Reflection: Lesson Planning Outdoor Patterns - Section 4: Using Our Skills of Observation


Students were so excited by what they were finding outside. They had trouble concentrating on patterns at first. The students were identifying so many things that they noticed. I asked about patterns, and before we headed back indoors students did record a pattern, but before they could focus on patterns I let them use their observation skills just to see what they could. 

Students were fascinated by several very large overturned trees that a large storm burst had knocked down. We took part of the time to study the roots, the dirt and rocks overturned, and the stumps of the trees that had been cut where they fell.

Sometimes teachers need to step back and let students take the lead. You may have great plans, but student interest and curiosity needs to take precedence. A teacher needs to be able to listen to student interests and needs, as well as to decide when to move a lesson in a new direction and when to reign students in.

Students learn best when they are excited about something. In this lesson, I let them stray towards their own interests and curiosities and then spend a few minutes at the end discussing the patterns.

  Lesson Planning: Letting Students Take the Lead
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Outdoor Patterns

Unit 1: What Do Scientists Do?
Lesson 3 of 14

Objective: SWBAT identify different patterns in nature by observing characteristics of growing things.

Big Idea: Observation is an important skill used by scientists. Students often need to be taught to slow down and observe the world around them

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