At the point of Spring Break, we had just received our ants. Our inquiry was really just taking shape. We created our chart of what we think we know to compare to our end learning. I provided my students with books and as I mentioned in my previous post a guided goal to all explore/inquire about.
We then watched our ants and began forming wonderings.
Then we jumped in by looking at what ants look like. (notice my drawing has legs on the abdomen - they should all be on the thorax on the what I think I know poster. The students looked for information about what an ant looks like, parts of and even that it is classified as an insect.
I cannot say we have a literature circle format; I guess for first graders it looks a lot different. The kids were each searching through non-fiction text in pairs or individually and marking pages for me to read (or reread) about our focus for that week. We then discussed and wrote items that fit on our web. Our discussions around the literature were on what to take from my read outs that met our inquiry focus.
I used to think this would not really fit inquiry, but I now see that even with a top as specific as what ants look like, the kids really got into searching out their own piece. Some wanted to know if ants were different colors or could be blue, others wondered if they were the same size and some questions grew out of it as to if the ants could regrow legs.
While all of our questions that evolved were not answered yet, students are on the right path to understanding the inquiry process (or start).
I am so glad I am taking it slow and a bit more structured than perhaps I could. I feel more confident as their teacher in allowing them to understand the expectations and process of inquiry. My goal is to allow them at the end of our inquiry to pick one wondering they have and allow them to go deeper and bring it back to our puzzle.