Science/Discovery Centre

leaf-art

A fun fall activity that I did with my students late in the month of September was a leaf activity. The ideas ties in with our community and observing the world around them in nature. Children were responsible to collect leaves of any size, shape, and colour from around their neighbourhoods.  We displayed them on our light table and placed paper and crayons for the children to create leaf rubbings.  It really sparked some discussions around why leave change colours, what kind of trees they came from etc.  So I added some books to the centre about leave, and their colours.  It was a great conversation and it allowed me to work with children and show them how answers can be found by reading in a book. Самая детальная информация antibiotics у нас.

Later, I read the book:  The Leaf Man by Lois Elhert.  This book was selected to spark/inspire a creation of a leaf person.  Children collected other outdoor materials like-rocks, sticks, flowers, pine cones to add.  On Dollar Store cookie sheets students placed their materials and created a person.  I took a picture of them and their design.  After I asked them questions and I recorded the children’s thought about their leaf person.  Some told me about what they used, some gave them names and told me be about family.  I typed up the information and posted the picture along with the write-up on construction paper and hung it around our classroom.  The children loved seeing themselves in the classroom and loved talking about what they created.  It was so cute and this simple activity sparked so much discussion building on their oral language skills!

egg-hatch

Recently, we took our kindergarten class to a local wildlife marsh.  The children got to see and explore so many different things in nature.  We had quick lessons on turtles, frogs, insects, plants, etc…it was a great connection to what our students have been so interested in learning about these past few weeks.  It was also a great way to do some inquiry-based learning while the children are so captivated by it all.

Today, I introduced them to a game called “Egg Hatch”.  I read a non-fiction book about things that came from eggs before we began the game.  Next, we all stood on the edge of our large carpet.  I explained that one person would crouch down and be an egg.  That person would think of something that came from an egg and would then pretend to grow into that animal.  I went first.  I was an egg that grew into a duck.  As soon as a child thought they knew what hatched, they had to put their hand in the air and I would then pick the person who could try to guess.  The person who guessed it first got to go next.  The children pretended to be frogs, turtles, birds, chickens and one child pretended to be a crocodile. 

Not everyone got a turn today due to our large class size, but we can play again tomorrow!

more-additions-to-our-butterfly-center

Our kindergarten children have continued to enjoy observing our butterfly eggs and caterpillars.  Every morning they have continued to check on how they have grown, if at all.

Today, we added blank paper, pencils and magnifying glasses to the center.  The children were given the opportunity to take a closer look at the eggs and caterpillars and then record their findings.  Some of the children drew pictures, and some of the children wrote descriptions.  Some of the children did both.  A few of the children took their pictures to the art center where they decorated the butterfly with various materials.  Some added glitter, some coloured them, and some glued construction paper pieces to them.  They were very creative!

adding-literacy-to-science

Each morning this week the children have checked our butterfly eggs as soon as they walk into the classroom.

This morning, before the morning bell rang, we added a few non-fiction books about butterflies to the center.  During play time, we took note that almost half of class went to the centre during play time and looked through the books.  At one time, 4 children looked through one of the books together and discussed how the pictures of the eggs and caterpillars looked like the ones in our container.  Several children made predictions about what they thought our butterflies would look like compared to the books.

It has been wonderful to see how the children are enjoying this real-life science center.

observing-a-butterfly-life-cycle

Over the weekend, my teaching partner found Monarch butterfly eggs.  She picked the leaves they were on and put them in a clear plastic container adding holes in the top for air.  She brought them in for our class to see.  The children were mesmorized!

This morning, we checked the eggs and 3 of them hatched into tiny caterpillars.  Some of the children drew pictures of the container with leaves, eggs and the new caterpillars and asked if we could hang the pictures on the wall above the container.

This will be a great opportunity for our kindergarten children to see a real butterfly life cycle happen, instead of just reading or listening about one.  I am looking forward to watching the transformation myself!

a-kindergarten-science-activity

Today, we explored substances that may, or may not, dissolve in water.

In small groups, we had 5 plastic test tubes of water set up.  We took turns adding various substances to the water.  Once the substance was in the test tube, we put the stopper in.  Each child took a turn shaking the test tube to mix it up.  Once everyone had a turn, we let the water settle to see if what we had added dissolved.  The children then recorded their answers simply by colouring a happy or sad face beside the picture/word of that substance.

We used Kool-Aid, sugar, rice, pepper, and sand.  You could use any substances that you would like, that are safe for the children.

goop-recipe

Today we made goop with the class.  Having 28 children in our class, we needed to make 4 batches.  We had the children divided into small groups and had a plastic tub for each group.  We each took a group.  While we were making goop, the other children played, and once the goop was made, we had those children make a new bucket of goop with us.  By having the children create the goop with us, we covered math (measurement), science and sensory.  It is a great activity that the children loved!  It can get messy though, so make sure the children either have art smocks on or understand they need to try to keep away it from their clothing.

An easy goop recipe is:
1 cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of water
food colouring (if desired, but recommended)
1 container to make goop in

Add the water to the cornstarch in the bowl. Mix with your hands. Then add a few drops of food colouring and mix again. If you need to add more water, do so with adding only a few drops at a time. You can also add just a few drops to the mixture, if it has been sitting out for awhile.

Ask the children questions like “What does the cornstarch smell like?”, or “What does it feel like while you mix it?”, or “What does it feel like once it is done?”, or if you add food colouring, choose 2 colours and talk about how the first colour changes once you have added the second colour. Then, just let the children enjoy the activity!

Not all children will like goop. Some children may have sensory issues, and not want to participate. That is okay. Just make sure they are engaged in another play activity during this time. Or, some may just want to observe.

more-flower-science

With all this interest in sunflowers, flowers and seeds, I have decided to add one more science activity.  And this one is one of my favourites!  I usually do this activity in the Spring, when flowers are just beginning to bloom.  But, with the students’ interest in flowers so high right now, I am not going to miss this opportunity!  This activity is simple and easy, and the children usually love it.

Yesterday, I bought 6 white daisies.  Today, I had 3 clear plastic vases and filled them with water.  As a large group time, I set the 3 vases on a table beside our carpet.  I had the daisies (I had already cut the stems on an angle), and 3 colours of food colouring beside the vases.  With the children’s help, I added red to one vase, blue to another and yellow food colouring to the 3rd.  We then put 2 daisies in each vase.  We discussed predictions of what will happen as a large group.

Over the next few days, we will watch to see if the daisies change colour.  I will add their science journals and crayons to the centre so that if children want to record their observations, they can.

A basic activity, but the students really enjoyed it and are enthusiastic to watch and see what happens to the flowers.