The Meta Unit (pt 1)

The Meta Unit (pt 1)

This is part 1 of a series of blog posts tracking a change in practice we are trying this year.
This idea came from our frustration with a very busy schedule where sequential Units of Inquiry left little breathing room on the calendar. In order to give ourselves a bit more room on the schedule, we have decided that each Primary class will designate one of their units of Inquiry as a META unit. 

After our initial planning session, two different types of Meta units emerged:

1) The Long Term Project Based Learning

Grade 5/6 will take a unit and do a year long project. On Friday afternoons every week, as a school we have a period dedicated to Community Time/Passion Projects. This class will take that time and apply it to a UOI once a week. The students will negotiate and decide what that will look like.

2) The Central Core

Grade 1 & 2 and Grade 3/4 are going with a different approach. They choose one unit that will act as a philosophical core for the year. It will be weaved in and out of everything. The unit on NEEDS is all about our basic needs as humans (who we are). This will include our needs as learners and as a member of a community. This will be used as a vehicle for reflection and character development.

The other unit is on EVIDENCE, which is all about defending your claim with some kind of support. The class will use CLAIM--SUPPORT--QUESTION as a central philosophy. They will use the other 5 units to inquire into different types of evidence, and different ways of presenting it and analyzing it. There will also be an ancient civilizations aspect to this, but we are still working out what that looks like.

Of course this is just the initial thoughts! We have no idea where it will go, but that unknown quality is very exciting....

To be continued....


  1. This is great. We are also trying something like this. Our first unit is 4 weeks and is a launch to a 'theme' that will run throughout the whole year for each grade- frequently making connections to the current units of inquiry. We are very excited and I can't wait to read where your journey takes you.

    1. Let's compare the two approaches, have a chat about pros and cons.

  2. I love this idea and am looking forward to hearing more about this idea. I think it is definitely an approach worth thinking about as we too struggle to fit everything in properly. I am wondering if perhaps it would work if all students worked in cross age groups exploring one UOI on a Friday afternoon, with perhaps a scientific or a design and make focus. Thanks for sharing.


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