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Resource Library  |  Learning Strategies  |  K to 3, Grades 4 to 6, Grades 7 to 9, Grades 10 to 12

Making Connections Organizer

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.

Variations

Tools and Templates:

    Tomatosphere Making Connections Organizer Template pdf doc