Wow, I was in latent scientist heaven yesterday! A chance to explore, investigate, wonder and question came up when I took a small Easi-Scope into one of our Yr5 classrooms. The purpose was to assist the students in carrying out a thinking routine that involved looking, feeling and recording their observations and wonderings.
Using the Easi-Scope meant that the room was filled with ‘ooos’ and ‘ahhs’. The exclamations and questions were flying!
- “Look at those red veins!”
- “Why are they red?”
- “Are they called veins?”
- “What’s that brown spot?”
- “I bet it’s a fungus”
- “How did the fungus get there?”
- “Oh no! Look it’s not fungus, it’s a tiny bug!”
- “What’s it doing there?”
- “What are those dark green spots?”
- “Why are there more dark green spots on the underside of the leaf?”
- “Look, this one is shiny, it looks like it has glitter on it”
- “Why does it have glitter on it?”
- “No that’s not glitter, it’s just smoother than the other leaf”
- “How come this leaf is smoother than the other?”
- “Look at that fur near the veins of this leaf”
- “Why does it look furry under the microscope?”
- “What’s that fur for?”
Here’s what was seen by the students.
The central idea for this unit is:
‘The growth and survival of plants are affected by environmental conditions.’
What is truly special, is that from the odd comment of “why are we doing this unit, we already go to the kitchen garden all the time?”, the students have moved to “wow, look at that, I wonder why the plant needs it?”
After reading this you might be asking yourself, “what on earth was a teacher librarian doing in a science lesson?”.
My response: I am a teacher librarian. I place myself at the heart of inquiry, I’m there to support learning, to invite questions and to guide investigations. Where else should I be?