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Inquiry Based Learning Using Everyday Objects

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on 20 March 2015

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Transcript of Inquiry Based Learning Using Everyday Objects

Chapter 1: What is Object-Based Inquiry?
Definition: an approach to learning that allows students to construct meaning from their interactions with objects through a system of making observations, developing inferences, and generating their own questions that result in futher investigation (also called object-based learning or object-based investigation)

What makes object-based inquiry successful?
The objects serve as a vehicle for the development of understanding of lesson concepts. They are the key component of the unit of study. They are NOT for display, or as an "add-on".
The students are asked to utilize objects to discover information through posing and investigating their own questions.
The students engage in critical and higher-level thinking while taking ownership over their learning.
Why does object-based learning work?
Takes advantage of a student's natural curiosity
Participatory in nature
Develops transferable skills
Promotes the cycle of inquiry
Makes learning hands-on

Chapter 3: How Do I Get Started?
Inquiry-Based Learning Using Everyday Objects

Hands-On Instructional Strategies That Promote Active Learning in Grades 3-8
Amy Edmonds Alvarado & Patricia R. Herr
Chapter 4: Where Do I Start With Planning?
Chapter 5: How Do I Assess?
Chapters 6-9: Lesson Plans
Presented by: Wendy Quinlan
Engaging With Objects at The Field Museum
Additional Resources:
Chapter 2: How Do I Gather Collections?
Start with objects related to nature (for science lessons)
objects are free and easy to attain (leaves, sea shells, rocks, feathers, acorns, etc.)
Search flea markets and craft stores (for social studies lessons)
objects are low cost and can be bought in bulk (tools, buttons, machine parts, writing utensils, kitchen items)
Save things that you might normally throw away (for math lessons)
old measuing cups, game spinners, pop tops, gallon milk tops, straws, balloons, toilet paper rolls
Share collections among teachers in your school.
Ask students and families to donate items for study (photographs, letters, old newspapers depicting a famous event, heirloom items).
Investigate collections that can be borrowed from local institutions (The Field Museum, DNR Science Kits, Lincoln Museum @ Springfield Learning Kits (many places ship or make pick up easy).
Planning the Learning Space
Organize student learning spaces so students can collaborate and have ample space to investigate their objects.
Cooperative learning groups are essential for object-based learning (groups of 3 or 4 work best).
Planning for Object-Based Inquiry
Initial planning will take extra time, however many object-based lessons follow a similar format.
The initial planning time will free you up later to observe and formatively assess student learning throughout as students being to guide their own learning and the teacher serves in a facilitator/guide role.
Essential questions and potential guiding questions must be carefully planned prior to the lesson, but must be flexible enough to reflect the paths that students travel throughout their investigations.
Science lessons are the first and easiest area to begin teaching object-based lessons.
Gather your collection and decide how many objects you will need (One per student is nice but not necessary- pairs is also an excellent option).

Develop an overall essential understanding that you want your students to come away with at the end of the lesson or unit. The understandings should be broad enough to encompass several objectives from numerous subject areas.
Underneath that essential understanding, determine the specific objectives you would like students to meet. These may be content and/or process objectives, and most should be at a higher level in Bloom's Taxonomy.
Review your objectives to detemine what objects can be utilized to help students develop their own understandings and meet the specific objectives set forth.
Begin the process of collecting objects needed for the lesson. Sometimes you will have very specific objects in mind; sometimes a variety of collections might be equally useful.
Work out an essential question for beginning your lesson. Make sure it's open-ended, higher-level, and flexible.
Determine possible guiding questions that will refocus or deepen student thinking about the object or lesson content objectives.
Determine follow up questions to generate ideas for further investigation.
Formative Assessment
Observe student learning as they investigate their objects and work collaboratively. You will find you have more time to do so as the students guide the lesson.
Rubrics and checklists can be designed to assess the quality of their discussions, the questions they generate from their object, or how well they work together.
Convene the whole group for a discussion. Ask the group to self-assess what they like the about the lesson, dislike, or questions they have about the process. Do a quick "fist to five" (or other metacognitive check-in) to determine how comfortable they are with the learning process.
Summative Assessment
Have students complete journal entries or learning logs.
Produce a final written report or presentation in the format of their choice (create a poster, make a movie, use technology, act out a play, etc.)
Student portfolios.
Written tests or quizzes can still be used (although sparingly) to determine content knowledge.
Ask students to plan an investigation and explain the process.
Language Lesson Plans: Objects Used
stuffed animals
vintage poetry books
Science Lesson Plans: Objects Used
marine specimens
animal track stamps
Social Studies Lesson Plans: Objects Used
antique tools
sand or soil, excavation tools
photographs of Native Americans
Math Lesson Plans: Objects Used
linking cubes
foam triangles
a collection of restaurant menus
The N. W. Harris Learning Collection has over 400 unique exhibit cases (mini-dioramas) and 60 experience boxes (hands-on kits) available for check-out.
The FIeld Museum offers a variety of student classes (both on and off site) that highlight working with objects such as Digging for Dinos, DNA Discovery, and Unwrapping Ancient Egypt.
All Learning Collection materials and student classes are suitable for grades K-12.
N. W. Harris Learning Collection
Illinois Departmet of Natural Resources Hands-on Kits
Abraham Lincoln Presedential Library and Museum
Teaching Yourself to Teach with Objects- J. Shuh (1982)
Introduction to Object-Based Learning
Full transcript