STEP ONE - ASKING/SORTING QUESTIONS
Before we started asking questions, I gave the students a lot of background information about the regions of Canada as outlined in the Many Gifts program. We wrote little notes about how each region differs, and it gave students a taste of how diverse our beautiful country is.
Then I had students each pick a province (some had to double up), and I asked them to follow our guidelines for asking questions, mostly concentrating on ASKING AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN!
Here is an example:
I had the students create their questions independently, and we used sticky notes in order to easily sort our questions later on into Google questions, Search and Find, and Wicked Wonders.
I found that with most students, we had a large number of Google Questions and Search and Find Questions, and only a few Wicked Wonders. I was happy with this for Grade 4s students at this point in the year!
STEP TWO: GATHER AND ORGANIZE
Next we picked the questions that we wanted REALLY wanted answers to - I asked students to choose three Google questions, four Search and Find, and one Wicked Wonder. We sorted them onto a large sheet of paper to help us Gather and Organize our information:
When we were researching the provinces, we typed in the name of the province and added "for kids" in the Google search engine. One really great website we found for provinces that worked well as a spring board for my higher level students, and great for my lower level students was KidZone Geography:
I found that my students could easily find information for their Google Questions and their Search and Find Questions, so I let them work independently most of the time, just taking small groups to check in and keep them on track. They also used their research skills to find other reliable websites.
STEP THREE: INTERPRETING AND ANALYZING
As students were gathering and organizing, I had them Interpret and Analyze at the same time using our co-created chart. This was an easy step for most and they were able to verbally tell me about the websites they were looking at as I went around from student to student.