Throughout our third unit of inquiry, we focussed on how communities serve the needs of the people in an organized way. We began by watching a video about a new volcanic Japanese island that rose out of the sea over the last 4 or 5 years, Nishinoshima. We then imagined what it would be like to move to this new island and create a new community there. What types of places would need to be built? Which should we build first? The students had many great ideas and suggestions, homes, workplaces for parents, schools for kids, a water park...etc. Then we looked into which ones we REALLY NEED. We learnt about the difference between 'wants' and 'needs' by imagining that we were shipwrecked on a deserted island and could only bring 3 things with us. What 3 things would you really need to help you survive? What are our most basic needs? - air, water, food, and sleep. We learnt more about our needs by looking at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and discovered that being safe and healthy are also important needs. Once these needs are met, we can focus on learning, or on having some fun.
With a better idea of what people really need, the students took another look at setting up a community on Nishinoshima. This time around the group members included more essential places in the community such as homes, farms, grocery stores, hospitals and less frivolous places like Water Parks.
Next, we began exploring our second line of inquiry by searching for places in the community which help meet peoples needs. We grouped these places under 4 headings: Basic Needs, Health and Safety, Education, and Fun and Entertainment. Armed with digital cameras partners hunted for places that helped people in the Rokko Island community meet their various needs. We discovered that many places help us meet more than just one type of need, and we learnt more about how these places are structured and organized by talking with some of the kind staff members who helped explain how the places are organized.
Students also did some research online to find out more about how different places such as fire stations, restaurants or hotels organize not only the physical layout but how the workers are organized as well. They shared their new found knowledge with others by creating posters.
Finally, the students were given the opportunity to show how they can help show responsibility for community spaces by taking action to help out somewhere in the school community. The students searched around the school grounds to find somewhere that would benefit from their help. They identified and chose 3 things that could use their help: The bookshelves in the library, the PE equipment room, and some storage containers that Misumi-san needed to clean so that they could be used around the school for storage. The students used 2 periods to help out and then made posters to show what a difference their action made. Please check them out below! Hopefully, this is just the beginning of them taking action!