Exploring Seasons with Inquiry Based Learning
Hey, y'all! At the beginning of the school year, we always talk about seasons. This leads us into our studies of each individual season as the year progresses. Before we can study them in depth, we have to know what they are.
We used our seasons STEAM unit early on in the year to explore what seasons are, but students still had some unique questions. This is where our inquiry unit comes in. Next year, I'll be pairing the two of them together from the beginning.
We start of every inquiry unit with a question session. We use the QFT method to formulate questions which will start our research off on the right foot. We narrow down our questions to three biggies and write them on our question sheet. As we research and learn more, we add information and ask new questions.
Any time we talk about seasons in class, I like to record the temperatures for the year on our graph so students can see how they change in each season. We use apps like The Weather Channel to gather the average monthly highs and lows for our area and record them on our own maps. This allows us to draw lines to show when each season begins and ends so we can understand patterns in temperature.
Then, we research and take notes on our big questions. We may break learning down to different seasons, or look at all of them in broad terms. We may each do our own research, or we may break into teams to research different seasons and present our findings to the class.
One of our big questions is always why we have seasons in the first place. Diagrams are included for students to take notes on and explain their thinking. I like to use videos from YouTube to help me explain this concept. It's not always the easiest idea for little learners to understand.
At the end of our unit, we compare and contrast different seasons to show our understanding. You may choose to tell your students which two to compare and contrast, or pull seasons out of a hat, or let them choose for themselves. Any way works.
You can check out the entire unit in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. I am always adding new resources so be sure to follow my store and check back here often for what's new.
I hope you found some new ideas for your classroom and are as excited about inquiry learning as I am. It's a fantastic way to hold students accountable for their learning and make your classroom more student-centered.
Have a wonderful, relaxing week and I'll talk to you soon.