Recently we have had provocations exploring the properties of Salt such as “Butter can never melt” and “How can a little thing like salt be so strong?” One day a child made the assumption that salt comes from the sky and the other children began thinking this was true too. The children were then asked to explain how salt comes from the sky.
- It falls down from the clouds
- God makes it
- The clouds make it and it falls down.
We went outside the next morning to see just what was going on in the sky! We took our clipboards, paper and pencils. We drew a drawing of what we thought would happen. We also sounded out the words salt and sky. The children sat around on the logs looking up into the sky as we pointed out the clouds. The children discussed how nothing was falling from the sky and they didn’t see any salt coming out of the clouds. We discussed what we have seen come from the sky, and that was rain. That’s when BJ told his classmates that he thought salt came from a container or the store.
This science experience proved to be extremely valuable for the children and the teachers because we were able to discuss hypotheses through drawings and observations from our physical environment to make educated inferences. The children demonstrated their flexibility to re-examine and re-evaluate their observations by their openness to create new hypotheses and constantly observing and discussing the clouds above them. In Hatice Zeynep Inan’s dissertation, “An Interpretivist Approach to Understanding How Natural Sciences are Represented in a Reggio Emilia-Inspired Preschool Classroom he mentions, “Today it is well-known that science is an indispensable part of life and the educational experience. Science is considered to be important for not only scientists but also other people for both personal and societal reasons.” This is because scientific inquiry is about asking how the world around us functions and children are naturally curious to learn about the world around them. In turn scientific inquiry is a natural component of our children’s education. The children are continuously learning, experimenting, and exploring as they strengthen their skills to describe, examine, and define their discoveries that will advance their future inquiries with the teachers’ guidance and positive encouragement!
Check back to see how our next experiment wit ICE+SALT+WATERCOLOR went!