Reader Question: Zoinks

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Another reader question I had recently was: Will you please post an example of the form that your students use to answer the question? I’m particularly interested in how they cite their source since you allow 2nd graders to answer questions.

If you are interested in trying a trivia question, it’s important to decide what your goal is.  My goal with Zoinks is to have kids actively engaging in quick research and get comfortable finding answers to questions using the resources we have available. The Common Core asks students to use reference materials and to conduct short research projects which both tie in nicely with Zoinks.

This is the form I use for Zoinks
Since my goal is not to write a full citation, just simply to give credit to your source, the source needs to be the name of the database, the title of the book, etc. The kids use “background knowledge” if they know the answer already. 

Zoinks Rules:
Research the question of the week, fill out an answer slip, fold it up, and feed it to Zoinks.  I count up answers on Fridays and choose 1 winner per 10 answers out of a basket.  The winners can choose a book from my book prize box.

Zoinks this year:
Zoinks still asks a question every week at my new school.  I introduced him to my 4th graders two weeks ago and I had 38 and 40 answers out of 80ish kiddos, which I think is pretty good!  He didn’t come into play until mid year last year.  I started him right in the beginning of the year this year which created a few problems.  I don’t know what my kids know yet in terms of databases and online resources.  I just started working on my website so they have no where to go to get to the online resources, and I completely rearranged the library so they are still figuring out where things are.  My solution, which may or may not be the greatest, is to scaffold this center a bit and pull a bunch of books to leave at the center until my website is done and we can review databases.  

Questions:
Sometimes my questions are “thin” like a date someone was born and sometimes they’re thicker questions that take some inferring. So far this year, Zoinks has asked: why do monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed? and how do emperor penguins take care of their eggs?

Zoinks wasn’t being particularly photogenic for this pic and his set up is a little different now that school started.  I’ll try and snap a better picture with the full set up.

2 Responses to “Reader Question: Zoinks”

  1. Sarah

    Just curious – where did you get the name Zoinks?

    • mrslodge

      I made it up but apparently there is some video game character named Zoinks. It would also be fun to have a naming contest and have the kids name the answer alien.

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