstrate learning
In the English class, grade 6 students are wrapping up the year with an unstructured inquiry. We wanted to look back and reflect on the learning journey we were a part of this year. Therefore, we choose ‘connections’ as a key concept, and decided to explore how researchers establish connections among different areas of knowledge when producing information for a target audience, with a specific purpose, and with the aim of conveying a specific message.
The theme for this unit was chosen by students: they were interested in talking about what it means to be a teenager, and to exchange their perspectives on the topics that are part of the ‘must-discuss’ list. Thus, the materials used to design learning experiences in the classroom addressed those topics. Likewise, the books selected for reading were chosen keeping in mind the inquiry each student was going to lead. What is more, we took this project-based learning opportunity to practice skills that will be needed for the MYP Personal Project in grade 10.
The learning journey began when students prepared their personal learning plans.
After preparing their personal learning plan, students unpacked their ideas and produced a proposal for their project.
Once they finalized their proposals, students began their investigations. The next stage of the process was to organize the sources they were consulting.
Once students finalized their research, they used the information in the sources they found as background information for a persuasive essay. Likewise, after producing their persuasive essay, students were ready to start working on the culminating product they would share with the community. As most of them would produce a video for a specific audience (mostly grade 4 and 5) whose purpose was to persuade, students organized their video-making process.
After reading, planning, researching, and writing, the most exciting part of this process was to see how students collaborated with each other in different manners. Sometimes they would serve as voice actors for the videos their classmates were making; other times they taught each other different editing techniques; also they gave each other feedback on their videos.
Overall, this was an extraordinary way to finalise the grade 6 experience in Language Acquisition. I am happy to share that this year students were both consumers and creators of information.