How can we ensure a coherent learning experience for our students?
For this activity I chose a unit that closely relates to my subject with the thoughts of making meaningful connections with a familiar lesson. However, I found this just as difficult if not more so because I had to see this unit from the generalist teacher point of view rather than my own as the art teacher. The lines of inquiry were not as I would have written from an art teacher perspective, they seemed chunky and distant from my view of the central idea. Upon further investigating this unit through answering the prompt questions it came together better for me. I used the Making the PYP Happen to clearly define the three key concepts (pages 18-20) and it helped me pull the unit together. Below are my reflections.
Grade 5 (age 10-11)
Transdiciplary Theme: How We Express Ourselves
Central Idea: Creating and responding to art develops understanding of ourselves and the world around us
Key Concepts: Function, Perspective, Reflection
Related Concepts: Creativity, Perception, Bias/interpretation
Lines of Inquiry:
How well does the central idea reflect the concepts identified?
Function – The basis for this idea is investigating how creating and responding to art fits into our society. This invites questions like: What is art? Why do people make art? Why do societies preserve art? The concept brings us to the very core of the function of art in our world – both personally and beyond.
Perspective – Art is a global phenomenon that spans all cultures and societies. By focusing on this concept of perspective it allows students to broaden their opinions by investigating other perspectives, interpretations, understandings, and points of view. Through the central idea we are asked to seek understanding from the world around us as well as ourselves into this concept of art.
Reflection – The students are asked to personally reflect on the art making process before, during, and after by inquiring into what they are making and why they are making it. Extending this to a global scale allows students to stretch their interpretation beyond their scope and reflect on the world around them.
How well does the central idea reflect an aspect of the transdisciplinary theme identified?
Art is the ideal method of expression so this central idea perfectly aligns with the overarching transdiciplinary theme. Beyond that, the central idea asks the student to consider not only how they express themselves through art but also how others use art to show expression. Connecting students to their own internal understanding as well as the larger global perspective.
How well does the unit provide opportunity to explore multiple subject-related concepts and knowledge?
I chose to focus on this unit because it is arts heavy. Although multiple subjects could certainly be involved I think having a unit specifically related to art is important to show its value in societies. Through art we explore all other subjects, themes, and concepts. So although the students may not discuss this unit during their math making, (for example) it does not mean that the artwork created or reflected on is not math related (perspective, form, geometry, etc).
Which subjects do you think are most relevant to exploring the central idea?
This is an ideal unit to bring together the visual arts, theater, dance, and music subjects. In addition history will play a significant role in this unit. Writing as an artistic medium could also be incorporated fluidly.
The writings and happenings of What's Going On In The Art Room, written by Ms. Alisa Blundon in Istanbul, Turkey
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