Playing with Concepts

Connections. It is all about connections. As we know, learning only happens when you can make connections between what you know already and new information. So, as I was planning how to launch a new Individuals and Societies unit, I was considering different ways for the students to play and engage with the concepts and the global context selected for the unit.

I have two young children, and whenever they get a new toy, they usually try to figure out how to use it by exploring it, moving parts from one place to another, and maybe even trying to replicate ways in which they have used similar parts in other toys. Why not allow my students to do the same?

I gave the students the Global Context exploration, creative minds, the key concept change and the related concepts innovation and resources. The students worked in pairs with the goal to write a statement of inquiry that incorporated all the concepts and the exploration. Although these are MYP Year 1 students, this is the third unit of the year, so by now they have had a lot of exposure to a variety of statements of inquiry in all their subjects. The only instruction that I gave them was to play with the words and the ideas they entailed, and see where that took them.

And so they did! We used mini-whiteboards as the students could easily erase, rewrite, and move around information. In other words: play.

After the groups settled on a statement, we shared with the whole class through a gallery walk. This also allowed the students to ask questions to each other about their choices. Without realizing it, the students had engaged in a deep-thinking activity that gave them a solid foundation to start the new unit. Teacher and students satisfied, we finalized the session with some pictures of their final product.




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