Grade 9 students have been working on a I & S (Individuals & Societies) unit called Governance in collaboration with the library. As part of this unit, the students have explored different forms of government, discussed the pros and cons of various electoral systems, practiced formal essay-writing and worked on source analysis.
The essay topic the class explored, focused on the life and achievements of Oliver Cromwell, one of the most controversial of British rulers. The portrait project gave students a chance to analyse original paintings of both contemporary and historic figures. The students analysed the origin, purpose, value and limitations of various portraits. The work was also presented in class. The students noted how portraits often not only revealed a great deal about the ruler in question but also gave the young researches a lot of information on the relevant time period.
We will continue to work on source analysis and on developing writing and research skills in the months to come.
The I&S department received additional help from our school librarian who as part of the MYP program gave the class information literacy sessions that helped the students to achieve better results in their project work. Some of the topics covered included information on how to cite material correctly in MLA style, academic honesty and help in using library databases for research.
As you can see from the pictures, the students chose interesting material to research and approached the projects with great dedication. Their I&S teacher also noted with satisfaction, how the portraits chosen for analysis often reflected the cultural diversity of the school. The class also explored the life of ordinary people during the Early Modern era.
As it was not possible to do a big field trip that related to the unit under the current circumstances, the students enjoyed watching a very detailed documentary on the palace of Versailles as part of this unit.