Reflection: Student Led Inquiry My Feathery Friends Part II - Section 3: Soaring to New Heights (Exploration)


I inserted this activity into our ELA block the day following this lesson.  Here are my initial thoughts and expectations:

Video clip that tells my expectations and instructional moves.

As always, students blew away my expectations!  Students were coming up to me left-and-right to say, "I found a diagram!  Look at this life cycle!  Can I write more questions?  Look at this...  Listen to this fact...WOW!"  

I found a diagram!

Two students working!

I found and drew the life cycle

Reading that blew me away and connected to our earlier beaks lesson

They were so highly engaged that this activity took the majority of our ELA block!  This was just fine, as students were practicing RI.1 Asking and answering questions, as well as a host of listening and speaking skills.

About half-way through the work, I did an all-call chant, "Tootsie Roll, Lollipop, We were talking, Now we stop."  I reminded students of the communications strategies that scientists use, by reading to the anchor chart we created during our first science unit, What does a scientist do?  This gave them focus and direction through a self-assessment.

Put your fist against your chest.  If you have pictures, give yourself a thumbs-up.  If not, give yourself a thumbs-sideways and this is something you will want to add. 

I continue having them self-assess each item on the checklist in this way.  Then, I encourage them to record using additional strategies in their remaining time.

After reading and writing, we did a gallery walk to look at one another's work.  Students left their journals on their desks while they circulated.  I asked students to share each other's journals.

Who did you think did a great job today asking and answering questions?  Bring their journal up to the front and show us what you liked about it.

By sharing a peer's journal, students are now assessing one another and are able to use peer feedback to improve their work!

Check out some of their work:

Amazing work with a full diagram

Amazing work on the wood duck, which was featured in the read-aloud

  Student Led Inquiry: Asking and answering student-generated questions
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My Feathery Friends Part II

Unit 2: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Lesson 9 of 16

Objective: SWBAT locate key details from the text and illustrations about how feathers meet the needs of birds.

Big Idea: What is the purpose of feathers? (Okay, *besides* flying!) Feathers are actually incredible external parts. They help birds meet all kinds of needs, and they are the key to our biomimicry engineering designs.

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