Thursday, September 17, 2015

A web of questions!

Long ago, as a fifth grade teacher, I tried to teach kids how to organize their knowledge using a web.  Draw a circle and write a thought in it, then connect it to a smaller circle with a supporting detail.  Several circles may connect to several statements from all of the material the student knew about the topic.  This was a way to organize your bucket of knowledge about a specific topic.

Circles connected to circles with nuggets of wisdom about the Native American Tribes of Texas or the Plot of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  It allowed the facts and details to come out of the kids brain non-sequentially, with the hopes that they would flow more easily.

As I look back, I'm curious if these could have been done better???  When kids wrote down what they already knew, they had conversations about details.  They didn't necessarily add to their knowledge.

What if kids did a similar activity, but used questions instead of facts?  Or maybe the web could start with things we know, but every circle needed a question attached to it?  Or, maybe the last step in the web creation process asks the learner to add 5-10 questions that deserve answers?

When we include questions in or brainstorms, we increase the size of the storm!

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