ERIC Number: EJ1228485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Sep
Farrand, Kathleen M.; Oakes, Wendy Peia; Deeg, Megan T.
Science and Children, v57 n2 p71-76 Sep 2019
Dramatic inquiry is a teaching approach where students explore science through differentiated learning experiences, so that students can engage in learning in multiple ways (e.g., through gesture, song, written and spoken language). It positions students as competent problem solvers and draws upon students' strengths through collaborative learning activities (Farrand 2018). Applying dramatic inquiry to science content allows all students to be positioned as "valued learners" where teachers draw upon strengths to support engagement and science knowledge construction (Kirch et al. 2007). Since the majority of prekindergarten instruction is focused on developing language and literacy with little time for science (Connor, Morrison, and Slominski 2006), dramatic inquiry provides a unique approach to integrate and promote science content while addressing multiple learning goals. Drama activities offer multiple ways for students to interact with each other through science content to develop social and language skills during collaborative activities (Freeman, Sullivan, and Fulton 2003). Opportunities for contributing and participating are differentiated and reach beyond spoken and written language, such as through drawing, moving, touching, singing, or creating models (Farrand 2018). By allowing students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways, teachers are providing necessary scaffolds to develop students' science knowledge (Sharifnia et al. 2015). The article is about how the first author designed the dramatic inquiry entomology unit based on students' interests, preschool learning goals, and individualized education program (IEP) goals. The teacher focused her time on learning to apply the new strategies for implementing the entomologist dramatic inquiry unit in her classroom. Preschool learning goals included asking questions, making observations, and communicating ideas. Example IEP goals included: articulation of specific sounds and responding to WH questions (i.e., questions beginning with who, what, where, why, how). While this unit was designed for preschool students, the teaching strategies, lessons, and unit design are applicable to K-12 science instruction and support the integration of other content areas and IEP goals.
Descriptors: Entomology, Cooperative Learning, Learning Activities, Drama, Inquiry, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Learning Experience, Learning Processes, Problem Solving, Preschool Education, Social Development, Language Skills, Units of Study, Student Interests, Individualized Education Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A