A few weeks ago we concluded our unit on ‘relationships’ in MYP 3, which is a mixed-phase class (phase 2&3). Work in this unit revolved around the following statement of inquiry (SoI): Relationships are built differently across cultures, depending on the connections people make and the contexts in which they live.
The provocation that was employed to launch the unit was a collage in which we could observe how a child’s relationships changed as he grew up. The provocation was wrapped up by using a circle divided in 4 (such as the one shown above), and we brainstormed on the different kinds of relationships people had and/or were a part of. We used the following resource to establish the connection between language and relationships.
We also generated a series of essential understandings related to relationships that we could discuss.
We decided to use a text to support differentiation in this unit, particularly for students whose skills were more consolidated. Pieces of Georgia is a book in which students can read about the relationships a girl has with her father, her schoolmates, her teacher, the horse she takes care of, her passion with art and a ‘mystery angel’. The book was read both in class, and at home. Specific scenes in the book were used to establish relationships with our SoI. We also used a guide that I designed back in 2008, to provide extension exercises for the themes presented in the book.
As we started scaffolding our path towards summative assessments, and to diversify the context we were working on, we got students to compare how relationships had changed from ‘our generation (my and my co-teacher)’ to theirs.
The outcomes of the work students produced allowed us to start exploring criterion A assessment opportunities.
As the unit evolved, we identified several instances in which the relationship between animals and people were highlighted in ‘Pieces of Georgia’, thus we decided to ‘add feeling’ to our inquiry b looking at the story of Hachi.
Thus, as we approached the end of the unit, and to address another aspect of our SoI, which had to do with the environment in which we live, we explored a video-testimonial made by students.
Having worked on all of these scenarios, we identified a variety of opportunities to engage students to participate in role-plays, employing language in different situations.
Finally, we looked back at the essential understandings that we generated at the beginning and discussed how we could wrap up the unit. We decided to create something that highlighted the relationship between teachers and students, and in which the language used reflected the relationship between language itself and emotions. The rubric for the culminating activity can be found below, as well as students’ outcome.
I hope these ideas and resources are found to be useful. Please leave your comments and feedback. I will be sharing more soon.