Inquiry with Images in Room 102

Building Empathy

Our unit of inquiry is ‘Sharing the Planet’ and we have been inquiring into living things, how they survive and our responsibilities towards them. In class, we have been reading books about plants, farm animals, pet animals, wild animals etc. During ‘story-time’, when asked where wild animals live, most of the students responded that they live in the zoo. This week we are going on a field trip to the zoo. Before we go, I wanted my students to think whether a zoo is a natural habitat for the wild animals. So on Thursday, I used these images to provoke their thinking. 

flickr photo by Wildcat Dunny shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
flickr photo by Furryscaly shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license


We used the See-Think-Wonder routine to provoke the thinking process. We thought about what lions in the first picture could do as compared to the second one. We wondered how they would be feeling in that particular environment. We also talked about how they would feed themselves. These 3 year olds are precociously eloquent. They debated that in the zoo the zookeeper can feed them meat, whereas in the wild they have to look for food themselves. They will be hungry and die. So according to them it is better if the lions are in the zoo. I asked them how they would feel if their parents gave them the iPad or any other game to play but told them to stay in their room for always. That made them think, some of them said they can always ask for a slide or trampoline in their room. We ran out of time before we could come to any sort of conclusion. I have suggested that they stay at home over the weekend and not go out anywhere. I will see what they have to say on Sunday morning when they come back to school.

The bigger role that images play in our life

With the advent of smart phones, cameras and just social media in general , images are playing a major role in our lives. Whether it is a positive or negative impact, that all depends on how the message is relayed and received. Photos are becoming the “universal language”. The fastest growing social media networks are not surprisingly Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. An example of negativity is using photoshop to portray how perfect models are, even though that may not be the case. The younger generation is easily influenced by what they see and follow. To counteract this manipulation, it is important that in schools we teach them how to read and understand the images that they see on social media all around them. 

Published by Rahila Mukaddam

A daughter, sister, wife, mom, teacher and a LEARNER!

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