After creating our Knowledge Web, we begin to create our Question Web. This is an opportunity for the children to feel empowered. We are able to listen to their questions and by doing this we are telling them that their feelings are important to us, spend some one on one time as we write the question together, and begin to think of ways we could find our answer. When the child asks a question, we ask if we can add it to the web. The child and the teacher then walk over to the web and document their questions right away. Our web’s are positioned at the height of the child and in group so that we can continue to reference it. We spend time sounding out and identifying the letters in the question. We often times talk about the grammatical structure of our question (the children are motivated during this time and exposure during motivation is so important!). Sometimes during the creation of our Knowledge Web and during our personal stories that the children share, we begin to think of questions as well. Even the youngest children can have questions about the project, but may not be able to pose in a question format. For example, a young child may be very interested in a bird they see in a tree every day when they go outside. One day the child may ask the teacher to look at the bird. This may then produce some dialogue between the child and the teacher. The teacher may say, based on her observations and the dialogue she/he may have shared with the child during this time period, “You were really interested in that bird! Maybe you want to find out if birds live in trees? What birds eat?” If the child is verbal enough to answer yes and no, they will tell you if you are on the right track! If not, continue to observe and restate another question based on these observations. In our classroom and with this project, we added our questions to our Weeping Willow Tree.
We do set time aside for the children to ask the pressing questions that they have days after working on the knowledge web, but the question web will become the children’s working document. They, with practice and modeling, will begin to ask to add questions on during play. This will happen days and weeks after the initial creation. As teachers, we have questions, too! We add our questions on there as well.
How can you start one in your classroom?
- Start with a large piece of paper
- Start small
- Model the behavior
- Use terminology during their play such as, “I wonder how the leaves fall off trees…” or “I see squirrels in trees, but I wonder if they live there.”
- As you write the question, as the child for help!
- Encourage the children to document their own questions
As you begin your own webs, feel free to post questions here! Don’t be shy! I am sure someone out there has the same question or has been through the situation and is willingly to give you insight! We are a team here!
Everyone, everything, everyone has potential. -Claire Warden
Until next time-