Turn natural curiosity into deep, lasting learnings! Inquiry is what drives us all toward new knowledge, but how do we transform children’s natural ability to notice and wonder into the full learning cycle of observing, thinking, and critically questioning? Through this new edition of the bestselling Why Are School Buses Always Yellow? you’ll find simple, yet systematic ways to develop authentic student inquiry that fosters deep learning. This new edition features: • Updates based on the latest research around inquiry-based teaching • Emphasis on turning inquiry into critical thinking, assessing students’ inquiry, and involving families in the inquiry process • Examples for K–8 across subject areas • New emphasis on critical thinking about technologies • New and updated activities, checklists, templates, and implementation tools • Alignment with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards With this invaluable resource, help students transform their playful wonderings into deeper questions about content–and develop the higher-level thinking skills they need for success in school and in life. “Educators often talk about developing lifelong learners - our team has had great success using Why Are School Buses Always Yellow? to catalyze professional conversations about how we can better cultivate curiosity through an inquiry approach. I strongly recommend this [new edition] for those who are interested in unlocking the uniquely creative capacity of our youngest learners.” Devin Vodicka, Superintendent Vista Unified School District, Vista, CA
Chapter 6: “Why Are Mountains Necessary?”: The Nature of Good Questions
One morning I sat down with a group of kindergartners at Whittier International Elementary School in Minneapolis to read a story about Antarctica, a subject about which I can become very passionate because of my own journeys to that continent when I was serving in the U.S. Navy.
We all sat in a circle on the rug and I began to model my own inquisitiveness by telling students about visiting the polar regions. That usually gets them a little more interested in the subject, as teachers have noted: “You established a personal connection with the subject.” I told them briefly about why I went—out of curiosity ...