Thursday, November 29, 2012

How do curious people feel when they present their findings?

Today our 2nd Graders presented what they found out as a result of following their curiosities.  While many students said they felt nervous sharing their investigations with so many parents and other students, the word that occurred most often when students reflected on the Curiosity Project was that it had been fun.  Parents commented too:  that they were amazed by the things that 2nd Graders were curious about.  Who would have thought a 7 year old wanted to dissect a heart?  Who could have imagined a 7 year old would want to plan and plant up a miniature garden?

I've been interested to see how the Curiosity Project - an intensive 6 week project - compares with Independent Studies which is ongoing throughout the year for students in Grades 3-5.  I was particularly interested to know if the investigative skills we have been working on with the students in Independent Studies carry over into others areas of the curriculum.  Recently our Grade 4 students have filled out a Google Form to reflect on their Sharing the Planet unit of inquiry where they have been inquiring into different biomes, writing up their findings into Google Presentations, turning them into PDFs and then making them into FlipBooks.  The things that students identified on this questionnaire that had carried over from Independent Studies were as follows:
  • an understanding of  copyright, plagiarism and the importance of paraphrasing
  • knowledge of where to go in order to search for images that are labelled for reuse
  • an understanding of the different creative commons licences 
Developing research skills is an important element of the PYP.  When I look at the list below, taken from Making the PYP Happen, I can see that both the Curiosity Project and Independent Studies is helping our students to develop these important 21st century skills.

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