Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guided Inquiry with 2nd Graders

So I just finished day two of our district activity. I'm excited for the activities a second grade teacher and I have planned so far.

If you aren't familiar with this model ... it's a little different in that you actually take make the time for students to get immersed into the subject BEFORE deciding on a question. Time is always an issue and we've all been guilty of "here are your questions now go find your answers." Of course they consider copying ... why would they care? But how can they know to care when a student doesn't have any background knowledge or experience with a topic?

 We'll work harder than usual to connect students ... to meet them halfway between the curriculum and their personal interests in what the authors of the model call the "third space." The pilot schools that tried it last year had great things to say so I am interested to see how this will go.

Our overall big idea is INTERDEPENDENCE. How things we do affect the environment and how the environment affects us. As it will be really an on and off year long activity we're tying it in with manmade and natural resources, habitats, and endangered animals ... all science standards they would be covering anyway. Immersing the kids in the topic BEFORE we start reading we'll also use rainforest, endangered animals, deforestation, and pollution themed fiction and non-fiction texts and media to cover English and Language Arts standards. We also thought we'd try to tie in some math with tallying and graphing recycling around our school ... how much of it happens or doesn't happen.

Once we figure it all out. The coolest, most comprehensive and coherent cross curricular activities take some advance thinking, don't they!

I never saw this movie. But we thought it might be one of the introductory activities ... during rainy recesses or as a "reward" over several days of "lunch in the classroom" with a teacher. I would say "lunch in the library" but because of our location (hallway, every class has to go through us to get to the cafeteria which is only 15 feet down the hall and only has glass walls to contain noise) right around lunchtime is not particularly conducive to learning or attention. :X Save it whenever possible for just open checkout and running out to classrooms to try to "fix" things or small groups with very focused at a table work.

Would be even COOLER to Skype but hello ... rain forest and Skype not necessarily perfect partners. Still looking around to see what's available and what's not already totally overwhelmed with requests.

Then there is a Marcus Pfister book (think Rainbow Fish) called The Yellow Cab that looks like it's right on our topic. The reviews are a bit lukewarm ... no one LOVES it OR majorly DISLIKES it. We'll see.

Anyone have any ideas? Or doing anything remotely similar where the kids might have fun chatting?


1 comment :

  1. I support a few grade levels with inquiry projects having to do with this exact subject! I collected numerous videos and webpages on Smore for my teachers and actually purchased Ferngully last year for one of my teacher teams. Thanks for the heads up on The Yellow Cab. I have a few favorite books that we've used for introduction to action, environmental awareness, etc... For older children I really love the book World Without Fish...
    For my older students, I collected these resources on Ecosystems: https://smore.com/jb93
    For my younger students, I collected these resources on Habitats: