May 11 was a big day for Upper Canada College’s 55 Year 5 boys, as they got to show and explain what they learned through months of research at the Primary Years Program (PYP) Exhibition.
The boys gain independence, empowerment to take action and make a difference, and satisfaction and pride in a job well done from the lead-up to the exhibition and the culminating event, according to PYP coordinator Dianne Jojic.
The boys broke into 18 groups of from two to four people to conduct their inquiries 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; and what it means to be human.
The students started with broad topics such as health, human rights, the environment, animals, technology, food, poverty and climate, and then narrowed their focus to issues they cared most about.
“It is an independent inquiry, scaffolded by the form teacher with weekly goals,” says Jojic. “Each group has a mentor from within the community to support the learning.”
All of the exhibition ideas and booths were impressive, and the boys did a fine job of explaining their concepts to family members, fellow students from UCC and other schools, and faculty and staff members.
The exhibition also had a focus on artivism, which is activism through art.
“The boys had to create a piece using any media they wanted,” says Jojic. “They each wrote an artist statement about their art and the reasons for their creative choices.”