Carter Lake Elementary Program of Inquiry

Who We Are

An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where We are in Place and Time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How We Express Ourselves

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the World Works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical & biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How We Organize Ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and on the environment.

Sharing the Planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Pre-K

Central Idea: Individuals have unique qualities and feelings.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Individual characteristics

-Family dynamics

-Regulating Feelings

Related Concepts:

Identity

Key Concepts: Function, Responsibility, Perspective

Learner Profile:

Open-Minded, Risk-Takers, Communicators

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Communication Skills

Central Idea: People can express themselves through play.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Establishing and sustaining positive relationships

-Using language to express thoughts and needs while engaged in play

-Socio-dramatic play

Related Concepts:

Play

Key Concepts: Perspective, Responsibility

Learner Profile:

Caring, Communicator, Reflective

Balanced

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Self-Management Skills

Central Idea:

People use their five senses to explore the world.

Lines of Inquiry:

-The function of each of the 5 senses

-How the 5 senses affect daily life

-Using senses to explore our environment

Related Concepts:

Senses

Key Concepts:

Reflection, Function, Perspective

Learner Profile:  Open-Minded, Thinkers

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Thinking Skills

Central Idea: Cycles are predictable patterns of change.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Cycles of living things

-The change of weather/seasons

-Cycles within our lives

Related Concepts:

Cycles

Key Concepts:

Change, Causation, Form

Learner Profile:

Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Principled

Approaches to Learning: Research Skills, Thinking Skills

Kindergarten

Central Idea:

Communities are made up of unique individuals and expectations.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Responsibilities within a community

-Expectations in different settings

-Similarities and differences between group members

Related Concepts:

Communities, Expectations

Key Concepts: Perspective, Form, Responsibility

Learner Profile: Principled, Open-Minded, Caring

Approaches to Learning: Self-Management Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: What is my job in ___?

Central Idea: Humans make observations and respond to changes in weather.

Lines of Inquiry:

-The effect of sunlight on the earth’s surface

-Patterns of weather over time

-The purpose of weather forecasting

Related Concepts:

Weather

Key Concepts:

Change, Causation

Learner Profile:

Balanced, Thinker, Reflective

Approaches to Learning:  Research Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: What do you notice about ___? How do you respond to ___?

Central Idea:

People can tell stories in many different ways.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-Ways in which people express themselves

-Ways in which families share traditions

Related Concepts: Storytelling

Key Concepts:

Perspective, Connection, Form

Learner Profile:

Open-Minded, Communicators, Risk-Takers

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do you communicate ___?

Central Idea: Pushes and pulls influence the direction and speed of objects.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Ways in which objects move

-Forces and interactions

-The impact of speed

Related Concepts:

Force, Motion

Key Concepts:  Causation, Function, Change

Learner Profile: Inquirer, Risk-Taker, Thinkers

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How can you change ___?

Central Idea:

People trade for goods and services.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Wants and needs

-Goods and services

-Earning and saving

Related Concepts:

Goods/Services, Wants/Needs

Key Concepts: Function

Learner Profile: Knowledgeable, Principled

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: What is your choice for ___?

Central idea: Living things depend on and impact each other.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Needs of living things

-How living things change the environment

-Caring for the environment

Related Concepts:

Living Things, Impact

Key Concepts: Connection, Change, Responsibility

Learner Profile: Caring, Inquirer, Principled

Approaches to Learning:  Social Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do we depend on ___? How do we impact ___?

1st

Central Idea: People within a group share rights and responsibilities.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Different groups of which humans are a part

-Roles and responsibilities within a group

-Citizens’ rights

Related Concepts: Groups, Rights, Responsibilities

Key Concepts: Responsibility, Perspective

Learner Profile: Principled, Open Minded, Balanced

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: What are our responsibilities in ___?

Central Idea: The past affects the present, the present affects the future.

Lines of Inquiry:

-National symbols

-Influential people and inventions

-National events

Related Concepts: Symbols, Celebrations, Influential People

Key Concepts:

Causation, Perspective, Change

Learner Profile:  Reflective, Principled

Approaches to Learning:  Research Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do our current decisions affect our future in ___?

Central Idea:

People express their beliefs in many different ways.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Basic components of culture

-Similarities and differences in customs/celebrations

-Ways in which people express feelings/ideas

Related Concepts: Expression

Key Concepts: Form, Connection

Learner Profile: Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do people express their ideas/beliefs in ___?

Central Idea:

Technology changes how we experience our world.

Lines of Inquiry:

-The manipulation of light and sound

-The use of light and sound

-The importance of light and sound

Related Concepts: Light, Sound, Waves

Key Concepts: Change, Function, Causation

Learner Profile: Inquirer, Reflective, Communicator

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does technology impact ___?

