21st January 2020
These first few weeks back in school after the Christmas break have been very busy for the children. We have been busy preparing for our Chinese New Year celebration, engaging in a variety of experiences for Outdoor Learning week and taking part in a number of provocations linked to our new unit of inquiry.
People explore and investigate to develop new understandings
‘Science for young children should involve asking questions, probing for answers, conducting investigations, and collecting data. Science, rather than being viewed as the memorization of facts, becomes a way of thinking and trying to understand the world.’ - Kilmer & Hofman, 1995; Lind, 1999
The outside world shapes children’s development through experiences that they have. Drawing children’s attention to their bodies increases their understanding of and communication about the world around us. The aim of this unit of inquiry is to develop children’s awareness of how their senses allow them to experience different things in their environment, as well as building language associated with this.
Children are naturally curious about their world and enjoy exploring their surroundings. Because of their inquiring minds, children are eager to know why things are the way they are and will ask many questions about their immediate environment. Childhood is the time to encourage and nurture early interests in nature. Exploring the world around us provides an important foundation of experiences and assists children in making sense of their world. Furthermore, through exploration children can come to appreciate the beauty, wonder, and common experiences provided by nature. In order to develop an appreciation of nature, children need to engage in many repeated and varied opportunities. This week we have been tuning our children into the unit by developing their awareness of their bodies and their senses. We have been engaging our senses and have been isolating these senses to appreciate how important they are. Some of our children have been going on sensory walks in the garden and our local community, as well as participating in mini-investigations which develop their observational skills!
“Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.”
- Kellert, 2005
How to support your child at home:
• Listen carefully to what your child has to say when they discover something of interest; try challenging them to explain their ideas to you as this will help them to develop their thinking skills.
• When you choose presents for your child, think about buying things which will develop their scientific thinking – choose toys and games which show mechanisms and how things work, how living things and objects move.
• Try making a wildlife area in your garden or patio area to provide food, shelter, and a breeding ground for birds, snails, spiders, insects, and small invertebrates. Your child can then discover how a variety of things live and behave.
• After it has rained, investigate puddles near your home – look for reflections and watch how the puddles shrink as the water evaporates. You could also have fun splashing in the puddles!
• Help your child to plant a variety of seeds – flowers and vegetables – in your garden, hanging basket or window box. You can make growing beds using an old tyre, bucket, watering can, or wheelbarrow.
• You can grow cress in an indoor planter using half an eggshell. Paint a face on the eggshell, fill it with fine soil or seed compost, and sprinkle cress seeds into the shell. In a few days you will be able to watch the ‘hair’ grow and then enjoy eating the cress.
Inquiring into the way we use our senses to explore and the process of change
Engaging our sense of sight to explore basil seeds and how they change when water is added.
Engaging our sense of touch, smell and sight to explore basil seeds and how they change when water is added.
Engaging our sense of touch, smell and sight to explore paint and colour mixing.
What happens when we mix red and blue? blue and yellow? yellow and blue? yellow, blue and red?