Part of my role as Teaching and Learning Coordinator involves facilitating and supporting the planning of units of inquiry.
Planning for inquiry can be difficult.
On the one hand, over planning limits the potential for inquiry.
On the other hand, we have desired outcomes and understandings, as well as the demands of a national curriculum.
We used to plan a range of learning experiences in advance. You can read here about how we have improved our planning process.
Nowadays, we start by identifying the desired conceptual understandings and carefully considering what evidence will indicate that our learners have achieved them. Then we plan some provocations that engage the learners in the big ideas and wait to see where the learning takes us.
Keeping an eye on the conceptual understandings allows us to add further targeted provocations as the inquiry unfolds.
Creating a rubric helps clarify where our units are heading. Depending on the age of the learners, some teachers use the rubric with their students, others don’t, but either way, the process helps teachers focus on how to look for evidence of the understandings.
Here’s an example for a Prep (5 year olds) inquiry into how family life has changed over time: