What your children are studying - April 2010

Most TIS classes are now into a new IB theme, having started it just before break or starting it this week.
PK classes study four thematic units per year, LK classes do five, while kinder through 5th grade classes study all six themes. For each theme, TIS teachers in each grade have worked together to create a central idea and core concepts to guide the study.

The IB's trans-disciplinary themes are:











Who We AreWhere We Are in Place and TimeHow We Express OurselvesHow the World WorksHow We Organize OurselvesSharing the Planet

All classes within one grade study the same theme with the same Central Idea and guiding concepts at the same time. The different grades may study the themes in different orders from one another.

The themes currently being studied by TIS students are:



























PreK. Theme: How the World Works
Central Idea:
Plants and animals change throughout their lives.
An Inquiry into:


  • The difference between living and non-living things

  • The difference between plants and animals

  • The lifecycle of a plant and animal


LowK. Theme: Where we are in place & time
Central Idea: The natural environment influences the way people live.
An Inquiry into:

  • Different biomes in the world (Tropical, Temperate, Arctic, Desert)

  • The importance of adapting housing and clothing to the climate

  • The influence of the environment on food choices


Kinder. Theme: How we organize ourselves
Central Idea: Many different ways to travel exist
An Inquiry into:

  • Forms of transportation on the ground, air, and water

  • The preferences and needs behind our choices to use different types of transportation

  • Geographical impact on transportation choices


First grade. Theme: How we organize ourselves
Central Idea: The food people eat goes through several steps from the farm to our table.
An Inquiry into:

  • Where different foods come from, both locally and internationally

  • The systems involved in getting food to our table


Second grade. Theme: Who We Are
Central Idea: Citizens of any nation share certain roles, rights, and responsibilities
An Inquiry into:

  • What it means to be a “citizen” of a country

  • The need to protect the rights and property of others

  • The responsibilities, such as voting, that citizens should perform


Third grade. Theme: How the World Works
Central Idea: Weather impacts human activities
An Inquiry into:

  • What weather is

  • How people measure and monitor weather

  • The impact of land formations on the weather

  • How weather affects the decisions people make


Fourth grade. Theme: Sharing the planet
Central Idea: People have a responsibility to maintain the delicate balance between living things and nature’s cycles.
An Inquiry into:

  • The water cycle and its connection to all living things

  • The impact on life when the water cycle is disrupted

  • The positive choices we can make to protect the water cycle and life on the planet


Fifth grade. Theme: Where we are in place & time
Central Idea: Modern countries exist as a result of past events.
An Inquiry into:

  • A case study of the USA

  • Historical factors influencing migration to a new land

  • Sources of conflict that led to a push for independence

  • The unique circumstances that allowed for the creation of a new form of government



Questions? Please ask your child's teacher, IB coordinator Teresa Wirsching (TeresaW@intlschool.org), or Principal Maria Abad (MAbad@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x122).