Nov 25 2015

This second unit which transdisciplinary theme was “Where we are in place and time” meant for second graders the perfect excuse to have an exciting trip around the world by playing interesting roles (explorers, travel agents and tourists) and fulfill three important missions: Discover Earth landscapes, explore world cultures and share this knowledge with their partners. As a great adventure, they had different stopovers that allowed them to discover different cultures, identities and environments that characterize the diverse planet we live in: The Earth.

Let’s follow the path of their journey!

Stopover 1: Finding the north

First of all, they wanted to start at the right direction and reflected upon what they already knew about their country and other countries around the world.

For this purpose, sources as maps and videos activated their previous knowledge, made them ready to work as a team, and showed by images the information they had about different cultures.

This experience made sure they started off on the right foot and were ready for the next stop… They were ask to look for more information about the entire world.

Stopover 2: Getting experience as pirates

Then, in order to provide children knowledge related to cartography, “Chiquimuseo” professionals came to school to take kids on a learning adventure about the Earth’s geography including how compasses and maps are valuable tools, to make them recognize our world’s landscape giving them tips to avoid getting lost and finding their way!

This knowledgeable experience was nothing but fun as children had the chance to become pirates. As so they found the North by creating compasses and moreover navigated through our school land to hide and find treasures!

Stopover 3: Knowing the world from others’ experiences and cultures

After that, our little explorers had the opportunity to get to know the world’s diversity through the eyes of some teachers from our school. As some of them are foreigners, they were happy to share important information and facts about their home countries - Canada, Argentina and USA - with the kids. Of course, they got kids’ curiosity up and we all could get to know about their favorite food, clothing, music and sports! Furthermore, teachers made us reflect on how Colombia is a very attractive place for many people around the world and there is nothing to envy but so much to share.

Stopover 4: Time to share world experiences

Next our kids shared their experiences from other countries they had visited before. They brought to school several objects which were related to the concepts of culture and landscape. Countries as Peru, Australia, Cuba, China and France among others were a topic of conversation for them.

Last stop: Spreading knowledge and culture!

Finally, as part of their summative assessment, kids were invited to play one of the roles listed at the beginning of this article, and share their knowledge about a specific country from the world chosen by them. This experience let us know their commitment with searching information and presenting it: Many of them represented a character from the chosen countries, brought typical food, and even gave travel agent cards!

Our unit of inquiry was worth all the work as it showed us our kids’ adventurous journey by which they demonstrated they were aware of the importance of how knowing environment allows identity building and recognition of cultural diversity, how maps are more than drawings, culture is more than food and clothing, and most importantly, that second graders are much more than little children… They were the most open-minded and reflective explorers of the world!  

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