Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants

Students making a plan (petrograd99, iStockphoto)

Students making a plan

Summary

Planning is a thinking skill that involves identifying methods, materials and a sequence of events to reach a goal, complete a project or accomplish a task.

Definition

Planning is a thinking skill that involves identifying methods, materials and a sequence of events to reach a goal, complete a project or accomplish a task.

Planning is important because it…

  • is a fundamental skill involved in initiating and conducting successful inquiries
  • provides opportunities for students to develop organizational skills through defining and delineating the steps and resources involved in a process
  • provides opportunities for students to develop the ability to think ahead and to manage their time

Developing the Skill of Planning

Students

Educators

Identify the tasks or key steps involved in an inquiry, including the sequence of the steps or tasks

As co-learners with students, recognize the importance of having a plan when conducting an inquiry (i.e., a sequence of tasks to be carried out).

Work with students to identifying important tasks that must occur in order for an inquiry to be successful as well as assist students with determining the order in which steps or stages will occur using ordinal language (e.g., first we will…., then we will…., finally we will…).

Determine where/how they will get the information necessary to do the inquiry

As co-learners with students, determine where/how students will get their information (e.g., their own observations and/or an expert and/or Internet sources and/or print materials).

Determine how observations and data from the inquiry will be recorded

As co-learners with students, choose the most appropriate way(s) to record data (e.g., graphic organizers, charts, videos, photos).

Identify the materials, tools and equipment that will be required to engage in the inquiry (e.g., hands-on materials, access to experts, print materials, Internet resources, etc.)

Assist students with identifying and sourcing materials and expertise required for inquiries (e.g., Who will provide soil for terrariums? Would it be better to use peat pots or pots of soil?).

Related Skills

  • Communicating
  • Making Connections
  • Observing
  • Predicting
  • Problem Identification