Inquiry into SDGs: Sustainable Cities & Communities

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

I am astonished by some of the figures associated with this global goal. Right now, 3.5 billion people live in cities, which is half of our global population. By 2050, that figure is expected to reach 6.5 billion, which would be 2/3 of our population. It is clearly a pressing need to consider how we can design our urban spaces in more sustainable ways.

This week’s provocations are meant to help students consider what it means for a city to be sustainable.

Resource #1: Bicycle Rush Hour via The Kid Should See This

Resource #2: What is Public Life? by Gehl Institute

Resource #3: A Taste of Vienna by Film Spektakel

Resource #4: Gentrification by Word of the Day

Resource #5: “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton

Provocation Questions: 

  • What makes a city pleasant to live in?
  • What makes a city pleasant to move around in?
  • What do you notice about cities that are pleasant to walk or ride bikes around?
  • What does it mean for something to be be sustainable?
  • What is the connection between a pleasant city and a sustainable one?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry into Feelings

Taking a break from my provocation series into the SDGs to write an inquiry into feelings. It was sparked by the first resource in this list, from the profound words of a second grader: “With friends, I don’t have to be happy.”

I think the best reason I can think of to stop and inquire into the nature of feelings is summed up by this quote from Brene Brown:

https://brenebrown.com/

How might an inquiry into the nature of feelings impact your students at any point in the school year? Use the resources below to find out!

Resource #1: Tweet from Hata Trbonja

Resource #2: Disney Pixar’s Inside Out trailer (also, this incredible scene when Sadness helps Riley make sense of memories that were once dominated by joy).

Resource #3: Feelings by Nate Milton

Resource #4: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

Resource #5: We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Resource #6: The Heart & The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

Provocation Questions: 

  • What are feelings?
  • Why do we need feelings?
  • What is the purpose of feelings? All of them?
  • How can it be helpful for us to identify how we are feeling?
  • What are different perspectives people have when experiencing each emotion?
  • What is our responsibility to honor our feelings?
  • What would life be like without any emotions?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry Into SDG’s: Quality Education

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

The purpose for the SDG of Quality Education is to “Ensure inclusive & equitable education & promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

While this goal focuses largely on developing countries, rooting out educational disparities anywhere will aid in this effort. This week’s provocation is designed to get kids thinking about why disparities exist and how progress might be made.

Resource #1: The work of Matiullah Wesa (great article on GlobalCitizen, and his Twitter account is packed with documentation of their efforts).

Resource #2: If You Build It by OCP Media

Resource #3: Cogs by AIME Mentoring

Resource #4: 7 Insane Ways Children Get to School via Global Citizen

Resource #5: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Provocation Questions: 

  • What does quality education mean?
  • What does it mean for a child to receive quality education?
  • How does educating children impact families? Communities? The world?
  • What is our responsibility to ensure everyone receives a quality education?
  • How does the idea of what makes an education quality change over time?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry into SDGs: Partnerships for the Goals

This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here

Finally! I made a plan over a year ago that once I finished my series of provocations on each of the PYP essential elements (and then a brief series of provocations on learner identities), I would begin a series of provocations for each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At last that day has arrived. The SDG’s are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are working to be part of that plan by providing resources to help students think about their own contributions, both now and in the future.

Partnerships of the Goals is one of the SDG’s themselves. It:

“seeks to strengthen global partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda, bringing together national governments, the international community, civil society, the private sector and other actors.” (source)

Below are resources to help students inquire into what this goal means and how they might apply it themselves.

Resource #1: Further Up Yonder by Giacomo Sardelli (I recommend using subtitles)

Resource #2: Amazonia Security Agenda by Moth

Resource #3: Flying Rhinos by Green Renaissance

Resource #4: Where Do We Go From Here? by RSA

Resource #5: A Declaration of Interdependence by Tiffany Shlain & Let It Ripple Film Studio

Resource #6: Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Provocation Questions:

  • What is a partnership like?
  • Why do good partnerships matter? For ourselves? For our communities? For our world?
  • What is our responsibility to work together?
  • What are the different perspectives on partnerships, and how do they sometimes create barriers in our ability to make partnerships?
  • What is the connection between global citizenship and partnerships for the SDGs?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry Into Being A Scientist

This is part of a series of provocations on learner identities. Discussing what it means to be a scientist certainly lends itself more to inquiry, but it’s still a valuable step to purposefully take. After all, as long as we insist on rigid science fairs, some students may feel that they only qualify as scientists if the Scientific Method is in play (complete with a tri-fold board).

Use the following resources to provoke thinking and discussion on what it really means to be a scientist!

Resource #1: Why I Study Physics by Shixie

Resource #2: Insight: From Migrant Farming to Mars via The Kid Should See This

Resource #3: Patterns in Nature by National  Geographic

Resource #4: Photography by Sebastião Salgado

This photo series is awe-inspiring. Compilation via Ted-Ed.

Resource #5: Tiny Perfect Things by M. H. Clark

Provocation Questions:

  • What does it mean to be a scientist?
  • What is the impact of seeing ourselves as scientists? (on ourselves, on our world?)
  • What is our responsibility to be scientists?
  • How does being a scientist relate to citizenship?
  • What is the connection between exploration and being a scientist?
  • What skills do scientists use?
  • What tools do scientists use?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry Into Being a Mathematician

This is the 3rd installment of learning identities provocations (completed: Inquiry into being a Writer, Reader).

Inquiring into what it means to be a mathematician is near and dear to my heart because I certainly never identified as such during my school years. So many of us are/were of this mindset: convinced that mathematicians are those people, with little to do with us.

But the truth is we can all start telling  ourselves a much more inclusive story. Being bad at recalling math facts does not exclude one from being a mathematician; nor does being a pro at reciting math facts automatically create a mathematician. Rather, we must all reframe our thinking, identifying our own very real, practicable, and even creative mathematical applications, that do, in fact, make us mathematicians.

Resource #1: Beauty of Mathematics by Parachutes

Resource #2: Tweet by Aviva Dunsinger

Resource #3: Which One Doesn’t Belong? collaborative website by Mary Bourassa

Resource #4: Infinity & Me by Kate Hosford & Gabi Swiatkowska

Provocation Questions:

  • What does it mean to be a mathematician?
  • How does doing math compare to being a mathematician?
  • What is the connection between creativity and being a mathematician?
  • How can we build our sense of ourselves as mathematicians?
  • What is our responsibility to be a mathematician?
  • What impact does mathematics have on our lives? On our communities?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

Inquiry Into Being a Reader

In between larger series of my PYP essential elements provocations and soon-to-begin SDGs provocations, I’m doing a short series on learner identities. Last week was an inquiry into what it means to be a writer. This week is on what it means to be a reader!

Resource #1:  Reading Interest Inventories

There’s an abundance of reading interest inventories, but they all share the same goal: to help students learn and ponder more about themselves as readers. A definite must for this provocation! Explore a few below:

Resource #2: KidLit Childrens’ Books by Caroline Burgess animation

Resource #3: Night Reading by Brian Rea

Resource #4: Authors talking about themselves as readers (from my post, 18 Best Videos to Get to Know Children’s Authors/Illustrators)

Resource #5: Picture Books

Provocation Questions:

  • What does it mean to be a reader?
  • How does being a reader compare with the act of reading?
  • What is our responsibility to read? (for ourselves? for the world?)
  • How does reading shape our communities?
  • What are the different ways we read?
  • What are the perspectives on reading? Why are there different perspectives on reading?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto