On Thursday 1 March the Year 5 students had their mini-exhibition, which was about their own fictional country and its chosen government systems. It was part of their Unit of Inquiry: ‘How We Organise Ourselves’.
According to Mr O’Shea, one of the Year 5 teachers, he felt that this was one of the most engaging units of inquiry he has ever been a part of. He was delighted to have seen every student so engaged all the way from the beginning of the unit until the exhibition. Who would of thought that governments could be so interesting!
The summative assessment task was introduced at the beginning of the unit. The children had to create their own country and decide what government system they would use in their country. There were 3 requirements:
1. Design a flag (Art)
2. Write laws and consequences (Language/Social Studies)
3. Decide your government expenditure (Mathematics).
Mr O’Shea explains. “Never have I seen a whole class enjoy an assessment task so much. There was no “I’m finished” throughout the whole unit, in fact it was quite the opposite. Often children would come to class before school to work on their project as their was always a new idea. The children are supposed to play before school, but I made an allowance as it was great to see such enthusiasm and so much learning take place.”
Talking after the mini exhibition: “As you saw from the exhibition, every child went way further than the requirements of the task and they all had so much knowledge about governments. To hear a 9 year old explain reasons why their government would spend 25% of their budget on education because they want the country to have good jobs and make money for the country is quite impressive. That was just one example.”
He was also delighted with the added dimension the students brought in. “It was amazing to watch children form alliances with other countries so they could trade. Some countries, due to their geographical location or climate were rich in particular natural resources, however they realised that they needed to trade with other countries that were rich in other natural resources. This was how they learnt about import and export.”