Central Idea:

Societies base decisions on environmental factors.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Predictable patterns 

-Seasonal changes

-Decision making

Related Concepts: Patterns

Key Concepts: Form, Function, Causation

Learner Profile: Thinkers, Knowledgeable

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do we use our experiences to help us make decisions in ___?

Central Idea:

Diversity exists in our world.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Human impact on living things

-Communication between offspring and parents

-Similarities and differences between young plants and animals and their parents

-How plants and animals use their external features/parts for survival

Related Concepts: Survival

Key Concepts:

Responsibility, Function

Learner Profile: Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Caring

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Research Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do we share resources in ___?

2nd

Central Idea: People are influenced by many factors.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Reasons for settlement

-Adaptations as a result of change

-Factors that influence choice

Related Concepts: Settlement, Change

Key Concepts: Change, Connection

Learner Profile: Open-MInded, Caring

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How did/does your choices impact ___?

Central Idea: Many factors affect where and how people live.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-Types of changes to earth

-Effects of changes to the earth

-Solutions to slow/prevent changing of the land

Related Concepts: Erosion, Resources, Climate

Key Concepts:

Causation, Change, Responsibility

Learner Profile: Thinkers, Reflective, Communicators

Approaches to Learning: Research Skills, Thinking Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: What factors affect ___?

Central Idea: People can create change by expressing themselves in different ways.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Historical figures who have created change

-Expression as a form of activism

-Various ways to express yourself

Related Concepts: Change

Key Concepts: Perspective, Causation

Learner Profile: Risk-Takers, Reflective, Communicators

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How do we express ideas in ___?

Central Idea: Change impacts our world.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Properties and states of matter

-How matter changes

-How changing matter affects humans

Related Concepts: Matter, Properties

Key Concepts: Change, Form

Learner Profile: Inquirer, Knowledgeable

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Research Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does change affect ___?

Central Idea: People create groups to organize themselves.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-Organization of different groups

-Ways in which people contribute to groups

-Positive/negative impacts of groups

Related Concept: Groups

Key Concepts: Responsibility, Function, Perspective

Learner Profile: Principled, Open-Minded, Balanced

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Communication Skills.

Transdisciplinary Question: How are groups used in ___?

Central Idea: 

Diversity exists in our world.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Plant and animal diversity

-Interdependence of life within an ecosystem

-Human impact on life within an ecosystem

Related Concept: Diversity

Key Concepts:

Connection, Causation, Responsibility

Learner Profile:

Caring, Knowledgeable, Inquirers

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How is/are ___ diverse?

3rd

Central Idea: Communities influence who we are as humans.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Development of rules/expectations

-Characteristics of leaders

-The rights/roles of citizens within a community.

Related Concepts: Leadership, Citizenship

Key Concepts: Perspective, Responsibility, Reflection

Learner Profile: Principled, Caring, Open-Minded

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does our community impact ___?

Central Idea: Adaptations and traits can be influenced by change.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Geographical influences

-Availability of resources

-Migration

Related Concepts: Change/Migration

Key Concepts: Change, Form, Causation

Learner Profile: Caring, Knowledgeable

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Research Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How is ___ changing?

Central Idea: Technology can connect people around the world.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-Expression of ideas and feelings

-Connections between communities

-Types of communication that globally connect people

Related Concept: Communication

Key Concepts:

Connection, Function, Responsibility

Learner Profile:

Communicators, Reflective, Open-Minded

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do people make connections in ___?

Central Idea: Interactions can be dependent on force and motion.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Effects of balanced and unbalanced forces

-Cause and effect relationship electric and magnetic interactions

-Patterns of motion

Related Concepts: Patterns, Force/Motion

Key Concepts: Change, Causation, Form

Learner Profile:  Inquirers, Risk Takers

Approaches to Learning: Research Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does ___ affect ___?

Central Idea: Choices influence the economy.

Lines of Inquiry:

-The impact of wants and needs on the economy

-Scarcity and abundance

-Economic cost

Related Concepts: Choices, Economy

Key Concepts: Responsibility, Function, Connection

Learner Profile: Risk-Taker, Principled, Balanced

Approaches to Learning: Social Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do our choices impact ___?

Central Idea: Changing weather impacts humans and the environment.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Climates around the world

-Impact of weather on human societies

Solutions that reduce the impact of weather

Related Concepts: Weather, Impact

Key Concepts: Connection, Change, Responsibility

Learner Profile: Reflective, Thinker

Approaches to Learning: Research Skills, Self Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does change impact ___?

4th

Central Idea: The lives and decisions of people are affected by events in their lives.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Events that have influenced people's’ lives

-Influence of historical events on our lives today.

