Unprecedented Inquiry: Grade 4 Explores Body Systems Amid a Global Pandemic

For the final unit, Who We Are – Body Systems, grade 4 found itself in an unprecedented situation. A worldwide pandemic resulted in schools closed, and lives disrupted, amongst a wide range of other things to say the least. It is in this context that grade 4 found itself inquiring into human body systems. There was a distinct and obvious connection between this unit and the pandemic and this made it all the more relevant and important.

Despite having to conduct inquiries into body systems remotely, grade 4 continued to follow the inquiry cycle model. Students participated in “Tuning In” activities with a video provocation, anticipation guide, and K-W-L chart. They ‘unpacked’ the Central Idea, The Interdependence Between Organs and Body Systems Contribute to our Overall Health, and the Lines of Inquiry, Organs and Body Systems and How They Work (function), How Organs and Body Systems are Interdependent (connection), and Conditions that Impact the Health of Body Systems (causation). Students then began ‘Finding Out’ and worked on a google slide vocabulary assignment in order to gain an understanding of important unit terms.

Independent Exploration: Researching Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Skeletal, Muscular, and Nervous Systems

Continuing with ‘Finding Out’ and even ‘Going Further’, using a wide range of electronic resources, students then began independently researching six important body systems: Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Skeletal, Muscular, and Nervous. This required students to utilize all of the inquiry, reading comprehension, and research skills that they acquired throughout the year. Furthermore, due to the nature of distance learning, students were required to further develop their self-management and communication skills.

This has not been easy for students (nor teachers and parents) and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them and you for the hard work, flexibility, resilience, and participation and engagement during this unit. Despite an ending to the school year, that has likely never been seen before, you have all persevered in the face of great challenges and I expect all you to be stronger and better prepared for the future. Great work Grade 4!

Discover more about the inquiry cycle model in remote learning here.
Explore electronic resources for body systems research with interactive tools.
Join the celebration of achievements with insights into Grade 4’s remote learning journey here.”

Students had 10 minutes to find and use items to represent a model of the circulatory system. They then recorded a quick video explaining what each of the items represented and how the system worked. 
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