Curious Classroom Book Study: Hang Out With an Expert

Friday, 28 July 2017


Chapter 6

In This Chapter

In curious classrooms, children learn how to be researchers!  A big part of this process is knowing how to find and use appropriate resources.  Field experts, an often forgotten resource, provide first-hand opportunities for children to find answers to their questions and further their knowledge in a specific area.  Author Harvey Daniels says, "By getting face time with experts, students learn authentic and reliable information, and also witness what passionate and sustained devotion to a speciality look like."

This chapter tells three stories of educators who have invited experts into their classroom and provides some great tips on how best to guide the expert and coach the children in preparation for their visit. 

What I've Tried

Here are a few experts that I've invited in to share their expertise!

Our school librarian came in to share his passion for composting during a study of worms.


A local meteorologist visited during a study of weather and shared his tornado in a bottle.


Zoo To You, a local program, visits each year bringing 3 different animals for the children to learn about and explore. 


This chapter helped me see the possibilities of involving children in the process of making contact and contributing to ongoing communication when arranging for an expert to visit.  It also helped me see a need for working more closely with the guest, prior to their visit, to communicate expectations, share children's questions, and ensure a more suitable presentation.

What I'd Like to Try

Included in this chapter are several great resources for online author interviews. The book also suggests live video visits that can be arranged via Skype or FaceTime. These come with a fee, but could possibly be sponsored by a parent-teacher organization.  

I see myself using these resources during reading and writing workshop as children begin to show interest in a particular character/author or to illustrate a teaching point. 

Since I've yet to meet a class that doesn't fall deeply in love with Elephant and Piggy, I dug up a few Mo Willems videos from Youtube:









Daniels points out that many adults are more than happy to volunteer their time when it comes to working with children.  He says, "The more you seek out experts, the more opportunities you'll find for working with them - and you can collaborate with teachers around the building to find the experts you need."

What experts have you invited into your classroom?  How do you see yourself incorporating this resource into future inquiries?

Thanks for stopping by!

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