Sunday, November 19, 2017

Investigating Pumpkins

Since the kids were so interested in apples, I figured they would be interested in looking closer and learning more about pumpkins so I set up the room to foster their curiosity and see where they may go with it.  Here are some of the invitations that I set up and the exploring and creating that happened in those areas.

I purchased pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors.  So many of the kids think all pumpkins are orange!  When they walked into the room, their interest was piqued, but it did not get a lot of visitors!  They just were not as into looking closer at the pumpkins as they were the apples, which surprised me!

To try another perspective, I added a scale and unifix cubes for measuring. This grabbed their interest!  They loved seeing how heavy the pumpkins were and documented them by drawing the pumpkins and writing the number they saw on the scale.  We used the terms heavier and lighter to compare weights which is a common math core standard.

They also enjoyed seeing how tall they were and recorded their observations.  I wish I had gotten pictures of their documentation of what they noticed here!  With some guidance in the beginning, they did a great job of making their thinking visible!

We moved the pumpkins to another table to document what we noticed as we looked closer.

Some beginning physicists were exploring the concept of balance!

I have a lot of sculptors in our class so I made sure to make an area to show what they notice about pumpkins through the language of sculpture.

A couple friends decided to work as a team to create a pumpkin patch.  It took them three days to finish it! The detail was amazing!  You could tell they looked closely and made sure to add the stems, leaves and vines!

I was so impressed with this!

Many kids have started using post-its to label their work when they leave it out for display. Authentic, meaningful writing at its best!

I made and area for kids to show what they notice through transient art. Not as many were interested in this though!

I set out some opportunities for STEM experiences in our engineering and block area!  The STEM challenge was: Can you make a gate that will hold the five little pumpkins using these materials? My engineers loved this!

The hardest part of this one was making it sturdy!  They fell over very easily!

I set out paper for them to plan or document what they made in both areas.

Some of my architects just wanted to use the pumpkins as loose parts in their structure creations!

Because of the interest in weighing the pumpkins, I provided balance scales and heavy glass beads for them to explore the concepts of heavier/lighter, and equal weight.

For fine motor practice to develop their finger muscles, I provided a huge pumpkin with screws and screwdrivers.

I would say they really, really loved this!!!

At the end, I cut open the pumpkins for them to explore.  They documented what they noticed about the insides of the pumpkins.

After Halloween, the kids decided to change our Dramatic Play area into a Haunted House! This will be our first small scale project!  Stay tuned to see how it turns out in the next post!

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