5 week integrated inquiry program Essay Example

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Living Things — A Five-Week

Kindergarten Integrated Inquiry Program

Areas of Interest/ Investigation

What are the needs and features of living things?

Ideas about Living Things

What features do different living things have in order to survive?

Different Features

ifferent Needs

What do living things need to survive?



Kindergarten students will engage with the inquiry question through acquiring the different science inquiry skills such as questioning and predicting, planning and conducting, processing and analysing data and information, and finally communicating.

These science inquiry skills will not be developed independent of each other; instead the skills are so integrated in order develop meaningful experiences in the quest for lifelong learning. For example children will use the science inquiry skills to other subject areas like mathematics and the social sciences so they will have the opportunity to develop and apply these skills in their daily lives. 

Purpose of Inquiry and Relation to Personal Teaching Philosophy

This five-week integrated inquiry program in science is developed to specifically address the biological question ‘What are living things and what do living things need to continue living and not die?’ enables children to investigate concepts associated with survival.

This science inquiry is included since I believed this is a very crucial question for students as early as kindergarten. This is the best way to introduce science as a human endeavor and to develop science inquiry skills for life-long learning. Science as a human endeavor, specifically nature and development of science is outlined in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).

Considerations for diverse needs of learners

This integrated inquiry program will support diverse learners. As the teacher, I will keep track of which students understand the basic ideas, which students can perform the identified skills, and which students are struggling. The diverse needs of my learners will also be used to modify the content, process, depth, and pace of my instruction. I will specifically structure the environment where my diverse students are working in. There may be special interventions necessary to create the safe, stimulating setting necessary for optimum learning of each diverse learner (ACECQA, 2015).

Questioning and Thinking Strategies

A variety of science inquiry strategies will be used to support my kindergarten’s learning regarding the inquiry question. I will structure group-lesson time each day and a time for children to further explore at small-group activity centers. It will adjust my instruction and time for lessons to allow students to question and think and explore ideas in depth. This is to challenge, real learning, joy, added independence, and freedom in my kindergarten class. Letting my students know exactly what they should know, understand, and be able to do will increase my success. It’s essential that the investigations the children and I will design are fun and engaging. If real learning is to result, the inquiry must also be purposeful. When the environment, teachers, and students work together toward a specific, identified purpose, learning is more likely to get to long-term memory. Wonder, ample opportunities for the children to plan ways to find the answers to their questions for themselves, and shared objectives will support my efforts to make learning meaningful and consequently long-lasting and life-long (ACECQA, 2015).

Inquiry Model- 5E’s

Week 1: Engage

During the first week, some introduction of living things will be done through stories of plants and animals and find their characteristics and features (AAS, 2015).

The students will identify the animal characters in the story like the Koala, Rainbow Lorikeet, Bandicoot, Squirrel Glider and Echidna that will be studied. I will place animal information sheets on wall or window of classroom for students to refer to during unit.

Week 2: Explore

The Needs of living things will be explored through a game called: What I Need Game where the students will explore the needs of livings things. Then, a What I Need Presentation will follow where the students will engage with a PowerPoint presentation outlining what is needed and what isn’t. Finally, a

Reflection of Students Own Life activity will follow where students reflect on their game choices and aspects of their lives through discussion and reflections.

Week 3: Explain

To explain further the Needs of Livings Things Presentations will follow where the needs of livings things is explained through the use of PowerPoint presentations and class discussions. Then, the pupils will have a classification activity where the students will classify different foods, habitats and features and link them to their respective animals. Then, a students` reflections and communications activity will follow where students reflect on and identify these essential features in their lives and illustrate these through drawings in their work booklet.

Week 4: Elaborate

The student Investigation, data collection and analysis is the centre of Elaborate activities which will be done in the most engaging way as follows:

Planning and conducting an Investigation. Can people have a positive effect on the living things?

Planning Investigation: Students plan and conduct an investigation into a positive influence of people on bird numbers in the school by introducing

native bird seed.

Question and Hypothesis: Students will hypothesis their thoughts and ideas during class discussions.

Data Collection: Students will collect baseline data and then follow-up data on bird numbers using tables and digital media.

Data Analysis and Communication: Students will analysis the data, compare their results with others and represent the results using a picture graph

with the assistance of their teacher and/or other staff.

Week 5: Evaluate

In the last week, I will provide opportunities for the students to review and reflect on their learning and represent what they now know. The students classify items into categories of needed and wanted, and features into categories of similar to people and different to people, based on the knowledge they have gained during the unit.


In this integrated inquiry program the assessment is interwoven with instruction (ACARA, 2014). Assessment is a central ingredient of science, so it also should be central with science teaching and learning. Students and teachers need to understand that science is not science without evidence and interpretations that are assessed, validated, and accepted by others. By thoughtfully using the assessment data collected, a teacher can modify lesson plans to meet the current needs of her students.

At this level, most of the assessments can be done informally and need not take a teacher a great deal of time to complete. I will gather the checklist of objectives that are directly observable and that relate to both the subject matter and science process skills. I will keep the checklist on my science clipboard, identify the exact skill or understanding that I’m assessing, and, as I informally assess the children, I can jot down the date and a few words to describe the specific instance by the skill or understanding that was successfully demonstrated. I will see to it that I have the time to assess every child during our science lesson. With this checklist, it’s quick and easy for me to document the growth of many of my students either during the learning experience or after reflecting on the lesson later in the day.

Curriculum Links

Australian Curriculum (Science) Link

Biological Sciences


Science as a Human Endeavour


Science Inquiry Skills


Two curriculum frameworks: Every chance to learn ELA 19, ELA 2 and ELA

20 and the Australian Curriculum (Science) will be used as a teaching guide to consider to be reminded of the underlying principles and philosophy as well (ACARA, 2014).


Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority. (2015). The national quality standard. Retrieved from http://acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework/the-national-quality-standard

Australian Academy of Science. (2015). 5Es teaching and learning model. Retrieved from https://www.primaryconnections.org.au/about/teaching

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). The Australian curriculum: F-10 curriculum overview. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/curriculum/overview


Australian Curriculum (Science) link descriptions

Biological Sciences

ACSSU017: Living things have a variety of external features.

ACSSU211: Living things live in different places where their needs are met

Science as a Human Endeavour

ACSHE021: Science involves asking questions about, and describing

changes in, objects and events

ACSHE022: People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for

their environment and living things.

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting

ACSIS024: Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events

Planning and conducting

ACSIS025: Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore

and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing

ideas, and accessing information sources

ACSIS026: Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of

observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as


Processing and analysing data and Information

ACSIS027: Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables

ACSIS212: Through discussion, compare observations with predictions


ACSIS213: Compare observations with those of others


ACSIS029: Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety

of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play