Using Old Stuff (1): Developing questioning and research skills

Old stuff instills a sense of wonder, provides an authentic start point for developing questions, and creates an engaging focus for research. So . . . let’s celebrate old stuff!

Have a look at this bottle and work with your colleagues to:

  • develop questions that span the curriculum and range from simple to complex
  • decide on where to search for information
  • share information gathered
  • decide what to do with information gathered



Once your conversations are complete, share ideas with your colleagues about how “old stuff” can be used to instill a sense of wondering in the classroom. You’ll find there are applications for every grade level and every subject areas. Why? Because wondering leads to questions, questions lead to a search for information, and information leads to learning.

To get you started, here are some questions our colleagues developed.

Why is there no lid? Was there ever a lid?

What is the purpose of the indentation?

Does the colour green have a purpose?

What is the purpose of the circular orb that is above the indentation?

Where were (are) bottles like this made?

Is this bottle valuable?

As you review these questions, think about how the search for answers to the questions provides opportunities for lessons in and opportunities for:

  • oral language development
  • research skills
  • topic or genre specific vocabulary development
  • focused reading
  • genre specific writing
  • connecting new knowledge to background knowledge
  • linking research information other areas of study
  • etc. etc.

For more on instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity, check out our post Wondering Leads to Learning and What is This? Experiencing Curiosity, Questioning, and Searching for Information.

For more conversations about education, please visit:Beyond the Apple . . . Reframing Conversations in Education or contact us at




About Beyond The Apple

Beyond the Apple provides everything a Professional Learning Community needs! Designed to follow Beyond the Apple's Tenets of Adult Education, our videos re-ignite the excitement of professional conversations among educators in the classroom, university, colleges and professional training. Our free teaching and learning resources provide a follow up with more information that is current, research based and practical.
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