At Henry Janzen School in Regina, grade seven teachers Mrs. Enion, Ms. Driol, and Mrs. Fiorante immersed their students in an exciting inquiry-based learning experience investigating catastrophic geological events. This guided curriculum inquiry focused on Outcome EC7.1 of the Science 7 – Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Crust Unit:
Analyze societal and environmental impacts of historical and current catastrophic geological events, and scientific understanding of movements and forces within Earth’s crust. [SI]
After front-loading the inquiry with some jaw-dropping Youtube videos showing the horrifying impact of the earthquake in Haiti and tsunami in Thailand, the students worked hard to develop their personal contributing questions that formed the basis of their inquiry research. From there, the students conducted research using print, video, data, and other web-based media. The students worked in groups to synthesize the research findings and then collaboratively designed a face to face presentation using Google Presentations. Although speaking in front of your peers and teachers is not an easy task for many, the learners did an outstanding job presenting. The students were also charged with the task of keeping a personal concept map to help track their how their conceptual understanding of the content changed over time. Daily learning logs helped students focus and reflect on their learning. True to the form of inquiry-based learning, this learning experience ‘ended’ as it should: with more questions!
Hats off to Mrs. Enion, Ms. Driol, and Mrs. Fiorante and their students!
Hat tip to the Saskatchewan Geological Society and the University of New Zealand for sharing their resources and expertise!