West Goshen Program of Inquiry

Program of inquiry:  the overview of units for a whole school

Unit of inquiry:  a study of big ideas about a broad topic

Central idea:  the global understanding a unit is focused on

Lines of inquiry:  things studied to develop an understanding of the central idea

Key concepts:  concepts that provide a focus for a unit

Kindergarten
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade

August-September

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

We have roles and responsibilities in our community.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Our classroom as a community
  • How communities work
  • Roles and responsibilities in communities

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, responsibility

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Rules and laws can help citizens create thriving communities. 

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Rules and laws
  • How rules and laws help citizens
  • How citizens impact communities

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, connection

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

Economic systems provide opportunities.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Elements of economic systems
  • Ways economies are different
  • Responsibilities of consumers and producers

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, responsibility

Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Principals and values influence leaders.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • The characteristics of leaders and leadership
  • How people become leaders
  • The influence of principles and ideals on action

Key Concepts:  

Form, perspective, reflection

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

Geography, climate, and resources affect life.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Climate, resources, and geography
  • Characteristics and differences between regions
  • Taking care of resources

Key Concepts:  

Connection, change, responsibility

How the World Works

Central Idea: 

Patterns and forms help us understand the natural world.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How the natural world works
  • Interaction of the natural world
  • Elements of the natural world

Key Concepts:  

Function, connection, form

September-October
Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

Seasonal changes happen in a sequence and impact people.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • What seasons are like
  • Seasonal change
  • Weather impacts people

Key Concepts:  

Form, change, causation

How the World Works

Central Idea: 

Animals adapt to life in different habitats.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Habitats and adaptation
  • How animals adapt to habitat changes
  • How animals change as they adapt to different habitats

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, change

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

History may tell how past and present events change a community.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Community changes
  • Why communities change
  • How we learn our history

Key Concepts:  

Change, causation, reflection

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

People create organizations to provide services to communities.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • The purpose of organizations and community services
  • The role of citizens/people in organizations
  • How community organizations provide services

Key Concepts:  

Function, connection, causation

Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Relationships can influence native cultures.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Early cultures
  • How early cultures functioned
  • Causes of change in early cultures

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, causation

Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Landforms can shape settlement, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Landforms and native settlements
  • The connections of landforms to agriculture and manufacturing
  • Lifestyles in different regions

Key Concepts:  

Causation, connection, perspective

November-December
How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

People prepare for and celebrate holidays differently around the world.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Preparing for holidays
  • Different holidays
  • Sharing holidays

Key Concepts:  

Responsibility, perspective, connection

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Beliefs shape the celebrations and symbols of a culture.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How people celebrate holidays
  • Different symbols/ celebrations
  • Reasons for celebrations

Key Concepts:  

Function, causation, perspective

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Community systems are impacted by geography.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Geography around the world
  • Impact of the physical environment on how people work and live
  • Communities working together

Key Concepts:  

Causation, connection

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

History shows how and why people migrate to different locations.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Reasons for migration
  • The challenges of migration
  • Perspectives on migration

Key Concepts:  

Causation, change, perspective

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Art can reflect the culture and heritage.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Determining what art is
  • The role art plays in a culture or heritage
  • Our responsibilities to art

Key Concepts:  

Reflection, function, responsibility

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

Discoveries could lead to a settlement or further exploration.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Connections between settlement and exploration
  • Impact of discoveries on exploration and settlement
  • Ways discovery and exploration impact careers

Key Concepts:  

Connection, change, causation

January-February
How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

People do different jobs/work to meet economic needs and wants.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Reasons for choosing a job
  • Different jobs and tools used
  • How jobs help the community

Key Concepts:  

Function, connection, causation

Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Culture shapes a person’s traditions.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Types of traditions
  • How family traditions shape who you are
  • Our responsibility to learn about other cultures

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, responsibility

Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Citizens may have rights and responsibilities in their community.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Rights and responsibilities of community members
  • Reasons for laws
  • Views about equal rights

Key Concepts:  

Responsibility, perspective, causation

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Diverse groups of people shape the development of a place over time.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Distinct characteristics of different places
  • Ways people influence areas over time
  • Why people value diversity in culture, industry, art, and architecture

Key Concepts:  

Reflection, causation, responsibility

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

The structures of society impact the individual’s influence on decision making. 

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Societal structures
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • How decisions are made

Key Concepts:  

Form, responsibility, perspective

How We Organize Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Periods of conflict impact the structure and function of organizations.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Sources and forms of conflict
  • Why organizations change
  • Responsibilities of citizens in times of conflict.

Key Concepts:  

Perspective, responsibility, change

February-March
Who We Are

Central Idea: 

Families and neighborhoods can give us what we need.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • The function of places in our neighborhood
  • Ways families and neighborhoods are the same and different
  • Ways we use places in our communities or neighborhoods

Key Concepts:  

Perspective, function, reflection

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

Time and place are a part of our histories.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How maps, timelines, and globes work
  • Life changes over time
  • Reasons people live where they live

Key Concepts:  

Function, change, reflection

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Community celebrations may reflect holidays.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Different holidays or community gatherings
  • Reasons we celebrate
  • Similarities in cultures/ communities

Key Concepts:  

Form, causation, connection

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

Seasonal patterns and changes affect the survival of plants and animals.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Patterns in our world
  • Effect of seasonal change on plants and animals
  • How plant and animals survive

Key Concepts:  

Causation, connection, function

How the World Works

Central Idea: 

Conservation of our natural resources impacts our environment.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Types of resources
  • Human impact on the environment
  • Ways to conserve

Key Concepts:  

Form, responsibility, reflection

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

Government relies on leadership and civic participation.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How branches of government work
  • The importance of civic participation
  • Reliability of opinions

Key Concepts:  

Function, responsibility, reflection

April-May
How the World Works

Central Idea: 

Living things depend on and interact with the natural world.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Characteristics of living things
  • Connections between plants, animals, and humans
  • Ways living things impact the environment

Key Concepts:  

Form, causation, connection

Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: 

Our actions impact the resources we share with the world.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Our responsibility to the environment
  • Ways to help our environment
  • Different ways humans impact the environment around the world

Key Concepts:  

Responsibility, form, perspective

How the World Works

Central Idea: 

Different types of weather impact our environment and our choices.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Different types of weather
  • Ways weather changes the environment
  • Responses to types of weather

Key Concepts:  

Causation, change, perspective

How the World Works

Central Idea: 

The designs of machines that affect our lives are dependent upon available materials and technological advances

Lines of Inquiry:

  • How technological advances affect machines
  • How machines affect the world
  • How design impacts function

Key Concepts:  

Function, causation, change

Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: 

Businesses can be affected by the supply/demand for goods/services.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Identifying good and services
  • The function of a business
  • The connection between supply/demand and goods/services

Key Concepts:  

Form, function, connection

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: 

Adaptation is a feature of culture and survival.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Causes of survival and failure
  • How living things respond to change in environmental conditions
  • Characteristics of culture

Key Concepts:  

Form, causation, change