Many teachers struggle with the inquiry section of the unit planner. Describing what teachers want students to do in the lesson – in the action section – can feel much more practical and straightforward. However, as MYP teachers, we know that the inquiry section is the special part of the unit planner, which sets it apart from other curricula. It is in this section that educators express big ideas and make meaningful connections to things happening outside of the classroom.
There are many ways of planning units and selecting these important elements. One way is to take an existing idea or unit and flip it on it’s head, by thinking about how it might be completely different with a different set of concepts, global context and statement of inquiry. Another way is to also keep this question in mind when we plan: “How might we use our subject to make the world a better place?” This is also a question that is discussed with students in all of our units! This way of planning helps craft a meaningful statement of inquiry by selecting appropriate concepts and contexts that lend depth and purpose to the unit.
A lot of teachers painstakingly create excellent inquiry sections for their unit planner. When they come to teach, however, these elements, including the statement of inquiry, are just touched upon in a class discussion or simply appear at the top of the task sheet. In this Educator Tips video, MYP educator Lenny Dutton shares how she puts these elements at the forefront of her teaching, and dives into one of her tried and tested methods to accomplish that! This video will give you a strategy for introducing the big picture of the unit to your students, based on your inquiry. Here you’ll introduce the concepts and context in focus, along with the statement of inquiry, before introducing any context. This will help students make connections and support transfer between the subjects and the outside world.
What you’ll learn:
- A new strategy for introducing units
- Simple questions for helping students discuss the concepts, global context and statement of inquiry
- How to support students in making connections to other subjects and to the world outside