Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cross-curricular inquiry

I had stated in my last Blog that Lynn and I are collaborating with this current inquiry.  The 7th grade's inquiry is on the Medieval times and the 8th is on the Civil War.  I think that I have allowed way too much time for this inquiry.  They are so over it.  I think because they would like to work on something else in literacy (not that this is all that we do).  ALSO, the previous inquiries, they needed to do their KWL notes and make a presentation, which they love.  This time, they had to do the KWL, research notes, AND, write a research paper.  You'd think that I had asked them to climb Mt. Everest.  I have figured out that inquiry can certainly be fun, yet there needs to be rigor.  I think that I was having so much fun with this new "thing" that I didn't work on the rigor.  Or, maybe the rigor is built in. 

So, here's my Big Blog Question...do you think the rigor is built in???


  1. Dana,

    I DO think the rigor is built in because, with inquiry, you are putting so much on the students. I think the struggle come exactly where you are seeing it. How do you hit that sweet spot where you meet the kids right where they are and then push them to extend their thinking? It is that idea of gradual release. Being a literacy teacher, I know that you want to push the rigor in terms of expecting them to write more complex pieces, I am wondering if there is a way to make it more appealing to them so that they don't groan when they have to do a "research paper." (However, I have a 7th grader in my home who groans at everything, so I may be expecting too much here.) Since they have already done the KWL notes, can those be expanded upon to create their paper? Maybe this is already what you are doing. Since they love the presentation, can the research paper be the text version of that? Again, maybe this is already what you do, I just know with fourth graders, I am having to really think outside the box when it comes to teaching them something they aren't necessarily stoked to be learning.

    I am anxious to hear your thinking as spring rolls along. Thanks for the post.

  2. From a mommy standpoint, my child has loved the medieval times unit! She has learned so much about history!