What do gobstoppers have to so with inquiry?

We welcomed Year 6 back to school with an inquiry provocation this week. Each student was given a gobstopper and asked to think.

Why were we using gobstoppers?
What might we be inquiring into?
How could a gobstopper relate to this term’s inquiry unit?

Before they were allowed to eat the gobstopper every student had to come up with a series of ‘I wonder ‘questions. Here are a few of their examples.

I wonder if we are investigating how the sugar in a gobstopper might affect one’s body?
Maybe we will investigate all the colours a gobstopper could be?
How about investigating the ingredients in a gobstopper?
I wonder what happens to a gobstopper in my digestive system?
I wonder if we are timing how long they will last?
I think the gobstopper is a metaphor for the earth’s crust and we are going to investigate the layers of the earth.
I think it might be to do with the erosion of the earth, when we suck a gobstopper it loses layers, just like the earth does when it erodes.

Year 6 students questioning, predicting and wondering. Finding relevance in a gobstopper for chemistry, biology and geology.

What do you think year 6 might be investigating this term? I’ll give you a clue. We are intending to meet this stage 3 indicator ‘explains rapid change at the Earth’s surface caused by natural events, using evidence provided by advances in technology and scientific understanding’ quickly this term. That way our inquiry can delve more deeply into how natural and man made disasters impact our world’s societies, and how scientists are working to improve our responses.  Way more relevant, interesting and empowering than a traditional science unit on earthquakes.

Image thanks to wikimedia

Leave a Reply

1 comment

  1. Callie Thames

    Hello, I am a student at the University of South Alabama in the EDM 310 class. I love how you brought something so simple into the class room and turned it into a class lesson. Bringing in things such as candy that kids eat all the time is very smart and I had never once thought of doing something of that sort. Very interesting read, I enjoyed it thoroughly.