environmental issue of local, provincial/ territorial, and/or national significance,
specifying the actions to be taken by the appropriate level (or levels) of government
as well as by citizens, including themselves." I wasn't sure how close we would come to creating an actual plan, but this expectation,as well as B2.4, B2.5, B2.6, was my impetus.
I chose a student created big (aka guiding, overarching) question from our Wonder Wall: Can we stop global warming? Our Inquiry had begun.
I needed to font-load the kids with as much information as I could before sending them on their own. As a move from Questioning to Gathering and Organizing, I had a bunch of facts that I took from provincial and federal websites which I rewrote in kid-friendly terms on separate index cards. In groups, I had the students read the information then decide which kind of question it would have answered, or if it actually did answer any of the questions we had on our charts. They then glued each information card to the appropriate Question chart.
I did another lesson using this same website to view some commercials created by the Ontario government that have to do with climate change and we discussed those. The students were very engaged by the one with the talking animals and it led to some fantastic conversation about perspectives in global warming.
Once the kids were ready to begin exploring on their own, I gave them two kid-friendly websites I had previously found. No need to surf the web ad nauseam. Here they are: http://tiki.oneworld.org/ and http://climatekids.nasa.gov/.
It didn't take long to realize that the kids completely ignored my instructions and were surfing the net for global warming. The Word Wall questions seemed to mean nothing to them and they were trying to access websites that were not kid-friendly. I had to do something.
Our Inquiry was going to change. I had to limit the gathering to one website (the climate kids one). I also had to provide the students with specific questions that would automatically organize, but unfortunately further limit, their researching skills. The open-ended Wicked Wonder question, Can we stop global warming?, would have to wait (see a future post under Communicating).
So, it turns out that the Interpret and Analyse step was one that I as the teacher had to take on for my students. By providing them with the resources, it eliminated some independence and learning, but it made the research process much more manageable, accessible, and enjoyable for us all!
I admit that unfortunately I did not get around to Evaluating and Drawing Conclusions. But we did very well with the Communicating step. In some ways, this step inadvertently comes out in the finished product. With the lead of our Teacher Librarian, the kids did collaborative SWAYS. We did have some technical difficulties; it turns out that the iPad does not tend to work as collaboratively as the Netbooks or desktops. Nonetheless, please have a look at a couple of the students' Sways. OOPS--PLEASE STAY TUNED...