Citing Evidence: What Makes Something Special? - Mid-Pacific Institute

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Citing Evidence: What Makes Something Special?

Posted on October 6, 2017

by Audrey Oserow on October 6, 2017

A few weeks ago, the children created visual representations of their perception of Mid-Pacific. They then verbally reflected on their drawings as I recorded their thinking. This week, the children used their representations of thinking and words of reflection to deepen their thinking and learning. The children began by sharing their reflections in groups and discussing what they noticed in each other's reflections.

Through analysis of one another's reflections, the children noticed:

Maps are unique.

Everyone had a special place.

Everyone drew things they liked.

It meant something to us.

Everyone chose what is special to them.

This thinking led the children to another question: What makes something special? The children shared their initial theories in response to this question which included:

If you love it.

Something is special because we see it in different ways.

Whenever you have fun doing it.

We make our own things special.

The next step in their learning involved seeking evidence from their original reflections. I provided the children with copies of each child's reflection. The children analyzed the reflections of their peers to identify evidence that supports WHY a place is special. The children discussed and highlighted evidence from the reflections. We compiled their highlighted evidence as a group.


As we joined together in discussion, the children began to notice themes in their collected evidence. "Those are all people," C.K. exclaimed. The class agreed, people are special and can make a place special too. "Those are all feelings that we can have," M.H. shared after seeing that their list included words such as: happy, calm, fun, interesting. Again met with agreement, the class discussed how a place can make them feel a certain way and make it special to a person. After citing that an amount of time can be a reason that makes something special, another child made the connection to the archaeological dig taking place near campus, in which the archaeologist is searching for something ancient. "If something is ancient that might make it special," A child exclaimed!


I can't wait to see what unfolds as we continue to explore the special places in our lives, and to ponder why special places bring value to our lives and help to shape who we are.