I explained that before my students could get to work saving the water and wildlife, they would have to discuss the situation with their fellow scientists and devise a plan of action. I SOO wish I could share the video with you that I captured of their discussions with one another. If you can imagine three small groups of eight children in each, huddled together over their oil spill, and seriously talking about the best way to retrieve the feathers and soak up the oil, your heart would be as full as mine was! My room was buzzing with scientific discussion and critical thinking. <3
As always, our science experiments are connected and rooted in writing activity and skills. The students had to record the steps to their plans of action within their science journals. If you want to read another post about how I utilize science journals, you can click here.
Here’s a little peek at one of my friends’ science journals. This is the beginning of her plan of action. My students were intent as they wrote their plan of action. This cause is simple: Their writing had a purpose – the bucket of their “oil spill” was right there in front of them, ready and waiting to be used for hands-on learning! When our students’ writing has a hands-on purpose, their motivation is not only activated, but it is sincere and passionate!