While this standard can easily be incorporated into thematic units, it can also be weaved into everyday experiences. Anytime your child asks, “why does,” or “what is” is an opportunity to explore a topic in books. Books plus experience are the perfect recipe for growing a reader, learner, and thinker.
During my daughter’s first grade year, she was assigned a research project over an important American figure. The goal was for her to research, learn, and summarize important facts about a famous American. This was a hefty task for a first grader, so we bit the project off in bite size steps.
How will I know my 1st grader has met the SC Standard for inquiry and investigation?
My child can move from “wondering” to questions that prompt discussions and exploration
My child can develop a plan and collect information from many sources
My child can select the important information and report the discoveries found
My child can draw conclusions from patterns and relationships found
My child thinks about the discoveries and conclusions, and takes action
My child reflects on the act of learning
To guide our research we started with a question:
This question helped narrow her focus. All information she collected would enable her to answer this question.
While we completed some of the research together, we wanted her to have an opportunity to gather facts and summarize material on her own. This can be hard for a first grader to do independently. We decided the best plan was to let her listen and watch, then summarize. She would listen for 5-10 minutes and then share with us what she learned. We then wrote down a couple of key words and phrases from her summary. This will help her identify any unknown words and pinpoint key words to use in her summary. We used articles from the Richland Library database, educational videos like Brain Pop Jr., and lots of picture books. Below are the resources and helpful tips we used while completing this project.
Did you know you have the option to listen to the articles from the databases?
We nabbed this article from The African American Experiencedatabase which is accessible with your Richland Library card. It’s full of biographies, historical pictures, and much more.
Brain Pop Jr.'s video on Rosa Parks
2. Great Books to Read Together to Spark Conversation
Conversation at this stage of development is key. Children are able to verbally express more complex ideas and concepts. Their writing skills—on the other hand—are not as developed. It will take time to strengthen those writing muscles, so until then, keep talking.
Here are some tips on how to talk about nonfiction with your children:
3. The library has a great collection of resources for talking about Race, Equity, and Inclusion.
Prepare yourself to tackle important topics. The way you tell a story sets the stage for how children will perceive the world. Use these awesome resources from Richland Library to help guide your research. We are big fans of the table talk discussions.
The Final Product
Art is a great way to express ideas. All children are artists and they have an innate ability to express their thoughts and ideas through creating art. Here’s a picture my daughter drew of Rosa Parks. We talked about the expression on Rosa’s face, the position of her body, and where she was looking.
One of the most challenging things with assignment was getting her ideas down on paper. Summarizing material and writing it all down can--for some children--be very hard to do. We used this process in SC ELA Standard: Writing Part 2
When children first begin to write, they naturally want to write large. Gross motor skills and working down to fine motor is the best way improve writing. For example, try writing your name with your non-dominate writing hand. See what I mean? It’s easier to write in large letters.
Squeezing letters into wide-ruled paper is tricky. This is where handwriting paper comes in handy (no pun intended). It gives children boundaries and parameters while still allowing them to write large.
Do you want to explore more SC Education Standards?