Context: Finishing up a large project in which the kids wrote an e-book explaining what all those words on nutrition labels mean.
The basic progression of this routine is very simple, but the thinking is complex. The book recommends this as a way to open up a discussion, but I used this as a way of winding one down. Instead of kicking off an inquiry, we used it to help us remember what we just did.
Sentence: Write a sentence that sums up your project. This was hard, they had to stick to the bare basics and the big picture. In other wards, the concept, whereas the research project itself was focusing more on the content. After researching and writing about all the details, here I was, asking them what it means in one sentence. This gave me instant assessment feedback. I knew the kids who really knew their stuff, and I could see the ones who didn't and help them along.
Phrase: One the sentence was written, this part was actually really easy! The sentence was by far the hardest but this just emerged naturally. Interesting to note that they immediately went to metaphor for this phase. True, we have been working explicitly on using metaphors to explain science, but I didn't force them to do that, yet most of them did. Perhaps they are finding the value in using the metaphor, so much so they are using them without my explicit request? I'll have to keep an eye on that... interesting thought....
Word: Same as above. It was intricately linked to the phrase and a natural continuation of the metaphor.