It is incredible how many questions we had to ask about birds in the beginning of this section. Even more incredible is that there are so many animals in the world and we can ask just as many questions about each one! Unfortunately, six weeks does not give us time to investigate or ask an animal expert about each animal one by one.
Thankfully, in the 2nd and 3rd grade class we don’t have to know EVERY SINGLE DETAIL about EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL on the planet to understand how important animals are. In fact, the most important thing we can learn is that KNOWING EVERYTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! What we can learn is how to find, understand, and retell information or lessons that we learn. Reading stories about animals provides us a great opportunity to do this. Not only can we learn from real life animals in the wild (as we did about birds) but we can also learn lessons from animals in a special kind of story called a Fable.
What is a ‘Fable’ you ask?
We learned about fables through a reading and guessing the moral game. First we learned that a fable is a special kind of story that usually has animals that talk and act like people. All fables also have a moral, or a lesson that teaches us important lessons about life. After seeing several examples, students each picked on of the stories and redrew the sequence of events of the story.
Little did we know that in order to make an interesting story we had a lot to learn about punctuation, synonyms, and cause effect.
In fables THE ANIMALS TALK! So that means that we had to learn and practice using quote marks (“”), periods (.), commas (,), exclamation marks (!), and questions marks (?).
We also learned that when characters in a story talk a lot, using SAID every time is boring! So, we BRAINSTORMED different words to use instead.
Then, to be able to tell a good story with meaning, we had to learn about cause effect and work to understand WHY something happens in a story or WHY a character acts the way they do. First we looked at some examples of cause effect, then we made our own! Finally we played a challenging game: I have who has…Cause Effect Version!
In the end, not only did students write their stories (with the correct punctuation and a variety of synonyms) but they made their story into a presentation which we showed to the parents.
So, what is the moral of the story from this Unit of Inquiry? We have a LOT to learn about How the World Works and stories can help us learn important lessons in our own lives along the way.
Stay tuned for the next Unit: How We Organize Ourselves!