The Fifth Grade IB Exhibition
The IB Fifth Grade Exhibition is an essential component of the International Baccalaureate program. It provides an opportunity for students to engage in in-depth inquiry while exploring multiple perspectives and sources. It allows them to demonstrate synthesis and understanding of their previous years at ISD and to reflect on their journey through the PYP. Our Fifth Grade Exhibition is a research project and presentation which pays special attention to the student’s individual areas of interest, his/her own student profile, and any special talents that the student wishes to explore. These are student-led projects whose topics and formats are created entirely by the students on a small-group basis —in essence, one separate Exhibition per small group of students.
Throughout the process the students will need the guidance of a teacher mentor who will help keep the students focused on a plan of action to develop their Exhibition. They will meet together a minimum of 30 minutes per week with special attention paid to the mentor’s schedule. The mentor will help the students remain focused, check on work accomplished, provide suggestions for research and development, and help the students to not become overwhelmed. The fifth grade team is there to assist any teacher. This is a mutually rewarding educational experience for both the students and mentors.
The first part of the process is to explain the idea to the students by giving examples of substantial topics about which the students will become knowledgeable. Fifth grade teachers provide some examples of how the presentation might look, and what they expect from the students during all phases of the Exhibition. The students then select the topic of their Exhibition. Based on these student-selected topics, small groups are formed. In this phase the students will also be paired with mentors. A detailed timeline will be provided to all mentors and students. In the classroom, each group of students will create their own planner containing a Central Idea and Inquiries (just as IB teachers do when planning their IB units). The students will be keeping a journal documenting their personal journey through the Exhibition process.
In this phase, students research their topics and develop the basic idea for their presentation. Fifth grade classroom teachers and the Library Media Specialist will help them organize, understand how to do research, and how to find sources. The phase will last a few weeks, giving the students plenty of time to plan research and even change course a bit if necessary. Throughout this phase and the next, students will meet on a weekly basis with their own mentor to plan, review research, suggest sources, and discuss possible action. Parents will provide opportunities to get to the library, go on day trips to museums or venues appropriate for learning more about the child’s topic, and make suggestions whenever possible.
The students will now take the information they have acquired and create their Exhibition. Each group will create a presentation which will be informative and creative. Their creative component could be a movie, a TV commercial, a construction project, a fashion show, an art project, a musical number, a skit or anything else they can come up with as a manner of expressing their knowledge and new understandings.
This is simply the practice and refinement of their presentation. There will be two-three days (depending on the number and duration) of Exhibition presentations at ISD for parents, the community, and the rest of the school to see the student Exhibitions. Students will present with stage lighting, microphones and full screen projections. Students will have Exhibition t-shirts, celebrate their accomplishments at an Exhibition party, and receive awards related to their Exhibition at the end of the year.