- get students thinking
- share their learning throughout their inquiry
- keep ideas concepts and questions visible
- interact with others
- share standards, learning goals, and assessment criteria
- share evidence of learning
This post is part 1 in my inquiry series. To learn more about inquiry click through to see my many other posts about inquiry. If you are new to my blog, consider starting here with my post on planning for inquiry-based learning!
Also, why not connect and stay up to date on all things inquiry by joining my teaching with inquiry facebook group.
What’s a Wonder Wall?
Wonder wall boards are built at the beginning of a unit and are kept alive throughout student learning. These are living examples of student learning throughout the unit.
Begin building this board when you provoke students to think about the topic you will be studying. Students will look at artifacts and ask questions about what they are seeing. They activate prior knowledge and share this with others in a knowledge building circle.
Type of Display Board
This is an example of the board that I use for my wonder wall. It is a trifold board. One side is for my fourth graders and the other side for my fifth graders.
I use artifacts to help provoke conversations and interests in a topic at the beginning of a unit. Artifacts can be many things
- real objects
The Role of Questions
Using a wonder wall at the beginning of an inquiry unit means that you provoke students to think about a topic. Providing them with artifacts gets them thinking.
Now, having them ask questions is the next step. If you are struggling with getting your students asking the right questions, check out my post on Asking Questions.
Students will take sticky notes and ask questions about what they see. Use these doodle notes in my free resource library to help your students keep track of what they are thinking.
As students share their background knowledge and their questions the board is built. These questions are the driving force behind your learning.
Group their questions into themes, use them to develop learning goals and success criteria, and to find gaps in their knowledge that may require a teacher-directed lesson to fill.
Put student questions beside the artifact or picture on the wonder wall, and throughout the learning strive to answer these questions and keep track of unanswered questions.
It is through student questions that learning is constructed.