I wanted to try something new with my classes this year for science. We have been learning about plants and curriculum says they need to know the six parts, and what they need to survive (sun, soil, water and air). BLAH!! So of course, we have to dig a little deeper...or a lot actually. I'm finding that their questions are so intense that I have a hard time answering them, but I'm thrilled that we are all thinking together. We have been focusing on using backwards design for our PLCs this year, and so when I was planning this unit I wanted a routine that I felt really lent itself to small adaptions while still being true to the routine. After a lot of research on the Making Thinking Visible facebook page, I found the routing "Peeling the Fruit" and felt this would be perfect!
So here is a breakdown of how we did the routine. (We will be doing this six different times for the different parts of a plant...so far we've only done the fruit).
Looking over this guide:
On purple post it notes the students wrote what was at the core of this using the question "What are fruit?" as a guide.
On blue post it notes they built explanations and made connections using the questions: "Why are fruits important?" and "What is the purpose of a fruit?"
On yellow post it notes they posted mysteries or puzzles they had while doing their research.
The students were able to use a variety of books at different levels about plants and we are so lucky to have iPads in our classroom that students were able to also read articles on them and watch BrainPop Jr videos about plants.
I allowed a lot of extra time for this routine because I really wanted them to stop and think about the purpose and what would happen if we didn't have fruit, and let me tell you-their questions stumped me (and my para!). I found myself doing research right along side them, and it was a lot of fun. Here is a picture of what our routine looked like when we finished.
Overall, I REALLY felt like this was some of the deepest thinking I have seen second graders doing about plants. It was really awesome and I can't wait for our next ones!!