My lesson begins with the question "What would you do in order to prepare to teach information to someone you don't know?"
I ask students to turn and talk with their shoulder partners about this. I specifically do not ask them to discuss teaching as a task, because their thinking would then center around a different set of strategies.
My goal in this lesson is to help students solidify what they learned when investigating seeds and to now confirm and expand their knowledge through research.
After they share their thoughts, I call on just a few children to share what their partner's thinking. I do this, rather than have them share their own thinking, because students are equally accountable in their conversation. They each much think about and express their ideas clearly and listen carefully enough to explain someone else's thinking.
In order to teach the children about researching in order to prepare a lesson, I call them to the community area and tell them I am going to begin showing them how I plan for our experiences in class. I ask them to watch what I do while I watch a video on plant growth.
The video I use to demonstrate research is on the topic of photosynthesis. As I watch, I think out loud about what terms I think are important, calling out the facts as I learn them. I carefully model how to pause, rewind, and play again in order to write all of the critical information in my notes. Here is the video I used as a model:
Next, I show the students how to go to the following YouTube videos on the parts of seeds. I tell them that they need to take notes while watching these videos, because later in the week we will be creating teaching posters on the essential parts of a seed. We will also present these posters to the first graders in our class, so we must be intentional and correct.
As the students work with partners on writing and/or illustrating important facts, I circulate the room and prompt them with questions to test their understanding and push their thinking deeper. In the following video, listen to the prompts given to these students. They have two great facts written, but I want to push them to explain why they are important and to describe the function of the seed part.
For these students, I wanted to work on defining what they felt was important and how they were going to capture that on paper. I wanted to know what they were learning and make sure they were held to a standard of work that would help them in their product creation later.
In order to close the lesson, I pull all the scientists back to the community area with their notebooks. I then ask partnerships to share with another group, the information they wrote. As they are sharing I remind them to look for similarities, but to really consider the differences as they may find something they would like to use. Focusing on differences helps students define what they might need to research further, or add to their research (or both).
As we prepare to leave the community area, I remind students that scientists don't just complete experiments. They also research, debate, defend, revise, clarify, and present information.