Who Gives a Shirt
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Thomas Edward Handscomb

The inquiry cycle in the IB curriculum is a guide for teachers to enable the most well rounded understanding of a topic possible. Starting with finding out what we know already, asking questions and finding answers, we then move on to taking action and going further before finally reflecting on what we did.

With the scorching May Guangzhou weather now upon us, we decided in our junior classes to explore the subject of summer.We thought about how summer connects to food growth and production and looked at farms, fruits and vegetables. We looked at the animals a person would find on a farm and their uses and what they produce for us. Finally we looked at clothes and appropriate summer dress. We know that, jackets and woolly jumpers (did you know, they come from sheep?) are not appropriate, but what is? T-Shirts and shorts of course! And what better way to understand summer clothes than to make our own?

It would be very easy to simply give the children a worksheet with the outline of a T-shirt and tell them to draw a design. Obviously this is not going to inspire the children as actually making a usable, wearable item of clothing. So we bought in white T-shirts for every child and on a glorious sunny afternoon we painted the T-shirts using prints and paint brushes and made some truly wonderful designs.

It would be easy to end there. The children have made beautiful T-shirts and we have had a happy day in the kindergarten exploring paint and patterns, however the IB curriculum requires us to go further so that’s what we did. What better way to show off our designs than a fashion show? All of the teachers worked so hard to ensure the setting was perfect. With all the classes together on another beautiful sunny day, we had a fashion show that would rival any you would see in London, Paris or Milan,minus the diva tantrums from our perfectly behaved models, of course. To apumping soundtrack of One Direction and Right Said Fred, model after model strutted their stuff and displayed a level of swag that would make Justin Beiber blush. Teachers from all over the school came to watch the boys and girls rock the catwalk so hard, that I have heard rumours that Tyra Banks is on the next plane to Guangzhou.

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