I always enjoy working with teachers in Lafayette, IN, where I taught classes on literacy work stations. During the training we brainstormed ideas for having an observation station in K-2. You might cover a table with a large piece of bulletin board paper, set up in a similar fashion to the chart pictured below. Place an object or two in the middle for kids to observe, place a few related books at this station, and include a magnifying glass. Possible objects include: fall leaves, rocks, shells, a bug in a jar, an ant farm, worms in a terrarium… The possibilities are endless! Provide crayons or colored pencils for students to jot down their observations and thinking in words and pictures on the paper.
First, talk with your class about questions they might answer as they observe, and list each question in a quadrant on the paper. Here’s a sample of what this might look like. Please let me know if you try this in your classroom. We’d love to see pictures of what your kids do!