Big thanks to my colleague Rachael for this mini research project. She shared how she had used post-its to model the PLAN - DO - REVIEW stages of research with first graders. I have slightly adapted her unit into four lessons.
Lesson One: PLAN
The students started on the rug in a circle. I introduced the unit and explained that we would learn about penguins. They took a few minutes to think about what they already know about penguins. A few students shared their knowledge to help get everyone thinking. Then I released them from the rug by colors to go share a fact on a post-it.
The students then added their post-its to the left side of the white board.
After they added their fact, I handed them a different sized post-it and sent them off the think about what they were wondering about penguins. What did they want to know?
At the end of this activity we had they first two parts of the KWL (Know/Wonder/Learn). Below are a few examples from just one of the classes.
We read through the facts and the questions and grouped them into themes. This lesson finished up with a quick exploration of the print and electronic resources they would be suing to answer their questions.
Lesson Two: DO
The first graders and I read Pierre the Penguin:A True Story and tried to answer as many questions as we could. The students realized that it was hard to find information. They loved the story, but it didn't answer many of their questions.
We went back to the white board chose a topic to begin exploring, which was food. A quick look at the table of contents and the index and we zeroed in on the pages that held the needed information. Using the book, we continued to answer more questions.
As soon as we found an answer I took the post-it with the question wrote then answer on it and moved it into a third space on the board. An effective and tangible way to show the KWL process and the PLAN DO REVIEW process. We also used the two books to confirm what it is they thought they knew about penguins.
Onto electronic resources! We have a subscription to PebbleGo and have Encyclopedia Britannica through the state library board. These two resources were all we needed to answer a few more of our questions.
Penguin. Video. Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 Feb. 2017. school.eb.com/levels/elementary/assembly/view/204585. Accessed 3 Apr. 2017.
Lesson Three: Review
We'll be looking back at our work and asking questions like these:
How did we do finding answers?
Were some questions easier to find answers to? Why?
Which resources were best for finding information?
What do we still want to know?
Thanks, Rachael, for this great way to engage and empower first graders!