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Grant Proposal

Jill Bean's picture

Jill M. Bean

Lansdowne Friends School

110 N. Lansdowne Ave.

Lansdowne, PA 19050


On the second day of the Brain and Behavior Summer Institute 2009 Paul said, "Teachers don't need to stimulate the kids.  They need to provide the kids with things to act on and to see what will happen."  This statement struck a chord with my experiences, combined with some others thoughts I had been having about education, and planted a seed for my Grant Proposal.  I would like to use the money from the Bryn Mawr Mini-Grants towards providing more field trips for my students.  Our school has not budget for field trips and many families are already struggling to pay tuition, making it difficult for teachers to find funding to field trips.  I think the students in my class will learn more content and learn it more deeply, if the curriculum is linked to the real experiences that can arise from field trips. 

During the Inquiry Institute 2009, I began to think about and explore how I could reframe the field trip experience using the Open-Ended Transactional Inquiry model.  I hope that by using this model my students will become more active participants and more interested learners while on field trips.  Below the list of costs for the Mini-Grants, I have included a draft of my thinking on how to change a field trip experience to be more of an inquiry experience and to include it as a part of an on-going Inquiry Investigation. 


Field trips to fund with the Bryn Mawr Mini-Grants:

These field trips correspond to the classroom themes of Colonial Pennsylvania, Our Natural Community, and Oceanography. 

The sum of the fees for these 4 field trips is $635. 



Field Trip to Colonial Plantation
A Reframing through Inquiry

As part of a larger thematic inquiry my class takes a trip to the Colonial Plantation.

Beginning: Tell the kids that we are taking a field trip to the Colonial Plantation next week.  The Colonial Plantation is set up like a colonial house and farm. 

What do you think we might see there?  - Oral brainstorm

What do you still wondering about colonial farms, or what do you want to about colonial houses or farms?  - Either teacher or students write down their questions on chart paper.  Hopefully the brainstorming of questions is generative, if not I would try asking them more questions to stir up their own questions. 

Then look over the questions.  Try to combine some similar questions --> condense the list somewhat. 

Ask each child to choose a question that they would like to research while on the trip.  Try to make sure each question has 2/3 kids researching it. 

Tell the students that each of them is responsible for trying to learn more about their questions while on the trip.  After the trip the different students will work together to present their findings to the whole class. 

Brainstorm ways that the class might be able to find answers to their questions while on the trip, (i.e.  Look around, listen to the guide, ask questions, etc). 

While on the trip ask the students if they remembering to research their questions...I would try to divide the class into groups, so that the partners were in different groups (then perhaps each partner might be exposed to slightly different information, leading to dissonance and learning...).

After the trip, the partners/group members would get together and share what they had learned.  Then they would need to decide on a way to share what they had learned with the class --> it could be a skit, an oral presentation, a written essay, a poster, etc. 

I’d the class to include in their presentation a “Now what?” section.  What questions do you still have?  Any new questions?  What could be your next step in researching?