I'm an explorer

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives

We decided that the big idea of the unit is EXPLORATION through the lens of place and time. Then we came up with the CENTRAL IDEA: “Explorations lead to discoveries, opportunities, and new understandings”. The lines of inquiry are: Reasons for exploration, How explorations have taken place over time, Consequences of exploration

The focused key concepts of this unit are Change, Causation, Perspective. And the related concepts are:

Social Studies Strands:
Continuity and Change through Time (chronology, civilization, innovation, progress)
Resources and the Environment (impact of scientific and technological developments on the environment, sustainability of technology, wealth)

Teacher Questions:

What is an exploration?
Why do people explore?
What similarities and differences can we see from explorations over time?
What are impacts of exploration?
How does exploration help people understand the world better?


We began the unit by doing a provocation… It is to provoke students’ mind about the big idea of this unit. We did a treasure hunt activity…


  • To allow students to have personal experience
  • To provide students with opportunities to get engaged with  the concept of ‘exploration’
  • To help students plan further experiences and activities

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  1. Put students into groups or teams of four or five. Give each group a piece of paper contains of some clues
  2. Get students to find designated places around the school based on the clue paper. They will have to seek out the answers to the questions inside or outside of the school buildings. While looking for the clues, they’ll also get the chance to discover other places that might interest them.
  3. There are some places that they need to discover and guess where they are. The quickest group who can discover all the designated places is the winner.
  4. After the activity, ask students to discuss the aims of the activity and how it can relate to the new unit they are going to learn.

Give them some guided questions for the discussion:

  1. What is the purpose of us exploring the school?
  2. Did you know the answers before doing the activity?
  3. How did you answer the questions?
  4. What did you feel? When you find the answers or when you didn’t find the answers.
  5. What would you do differently?

The students were happy because they could go around the school to find the “treasure”. By doing this activity we expected the students to get to know the idea of the unit, which was EXPLORATION.

Tuning in- Preparing to find out

Writing personal experience about “JOURNEY”


  • To allow students to share their personal experience of the topic (in relation to the focused transdisciplinary theme)

Individually, ask students to think about their most memorable journey they have experienced. Encourage students to think about the curiosity they had during they journey and their ways to discover answers to their inquiries. Invite them to bring photographs to support their writing. Urge them to use past tense in their writing.

Preparing to Find Out

Word Association


  • To assess students’ prior knowledge about the topic (what exploration is)
  • To develop a working definition of the word that can be redefined throughout the unit

In group, ask students to write or draw anything that comes to mind when they hear the word “exploration”. They can use any graphic organizer to organize the words associated. Students present in front of their friends after they finish brainstorming.

Making Questions


To ascertain the students initial curiosity about the topic

After knowing the central idea of the unit, students write some questions they want to know more about the topic.

Finding info


  • To further stimulate the students’ curiosity
  • To raise other questions for the students to explore in the future
  • To help students make sense of their learning so that they can relate them in their life

Watching videos about some famous explorers and their famous explorations

Cahyo Alkantana (TEROKA)


To provide some new information which may answer some of the students’ earlier questions

Students are watching some videos of some famous explorers and their explorations. Students do note-taking in their UOI book to note take the important information about those explorers.

Internet Research


To provide students with the opportunity to find answers of their inquiry

Students do research about the reasons of explorations

  • Use Boolean strategy to find information in the internet
  • Use the checklist to organize the information found (success criteria)
  • Summarize the information by paraphrasing
  • Write down the references or bibliography

Sorting Out


  • To provide students with the opportunities to process information they have gathered and present this in a number of ways
  • To allow for a diverse range of outcome

Making a grouping Map

After students identify the explorers and their explorations, in group, they classify/ categorize the explorations into different categories. They can come up with any kind of categories. For instance, they categorize based on the nationalities of the explorers, purposes, locations, years of explorations, results of explorations, etc)

Model the students how to make a grouping map before they make their own.

Gallery walk activity can be done as a sharing time. Ask students to compare their group’s work with the other groups.


Make a Power Point Presentation or Use other forms of visual presentations

Using the data gathered in watching videos and individual research, students develop various kind of presentation to express their understanding of the types of explorations and reasons of the explorations. Some students will choose to do it digitally using Ms. Power Point or some will do it using a hard copy ones.

Going Further


  • To extend and challenge students understanding about the topic
  • To provide more information to broaden students’ range of understandings

Watching some videos of Indonesian Famous Explorer, Cahyo Alkantana

Before watching

Introduction to Mr. Cahyo Alkanta (reading article), show his pictures and his expeditions. Tell students that they are going to watch some videos of Cahyo alkantana’s expeditions. Students are going to find out more about the reasons of his doing expedition.

While watching

Video: TEROKA Gua Jomblang

Guided Questions:

  1. What is the name of the Expedition?
  2. Where was the location of the exploration?
  3. Who was the team leader of the expedition?
  4. What is the purpose of their exploration?
  5. How did they explore?
  6. What tools or equipment did they use in the exploration?
  7. Why did they explore the cave?
  8. What problems did they face when doing the exploration?
  9. What do you think the explorers’ feeling when they explored the cave?
  10. What are the results of the exploration? What did they find out in the cave?

2nd Video: TEROKA Whale Shark Expedition Nabire

Guided Questions

  1. What is the name of the Expedition?
  2. Who were the explorers?
  1. Where was the location of the exploration?
  2. What is the purpose of their exploration?
  3. How did they explore?
  4. What tools or equipment did they use in the exploration?
  5. What problems did they face when doing the exploration? How did they overcome the problems?
  6. What do you think the explorers’ feeling when they explored the sea?
  7. What are the results of the exploration? What did they find out?
  8. What are some factors that make them successful in their exploration?

After watching

Discuss the answer and ask students about their feelings and comments about Cahyo Alkantana and his expeditions in relation to the unit learned.

Making Connections- Taking Action

  • To assist students to draw conclusion about what they have learnt
  • To assist students to make connection between their understandings and their experiences in the real world

Draw an Explorer

Students draw their chosen explorer

Purpose: students can express themselves through drawing

Why Stairs

Holiday Project

Students, during their holiday, explore something they are curious to find out. They need to make questions and organize their findings using a “WHY STAIRS”


To give students opportunities to take action during their holiday

To improve students’ thinking skills

Using thinking tools


To use de Bono’s Thinking Hats to analyze the impacts of explorations

[Thinking Skills; Analysis and Evaluation]


  • Identify the purpose of exploration using de Bono’s Thinking Hats [Using White Hat for Information and Red Hat for Feelings]
  • Analyze the strategies used in the exploration [Using White Hat for Information] technology, tools, methods, length]
  •  Evaluate the consequences of the exploration [Yellow Hat for Strengths and Black Hat for Weaknesses]
  • Provide a solution for black hat [Green Hat for Creative Thinking]
  • Analyze the discoveries, opportunities and new understandings resulting from the exploration [Blue Hat for Thinking]

Summative DAY! Young Explorers’ Day

Students choose, research, and analyze an exploration using De Bono’s Thinking Hats.

–           Purpose of exploration

–           Strategies used

–           Consequences of exploration

–           Analyze the discoveries, opportunities and new understandings

–           Provide conclusion



Students Reflection

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4 thoughts on “Exploration

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your unit! I love it and I’m inspired by it. I am curious about the letters on your rubric. What do they mean?

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