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Signs and Symbols Unit of Inquiry: Week 3

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The past week we have been focusing on how different people communicate. We discussed the reasons that people communicate:

To talk
To listen
To share
To tell information
To give messages

Just a few of the suggestions from my class. I then asked them, how do people who can't talk or hear communicate...(long pause). Then a few voices shared:

They can write
They can draw

This sparked some further discussion:

They can use tools, like an iPad.
They can show what they want with pictures.

Finally our discussion led us to asking questions about why some people can't hear or talk. I explained the meanings of the terms "deaf" and "mute", which my students had never heard of before. They asked how this can happen to someone, to which I shared that a person could be born that way, they could have had an accident, or they could have become sick which might have caused that. They were very curious as to how these people might communicate.

We have our own iPads in class as I have…

Signs and Symbols Unit of Inquiry: Week 2

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This week we are revisiting the road signs we discussed last week, and completed our inquiry cycle for the first part of this unit. The students really enjoyed exploring the different road signs and this prompted a discussion about what we already knew about road signs and how we knew what they meant. The students came up with some great explanations for how they knew a signs meaning, and we took a look at a quick PPT I made showing some different signs with silhouettes, inviting my students to guess each meaning based on the silhouette. Some of these are real and some were made up to illustrate a variety of types of signs.







The students loved all the different signs, and this prompted a query about if we could make our own signs. AMAZING idea! We brainstormed what we would want our sign to mean, made a list, then discussed how we would use our bodies to show that meaning. The next day I set up my white photo backdrop in a dark room of the school and backlit it with some shadeless lamp…

Signs and Symbols Unit of Inquiry: Week 1

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Welcome to my new unit of inquiry, Signs and Symbols. Throughout this unit my students will be exploring the typical normal signs and symbols that are littered throughout a community, such as road signs. The central idea for this unit is for the students to understand that signs and symbols convey meaning and that we use these to communicate. We will be exploring how we communicate through a variety of signs and symbols, such as electronically, artistically, non-verbally, visually, etc..

During the winter holiday break my students sent me photographs or videos of signs and symbols that they found while on their holidays. I received many photos of different road signs with explanations as to what the meaning was, however I also received photos of signs in different languages with guesses as to what the meaning was based on visual cues such as shape and color of the sign.

To begin this unit, I had my students write down what they thought signs and symbols were based on their previous k…