Above Image: The connections of four puzzle pieces © FatCamera, iStockphoto.com
What is it?
The Making Connections Organizer learning strategy uses a graphic organizer to help students connect science inquiries to their prior knowledge and experiences, prior inquires and the world at large.
Why use it?
- To help student make connections between inquiries and their prior knowledge (Inquiry to knowledge)
- To help student make connections between inquiries and their skills (Inquiry to skills)
- To help students make between inquiries and previous inquiries (Inquiry to inquiry)
- To help students make between inquiries and the world at large (Inquiry to world)
How do I use it?
- Before using this strategy, introduce its purpose to the students and provide a structured example to teach and model expected behaviours.
- Show students the blank Making Connections Organizer Template.
- Discuss the four categories and how they are used to make connections to an inquiry; for each category, use guiding questions such as:
- Things I know: What science ideas does this inquiry remind you of? What science knowledge can I bring to this inquiry?
- Skills I have: What skills did you use during the inquiry? What new skills were introduced and practiced during the inquiry?
- Other inquiries I have done: How is this inquiry similar to other inquiries you have done? How is this inquiry different from other inquires you have done?
- Other things in the world: What have you seen in the world that reminds you of this inquiry? What new inquiries could this inquiry lead to?
- After completing an inquiry, each student individually fills in the spaces on the Making Connections Organizer Template.
Tips for success
- This strategy works best when implemented towards the end of a unit of study. At the end of unit, students will have a larger amount of prior knowledge and more skills to draw upon.