Investigating a Topic to Foster Knowledge Building (Virtual Tour)
Stage of Literacy Development:
Stage 2: Consolidation / Fluency
Stage 3: Literacy for Growth
At the beginning of our social studies and science units, I ask the students to activate their schema. So we think about information that we already know about the topic, and then we build on that information that we know. We read a book, a non-fiction text, related to the topic, so for this example, we read a book about medieval times and pioneer times. While I'm reading the story, or the text out loud, the students write down information facts that they are hearing while I'm reading out loud. The students then, share their ideas, and we put those ideas into our schema folder. So I tell the students that these folders represent information that would be in their mind on different topics. So they would then pull out the schema folder for information on medieval times. The students use the Post-It notes to put down their facts, and place into the folders. We also then take it folder and use different words that would come up in our discussion, in our initial discussions of these social studies units, and use those words to create designs. We looked at a program on the computer and used that to help create an interesting image and a design that would incorporate different words related to that unit of study.
The goal of Schema Folder: Investigating a Topic to Foster Knowledge Building (Virtual Tour) is to build students' inquiry skills and foster the development of knowledge of a new concept or topic.
- Choose non-fiction texts that relate to a current unit of study. Integrating this activity into your social studies or science program is a great way to engage students in learning about new facts and vocabulary.
- Display the folder throughout the unit of study and refer to it on a regular basis. Emphasize the information learned throughout the unit as well as the questions students may still have for further inquiry.
- When introducing an activity or before reading aloud a text, it is important to elicit background information or schema. Encourage students to think about the topic of interest with engaging prompts and questions.