Curious Classroom Book Study: Check Our News Feed

Thursday, 27 July 2017



Chapter 5

In This Chapter

This chapter invites us to think outside the plan book and bring the outside world into our curriculum and teaching.  Author, Harvey Daniels, suggests that we can spark interest and stimulate inquiry with "kid-hooking" news items.

As I was reading, I couldn't help but think of April the giraffe and how much interest the anticipation of her calf's birth generated last spring.  It was all over the news and would have made a great springboard for inquiry.

Like many of the structures in this book, it's not about what we plan ahead of time, rather about allowing ourselves to remain open and responsive to curiosities as they present themselves.

What I've Tried

I love that this chapter included a section on using webcams as a source for exploring the day-to-day news in the animal world.  For several years, my own students have grown right alongside the Decorah Eagles watching them learn, grow, and finally leave the nest!  Each time we turned on the webcam, there was always great anticipation of what the eagles might be doing.  We were able to view their life cycle, feeding habits, parenting, and more!  Observations and questions naturally flowed from this up-close and personal experience, that we never would've had access to without technology.  You can read more about our animal research projects here!

What I'd Like to Try

I thought the idea of using a Symbaloo board would be extremely helpful in creating a menu of handy resources to use in our research.  The board could also be used to teach children how to evaluate sources in order to find the best one to answer a particular question.

I appreciated the list of kid-friendly news sites found on page 84 and will use these to create those first Symbaloo tiles.  I see us adding to this "research round-up" throughout the year as we discover more and more great resources.

Toward the end of the chapter, Daniels gives another really great reason for capitalizing on current events in the classroom!  He says, "Not only can the news stimulate inquiry projects of all sorts, it also sets children on a path to becoming active, aware, and critical citizens of their communities and of the world."

Can you think of a particular news event that led to some great learning in your classroom?  What intrigues you about this chapter? What are you hoping to try?

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