FROM MS. PLASTRIK
Updated: May 19, 2020
Inquiry begins with wonder.
Our middle school students are embarking on a distance learning exploration of world religions, and the first step that we took on our journey was one geared toward orienting themselves.
Students completed a short survey asking about their religious practices and beliefs as well as their initial thoughts on religion: "I know..." and "I think..."
Once they had shared their bearings, they could then discuss potential paths. Students wrote questions about what they want to know about religion based on what they already know and have experienced. When pasted into a word cloud, their questions look like this:
The next step will be some inspirations: virtual tours of famous religious sites from around the world, religious music, food associated with religious rituals, and religious art.
Students will then have a chance to ask questions again. Now that they know more, what questions are still resonating? What new questions have emerged?
From there, they can branch off and explore.
Giving students time to think about and develop questions before they engage in an inquiry-based learning experience ensures that their questions are of real interest to them.
Gabrielle Plastrik teaches English, social studies and language arts at Seabury Middle School.