We are making a large FOSIL display for one of our boards in the Primary school – it is going to be the FOSIL cycle (Connect, Wonder, Investigate, Construct, Express, Reflect) but I want to help make the words more meaningful and engaging for our younger students by giving each one a character from a fairytale… (the board is already backed with an amazing handpainted forest scene so we’re halfway there). For example: Wonder – like Jack wondering what his bean will turn into, and what is at the top of the beanstalk, or Connect – like Puss in Boots meeting people who help him along his journey… etc. etc. What I do not want to do is get lost in the analogy and detract from the purpose of FOSIL, so it needs to be nice and straightforward and not too tenuous. I wonder if anyone has any ideas about which characters could best sum up each inquiry stage?
I was thinking about using the story of Jack and the Beanstalk to illustrate the whole cycle, but I think perhaps that is too tenuous?
Hi Mary Rose. What a super idea. I love Sally’s suggestion of the 3 bears for investigate, but if you were going to tell the Jack and the Beanstalk story through the cycle, how about something like this:
Connect – Jack and his Mum are poor. They know they need to sell their cow.
Wonder – Jack thinks…How much will we get for the cow? Who is this old man? Wow – I wonder what the magic beans will do? I wonder if my Mum will be cross?
Investigate – He climbs to the top of the beanstalk to investigate, and finds a giant and a golden goose
Construct – He realises that stealing the goose will solve all their money problems – if he can get it away from the giant
Express – He steals the goose and chops down the beanstalk, killing the giant
Reflect – Jack and his mother talk about their adventure and celebrate their good fortune!
I would find it easier to do it like this than to illustrate each stage with an image from a different fairytale e.g. you could use the mirror from Snow White for Reflect, but it doesn’t actually relate easily to what Reflect means. You would have to find a fairytale that illustrates someone thinking about what has happened to them and possibly changing their behaviour as a result, which is hard to explain in one image. I think it is the weakest stage of my story, above, because there is no sense that Jack actually learnt anything from his adventure. Of course, if you ever use the Revolting Rhymes version with them, Jack reflects at the end “A bath does seem to pay. I’m going to have one every day.”… This version is actually brilliant for the whole cycle as it has a strong Construct stage too, where Jack realises that the Giant won’t be able to smell him if he has a bath. Perhaps a bit dark for the younger ones though, as his Mum gets eaten!
I know it is a different context, but research (which I have seen in a number of places – this is just one example) around presentations used in the classroom suggests that superfluous images which are not directly related to the concept being explained add to cognitive load and can make it harder to understand, whereas relevant images that support the concept can make it easier.
Hope some of my ramblings there were helpful. We’d love to see a photo of your display when it is done!
[You can attach files of <1MB to forum posts. If you want to embed an image into your post you can only do that if it already on the internet somewhere – personally I use an image hosting site called PostImage (which is free) but there are lots of other options. I have a vague memory that Flickr doesn’t work for this though. If you want to attach a file of >1MB you can use a free file hosting service like DropBox (lots of other options available!).]
Thank you so much for all your replies – they have given me a lot to think about! Jenny, I think you are right about cognitive load, and don’t want to make it harder by introducing another layer of understanding to something that is already quite tricky to grasp for the little ones. There are two things I need: 1. an ability to draw and 2. more knowledge about dual coding…!
I will think on this more, and let you know where we get to and how it comes together.