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Researching, tuning in and finding out : Year 1 learn about how the world works

  • Elementary School
  • IB PYP

For the past two weeks, Year 1 has been working with their third unit of the year: How the World Works. We have been focusing on materials and their properties. We began by tuning into what we already knew. Students explored different materials and identified what they were made of, how we could describe them and where we might find them or other things like them. This exploration continued during lessons in Music (what are instruments made of?), P.E. and even garden times and led us to understand that you often need to use all your senses to understand what materials are in an object.

Once we had a grasp of how to talk about things by their materials, we began sorting them in different ways. This naturally caused us to ask a lot of questions: Can things have more than one material? How do I sort it then? Is all plastic hard? Can you bend some metals? Why are there so many hard things in the Woods? Why is it easy to find things made of plastic?

To find out the answer to these questions and more we started researching a little in the non-fiction books we have in our classroom. We do not have all the answers yet, but we are so excited to continue trying. 


In addition to investigating different materials we have also been working really hard with our writing. After watching The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, we talked about our favourite parts and created a picture to showcase it. Using those pictures, we sequenced the story together before creating story maps using pictures and words. We even used different materials to create our own window snowmen. In the next few weeks we will use our sequencing words (first, next, then, after, finally) to retell other favourite stories and to record the steps in our science experiments as we begin looking at states of matter. 

- Ms Elin, Year 1 PYP Teacher

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