We have started our Inquiry Learning this week around the topic of Australia. We are comparing and contrasting life in NZ and Oz. Yesterday, I took in a didgeridoo and asked the children to feel it (they couldn't see it - it was covered) and think about what it could be. I gave them small clues such as that it makes a noise if you blow it and so on. I also got them to feel a boomerang - which several of them guessed easily, but no-one had a clue about the didgeridoo! This generated a lot of thinking and talking!
We then looked at the didgeridoo and after a few further prompts, one child managed to work it out! Then we moved into small groups and they worked together to write as many words and ideas as they could about Australia. There was a huge buzz around this and I was really impressed as to how well this process is embedded in my class, as they just talked, debated, added and emended regardless of what the other groups were doing and saying. Every group had quite different ideas and brainstormed really collaboratively.
Today we used the lists that we had made and organised them into groups and sorted them according to commonalities such as food, culture, places, people, animals and so on. The class found this challenging at times and there were a few tarantulas and blue-tongued lizards mixed into the group of 'places' and so on! However, we did manage to negotiate our way through this and now I am typing it to put on our wiki for tomorrow's activity!
The class discussed, debated and actually decided pretty quickly that we would present our findings and new learning on a wiki that we have started to create. So we used some time during our writing session to get a group to create the start of the wiki, settling on the style and design together, adding buttons and links for each page. And this was the group of children who couldn't even get on the school server to open their sharing page at the start of the year! Boy, did they make it look easy!
So, the wiki is up and started and I have added our links for a sort of 'intranet' without the added stress of adding to our intranet. Gee I love wikis! Watch this space for updates...