Units of Inquiry can always be enhanced with Guest Speakers. When I taught in Germany, one of our Grade 3 UOIs was on Artists; an inquiry into how artists use their work to express and communicate ideas and emotions. All we had to do was look around our own staff to find all the artists we needed! We had more than a few of the high school teachers come over to speak and share their art form with the students, including jewelry making, professional dancing, poetry, glass cutting, painting, and more.
Earlier this year, our Instructional Technology Coordinator (@colingally) was able to invite Mrs. Robyn Treyvaud to come and speak to the children about Internet Safety. The children were able to talk and share their ideas about Facebook and other topics of interest for them.
My Grade 5 students also studied the forces that act on structures earlier this year. It just so happened that our school has been under construction the past two years and still is! We were able to invite the architect and engineer working on our school to share some of their planning and work with us. The session was relevant for the students and allowed them to connect and apply what they were learning in the classroom to the outside world around them!
Sometimes the experts or guests we want to talk with are far away, thankfully we have SKYPE! Last week, the Grade 5 students had the pleasure of skyping with a nuclear engineer living in the United States. After finishing their Projects on Energy Conservation and our class discussions on Japan, the students were intrigued by what the engineer was able to share with us.
Guest speakers are an effective tool to use in the classroom. They allow students to become more aware of issues, ask more questions, and gain real-life experiences. I have found that by using the staff at your school as well as parent connections as your resources, you will never be at a loss for valuable guest speakers to visit your classroom!