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Three core curricula form the foundation of Inquiry in the Community, and each uses a similar format. First,
participants experience a fun, hands-on science inquiry activity that has
specific facilitation techniques and tools built right in. Then, through group
discussions, participants reflect on their experience and identify the techniques
and tools we used. Finally, the participants decide how they will apply these
techniques and tools in their role – whether that’s as a troop leader, learning
facilitator, or supporting staff member.
Three Processes introduces the concept of the
Girl Scout Activity Cycle, and gives participants concrete techniques they can
use to make the three Girl Scout processes (girl-led, learning by doing, and
cooperative learning) happen. The Girl Scout Activity Cycle is an adaptation of
the cycle used in inquiry science investigations – it’s valuable for both
science and non-science activities!
The power of the curriculum lies in this highly experiential
approach. These activities “make real” many of the concepts that befuddle new
(and experienced) volunteers and staff: group decision-making methods, reflection
techniques, and ways to create meaningful opportunities for girl leadership
within any activity. These concepts are difficult to explain in a lecture, but
we’ve found that they become crystal clear when simply modeled in the context
of an activity. Besides, this approach is fun, engaging, and learner-centered –
everything we want Girl Scouts to be!
We’re excited for you to use our curriculum. Keep in mind that it was designed to be
facilitated in a very specific way, to achieve specific learning outcomes. So if you’ve just landed on this page to grab
resources, we recommend that you first read the Overview and What is Inquiry? pages to get
oriented to Inquiry in the Community. Thanks, and enjoy!
Three Processes introduces the concept of the Girl Scout Activity
Cycle, and gives participants concrete techniques they can use to make the
three Girl Scout processes (girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative
learning) happen. The Girl Scout Activity Cycle is an adaptation of the cycle
used in inquiry science investigations – it’s valuable for both science and
We've provided three different versions of this workshop below:
This nuts and bolts workshop gives participants
more tools for helping girls plan, carry out, and reflect on activities. Much
of this workshop focuses on questions: how to help girls identify the questions
and ideas they want to explore, and how to use open-ended questioning to help
groups when they get “stuck.” This workshop can be used with either staff or volunteers.
“Progression” explores one of the trickier concepts in Girl
Scouting: knowing when and how to give
girls more control over activities. Frequently adults default to controlling
everything themselves, or to giving girls minimal direction and letting them
run amok in the name of “girl-led.” This workshop lets adults experience these
two approaches plus a third “middle ground” – and gets them thinking about when
to use each approach with girls.
We've provided three different versions of the workshop below:
We’re passionate believers in the concept of adaptation - that the
workshops should be tailored to meet the unique needs of your audience. Need to
integrate the IC curriculum into with classes on Journeys, taking girls on
field trips, or more? Here are some tips for using our curriculum to fit your
council’s unique needs:
what the curriculum teaches
workshops give volunteers a solid foundation in the three processes: girl led,
learning by doing, and cooperative learning. At the same time, volunteers learn
that science activities are a normal, expected part of Girl Scouting. The same
skills they’ll use to achieve the three processes are the same skills needed to
lead science activities.
2. Identify where our curriculum fits
know IC teaches the three processes…now, where to insert it? Here are two examples:
3. Create the “application” section
inserting our curriculum into your workshops, you decide how you want
volunteers to apply what they’ve learned – we recommend you give them some
planning time. In Maine, the “application” time lets volunteers decide how they
will use the processes with their troops. In Western Washington, the
facilitators introduce trip planning tools and forms (like Volunteer Essentials),
and then the volunteers discuss how to support their girls in using those tools.
4. Adjust the activity
recommend keeping one of our science activities as the “teaching activity” that
volunteers experience in the workshop, rather than an activity in their comfort
zone (like crafts or outdoor activities). We’ve found that adults are better
able to identify the facilitation skills we’re teaching when they’re engaged in
something new. Plus, the supplies are lightweight, simple, and cheap – all
great things when you’re teaching lots of workshops.
you want to change the science activity – say, use balloon rockets rather than
parachutes – you can do this. Just don’t
pick a complex activity that gets in the way of your learning objectives. To substitute, change the specific activity
instructions (for example, how to make a balloon rocket) in the facilitation
guide – but keep the process of how you facilitate the activity the same. We
use parachutes, ring gliders, spinning paper tops, and balloon rockets as our
teaching activities a lot. They’re all fun, use readily available supplies, and
are easy to pack; plus, very few people are parachute or paper top experts, so
everyone attending your workshop is on the same footing.
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