Rock Wallabies Term 4 Inquiry Unit

As part of my 2nd year Preschool (attached to a school) practicum I planned and implemented my first (IB PYP) International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program unit. As this was the children’s final term in the ELC before going into Kindergarten, we wanted to create a fun yet academically bridging unit, to help transition the children into their future education.
This model was a very different planning experience than anything I’d had at uni or work. I developed my unit in consultation with the school’s curriculum coordinator and my Associate Educator.  This practicum was extremely valuable for my teaching experience and one that will  be very useful in future schools with similar planning methods.
Below you can read the documentation that was displayed in the classroom, as evidence of the children’s learning. At the bottom of the page you can click on the SmileBox links to see more of the photos and videos taken from this practicum.

 

Creating and Sharing Stories in the Rock Wallaby Classroom

Over the past three weeks, the Rock Wallaby class has been investigating how we can create and share stories with each other. We began the investigation with the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Bec told us this story in three different ways; with finger puppets, as a retell and with a book. We also brainstormed many other different ways in which we can tell a story.

red riding hood

This exploration into the Red Riding Hood story inspired the children to create their own puppets. Then they used these in the puppet theatre to tell their own stories.

As we worked through different ways of storytelling, we discussed what a story needs (the ingredients), how we structure a story and how to create interesting characters.

With these concepts in mind, the children assisted Kathryn in telling the story of Mrs Honey’s Hat with playdough characters and felt pieces.

This led smoothly into the idea of Claymation. First we watched how this was done in Wallace and Gromit videos and then we had a go ourselves. The children were split into small groups and these groups created their own stories and recorded them as movies.  We then shared these with the class at the end of each day.

To complete our project on creating and sharing stories and concrete our storytelling knowledge, understandings and skills, the children decided to create a storybook of their own. To begin we started by creating a world for our story and through a vote it was decided our story would be set in space. We called our world ‘Outer Comet Alien Space’. Next we had to create the main characters. The children collaboratively created Georgia and James, two astronauts from Earth. To further develop the characters and setting in our minds we created artworks to illustrate them.

story

With our setting and characters created our next job was to create a plot including a beginning, an uh oh, a problem solved and an ending. We did this using a story map, where each child had a chance to put their ideas into the story. This enabled the children to take full ownership over the book, and become true authors. To accompany our plot we needed illustrations, so we split the story map into sections and the children illustrated each section. The children put in lots of effort and created their illustrations with great detail.

The next step was to write the text for the book and try on the shoes of an author. The children sat with Bec outside and created the text with a great deal of imagination and humour. The final step of the class book project was to amalgamate all the parts and produce our final product. This involved laminating the pages, creating a title page and binding all the pages together.

At the end of the day Bec presented the book to the class and was very proud of all their imaginative ideas, creative drawings and overall hard work. Throughout this process the children have become real authors and illustrators and have demonstrated their growing knowledge and skills in creating and sharing stories.

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