The next day, we reviewed the various question words. In small groups, the students brainstormed questions they had about the garden habitat. We added them to a flipchart on our Promethean Board. If more than one group had the same or a similar question, we placed a check mark next to the question. This let us know which questions our class found the most important. After finding the questions our class found the most important, the students then voted on which was their favorite question that they would like to ask our garden expert. We will be having a garden expert visit our school next week and we will be emailing questions to another local plant expert.
On the third day, the students chose six questions that they felt were related and wrote them on a their research plan handout. Noticing that most of the questions they had brainstormed were about either the plants in a garden or the insects in a garden, they were then able to narrow down their broad topic of garden habitat to one of two more narrow topics: Plants in the Garden and Insects in the Garden. Of course this could be narrowed down more but for first grade, this is sufficient. Next week the students will be using a variety of sources to find answers to their research questions and then they will create a visual display based on their findings.