For the last few weeks, my class has been studying the relationships between man and animal for our unit of inquiry. Each child has chosen an animal to research. My students are preliterate; What does research look like at this stage of development?
With the help of the librarians, the children sorted through stacks of animal books. Armed with sticky-notes, they put a note on each page whereupon they saw a picture of the animal they had chosen to research. Through this process, they are identifying and noting relevant information- the spirit of research.
The focus of the exercise is the process. I’m not really expecting the children to acquire and retain information. Most important in this process is that each child is successful in conducting this research independently. They are learning about themselves as learners- they see themselves as competent independent researchers.