Students ' Knowledge And Thirst For Greater Understanding

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INTRODUCTION Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” So, the question I pose today is how do we involve children so that they learn? How do we spark that want inside of a student to because a lifelong learner. The best way to build students’ knowledge and thirst for greater understanding is by creating connections. Having connections between prior knowledge, different subject areas, the “outside” world, and what is being learned now and in the future will help students to achieve higher levels of thinking, as well as, the twenty-first century knowledge and skills that are needed in the collegiate and professional words today. One way to make these connections is by using integrated thematic units. Inga Randle (1997) discussed the fourth grade students of Barbara Pedersen who were so eager to learn they would willingly skip recess to be in the classroom learning. Pedersen used integrated thematic instruction to inspire her students. So, by learning what an integrated thematic unit is, why integrated thematic units should be used, and how to use integrated thematic units teachers can become more like Barbara Pedersen and prepare students more for independent thinking and higher education.
WHAT IS AN INTEGRATED THEMATIC UNIT? Patricia Roberts (1996) describes integrated curriculum as “a way of teaching and a way of planning and organizing the instructional program so the discrete disciplines of subject matter are
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