Grade 4 Beliefs Unit - Science, Art, Humanities and Engineering - Museums Go Global
Welcome to the Grade 4 Beliefs Unit Collection. Please enjoy. Below there is information about:
- How the lesson was used specifically at Washington International School (WIS) in Washington DC in 2019
- The role of STEAM at WIS
Additionally, within the collection, the markers will help guide the teacher through each component. The collection is broken up into: Educating the teacher team (preparing for the unit), STEAM teacher resources, Student activities, and Student learning extensions.
Enjoy and all feedback is welcomed.
Washington International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Program (PYP). I am the STEAM Specialist who integrates 21st century skill inquiry projects, hands on science and engineering, and digital tools/technology. This collection is to support many teachers who will contribute to content for this unit. The Language specialists, art teacher, design technology, STEAM Specialist and physical education.
STEAM at WIS:
My role will be to host an experience that role-plays early civilizations and their interactions with sun, moon, and stars. Students will interpret their experience and create a piece of art that demonstrates their translation of the experience. The follow up will be to help the students connect their experience with ancient cultures. Then, the conversation will further develop to challenge the students to think how science changes our understanding of our universe. The overall theme is to encourage students and give them confidence to explore various belief systems, challenge their own understanding of the world through their beliefs, experiences, and science.
These exercises scaffold learning to align student inquiry to the Social Studies standards:
- Distinguish between personal beliefs and belief systems (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
- Define the elements of a belief system (creed, codes of behavior, rituals, community.) (AERO CC+ G5 p22 4.5.f)
- Identify the major religions of the world in terms of their beliefs, rituals and sacred texts. (referenced: AERO CC+ G6 p30 4.8.f)
- Reflect upon how beliefs affect the individual and society (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
Important to know: The teachers at WIS took the students on two days of field trips to visit various areas of "worship" in the DC/MD/VA area: Buddhist Temple, Mosque, Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, and African American Christian Church. Students had worksheets to complete for each location that included observations of icons, the use of shapes in the visual devotional symbols, and to draw the various religious icons. After, they engaged in discussion about their experiences. If your school does not have the ability to do an elaborate field trip like this, we recommend having devotional leaders and/or parents visit as subject matter experts to demonstrate their systems of faith, icons, devotions, and symbols.
- I used this collection to train the teachers about the new thinking routines (Beginning slides)
- There are samples from students learning about Sun, Egyptian use of sun in their beliefs (art and architecture)
- Students looked at Egyptian sun use and modern NASA sun data to inspire them for their STEAM Challenge
- Their STEAM Challenge was to create a pyramid (cardboard) with a devotion (clay), and decorate with sun symbols (crayons/markers).
- Our students just completed a cardboard challenge (Cain's Arcade - check out on Youtube) so they were cardboard construction "experts". Therefore, they only had 40 minutes for their challenge. You will need to either have a lesson on cardboard construction before, or give them more samples and/or time. Hypothetically, this could be a 1/2 day project for students.
- The goal is then for students to look at other cultures and other NASA data (Incas (or other Native American tribes) African Tribes, and/or Australian Aborigines, etc. and have them do the same STEAM challenge (format) by creating a model structure decorated by symbols inspired by both indigenous symbols and modern NASA data (sun, stars, planets, or Earth's Moon). Therefore, they will have a "Maker Collection" that demonstrates various engineering styles as well as belief systems.
International Baccalaureate Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry: Who we are. Beliefs - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Central Idea: Humans have common beliefs that attempt to answer life’s big questions.
- The main line of Inquiry this collection will align with is: Global religious beliefs and practices
The following subject teachers plan to do the following:
- Art = Beliefs and metaphors with clay
- Digital Technology = Building sacred structures
- STEAM = Engineering and Science of sacred structures globally and historically
Global thinking routines: Step In, Step Out, Step Back; Beauty and Truth; Unveiling Stories
STEAM Challenge: Students can further their inquiry from ancient beliefs with their experiences with modern organized religion into modern spirituality by analyzing the exhibition for Burning Man Festival. Students will complete a STEAM Challenge to build their own sacred structure that honors their own belief systems.