1 December 2009

Our third Unit of Inquiry – a note for parents

Our 'just-about-to start' third unit of inquiry is all about Pattern, Rhyme and Rhythm.  It lies within the Organizing Theme: 'How we express ourselves' and the Central Idea is that ‘Pattern, rhyme and rhythm are found in many forms of creative expression.'  During the unit we will pursue the following Lines of Inquiry:

  • How pattern, rhyme and rhythm work
  • How pattern, rhyme and rhythm are connected
  • How we can express ourselves using pattern, rhyme and rhythm

Questions such as What is a pattern? How can we use pattern, rhyme and rhythm to express ourselves? How do pattern, rhyme and rhythm work? will be posed.  As they work towards answering such questions, children will explore a range of patterns.  They will work together to create rhyming couplets and will explore rhythm through dance, music and language.

During the unit skills will continue to be developed; from Social skills where children will co-operate in a group or with a partner, sharing and taking turns; to Thinking skills which will include acquiring and remembering new vocabulary, spelling patterns and mathematical patterns and applying this knowledge in a variety of new ways; Communication skills, will involve listening for rhymes and rhythms and describing patterns, as well as recording observations and Self-management skills will involve the development of spatial awareness and the use of gross motor skills in movement activities.

Such an expressive unit of course offers a wealth of opportunities for creativity and imagination.  But patterns, in particular, can also help us make sense of our world.  Think of the beautiful logic of mathematical patterns. 

Think, as just one example, of the perfect geometry of patterns made by man; from something as deceptively simple as the checkerboard pattern on a window of frosted glass…..


to the intricate beauty of lace curtains.


Think of the symmetry of a butterfly’s wing…..


and the markings on a cat’s face.


Think of Fibonacci numbers in nature.  From the way in which raspberry druplets grow in a spiral.....


to how fern leaves alternate on a stem…..


and how a spider coils its web around and around and around.


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