International Spanish Language Academy

Program of Inquiry 2019-20

Who we are

Where we are in place and time

How we express ourselves

How the world works

How we organize ourselves

Sharing the Planet

An inquiry into the nature of 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.

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.

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.

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and 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.

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 the environment.

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


ages 5-6

1. Central Idea: Being knowledgeable about each other and our school helps us to be caring.

Lines of inquiry

• how we are the same and different                                         •how our actions and words make others feel                                                       • our responsibilities inside our community      

Key Concepts:

connection, function, responsibility

Related concepts: community    (Sept-Oct.)

6. Central Idea: Certain people are honored over time for their responsible actions.

Lines of inquiry

• characteristics of a hero                                       • how we can make good choices to imitate heros                                                                                          • how people over time fulfill their responsibilities as global citizens

Key Concepts: cause, reflection                                            Related Concepts: values, decision-making


3. Central idea: Artists express ideas, feelings and culture through art.

Lines of inquiry

-cultural influences in art.

-materials and tools used for artistic expression

-la connection between feelings and art

Key Concepts:Form Connection, Perspective, Function      

Related Concepts: creativity, identity,    (Nov.-Dec)

2. Central Idea: Through observation and experiments  scientists make connections and see changes between living things.

Lines of inquiry                                       -characteristics and parts of a tree

-how trees change throughout the seasons  

-connections between trees and humans

Key Concepts: form, change, connection                                                          

Related concepts: patterns, transformation. (Oct.-Nov.)

5. Central Idea People serve their community through their work.

Lines of inquiry

• types of job responsibilities                                                            • ways people serve their community                                            • how the jobs we do affect the community

Key Concepts: responsibility, connection, function                Related concepts: community, service


4. Central Idea Survival relies on a balanced relationship between living things.

Lines of inquiry

• animal characteristics                                                       •animal's needs for survival

•community roles to protect animals and their habitats

Key Concepts: responsibility, function, causation                                                                Related concepts: habitats, survival


First grade

ages 6-7

3. Central Idea: Making well balanced decisions allows us to have healthy lives.

Lines of inquiry

•healthy habits

•well balanced choices

conflict resolution

Key Concepts:  reflection, responsibility, causation         Related concepts: physical, mental and social health


2. Central Idea: Families are influenced by their past, but continue to change.

Lines of inquiry

our family history

how families are different or similar over time

• ways we can find out about our ancestors’ history

Key Concepts: change, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: history, chronology, family


6. Central Idea: Cultural heritage is expressed in people's’ beliefs and values.

Lines of inquiry

• what is cultural heritage                               •how values and traditions are expressed through culture                                              • how culture is expressed through music and dance

Key Concepts: form, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: identity, traditions, culture


4. Central Idea The Earth provides materials that help meet human needs.

Lines of inquiry

• earth materials

• how earth materials are used responsibly

• the engineering design process

Key Concepts:  function,  form, connection                        

Related concepts: shelter, geology


1. Central Idea: Collaboration helps reach goals that benefit a community.

Lines of inquiry

•how collaboration works in a community                                • responsibilities and rights of members in a community                                                                              • interconnectedness of communities to satisfy human needs

Key Concepts: responsibility, connection, function                      Related concepts:  human needs, collaboration (Sept-Oct.)

5. Central Idea: Taking care of the environment maintains the balance of ecosystems.

Lines of inquiry

• natural life cycles                                            • ecosystems                                   •our responsibility for care and protection of ecological balance

Key Concepts: change, function, form

Related concepts:   interdependence, life cycles

(March April)

Second Grade

ages 7-8

2. Central idea: People and societies adapt to the weather and climate where they live. 

Lines of inquiry

•causes weather and climate                                                            •human adaptation to weather and climate  

 •positive and negative effects of weather                      

Key Concepts: causation, connection , change                                                             Related concepts:

Adaptation, climate change, weather


3. Central Idea: Humans orient themselves through the use of maps.

Lines of inquiry

• the functions of different maps

• parts of a map

• changes in orientation technology over time

Key concepts: function, form, change

Related concepts: geography, measurement


4. Central idea: Engineers use a creative process to solve problems and improve the world.

Lines of inquiry

• the ways objects move                                      • the engineering design process                                                         • how we communicate our discoveries

Key Concepts: responsibility, causation, reflection,

Related Concepts: problem solving, systems, inquiry


6. Central Ide:The biology of plants sustains the life of humans and other living things.

Lines of inquiry

• how plants grow and propagate

• interdependence of living things

 •comparing and contrasting physical characteristics of plants

Key Concepts: function, connection, form                                         Related concepts: plants, biology


1. Central Idea:  Systems help organize communities.

Lines of inquiry

• systems that help organize communities

•  scientific systems

• how to solve problems using an engineering system

Key Concepts: reflection,connection, form

Related concepts: cooperation, systems (Sept-Oct.)

5. Central idea The economic choices that we make as individuals impact us,others and the environment.

Lines of inquiry

• wants and needs                                  • how our choices affect others and our environment                                                         • people value goods and services differently based on their perspective

Key Concepts: responsibility,

perspective, causation                                         Related concepts: sustainability, scarcity, consumption


Third Grade

ages 8-9

5. Central Idea: Storytelling reflects cultural beliefs and values.

Lines of inquiry

• types of folklore – fairy tales, fables, myths/legends 

 • how  folklore connects across cultures

how cultural beliefs and values are reflected in folklore 

Key Concepts: connection, perspective, reflection    

Related concepts: interpretation, the creative process  


3. Central Idea: Innovation is driven by the need to solve problems.


Lines of inquiry

•how innovation changes over time                                                                                   •connections between ancient & modern needs

