We’re always using building blocks…investigating the basics in a general context in order to then move on to the next applied step. This is what happened this past week in Literacy in order to apply it to our Unit of Inquiry. Step One – investigate the idea of pros and cons in a general sense. I gave them the question: which is a better pet? Typically, one way of doing it is to get your idea across by arguing and arguing and arguing for your own opinion by repeating your idea! I asked the class if they had ever heard of “pros and cons” and how they would use them. We first did a whole class example, looking at a balanced view of the “plus side” and the “minus side” of the issue. Step Two – Once they helped me out with that, we got into small groups and worked on a new set of ideas, such as “reading is better tha writing” or “wearing uniforms is good for you” or “ISM should start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. Each group came up to the document camera to present their pros and cons to the class before sharing their final decision. Step Three: work individually through a pros and cons booklet to try out their thinking… can you come up with a balanced view before making the final decision?!!
Why would we be investigating the concept of “pros and cons”??? Ah, it’s all related to our next stage in the Unit of Inquiry!!! We are studying Energy, and our 3 Guiding Questions are: Where does energy come from? How is energy transformed and used? and…(drumroll please…) What are the best energy sources and why? Aha, do you see where we are heading?! Now that we are becoming very knowledgeable about the different energy sources (through the 6 rotations, videos and books), we now want to start making a value judgement on them! Which ones do you think are “the best”…what makes it “the best”??!!