A chance discussion on Parent Info Night with Carolyn, Grace and Lucy's mum lead to a mini inquiry and presented a great opportunity to introduce Venn Diagrams to students as a way to record and interpret data. Carolyn mentioned that they were about to find out if, in fact Grace and Lucy were identical twins.
I posed this question to students in class with the idea that we would use a Venn Diagram ( a double bubble) to record similarities and differences and then vote 'Yes' and 'No' responses. Graphic organisers like Venn Diagrams are a powerful way to help students understand compex ideas. They engage visual learners, show relationships, clarify concepts and facilitate communcation.
We invited Lucy to our class and asked her to sit beside Grace so we could observe them side by side. We began by looking at physical similarities and differences. The students then began asking them about their likes and dislikes. We recorded those too. The Venn Diagram clearly showed that while they were similar in many ways, both physically and in their interests, they were also very different from each other as individual people. We then voted. Interestingly, 8 students thought they are identical twins while 8 others, including Grace and Lucy thought they were not identical (fraternal twins).
Now we eagerly await the test results.
What did we learn? - A Venn Diagram is a tool for recording similarities and differences betwwen people, stories, objects among other things. - It is important to observe carefully while looking for similarities and differences. - It is important to ask relevant questions that will give you the information you want. - Data can be recorded in may different ways. - We can test our hypotheses through collecting and analysing data - We interpret data from tools used to record it. - We can draw conclusions from data collected. - We can make informed choices through data collected.
The students practised research skills by observing, formulating questions, collecting data, analysing and interpreting data to try and answer the research question. It was important that the context was authentic, relevant and worth researching. And it was fun and laughter all through!