Shannon Maloney talks about building rich technology units within a programme of inquiry in years 1–6.
Building technology inquiries in years 1–6
I went about planning a technology matrix for years 1–6 by looking at what’s called our programme of inquiry overviews for each year level. And that covers our theme, which is the PYP theme for each inquiry that they do, and then it looks at what’s called their central idea and then lines of inquiry. And then from there what they do is connect their achievement objectives from The New Zealand Curriculum to that inquiry.
So I looked at those and pulled out the technology components that were going to be covered for each inquiry and then put it into the matrix format so that we had a good overview of what was going to be covered in technology from years one to six.
This year, I’ve completed one technology unit. I’ve got two in progress for planning and next term is quite heavily weighted with technology. So the one that has been completed is with the year two group. And their theme was “Where we are in place and time”. And their central idea was that societies or people build structures to either explore their environment or to help them protect themselves. So what we did was, we looked at a variety of things in Auckland because they girls were only year two so to connect it close to home for them initially. And then we looked at global things. We looked at bridges, towers, more landmarked things like Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, castles.
And then the girls from there, based on what interest they think they had, they formed their wonderings. And we got the girls into groups and they planned their own structures, they drew up their little plan, they worked out what they might use to build it, why it was needed. And then they gathered their materials and we built them.
We found that the outcome and development component and the characteristics of technology had a really good fit with our unit of work here.
I’m about to start a technology inquiry with the year six girls, which is looking at architecture over time and how society’s needs reflect changes in architecture. That hasn’t actually begun. We are in the planning stages with meeting with the classroom teachers and deciding how the unit is going to run and the sequence of lessons that are going to take place.
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