• the process of innovation

Key Concepts: change, connection, reflection

Related concepts: chronology, civilizations, innovation


4. Central idea: People use various forms of technology to communicate their ideas.

Lines of inquiry

• what is technology

• means of communication   • how technology is used to improve communication

Key Concepts: form, connection, perspective

Related Concepts: communication, technology (Jan-Feb)

2. Central Idea: Scientific advancement influences how humans interact with the universe.

Lines of inquiry                                     • advancements in understanding our universe                                                     • movement of the solar system and how it affects life on Earth.                                              • human perspectives, stories and exploration on the universe have changed

Key Concepts: form, causation, perspective                                                             Related concepts:

exploration, space


1. Central Idea Communities are structured to meet the needs of its members.

Lines of inquiry

• the organization and systems of a community                                               • how the needs of the members of a community are or are not met                                             • how communities around the world are connected to one another

Key Concepts: function, responsibility, connection                          Related concepts: organization, systems  


6. Central idea: Organisms have structures and characteristics that allow them to grow, survive and adapt to their surroundings.

Lines of inquiry

•characteristics of organisms

•effects of humans on other organisms                                

•how organisms adapt to their habitat

Key Concepts: form, change, causation                        Related concepts: adaptation, habitat, heredity


Fourth Grade

ages 9-10

4.Central Idea:.Regions of a country form their identity through their culture and geography.

Lines of inquiry

• connections between rocks and minerals and their properties

• mapping skills

• cultural and geographical characteristics of regions

Key Concepts: form, connection, causation

Related Concepts: geography, culture, identity


2. Central Idea:  Personal stories and historical events teach us about identity.

Lines of inquiry

•what is  identity

•chronology of historical events

•personal histories of people in the past and present

Key Concepts: responsibility, function, cause

Related Concepts: identity chronology


6. Central Idea: Art is a form of communication that allows us to transmit and express ideas, feelings and concepts.

Lines of inquiry  

• visual and performing arts

• cultural perspectives in art

• self reflection through the writing process

Key Concepts: perspective, reflection,form

Related Concepts: genres, communication, self-expression


1.Central Idea: . Behavior influences the interactions within an environment

Lines of inquiry                                           • interaction of humans within societies

• principles of the natural world          

•impact of science and technology in society

Key Concept: function, causation, connection

Related Concepts: behavior,magnetism, electricity


5. Central Idea: People and organizations make informed economic decisions after identifying goals and evaluating opportunities.

Lines of inquiry

• the decision making process                                                  •  steps in starting a business                          • global interaction and trade of buyers and sellers

Key Concept: function, connection,form

Related Concepts: decision making, commerce  


3.Central Idea: Water is a natural resource that needs to be conserved.

Lines of inquiry

• the processes and properties of water                                                                   • the distribution and usage of water around the world                   • our responsibility in conserving water

Key Concepts: form, change responsibility                                                   Related concepts: conservation, stewardship




ages 10-11

1. Central Idea: Government establishes the rights and responsibilities of its citizens.

Lines of inquiry

•various forms of government

•function and limitations of a democracy

responsibilities  of civic participation  

Key Concepts: form, function, responsibility

Related concepts: human rights, civic participation, democracy


3. Central Idea: Examining multiple perspectives enables a more accurate understanding of history.

Lines of inquiry

• perspectives of an imperial system

• transformation of societies through conquest

• establishment of the colonies in America

Key Concepts: change, cause, perspective

Related Concepts: exploration, colonization


6. Central Idea: Self-expression is a way of understanding yourself as well as connecting with others.

Lines of inquiry

• how visual arts connect to the written word

• different forms of expression

• self reflection

Key Concepts: connection,form, reflection

Related Concepts: voice, live performance


4. Central Idea: Curiosity inspires people to look for answers.

Lines of inquiry

• how curiosity drives questioning                

 • how simple machines work                                            • scientific analysis

Key Concepts: reflection, function, cause                                                                             Related concepts:variables, equilibrium, curiosity  


5.Central Idea A leader can unite people to make change that affects how a society functions.

Lines of inquiry

•the elements that connect revolutions.

the vision of a revolution and the fight for change

the perspective of different groups impacted by a revolution.

Key Concepts: causation, change, perspective                                                                                         Related concepts: leadership, revolution (Mar-Apr)

2.Central idea: Human interactions with the environment can benefit and harm natural resources

Lines of inquiry

• structure of animal and plant survival                              

 •the formation of the earth                               •creative problem solving

Key Concepts: responsibility, causation, perspective                   Related concepts: problem solving, erosion



Grade ages 11-12

1. Central Idea: Leaders bring about change by inspiring others to act.

Lines of inquiry

• the character of a leader                           • changes inspired by decision making                                                 • the responsibility of authority

Key concepts: reflection, change, responsibility

Related concepts: community, leadership


4. Central Idea: Human migration is a response to challenges, risks and opportunities.

Lines of inquiry

• the reasons why people migrate

• migration throughout history

• effects of migration on communities, cultures and individuals

Key Concepts: change, cause, perspective                                                Related concepts: migration,


2. Central Idea: In times of conflict, art allows for introspection and serves to promote action.

Lines of  inquiry

• art as a persuasive medium                                                      • Creative expression as a coping method                                                                • The various forms of creative expression

Key Concepts: reflection, form, perspective                                                     Related concepts: conflict, justice


3. Central idea:With creativity and knowledge, we can collaborate to solve problems.

Lines of inquiry

• the role collaboration plays in the engineering design process

•creative problem solving     •elements as the building blocks that make up everything around us

Key concepts: function, form, reflection

Related concepts: innovation, collaboration


5. Central Idea Society makes decisions in an organized way for the good or bad of its members.

Lines of inquiry

• formation of laws                                                   • consequences of decision making                                                           • problem solving

Key Concepts: causation, connection, perspective                                                     Related concepts: decision making,government, freedom