Guided Discovery

Anyone who has ever taught Kindergarten knows that everything needs to be introduced veryyy slowly. I used this template to introduce everything from pencils and scissors to table caddies and the classroom library (which I had completely covered up until then with butcher paper). It worked wonders!

Guided discovery template:

1. Present material attractively packaged (wrapped in or in fun container). Gather students in a circle on floor.

 2.Ask open-ended questions to find out what students already know about it:

 What do you know about_____?

How have you used _____?

 As students share, introduce important vocabulary.

 3. Ask open-ended questions that help students notice details:

 What do you notice about the ____?

 What is ____ made of?

 What shapes/colors, etc. do you see?

 Walk around with material so students can look closely.

 4. Begin with an open-ended question to generate ideas:

 How might we use ___ in our classroom?

 How might we use ___ to help us with our learning?

 5. Ask a few students to model their ideas using a small set of the materials:

 Ask student Will you show us how you might do that?

 Everyone watch carefully and see what you notice about what s/he does.

 What did you notice that s/he did?

 Write down ideas/observations from students.

 6. Generate ideas about how to care for the material by asking:

 What can we do to take care of the ____ when we use them?

Gather student ideas then ask one student to model:

 Will you show us a safe and careful way to take a ____ out and use it?

 Everyone watch carefully and see what you notice about what s/he does.

 What did s/he do to care for the _____?

 7. Remain in circle formation:

 Now we will all practice using the _______. Try out one of our ideas.

(pass out a limited number of materials to each students. Observe them as they work – reminding and redirecting. This part is about 10 minutes.)

 8. If work resulted in a product, say:

 If you’d like to share your work, hold it up so all in the circle can see it.


 Who would like to tell one thing you liked about your work today?

 9. Ask a volunteer to model careful clean-up

 Who will show a safe and careful way to put away the ____?

 Everyone watch carefully to see how s/he cares for the _____

 What did you notice?

 As the whole class now cleans up the material, say:

 I will watch and notice as you all put away the _____ safely and careful. Support and remind students as needed.

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