I am part of the Math Mamas Inquiry group. At this point, our big question is, "What is Inquiry?" Our group is composed of all math teachers. However, since I am new at the whole inquiry thing, I feel like science is a better place for me to start. Therefore, as I try to answer "What is Inquiry?" I am going approach it through science.
As Colleen and I started to plan for the 2nd science unit, Weather Systems, we decided to try it as a inquiry based unit. We started with the overarching question, "How has accurate weather prediction contributed to society's advancement." I asked students to think about this question and then asked them to share their thoughts and questions.
The puzzle for me was how to get the kids to ask the questions that we needed answered during the unit. I noticed that most kids wanted to research tornadoes, hurricanes and major weather systems.
However, there were many other questions that had to be answer for students to understand weather prediction and society's advancements. We took some of the big questions from Tracks to help guide the students to create questions that would support the intended learning.
The major inquiry questions we posed to the students to explore included:
Why are there seasons?
How has weather technology changed over the years?
Why does catastrophic weather occur?
How are elevation and temperature related?
Why do different places in the world have different weather?
How does temperature, air pressure, wind speed and types of clouds influence the weather?
What drives the weather? What is weather?
What makes the temperature of locations at the same latitude different from one another?