January 24, 2016

"Mining" for learning!

Right now in Social Studies, the boys and girls are learning all about mining, specifically mining in Ontario.  We've talked a lot about land use lately. We've already talked about forestry and now mining is our focus. Students are using an article that discusses the following: 
  • What is mining?
  • Why are some regions more appropriate for mining than others? 
  • How do we use minerals in our lives?
  • What are the environmental implications of mining?
  • What happens when a mine closes?  
Students are working with partners to answer that last question. We talked about how finding the answer will require a higher level of thinking. The article doesn't come right out and scream it. 

I explained to the boys and girls that their answer will be like the milk after they eat their cereal. A mix of two different things:  information from the article (the cereal) and their own schema (the milk).  It's a funny analogy, but it seemed to help my kids understand that this is an exercise critical thinking. The article points readers in a specific direction, but it's up to the reader to more fully connect the dots. 

Working with a partner helps keeps students engaged and accountable. It's also been a great opportunity for my students to discuss their opinions and work collaboratively to come up with a response to this question. 






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