As we began out new unit of study in science I tried to approach my intended learnings for the students through the concept of inquiry. The third and final unit for 5th grade is the Human Body. On the introduction day of the unit I told the students that we would be starting a unit on our bodies and all of the systems that work together to keep us alive. I was confronted with lots and lots of groans. Apparently when you mention the human body to 5th graders they automatically think there is only one system and it's called the reproductive system. After moving past the initial grumblings, the students were able to open their minds and prepare themselves to learn about the other systems.
I used to think the in order for the students to learn the science curriculum I would have to follow the tracks units. However, after allowing the students to explore the musculoskeletal system and circulatory system through other avenues I have found the students much more engaged and accountable for their own learning.
I now think that students can really get passionate about their own learning if you get them the tools to use at their discretion but not as many guidelines. Each day more and more kids will come in a tell me various facts about things they have researched at home. I feel like for some of the kids they have been sparked to continue to explore how amazing our bodies are and how important it is for us to keep each system healthy.
At this point, we are wrapping up the heart and circulatory system. Because the students have been so interested in the heart and keeping it healthy. I plan to give them some common heart problems to research so they perhaps take an active part now, while they are young, in working towards a healthy heart!