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Spotlight On: Grade 4

Young Activists

Student Action is an integral part of the learning process in the Primary Years Programme. We encourage students to see action as a multi-step process, which begins with asking questions through which students identify an issue of personal interest or concern.

Once students have chosen this issue or topic, they identify the important questions that need to be answered in order to better understand it. With the help of our school librarian, we’ve been able to introduce students to various sources that can be used to gather information as part of their research.

Following the research process, the children begin to create something of their own, such as a campaign or presentation. Once they have created something informed by their knowledge, it’s time to share this message with an audience.

Taking action was a through-line in our most recent unit, which focused media messages and their impact on our thoughts, perceptions, and behaviour.

Our Central Idea was Media can influence our choices and perceptions.

Our Lines of Inquiry were the following:

  • – Messages in the media affect the way we think and the choices we make.
  • – We can use persuasion for worthwhile purposes
  • – Advertisers use methods to attract specific markets.

In this unit, there were two outcomes, which required students to take action. Students produced a Public Service Announcement and a persuasive text about an ecological concern. The Public Service Announcements were made in collaboration with Grade 5 students.

If you would like to see the Public Service Announcements, please follow this link:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjJZpWiyGakSosRHvm6bz3q2Zmz1lFr8_

This recent unit on media built upon some of the themes we explored as part of our earlier unit on “History-makers.” In this unit, students worked in collaborative pairs across grade levels to embody the vision and accomplishments of an influential peacemaker. Students chose peacemakers (such as John Lennon, chosen by the students in the photo above) based on topics relating to their personal interests and completed research in order to better understand their peacemakers’ backgrounds, the inspiration for their causes, and ways in which they contributed to changing history and impacting humanity.

The culmination of this project was a “wax museum,” in which students brought their peacemakers to life and conducted interviews with “journalists” from their historical period. This provided a wonderful opportunity for students to invite their families and the ISBerne community to take part in this experience. This was a great experience for our children, and we hope to have the opportunity to share more of their action going forward!

– Ms Reilly, Mr Cavanna, and Mr Dowse

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