I want to develop, in my students, the skill of observation. With this comes the important skills of finding evidence.
Why? Because they are responsible for finding observable evidence in every single area of our regular school day. Just give it a moment of thought:
- Science: when investigating a site, conducting an experiment, and making conclusions, we must cite observable evidence. Even hypotheses should be grounded in the observable facts.
- Mathematics: our answers/ solutions must be responses to the text of a problem. We must find evidence in a given prompt and understand how to use in to solve the problems.
- Writing: here's where we get the chance do drop our own breadcrumbs of evidence for readers to interpret. It can even be fun as we play with the reader by revealing things a little at a time. Not easy, but fun nevertheless.
As our first observation, I also wanted to limit students' view. We used loops of rope to mark a "circle" of land around some of the trees at the edge of our spacious playground. Then we looked only at the area within those loops, making notes of the contents, living or nonliving, as well as the colors and textures.
Back inside, each cleaned up his/her notes by transferring his/her drawings to another page, adding color along the way. We didn't have much time, but many of the sketches turned out pretty good.
We'll just keep building things from here.