Where should we go look for artifacts next week?
A rose by any other name...
Scientists call it the scientific method. The National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) promotes the term scientific process. We like to call it the most powerful tool ever invented! No matter how you brand it, this process is the pathway to finding an emergent truth. A process for determining facts.
At any time during the process scientists might revise, circle back, or even abandon a line of inquiry all together. Furthermore, this way of thinking can be applied beyond science to support evidence based decision making in many aspects of life. To help you support your students in learning the components of this process, we've got some bonus materials to help you out!
Instructional strategies and tips for using comics in class!
Our comics are a super fun way to hook readers! While the adventures involving our dog and cat are, of course, science fiction they are VERY heavy on science fact. Best of all, they model and support the spirit of inquiry! If you are new to our comic, click here to read the back story. There is even a pdf version you can share with families! Each mission has an adventure that unfolds over six episodes so you can build anticipation while exercising memory skills. Each comic also has a read aloud video reminiscent of the Reading Rainbow.
The other thing I absolutely love about our comics is that they are multi-level reading documents so you can meet the needs with a super wide range of learners with a single resource. Each week, I'll provide some tips for using the comics to support literacy instruction. I'll organize by grade level, but of course, we all know that age and grade do not always follow a child's developmental path so no matter the grade or the skill set your learners will have an entry point for learning while still feeling like part of the group.
Kindergarten: Our sounds effects are geared towards supporting kindergarten reading skills. As students learn to connect sounds and symbols, empower them to use that beginning knowledge to read! Try these activities:
First Grade: Our speech bubbles provide a bit more challenge for early readers. While most of the dialog is comprised of common sight words or easy to decode text, there are some trickier words in there. Words like "dinosaur" and "force field" may not be typical grade level decodable words, but students will soon learn them as they'll be repeated throughout the adventure. Try this: project the comic on your white board. Have students indicate the words within the speech bubbles that are easy to read and cross them off. Next, circle the remaining words. What strategies can they use to figure them out? Write each of these words on an index card and place a small picture cue next to it. Finally, erase all your marks and read through the panels together. Reference the tricky word cards you created as necessary.
Second Grade: For many second graders, much of the comic will be easy to read but the texts boxes will likely be at their instructional level. Form mixed ability teams to read the various parts. One group can read Curiosity Cat's speech bubbles. Another will read Data Dog's thoughts and words. A third group will act as narrator reading the text boxes. Everyone can join in on the sound effects! These mixed ability choral reading groups can even take on a bit of a reader's theater feel with each group working on expressive reading.
Kindergarten: Look at each comic panel and find the sound effects. Write each one on a card. Then practice reading and saying each sound. Can you think of a funny voice for each sound or an accompanying motion? Read the comic from start to finish having your young readers say the sound effects using the funny voices or motions they practiced earlier!
First and Second Grade: As students read and re-read the comic, encourage them to "do the voices" like Beth and Curtis do in the video version of the comic. Reading the comic in character is a fun way to increase comprehension and enthusiasm!
Grades 1 and 2: Making inferences can be a tricky skill to master, but the comic format is a natural place to practice this skill. For example, look at panel 3 in this week's comic. Have students unpack the text and illustration to make inferences about what is happening. Why is Atea holding Curiosity Cat and saying "Watch out?" Why is the mug falling off the table? What must have happened to make the wheel on the desk go "skak?" Why is Data Dog growling? How do you think he feels?
How to use our lessons to meet your goals!
To help you understand the features of our lessons and how they can help you help your students, we've put together this overview of our lesson structure and features. The predicable format makes planning easier and gives you the flexibility you need to implement lessons in a way that works for your educational enviornment. Read on for information about:
Shape the mission by voting!
Expand your fun and learning!
We've got loads of additional content to help you engage your students and achieve your goals!
Shrinking the vocabulary gap across the socioeconomic spectrum.
It is well documented that children in lower economic status homes typically have a much smaller vocabulary than children from more affluent homes. (Check out links to some of those articles below.) This smaller vocabulary puts them at a significant disadvantage. We want to close the "word gap!" We introduce and practice a wide range of words in our videos, livestreams, and lessons. We support vocabulary acquisition though multiple pathways and strategies based in best practice so that ALL students have a chance to learn and apply new words.
Download word cards and vocabulary lists!
This approach works! I love this story from a teacher. As one of her kindergarten students was walking with his parent to the family car after school, this child stopped in his tracks and picked up a shard of plastic. He held it up and examined it carefully as he verbalized his thinking. "This looks like a broken tail light, but I notice that the color and pattern is different than the tail light on our car. The phenotype doesn't match!" The astonished parent related this tale to the teacher who revealed that phenotype was a Go2Science vocabulary word for the current mission. She went on to provide the definition for the parent.
For more info check out these links:
SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582035/)
Early Learning and School Readiness: Can Early Intervention Make a Difference?
Tackling the "Vocabulary Gap" Between Rich and Poor Children
Need to share livestream archives with students?
This is the place! At the end of each livestream day, we'll select one session to archive and post it on our Livestream Archive page AND post safe links here.
If your students are working remotely and you need to share our livestream archives with them, simply grab the link and share it through your learning management platform. Each bit.ly link takes students to a video.link (formerly Safe YouTube) version of the archive. This version eliminates related content and other possible distractions. If you need an alternate format, please drop us a line at Curious@Go2Science.com and we'll do our best to accommodate!
Tips for Modifying Lessons for Distanced and Remote Learners!
Each week, we provide two new lesson opportunities. Some will be very easy to adapt to a distanced classroom setting while others may require a bit more thinking. Remember, you can skip any lessons you choose and still provide your students with a great mission experience. Even under normal conditions, it is rare that a class does EVERY lesson associated with a mission, so be kind to yourselves. I'll add to this page weekly so you can find adaptation ideas for the lessons you DO choose to do.
Day 1: To Namibia
Day 3: Big Babies
Day 5: Scarcity & Relative Abundance
In person with distancing: This active game should also be safe to play outdoors following your school safety protocols.
Day 6: Saving Rain Water
Day 7: Scorpion Hunting
Day 8: Elephant Communication
Day 9: Seeking Shade
Day 10: Food Chains
Day 11: Sample Size
Day 12: Publishing
Meet Beth and Curtis!
Presidential Award-Winning teacher and hula hoop fanatic, Beth loves bringing real world science to kids! Beth is fascinated by engineering challenges, technology, and outdoor learning spaces. After 25 years teaching kindergarten, she’s excited to share her passion and experience on-line with classrooms from around the world!