Happy First Day of Spring! Although you might not guess that spring is beginning with the 15" of light snow we received over the past few days, spring is coming. To celebrate spring's arrival, in two second grade classes at Union Elementary School in Montpelier, we used our senses to find signs of spring in Hubbard Park. We were helped by the Question Formulating Technique, which was developed by the Right Question Institute. First students thought of as many questions as they could in 2 minutes about the statement, "Spring is Coming!" Here were the parameters:
1. Only ask questions.
2. Any statement will be turned into a question.
3. No analysis of questions or answering them.
4. Write questions as they are stated.
Here is the list that we generated:
We walked the mile through town up to our "Base Camp" to investigate signs of spring that are on their wa. Here are a few students diligently recording their observations at their sit spots. They found snow melting, warm breezes, soft moss, buds beginning and much more. Sitting quietly and observing proved fruitful for generating more questions about what's going on in the little microcosm of the sit spot.
When we returned back to school, we revisited our questions from earlier in the morning. Can you see the extra questions we asked? Students focused their questions and were much more specific. In the early morning, questions were broader, such as, "Do you think it will be warm," and "Why is spring coming?"
These second graders are savvy researchers, too. When I asked how they could answer their own questions, one boy stated, "You google it!" They also knew to look in books, talk to their parents and teachers, ask the librarian for help, and much more.