Inquiry learning is a constructivist approach, where the student is at the centre of learning. Students form and develop a learning inquiry to investigate aspects of the topic and build a depth of understanding through questioning, thinking and research. This teaching model incorporates a variety of thinking skills, information literacy skills and integrates well with information technology.
The Driving Questions during this Inquiry were:
How do people in other countries/cultures live?
How does history, culture, traditions, and values of people in other countries compare to our life in New Zealand?
What is life like in other countries?
I can compare my life in New Zealand to life in other countries.
I can decide if the information I read seems true or not.
I can share new knowledge in a way that is interesting to a reader or viewer
Following is a list of the countries classes chose to compare and contrast with New Zealand.
Room 15 – South Africa
Rooms 11 and 16 - India
Room 10 – Hawaii
Room 14 – Mexico
Room 12 - Indonesia
Room 13 - France
I liked learning about Mexico and making piñata. We showed the parents and other classes our Book Creator stories of Mexico on the iPads. It’s fun doing the Mexican Hat Dance. I taught Mrs. Burch how to do it.
Room 7 - Scotland
Room 8 - Russia
Room 9 – Greece
Room 1 – Jamaica
Room 5 – Switzerland
Room 6 – Thailand
It was fun making things to display. My Mum thought it was really good to see what I had learnt.
We had a science board display and a model of the pyramids made of cardboard. We talked to people who looked at our presentations about what we had learnt.
Room 2 - Egypt,
Room 3 – Japan
Room 4 – Papua New Guinea
The learning came from the comparisons between the country we were studying (a different culture) and New Zealand. The children loved learning about the things that were really different from New Zealand. There was a huge amount of engagement throughout this Inquiry.
The culmination of student learning was presented, to the rest of the school and whanau, through a ‘Push Pin’ celebration - a school festival celebrating the food, language and culture of these different countries. Here each class showed what they had learnt through a variety of ways: dance, hands-on interactive activities, displays, Book Creator books and 3D models.
A variety of digital tools and programmes were used in classes for investigation and presentation purposes including Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Maps and Book Creator.
There was an enormous amount of interaction between the students with peers, staff and parents. They were proud of the presentations of their learning.
Keywords: global, inquiry, integrated learning, compare and contrast, student agency
View Push Pin Celebration photos here