Over the summer, a group of educators that are part of my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter began to dialogue around what our next global inquiry project could be and what it could look like for this school year. In particular, Heather McKay (@HeatherMMcKay), a talented and inspiring Kindergarten teacher from Calgary, Alberta, ignited the idea of using Frank Serafini's series entitled "Looking Closely."
|Image from: www.frankserafini.com|
Through this lens and with his series of books, this project explores how to "look closely" at the world around us, nature's natural wonderments, and our students' curiousities in a way that allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our world and digitally connect with other classrooms while doing it. As part of starting this global inquiry project, a collaborative blog space was created whereby classes, educators, and their families could go on and post their discoveries, inquiries, and wonderments and interact as digital citizens through the blogsphere. You can find the link to the collaborative "Looking Closely" blog here: http://kidblog.org/LookingClosely/.
For our class, it has been a slow start in sparking the interests of our students with this concept, so we have taken the idea in strides and in connection with the interests of our students. For instance, throughout our Snail Inquiry, our students took interest in "looking closely" at snails through their scientific observations, fiction and non-fiction texts, and more and similarly with our Leaf Inquiry. Students were able to dig deeper in their thinking with the framework of "what do you see?," "what do you think?," "what do you wonder?," which helped guide and facilitate the learning. Many opportunities to compare, discuss and make their thinking visible emerged and we couldn't have been more delighted!
|This one image of a Monarch Butterfly inspired another|
SK, G.B., to paint it after looking closely at the image.
|After creating her sketch (plan), she ended up inspiring|
3 other girls to create their own interpretation of a
butterfly based on the image in the book.
|Such attention to detail!|
|Sharing our interest in "looking closely" with our reading buddies!|
We hope that E.S.'s story will inspire her peers or even other classes to create their own and share them with our class through the collaborative blog or by commenting on this post. E.S. would be thrilled to know what you thought of her "Looking Closely" debut as an author so we welcome any comments below.