Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Thinking Classroom

By Alan Crawford; Wendy Saul et al. | Go to book overview

FIFTH CORE LESSON:
WRITING AND INQUIRY
The core lesson in this section creates an opportunity for students to become creators of knowledge themselves, using an inquiry technique called the I-Search Procedure. Later in this section is a procedure for guiding students in social action, using an approach called Service Learning.The I-Search Procedure allows students to go beyond the information in their books and classrooms and generate new information through interviews, observations, and other sorts of inquiries outside their classrooms and schools. Given the nature of the procedure, the project will likely take place over several days with parts of the work occurring during the school day and other parts after school or on the weekends. The I-Search addresses several elements of the inquiry process and allows the students to:
Ask interesting questions that reflect their personal interests and the theme of a recent lesson,
Develop plans for conducting their searches,
Carry out their plans, collect, organize, and consolidate the results, and
Share their work with their peers and others by presenting a final report on the I-Search question and their own experiences while conducting the I-Search.
The I-Search Procedure (Macrorie 1988) can be organized around the anticipation, building, and consolidation structure as are other lessons presented in this guidebook and is often used to extend students' learning beyond a recently presented lesson. The teacher and students of an eigth grade class have completed a unit on government and the legislative process in their province.
HOW TO READ THIS LESSON
As you read the following demonstration lesson, please bear in mind that its purpose is to demonstrate teaching methods. Think about this lesson in two ways.
1. Imagine that you are a student who is participating in this lesson. What is your experience? What kind of thinking are you doing? What are you learning?
2. Then think yourself into the role of the teacher who is leading the lesson. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you handling the three phases of the lesson— anticipation, building knowledge, and consolidation?

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