Ready, Set…. Explore

Our second expedition was kicked off with our BBK (building background knowledge) mystery boxes!  Students were split into small groups to explore the mystery boxes and try to make connections between them.  During mystery box exploration, students used post it notes to write down predictions and stick them to our classroom anchor chart: I can guess our new expedition topic. Students were so excited to play and predict.

So what was in the mystery boxes?  Great question! Mystery box number one contained a horizon soil diagram.  The diagram was unlabeled so students were left to question; what could this be?  Students enjoyed being detectives.  There were many guesses: inside of the Earth, planting, and roots just to name a few.

Mystery box number two was one of the crew’s favorites… Dirt! Students played in the dirt using their five senses (minus taste!) to figure out why a mystery box would contain dirt.  Post-it notes began to fill the anchor as crew members moved from box to box.

What could be better than a box full of dirt…WORMS!  There were a lot of feelings at mystery box number three.  “I’m scared!” “They poop a lot and they stink!” “They are soooo cute… Hi little fella!”   Students watched the worms as they moved through the soil.  Soon students will learn that worms help compost the soil.  Worms are not just gross, stinky and cute but they are helpful to our Earth.

The fourth mystery box contained a tray full of different seeds.  This mystery box helped students make connections between all of the boxes.  Our expedition isn’t just about dirt or worms or plants.  Our expedition is a combination of all of these things.  More and more post-its began to fill the anchor!

After we rotated through all of the mystery boxes, we reflected on our learning target for the day: I can guess our new expedition topic.  We read through our predictions from the anchor.  Then students were left in suspense to ponder what our expedition topic was.  The next day the topic was revealed: Farms and Gardens!  We jumped right in by learning all about dirt!