Since the start of the school year, the Venus students expressed on-going interest in storms. Their weather journal entries have often featured the composition of storms, from how they are made to what they are made of.
One morning, their questions led their teacher to describe the water cycle. They understood that rain comes from clouds, which come from water that has evaporated because of the heat of the sun. They were asked to use paint to depict their understanding.
They took the lesson to their Think Tank and pushed it further in the art studio. The students used loose parts to illustrate their conception of evaporation.
“The sun is making the water hot, then it turns into gas.”
“When sun hits the water, it turns into vapor.”
The students then performed a simple science experiment, to observe the effects of heat on water (to reinforce the idea of the Sun’s role in evaporating water). They first drew their predictions of what would happen when a pot full of water was placed in hot water.
Then, when a pot full of boiling water was brought into the classroom, they sketched their observations.
This science lesson afforded the students the opportunity to express their curiosity and knowledge regarding meteorological phenomenon. Although understanding the water cycle is not an objective requirement until higher elementary grades, the Venus group (kindergarten) broached the subject through their own curiosity, and their understanding of the full process expands as they are presented different avenues to present their questions and represent their hypothesis.
Art takes nature as it’s model.
Our Kindergarten group came to the atelier to build upon a sorting activity. They entered the room to find each table topped with materials that can be used to make sounds. They initiated sorting between soft and loud sounds. As each child created a sound, they placed the materials to the corresponding board – loud or soft.
On their own, they discovered that some materials make loud and soft sounds, in which they created a new category – BOTH! The paint brushes and sea shells fell in this category.
Another child wanted to make a sound with out materials, in which he used his fingers, this led to the children drawing fingers to represent the loud sound.
At the end of the lesson, the children wanted to draw “about what they did”. They collaborated and drew reflections of the lesson.
Thursday, March 20th marked the vernal equinox, as well as the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Since the beginning of the school year the students have been engaged in an outer space project. As the children have questioned and driven this project, we found ourselves analyzing the lunar cycle – which in turn inspired a study of the difference between solar and lunar years. Continue reading