Teacher Tip: This inquiry activity lends itself to allowing a wide range of learners to access the curriculum in a variety of ways. Nevertheless, the teacher should recognise that students can have a wide variation of abilities and should ensure that instruction is tailored according to individual needs and preferences. Within this document, there are several different entry points for students along the inquiry process. Teachers can choose to do one of the options (guided, coupled, open) with the entire class or choose to do different options with groups of students depending on student ability.
Engage (I SEE) To begin the inquiry, generate curiosity and interest by introducing the topic using one or more of the following suggestions. Students should be encouraged to think about and formulate questions relating to the structures observed in the examples shown.
Watch a movie or clip related to medieval technology, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bFTw95pJp8 ) thinking of the technology http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/videos/medieval-war-machines/
Museum visit: e.g., Canada Science and Tech museum
Smith.edu,. (2015). Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions: Museum Directory. Retrieved 29 July 2015, from: http://www.smith.edu/hsc/museum/ancient_inventions/hsclist.htm
Look at Leonardo DaVinci’s designs http://www.leonardodavincisinventions.com/war-machines/
Examine samples of everyday machines/technology, e.g., rake, can opener, wheelbarrow, knife
Questioning (I WONDER) Through a Knowledge Building Circle (KB - http://learnteachlead.ca/projects/knowledge-building/), or an online forum, class-wiki, collaborative website, or on chart paper, gather student questions. Teachers should use the Engage portion of this inquiry to provide a starting point for discussion and interest. Students should reflect upon the resources and generate questions that they would like to investigate based upon the inventions and engineering in the Middle Ages.
Teachers can add their own questions to start students off or redirect the topic. Teachers can also use inventions and systems of this century, or of the Industrial Revolution (to link to the grade 7 History curriculum) to help set the tone for discussion. The class can choose questions that will be revisited, answered collaboratively, and expanded on throughout the unit. Students are also encouraged to answer the gathered questions during this process, if they can.