Inquiry-based learning has been an integral part of our year together in Room 26. As inquirers, we have asked questions, thought deeply and developed conceptual understandings across learning areas.
In one unit of work, we explored food and fibre production and the technology used in the agricultural industry. We investigated different types of farms in Australia and made connections to their geographical location and climate. Student questions provoked and guided our learning such as, what is it like being a farmer? Which raw commodity has the most processing? and how many emissions are emitted to produce a crate of fruit?
To take our learning further, we chose a raw commodity to research and discover how it travels from ‘Paddock to Plate’ or ‘Farm to Fork’. One group even studied ‘Crops to Chopsticks’! We learnt about supply chains and applied our understanding to create a 3D model of the production process. Our knowledge of the Habits of Mind (learning dispositions) supported us to be open minded and work effectively in small, collaborative groups.
The marketing aspect of running a business was of particular interest to the class and we honed our technology skills to advertise our newly formed companies. We created brochures, wrote jingles and even composed music using Chrome Music Lab. We love the transdisciplinary nature of Inquiry!
To top it all off, we hosted a Commodity Expo to share our expertise to our families and pre-primary buddies. “It feels like the Perth Royal Show!” said one proud parent.
Learning first hand from an expert in the community was inspiring. We had the pleasure of meeting Farmer Damian and his dairy cow and learnt about milk production and the dairy farming industry. Following our incursion, the students received an Augmented Reality (AR) journal to enjoy. Our gratitude and thanks go to the WA Farmers Federation!
We continue to wonder and ask questions, and some of the issues we are keen to explore further are food miles and the impact of climate change. The power of inviting the learner in to make decisions, to help design the pathway of learning and curate their own work recognises that the learner is at the very centre of the inquiry process. The power of inquiry…