Exploring the learning in the Primary Part II

This week our blog focus is on the single-subject learning in the PYP at MIS. This can be through collaboration with homerooms enhancing our transdisciplinary approach to learning or it may be part of their stand-alone units.

Art  Grade level: P4

The students were asked to make a banner. After researching the different forms of banners, we could find around us or through digital research everyone was free to choose the form they wanted to replicate or even invent their own.

Then we made a collaborative list of the different things they could put inside the banner such as: their favorite color, their favorite sport etc. The banner had to be separated into different parts that showcased their personal information. On the other side of the paper, they drew their answers.

Finally, they presented their work to the class.

The engagement had three main aims:

– Create a strong sense of community during the first two weeks of school

– Encourage creativity (choice of boxes)

– Speaking up – develop/demonstrate self-confidence

There were also clear approaches to learning (ATL) and Learner Profile connections too.

Self-management skills: at the social/emotional level, students were asked to explore their feelings and talk about themselves in front of the class.

At the organizational level, students prepared and organized their materials on their table before starting the activity. They also had to respect the time constraints (2 sessions max).

– Communication skills: being able to express themselves freely and clearly in front of a group, being able to listen, speaking audibly and confidently.

– Learner Profile “Thinker”: Students were expected to think critically (give feedback to their peers after their presentation or to themselves) and creatively (make their own choices and innovate). They also had to be able to make thoughtful decisions (drawing what they wanted to share, rather than doing what their best friend did).

French P3 – The days of the week

The children sang the mailman’s song together in order to learn the vocabulary of the days of the week. 

They sat on the floor in a circle with their eyes closed and sang the mailman song. During this time the letter carrier had to drop off a package (a stuffed animal named Marguerite). When the students arrived on Sunday, they opened their eyes and saw who had received a package. The student ran after the mailman. The mailman sat in the other student’s seat.

 We wanted the young linguists to:

– learn vocabulary (through song and play)

– play & play together

There were strong links to the ATLs and LP:

– Social skills were developed and demonstrated. Learners had to wait their turn, accept not being chosen and respect the rules of the game. Some students had no difficulty, while for some this still needed to be worked on.

– The attribute “Knowledgeable” was developed. Following the activity, some learners are now able to name 1 or 2 days of the week.

Hindi Grade-4

In the process of unpacking the Unit 1 Who we are, as a provocation, the students were given a few prompts to think and present. The central idea is: Learning a language helps me to interact and connect with others. The learners were given these questions to think about:

  • What does language mean to you?
  • In what ways do you use language?
  • How does it impact the quality of your interactions?

They were asked to present their input in the form of either a role-play or drawing or a paragraph or just a speech or any other way they wish to express their ideas in.

The activity relates to the learning principles of ‘conceptual’ ‘experiential’ and ‘learner centric’. The aim of this activity was to initiate their thinking and develop a basic understanding of the central idea.

Information Literacy

In Information literacy, the EY3 learners exercised voice and choice while expressing reading choices integrate with their unit, Who we are. We read a book “I like Books” by Anthony Browne, a picture book that introduces varied genres of literature to young learners. Each EY3 learner applied their communication skills to express their preferences of reading genres.

The purpose of this activity was to ensure a learner centric approach which was based on transdisciplinary learning with an integration between math and language as well as creating a graphical representation of what the EY3 learners like to read. During our next information literacy lesson, we did a human graph for the same. This is a great way for learners to get to know themselves and their peers.

The ATLs addressed were thinking and communication skills.

Marathi- Grade level – P1

P1 learners have been excited about learning a new language ‘Marathi’. The purpose of the activity was for learners to understand the importance of learning the Marathi language. A few questions that learners had were:

  • Why are we learning Marathi?
  • How will it be helpful for us?
  • Where is Marathi spoken?

We discussed how Marathi is the local language of Maharashtra and how learning Marathi would help them communicate within and beyond our school community. The learners also made great connections when we listened to and learned a song about rain, ‘Ye re ye re pausa’. Learners shared what rain was known as in their home language and how they enjoyed it. After listening to the song, learners were asked to illustrate or write what they liked the most about rain or how they visualised a rainy day. This activity illustrates the learning principles of learner centric because they made their choice of how they would like to demonstrate their thinking and creativity and social because it gave them an opportunity to learn from their peers who were familiar with the language.

The learners were open-minded and risk-takers as they displayed great interest in learning the local language. They learned about the Devanagari scrip. The ATL addressed through this activity was Communication Skills

“Every new language we speak opens new possibilities” – Ali Anthony Bell

Music P3: Communicate via music

In music, learners integrated into the unit of inquiry, How We Express Ourselves.

They discovered how music helps us communicate ideas, feelings, emotions, nature, beliefs, and values. Learners explored various songs about respect, friendship, and resilience and played various tunes with the Boom Whacker, including the popular tune “Ode to Joy.”

The main aims were:

  • Sing in groups, blending vocal timbres and responding to the cues of a conductor
  • Sing at fast and slow tempos

We also focused on one ATL – communication skills. These were developed during the lesson as students listened and responded to music, performed independent instrument parts, and repeated song phrases.

PE – P1 healthy living

In rotation 2, P1 worked on healthy food choices and healthy habits. After a discussion with images and exchanging their understanding of what healthy choices meant, they had to complete an obstacles course, pick an image of their choice and put it in the right section of the board: under healthy or unhealthy.

The purpose of this activity was to identify healthy choices and for learners to compare with their day-to-day life, what choices they were making. Learners understood also that they can have a balanced life by having sometimes unhealthy choices reasonably.

Communication skills were addressed by speaking and expressing ideas in large groups. Thinking skills in information transfer of knowledge outside school, and social skills by helping others to succeed.


During rotation three, EY3 to P5 reflected on social problems and the choices we can make to solve them. Self-discovery of solutions to minor problems and knowing when to report serious problems helps to create a positive community of social agility and confidence. Personal Social Emotional learning focuses toward these aims through outcomes such as “being emotionally aware helps us to manage relationships and support each other: recognize, analyze and apply different strategies to cope with adversity”. Our inquiry included video scenarios, roleplay, and gamification, such as Kahoot! quizzes, conceptualizing how social situations break down and build up toward relationships, considering tattling versus telling and getting others “in-trouble” versus helping others out-of-trouble. This is all in an effort to build self-management and social skills, including our approaches to learning:

  • Self-management: States of mind: Emotional management
    • Manage anger and resolve conflict.
  • Self-management: States of mind: Resilience
    • Work through adversity.
  • Social skills: Social and emotional intelligence
    • Manage anger and resolve conflict.

English Language Acquisition P2 to P5 – Setting SMART Goal  ‘People with goals succeed because they know what they are doing.’ – Earl Nightingale

Learners engaged in setting and tracking goals and discussed how goals support the development of important life skills such as planning, organization, and time management while also building communication skills, self-awareness, and confidence.

Learners set their language goals for the first part of the year. They identified their strengths [ I am good at…], My next steps [I need to work on ….], and Peer support [I can help my friends with ……]. They were guided to create a timeline to track their progress. In the coming months, this will help them achieve their goals by working consistently. Students demonstrated self-management skills. Students were aware of their own thinking that helped in enhancing their capability to learn effectively.