Quick re-cap: The students picked a man-made system that interested them, researched the system and current problems with that system, then interviewed or went on a community visit to talk to someone in the field.
As part of the IB Inquiry Cycle, I now asked my students how they were going to “Take Action” in some way. I wanted the groups to develop a creative and positive way to make a difference (in regards to the problem they’ve been researching).
– What can your group do now that you have learned all of this information?
– How can your group make a difference?
- Think of small changes first. Build from there.
- Be reasonable. Consider time-constraints, manpower, monetary investment, etc. when developing your idea.
Here’s how it looked for a few of my groups:
- Transportation system (specifically the local CARTA buses): Students created fliers to pass out in the car-pool line at school to encourage parents to have students walk/ride bikes/use public transportation more often.
- Farming system (specifically “farm to table” movement): Students went to a farmers market, bought local ingredients, created a recipe from scratch, and shared it with the class.
- Education system (specifically physical education and health/nutrition): Students created a five minute presentation to show to the kindergarten classes at our school to promote healthy eating and exercise over summer vacation. The also created a website to share.
Since Exhibition is the culminating project in the Primary Years Programme, the students add their projects to the end of their portfolios. These portfolios (large binders) have been with the students since kindergarten. I save everything from the year, and we have “portfolio days” where the students select the items they are proud of, worked hard on, or just want to keep. They are constantly reflecting too, on their use of IB attributes and attitudes. All of this is kept in their portfolios.
I invite the parents in for a student-led conference. Before the conference, students use this criteria to flag articles that they are especially proud of. On conference day, their parents can write notes back to them and also describe how they have seen their child grow. After their student-led conference, the students get to take their portfolios home. They will get a new one next year as they start the Middle Years Programme.