One of our students brought in a real Dragonfly for us to observe!
The children have began analyzing the characterisitics of it, and now they are comparing the difference between humans and dragonflies.
AS they have been investigating the different parts of the dragonfly they moved over to the light table to bring attention to detail of the dragon wings, so the children could compare/contrast what parts dragonflies have that humans do not.
As that was being discussed the children also began learning the correct vocabulary for the parts of the dragofly-HEAD, HIND WINGS, FORE WINGS, THORAX, AND ABDOMEN.
To help furterher this exploration and allow the children to use their imagination, Mrs. Marjon presented small groups of children with a video of dragonflies flying in the sky. The size of their wings and structure was discussed.
The question asked was, “If you had dragonfly wings where would you go? Where would they take you?
“My wings will take me to the river so I can fly over it and I would feel like a plane.” -Lucas, Age 4.
“My wings would take me to the forest so I can see bunnies!” -Lexi, Age 4
This is a project that will continue for the next few weeks until all of the students illustrate the idea of having dragon fly wings! Stay tuned, we cant wait to see where this takes us….
Students participated in experiences that enhanced their knowledge and awareness of social and science topics that are currently happening in our environment.
The children spent the summer learning about native Texas birds and how they have a critical role in maintaining our local ecosystem.
After hatching Rio Grande Turkeys, Welsch Ducks, and Bob White Quail, the children became more interested in natural habitats for all insects and animals.
We ended the summer program by taking a field trip to Oyster Creek Park. The children experienced of these topics in a hands-on and thought provoking way. They were able to find native insects and animals in their natural habitats while doing their own documentation.
This project was available to children ages 4 and up. Three groups were formed. Group A was the elementary group (children 1st through 4th)
Group B was the prek group (entering kindergarten)
Group C just introduced to preK
Group B Inquiry:
CITY FOR WILDLIFE——DAY 1
We began the program by introducing the children to the incubator. We observed the incubator and compared the eggs inside of it.
In order to find out if the children had any idea of other birds that might be in the incubator, we asked,
What kind of eggs are in the incubator?
The children replied with:
- (we found that because they are so familiar with our chickens at the school, it was hard for them to associate the eggs with another type of bird.)
We began to discuss the types of eggs we are actually incubating.
We placed photographs and the names of the birds on the table for the children to observe and compare. As we talked we encouraged the children to say what they knew about the birds.
A QUAIL IS….
- a kind of bird.
As soon as we began to talk about ducks, the children had so much more to say. Here are some of the comments we heard:
A DUCK IS A…
- a kind of bird.
- It’s a sea kind of bird.
- Ducks eat fast.
- Ducks hatch out of eggs
- They are different colors.
- Ducks swim, another child: NO THEY FLOAT!
- The pond is their home
- I see ducks in dirty water.
The children began to discuss when the babies would come out of the eggs. This provided us with an opportunity to discuss incubation periods for different birds.
“How many days do you think it will take for them to hatch?”
- QUAIL-20 days
- Duck- 30
Differences in the 3 types of Eggs in the incubator:
- They are not the same size. They are tiny because those are big and these are small.
- The quail eggs are white, and the other eggs are a little bit brown and dirty.
- They look a little dirty because they were in a nest full of sticks and hay.
We wanted to provide the children with as many opportunities to compare and contrast during this project. This helped the children create a chart together that showed similarities and differences of the birds.
The children are now becoming familiar with the characteristics of BIRDS. The main characteristics of birds are:
- Beaks with no teeth
- They lay hard-shelled eggs
They are beginning to understand that all 3 of these birds hatch from an egg.
We asked the children which bird they wanted to draw and write about. And they all agreed on the quail. We took time to observe the characteristics and to spell the word quail.
As Wonderland children continued to explore different types of sea animals, one animal that they were drawn to and spoke a lot of was a SHARK! As they discussed details about how a shark moves, eats and it being one of the “scariest” sea animals in the ocean, they became very focused on shark teeth. This drew them to do a comparison between the human teeth vs shark teeth. The teachers began by letting the students work in groups to observe one another’s teeth at the light table where the light shined bright on their faces and they also had a large sized mirror in front of them. This helped them identify the difference in shark teeth and human teeth.
Light tables are a perfect resource for science and discovery. Normally we use our light table to set up an inviting provocation with materials based on our exploration, but this time we were able to use it simply for its glow of light on our faces.
When mirrors are placed in front of children it doesn’t take long for them to start exploring their selves. Mirrors focus the children’s mind on an area of science and generates initial questions they may have while observing their features.
Being able to have these two resources the children were able to identify the difference in the shape, color and size. After having open conversation and discussing details the children were able to draw a shark mouth and count the number of teeth they believed a shark may have. This helped children with math and writing skills, allowing them to create addition problems as well as identifying numbers.
- “Shark teeth are triangles and our teeth are square “ –Cody A. (Age 5)
- “Sharks have sharp teeth because they are predators and eat hard meat.” –Brett H. (Age 4)
- “Shark teeth are spread out.” –Mackenzie H. (Age 5)
- “Shark teeth are big and our teeth are small.” –Maya M. (Age 5)
For the last few weeks, the wonderland and house classroom have been working on explorations together as one.The is one way we provide opportunities for older children to mentor younger children and allow the younger children to learn from the older ones One particular exploration is on sea animals and their movement.
The students began by discussing how sea animals move under water. We observed that the children had more of a difficult time describing the movement using words,instead they used their hands to show us. Along with using with their hands we showed them videos of a shark, seal, octopus and jellyfish in water.We provided several examples of lines as a provocation. After watching the video they were challenged to match a line print with each animal and then try to draw the line themselves.
The younger children from house room identified the movement of the sea animals based by their speed, such as how slow or fast they went. After doing this they also counted the line movement by the wavelength of each line.
The older children from wonderland identified the movement of each animals mainly by the direction instead of focusing on speed (such as back and fourth or up and down). They selected the speed by the thickness of the lines provided to them. The thicker the line the faster or slower the animal moved. They also counted and wrote the line movement as a whole rather then each line or wavelength.
Two classrooms working together as one has been such an amazing experience for both classes that we are continuing to do so. They are learning to work and socialize with new children in ways they normally do not. The older group is also able to help teach the younger group things they may need help on.This inquiry has also provided the children with challenges that make them think in new ways. Here are 4 videos showing movement through the children’s hands.
We will continue to show progress between these two classrooms and this exploration.