-Settlement of various regions

Related Concepts:  l Events

Key Concepts:  Change, Connection, Perspective

Learner Profile:  Open-Minded, Risk-Takers, Reflective

Approaches to Learning:  Thinking Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does ___ affect yourself and others?

Central Idea:  

A variety of factors impact the way in which we live.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-The processes that shape the earth

-The impact of processes that shape the earth

-Human response to the Earth’s changes

Related Concepts:

Earth’s Processes, Cause/Effect

Key Concepts: Causation, Change, Reflection

Learner Profile: Thinkers, Knowledgeable, Inquirers

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does ___ impact ___?

Central Idea: People  have different ways of expressing their ideas, feelings, beliefs and values.

Lines of Inquiry:  

-Cultural groups

-Social groups

-Forms of expression within a group

Related Concepts: Influence

Key Concepts:

Perspective, Change, Causation

Learner Profile:  Open-Minded, Caring, Reflective

Approaches to Learning: Communication Skills, Thinking Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How do we express our ideas in ___?

Central Idea: Plants and animals react differently to the information they receive.

Lines of Inquiry: 

-Information processing and response to stimuli

-Internal structures of plants and animals

-External structures of plants and animals

Related Concepts:

Survival, Structure

Key Concepts:  Form, Function, Reflection

Learner Profile:

Reflective, Knowledgeable, Risk-Takers

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Research Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How does ___ react to ___?

Central Idea:  Organizations around the world have structure and purpose.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Organizational structure

-The impact of organizational structures

-Similarities and differences between organizations

Related Concepts:  Government, Citizenship, Rights

Key Concepts: Function, Connection, Responsibility

Learner Profile:  Open-Minded, Communicators, Inquirers

Approaches to Learning:  Self-Management Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How is ___ organized?

Central Idea:

The ways in which humans convert energy impact our planet.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Types of energy and their movement (waves)

-The transfer of energy

-Uses of energy and their impact

Related Concepts: Energy, Conservation

Key Concepts:

Change, Responsibility

Learner Profile:

Principled, Thinkers, Caring

Approaches to Learning:

Social Skills, Self-Management Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How do we use ___ to create ___?

5th

Central Idea: Relationships, rights and responsibilities contribute to who we are as humans.

Lines of Inquiry:

-How relationships affect personal views, values and beliefs

-How dynamics affect human relationships

-How rights and responsibilities vary among different communities and cultures

Related Concepts: Relationships, Rights/ Responsibilities

Key Concepts: Connection, Responsibility, Perspective

Learner Profile: Balanced, Reflective, Principled

Approaches to Learning: Self-Management Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does ___ contribute to ___?

 Central Idea: Migration has many causes and effects.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Causes of migration

-Effects of migration

-The global impact of migration

Related Concepts: Migration

Key Concepts:

Change, Perspective, Causation

Learner Profile: Risk-Takers, Open-Minded, Knowledgeable

Approaches to Learning: Research Skills, Thinking Skills

Transdisciplinary Question:  How does ___ effect ___?

Central Idea: Humans respond to conflict in a variety of ways.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Conflict within our country

-Conflict around the world

-Human response to conflict

Related Concepts: Conflict, Rights, Communication

Key Concepts:  Perspective, Causation, Reflection

Learner Profile: Open-Minded, Caring, Communicators

Approaches to Learning:  Communication Skills, Social Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does conflict impact ___?

Central Idea:  The reaction of matter to the environment is dependent on its chemical and physical properties.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Chemical and physical properties of matter

-The reaction of matter to the environment

Related Concepts: Matter

Key Concepts:

Form Change

Learner Profile:  Inquirers, Thinkers, Knowledgeable

Approaches to Learning:  Self-Management Skills, Thinking Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does my reaction to ___ impact ___?

Central Idea: People's choices and behaviors are affected by the supply and demand of resources.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Historical conflicts affected by supply and demand

-Societal decisions influenced by supply and demand

-Global , Interdependence

Related Concepts: Supply/Demand

Key Concepts: Form, Connection, Function

Learner Profile: Caring, Principled, Balanced

Approaches to Learning: Thinking Skills, Communication Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How does your choice of ___ effect ___?

Central Idea: The earth’s systems are dependent on one another.

Lines of Inquiry:

-Ecosystems

-Interactions within systems

-Human impact on ecosystems

Related Concepts: Dependance, Ecosystems, Cause/Effect

Key Concepts: Connection, Function, Responsibility

Learner Profile: Balanced, Inquirers

Approaches to Learning:  Communication Skills, Research Skills

Transdisciplinary Question: How are we dependent (up)on ___?