Our current unit of inquiry is how we express ourselves.
Based on their wondering, they developed the lines of inquiry which have been inquired for the last 3 weeks. They have been enjoying reading books, exploring different genres, inquiring into different story elements.
‘This story has engaged me. I always want to know what happen next,’ I have heard this coming out from the students many times.
‘That’s great, ‘ I said. ‘What makes you engaged? What makes the story interesting? The character? The plot?……‘
They also enjoyed exploring and experimenting on how similes and metaphors enrich their writing. We are using the 6-traits of writing program across primary to develop their writing skills. They also enjoyed exploring the plot in the stories they read and the stories they watched using short movies from pixar.
I asked them to share what they think about a good story. Most of them were able to share based on their experience. Then, I asked, ‘What makes a good story then? Where does a good story start? What do you need to write a story which engage readers?’
‘You need pen and paper to start writing the story,‘ said one child.
‘Yes, but what are you going to write? How do you know what to write?‘ I replied.
‘From you head,’ replied that child.
‘How is this something in your head called?‘
‘I know….you should have an idea!‘ shouted another child out.
There you go…that’s the word I was hoping to hear. 🙂 Sometimes as a teacher, I’m tempted just to say the answer.
Before I read the book ‘What do you do with an idea?’ , we did the chalk-talk to let them share what they think about an idea.
They get better at sharing their thoughts using this visible thinking strategy as well as responding to other’s thoughts.
We had a brief discussion about what they wrote before I started reading the book.
A few of them mentioned that they have seen the book in the library and have read. After reading, I asked them to go back and add on the mind-map. We also discussed what and idea is, where it is from and what we should do with an idea.
‘Sometimes I am too shy to tell my ideas because I am not sure what others would think.‘
‘Sometimes I think my ideas may not be good. So I don’t want to say.‘
‘But…if we say our ideas then we would know whether it would work or not.‘
I remembered last year (I have been with these kids for three year in a row. Glad that I have seen them growing), one boy said confidently, ‘An idea is a product of your thinking.‘ So then I replied to him, ‘Where could an idea come from?‘
Imagination, experience, what you see or do, your surrounding……..
Digging into the kids’ mind and encouraging them to speak up are not always easy. As adults, we sometimes think that we do not have time to keep on asking them or sometimes we feel that it’s a lot easier to them the answer without listening to their irrelevant answers. 🙂
Yes, it’s not easy but it’s worthy when eventually you could hear and see how they construct their knowledge…and that’s the BINGO moment for me.