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 Last week, my teaching partner planted sunflower seeds with each student in our Full Day Kindergarten class.  We want them to grow so we can send them home as large flowers for Mother’s Day next month.  After being away from school for four days, the plants began to sprout over the weekend.  

During our free play time this morning, a student asked me “Why did our plants grow?”.  I thought this would be a great inquiry based question to talk to the students about.  I got our chart paper and wrote the question down.  A small group of children came over to see what we were doing.  I asked the students why they thought our plants were beginning to grow.  We had done a large group discussion last week before we planted the flowers, and I wanted to see if they remembered what we had discussed.  They gave some great answers, which I wrote on the chart paper below the question.  We reviewed the question and answers during the next large group discussion time.

Tomorrow, I will extend their interest by asking what they think would happen if we stopped watering the plants, took away the light, etc…..

4 Responses to More Inquiry Based Learning

  • Bekki says:

    We were outside playing the other day and one of the students asked me why the grass was growing in the pavement? (Since we had discussed that they could eat pumpkin seeds without any fear of them growing in their stomaches because there was no soil, sunshine or water in our stomaches to help them grow..) This has launched us into a major investigation of how the grass can grow when there is NO WAY water can get through the pavement because it is hard!!! They also think I am wrong and maybe plants don’t need dirt after all. (Too cute)… I have plans for an investigation this week.can I fit a cup of rocks, some sand and water all into one cup (similar in size)…Rocks go in first……then we will predict if the sand will fit in even though the rocks are to the top of the cup….then I will pour it in so they see it fill the empty crevices and spaces, then we will predict if the water will still fit it…and then it will be added so that they see how it seeps in as well. Then my plan is to revisit the pavement and pull up some of the grass from the pavement….CAN’T wait to see their faces when they start making connections.

  • Ruth Mackie says:

    We live in a remote area of northern Ontario so we have been taking weekly walks to observe the changes in the bush around the school. The children have had opportunities to connect what we are reading ,watching and discussing in the classroom with what they are self discovering as they poke ,prod and investigate in the outdoors. What is also great is that their parents and grandparents are able to contribute traditional Ojibwe knowledge when the children carry their enthusiasm about what they are learning home with them. It has been wonderful to watch how the students gain deeper understand of the world around them and their place in it.

  • mjudd says:

    Thank you! In Full Day Kindergarten, we try to have the children express their interests, and expand their learning based on that. On Friday, the children were checking to see if their plants were growing again. There were 7 children looking at them, so I went over and joined their discussion. I asked them if they thought the plants would grow if we planted the seeds in the sand table, and what they thought would happen if we didn’t add water to them. It was right before a large group time, so when the children were all together on the carpet, we read a non-fiction book about plants. I am hoping the interest continues, because there are sooo many things we can do!

  • Love your project and pics. Just wondering if the follow-up might be

    “What could we do with our plants to test our ideas about why they are growing?”

    Might have to work on the wording here.. but if they came up with the “experimental conditions” ==> “What would happen if….?” questions, I think that would be even more powerful.


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