The best kind of learning that takes place in our libraries and classrooms happens when our students are doing the driving. When they are connected and passionate about what they are learning, we can see the excitement. It makes learning fun and creates lifelong learners.
In inquiry-based learning we pose questions, scenarios, or problems to our students, rather than tell them what they are going to learn. This sparks a wonderful curiosity that makes them want to learn through their own investigation and interests.
It is our job as the teacher to give them opportunities and resources to support and trigger this learning and the ability to connect to what they are passionate and curious about.
I looked for these opportunities constantly with all of my students in our school.
When our kindergarteners did their Iowa Animal Research Project, they chose the animal they wanted to research and share with classmates, teachers and parents on their special Project Parade Day in the library.
They also had a choice of how they wanted to tell everyone about their Iowa animal.
Some of them brought in photographs they took, while others brought in the real thing.
There were boxed habitats,
models of bird nests and...
There were reports, posters, movies, recordings and even a dance.
But what stood out to me the most that day is the fact that every student had a voice in their learning because they had a choice.
They chose their path in learning.
As a teacher librarian, I learned a lot on that day, too. I knew that I had to support and spark that curiosity in all of my students every single day in the things I said and did, and also in the resources I put into their hands.
This is something that we all can do through inquiry-based learning.
And I have the perfect place for it on Kids Discover, an award-winning library of science and social studies material that can be accessed anytime, on any device.
Kids Discover will encourage your students to choose their path in the inquiry-based learning process, too.
Their Discover Map is a visual concept map that literally connects the dots across different subject areas and time periods. Students just click on Discover in the top toolbar and it will ask them to...
Select a Category to Begin.
When they click on any one of those colored r categories, it will open up into that subject’s visual concept map.
Imagine giving your World History students the option to create a project about someone from history they are curious about learning more about.
As the Historical Figures Discover Map opens up, they can click on anyone they choose, taking them....
into another window with articles about their Historical Figure, and other time periods, geographical areas, or concepts that the figure is connected to.
Or, think about this project.
Your sixth graders have been asked to create a trip to any place in the world and highlight the geography and people found there.
They can approach this project by going to the Geography Discover Map or the...
World History Discover Map to spark their curiosity.
The resources they find here will deepen knowledge, support research in a visually-stimulating way and, once again, give your students a voice in the choices they make in their learning.
There are science Discover Maps too, including...
Human Body and...
There will always be something for everyone with Kids Discover Online, as it is filled with beautifully crafted nonfiction products that will inspire all learners as they explore more than 1,000 science and social studies topics.
Go to Kids Discover and let your students choose their path in learning, too!
To learn more about Kids Discover, please check out my post A Whole World Of Discovery In Science & Social Studies With Kids Discover!