All the posts with the above title will give you a sense of what has unfolded within the classroom over the past week as we start off a new Unit of Inquiry about Connections to the Natural World. I fondly call this unit “GIVE ME ENERGY!!” and it is a particular favourite of students past. Everywhere you turn in the newspaper, there is inevitably some headline about energy – it is current, authentic and fascinating. [tylr-slidr userID=”” groupID=””]http://www.flickr.com/photos/ismanilaes/sets/72157632608084376/[/tylr-slidr]  I hope you enjoy being a “fly on the wall” as you see what we have been up to as we travel along the path of inquiry-based learning. There are distinctive phases that slide into each other naturally: tuning in – finding out -sorting out – reflecting- taking action. We are determining our path as we “tune in”, uncover and make sense… enjoy the Journey along with us from now until March!!!

It all began with a bit of mystery to hook them in! Get them thinking and connecting as they move from one process to another. Our “kick off” came last week with me holding up a bag full of scarves and getting them to guess what these might be for… intrigued already, they soon figured out that these would serve as blindfolds! The premise? “Imagine a world where you suddenly went blind! What could you not do? What could you not be able to do? How would life be different??!” To experience this firsthand, we went down to the playground, and had partners guide each other around for a few minutes! Yikes! Then we came back upstairs and discussed the Guiding Questions. What does this have to do with energy, you ask????! Well, I then switched it up for them using the same framework: “Imagine a world where the electricity suddenly went off! What could you not do? What could you not be able to do? How would life be different??!”  They brainstormed ideas on their whiteboards before the next announcements: get into groups of 3-4 and make a skit that acts out some of your ideas about a world without electricity!! They loved that opportunity to practise and then perform for the class… of course it helped that the weekend before, everyone had done a home energy use survey, listing all the electrical items used at their house!! Ah the connections…