In Grade 4, the students started the Where We Are in Place and Time unit with a mock situation. They pretended they were on a deserted island with only limited resources and the knowledge that home was north but unaware of which direction was actually north. This provocation got students thinking about navigation, which is an essential element of world exploration, and also gave me an understanding of their prior knowledge. It seems like many students understand and remember their learning from last year that a compass is just a magnet that can "float" and move freely to point to the poles of the Earth. I also asked them about how they could find north without a compass and many students were aware of being able to use the sun and stars. We can now take that information that they already know and move deeper into other ideas.
Then to provoke and introduce about discovery, we watched a Land Rover commercial. We took the words from the commercial, turned them into a poem on paper and analyzed the meaning of the poem.
After this, the students wrote down their ideas about what discovery was, shared them with a partner, then the group shared with another group, and finally each student made their own brainstorm about what their understanding now was.