Challenge your students to shape the course of this unit by posing their own questions about prominent figures and events in the history of aviation.
- Identify details in photographs of aviators and airplanes
- Generate a list of questions based on the details of the photographs about aviators and aviation to guide our unit.
- Large photographs of aviators and airplanes
- Post-it notes or index cards
- Optional: Computer and projector
- Locate photos large enough for students to see (searching the Internet and using a LCD projector works as well). If you cannot locate photos large enough for your class to see, adjust the activity to include cooperative groups and rotate the photos through each group.
- Possible search terms include: Bessie Coleman, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Charles Lindburg, Juanita Bailey, Fay Gillis Wells, Dora Strother, Evelyn Sharp, Louise Sacchi, Amelia Earhart, Bobbi Trout, Margaret Thomas “Tommy” Warren
Step 1: Write the objectives on the board and read them with the students. Access prior knowledge by asking students what they already know about flight, the history of flight and pilots. Have the students write what they know on post it notes or index cards.
Step 2: Post students’ documented prior knowledge in the classroom.
Step 3: Show one of the photographs and model detail documentation. Use the starter “I notice…” and complete the statement with details from the photograph. (For example, I notice the airplane does not have a roof.
Step 4: Repeat with the students completing the statement on a post-it note or card.
Step 5: Using the same photograph model the question starter, “I wonder…” create a question about the photograph. Coupling the “I notice” statement with the “I wonder” starter is a way for students who are not comfortable formulating questions to begin to do so. For example “I noticed the airplane does not have a roof. I wonder how the pilot stays safe?”
Step 6: Repeat with the students generating the questions on a post-it note or card.
Step7: Repeat the activity with another photograph. This time allow students to write down things they notice and wonder about. Provide enough wait time for students to generate a variety of details and questions. Encourage other questions about aviators and aviation that does not come directly from the photographs.
Step 8: Post students’ documented details and questions in the classroom.
Step 9: Revisit the objectives. Ask the students:
- Did we locate details in the photographs?
- Did we generate a list of questions to guide our unit?
Supporting All Learners
Provide information about aviators and aviation to all of your English Language Learners before you teach the lesson. They will benefit from hearing the information before the unit is launched. This will allow for more understanding and more questions related to content from you English Language Learners.
Students will record questions and photograph details on post-it notes or index cards.
- Were your students able to generate questions?
- Did the questions relate to the photographs?
- Were the students able to identify details from the photographs?
- What worked well?
- What didn’t?
- If you taught the same lesson again, would you use the same photographs?
Look over the questions that the students wrote and classify them using Bloom’s Taxonomy. This will give you an idea of the practice your students have in self questioning. Push them to ask the higher level questions.
- Will the students be able to repeat this activity with text?
- How much support will you need to supply in order to repeat this activity with text in future lessons?