Explorations of Elementary | Week 4 & 5
In the elementary classroom research is an important part of our history, language, grammar, and science curriculum. We are able to teach almost every subject through research projects. We can introduce students on how to look topics up in a dictionary (alphabetical order); how to use an index (alphabetical order); what an index and glossary are used for; how to read and find factual information versus opinions; how to decipher good information from great information; writing a bibliography (what is a bibliography and plagiarism); how to write full, interesting sentences and make a paragraph flow; how to edit a paper, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes (punctuation and spelling lessons) – just to name a few. 🙂
We have several research groups going on currently. One group is focusing on Dinosaurs. They exploring different stages scientists believe the earth has gone through and what each stage looked like. They are also learning the different types of dinosaurs, what their names mean, the habitats of dinosaurs during different time periods, and special characteristics of the different dinosaurs.
Another group is focused on our solar system. Each space researcher has selected one planet of interest and will be learning about the size, make-up, atmosphere, and climate. They will also find out about the moons (if any) of their planet, and about space travel to their planet.
The third group will be focusing on Ancient Civilizations for the entire school year. Currently, they are learning about Ancient Mesopotamia. This group began with drawing a map of Mesopotamia, identifying current country boundaries, the 3 main areas of Mesopotamia, seas and rivers, and the area formerly known as Mesopotamia. They also started reading about the climate, history, food, clothing, and government of the time. They are compiling their information into a research paper and will give a presentation on the part they find to be the most interesting.
In the above picture, students are working on equivalent figures.