The purpose of the Let’s Explore series
…is to offer students a framework for exploring a topic further – a research unit. Take a look at all the units in the series here! Engaging children and encouraging questions is why I love research units. It lets us take a look at the hard facts – and sprinkle them with philosophical questions. Don’t underestimate the power of philosophical questions in your classroom. We can teach our students so many things. Math concepts, literacy, science and more. Teaching them to ask question and to wonder is equally important. At least! [Probably even more important!]
I have always believed that not all knowledge should be “served” to the students. A lot of the contents I remember most vividly from school come from researching and exploring topics. We went exploring for knowledge in textbooks, encyclopedias and eventually online.
In my experience these research units work well for painting a picture of a topic – getting an overview.
In particular this applies for students that might have difficulties concentrating, or having a satisfying progress in their work. There isn’t a big, blank paper staring them down, and feeling that they have an overwhelming task ahead of them. These sheets have smaller boxes, and this appears to have a positive effect – focusing on one at a time!
It’s important for me to have some control of what the students must take away from a research unit like this. Because of that I have some pre-determined elements on the different posters/worksheets. In addition to that there are blank fields where the students decide themselves, and entirely blank templates for full teacher autonomy – or student freedom. ? Suggestions for inquiry questions are also found in the research unit, and you may use them as a basis or starting point. What would we like to find out? How can we approach this topic?
How are the resources structured?
The resources can be printed in large scale as a wall paper/poster suited for a group based project, or as a regular size suitable for notebooks and individual work. Parts of the resources have pre-determined fields that require students to investigate. Other fields are free and open for information the students find important. Suggested questions for inquiry are included. Use them as a basis for your research unit. Take a look at all the units in the series here!
The students can illustrate by drawing, or searching for suitable images online. Empty templates are included so you can define what the focus should be for your project/unit. A rubric for assessment is also available in the unit. The resources in the “Let’s Explore…”-series are suited for:
★ collaborative tasks
★ individual tasks