Exploring “Sharing the Planet” Theme

The fifth graders celebrated their PYP Exhibition last Friday, May 3rd!  This year the students chose to focus their exhibition work around the theme “Sharing the Planet.”  The central idea was “Biodiversity relies on maintaining the interdependent balance of organisms within systems.”  The students chose interests based on the main threats to biodiversity: habitat loss, pollution, the exploitation of species and climate change.  

Engaging Field Trips and Research

We began the unit in late February with a field trip to the mangroves in eastern Surabaya. The students explored this unique habitat and found that it was very polluted with trash, mainly plastic.  In their research groups, they wrote central ideas, lines of inquiry, and research questions based on the PYP key concepts. Students wrote group essays and met with mentors weekly. Students then conducted independent inquiries based on interest within their group’s findings.  

Students explored areas such as: oil spills, coral bleaching, deforestation, zoos, animal cruelty, acid rain, and many other environmental issues facing us in today’s world. They interviewed climate activists and took trips to the green village, water treatment plants, and the zoo in Surabaya.  

One action raised by a student was to return to the mangroves and clean it up. The “trashtag challenge” was going viral on social media so students were introduced to this and we decided to go. While collecting trash at the mangroves, students found many visitors watching them and they taught others to think twice before littering in this beautiful place.  Students took many independent actions as well.

One group hung bird feeders around the SIS campus. Other students cleaned up trash on campus. One student convinced her mom to start using reusable bags when doing the grocery shopping. We hope that all of us will continue to take what we’ve learned throughout this unit to make small changes to our daily lives, so we can start taking better care of our Earth and all of its natural beauty.

Learn more about mangrove conservation in Indonesia: https://en.nabu.de/topics/ecosystems/mangrove-conservation-sulawesi/index.html

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