Better thinkers, better thinking!
Explorify supports your pupils to think like scientists – but that doesn’t mean it's only for science!
One of the wonderful things about Explorify is that the thinking skills pupils develop while participating in Explorify activities will benefit them in all areas of learning. But how?
It starts with wonder – that’s why Zoom in, Zoom out activities are so good! Everyone can think about what they can see and suggest what it might be. At this stage, pupils are recalling things they already know. After a few activities, we know that pupils get better at piecing together the clues and start observing and describing the detail. They’re able to talk meaningfully about what they see and justify their ideas – in fact, you might need to use a timer to help them focus!
The more activities they do, such as Odd One Outs, the more they will get used to thinking and exploring. Their confidence will grow; they’ll start to use more specific vocabulary (that you’ve modelled for them) and build on others’ ideas because they’re listening more carefully. At this stage, their comprehension skills are improving.
Now, perhaps you’ll get as many questions being raised as ideas being shared. Children will start to use learning from other situations when they view What’s Going On? videos and transfer their ideas – they’re able to start to predict what might happen and apply their learning. Try a What if? activity related to the topic you’re exploring in class.
Science provides a fantastic context for making connections. We don’t have to meet a polar bear to realise what kind of habitat it lives in or fly in a hot air balloon to explain how it is able to stay up in the air. Doing a range of Explorify activities will support children to analyse the visual information and be able to give reasons for their ideas.
Testing, testing, testing
With increased confidence, ideas shared and thinking about what is happening, pupils are thinking like scientists. So why not try out some of the longer activities? Problem Solvers and Mission Survive require children to apply their learning in a range of contexts, thinking carefully about the task set. It’s OK if their idea doesn’t work – what matters is working out why and learning from it. Big Questions will encourage children to explore a question and plan how to test their ideas; even better if they carry out their plan and evaluate it.
Higher Order Thinking
Explorify incorporates ideas that have been tested in research and shown to help children to develop higher order thinking skills. You can download our How to think scientifically poster which explains these further and then stick them up around your school.
Copyright: Explorify via STEM Learning Ltd.; photographer: Sarah Hall