As a starting point to the inquiry of this unit’s central idea – “Government systems influence the lives of citizens” – Grade 4 students focused on “government” and made a list of words (nouns, verbs and adjectives) which they thought are related to “government”. This list of words was used to generate their own definitions of government.
Some of the nouns which students wrote were “leader”, “president”, “king”, “ruler”, “rule”, “safety” and “conflict”, while some of the verbs were “govern”, “command”, “solve” and “help”. Positive and negative adjectives were part of the list which include “fair”, “good” and “bad”. There was also a discussion whether government consisted of one person or some people. It is interesting to notice that definitions generated also included phrases such as “being bossy”, “take people’s money” and “do corruption”.
Having done such activity, during Mathematics lesson, Grade 4 students were introduced to two small countries in the world which differ in their systems of government – Andorra and Iceland. They answered questions about the number of population from 1970 – 2016 in both countries, for instance:
- the number of population in specific years,
- the total number of population in both countries in specific years; and
- the difference between number of population in both countries in specific years.
At first, the data was given in the form of paragraphs before it was given in a table. Students discussed which organization and display of data helped them find and/or understand information more easily.
After having initial knowledge that a government is related to a state or country, during Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia (BSI) lesson, Grade 4 students played a game in which they pretended to be lost in a deserted island. They discussed some requirements needed to establish a state or a country and its government system. During such discussions, they practised their communication skills by stating opinions, thoughts and ideas properly. They presented results of their discussions to the class.