The Story

For Teachers
Teacher Guide

For Students
Student Guide
Treasure Hunt
Slide Show

For Reference

Bicycles...getting a handle on technology

Teacher's Guide for Bicycles: KWHLS

K: What I Know

Anytime you begin a new thematic unit, "hook" your students by creating a knowledge base of what they already know about this topic. Brainstorm and record with your students facts about bicycles, then rearrange what they already know into similar topics or areas. Use chart paper and add a post-it note for each unique fact, so that you can rearrange and group similar areas together to form large clusters of sub-topics. You can also use concept mapping software such as Inspiration© or MindJet© to record and rearrange information. As the students' knowledge base grows throughout this unit, add more information to the concept map. Students can even create their own concept map of what they know about this topic, too.

W: What I Want to Learn

Once the class has recorded what they know about bicycles, the next step is to determine what they want to learn. But before students begin selecting an area that they want to research, introduce to the class more information about this topic. This will expand their researching possibilites.

Begin by having the students review "The Background Story" of the bicycle. This can either be done individually, in small groups, or as a whole group, depending on their ages. Then have the students take the quiz at the end of this article. Last, have the students add what they have learned to the concept map.

Repeat this process, but this time use the "Bicycle Slide Show." Next, have students take the quiz, then record what they've learned on the concept map.

Have the students repeat this process one more time by seeking the "Treasure Hunt" answers found on the website The Exploratorium's Science of Cycling. Again, have the students record what new facts they've learned on the concept map.

Now that students have discovered more possibilities about this topic, have students select what they want to learn more about. Decide whether or not students can work together or individually, and have them begin thinking how they will share this information.

At this time, it is also important to tell the students how you will evaluate their work. You can discuss as a class what kind of rubrics for scoring you will use to grade their work. Students should be involved with the scoring of each other's projects. You could take two grades for the projects developed:

  1. one that was graded by the students
  2. one that was graded by yourself

Fifty percent of the grade could be given by the students and fifty percent could be given by you.

H: How Will I Learn It

Now that each student has selected an area to research, the next step is planning how they will find this information. Students need to understand:

  1. Will they be working individually or collaboratively?
  2. How will they share ideas with one another?
  3. How will they compare perspectives with each other?
  4. What are the best resources for finding this information?

Have students use the "Search" page under student resources to map and locate the information on their topic.

L: What I Learned

This step takes critical thinking on the part of the students. As they find information on their topic, students need to evaluate whether or not this information is relavant and is the best resource for their topic. Students also need to understand how they can use this information to help them produce new information for the final step in this learning process.

S: How I Shared

The final step is a demonstration of how the students reconstructed what they've learned to produce a new product. Students will need to be able to effectively communicate what it is that they have learned. This product could be a joint report, a slide show of facts, or a poster board illustrating this new information.

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