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The children were engaged in the inquiry process while observing the properties of water. As they worked at learning centres the teacher invited interested children to come and discuss what they know about water and its colour. The children made comments which reflected their emerging understanding of the properties of water. These comments then acted as the basis for which to lead the investigation.


The children were then prompted to wonder whether the water is the same colour as the white carnation flower. Next the children considered what would happen if colour was added to the water.


The children made all kinds of hypotheses including “the flowers will die”, “the water will change”, “the water will change the colours of the flowers”. The next day the children made the following observations about the water and the flowers. (See comments on documentation panel)


The children all had theories about how the flowers became coloured. Thinking about children’s observations as theories takes the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ out of the investigation and reminds us that all children have background knowledge that can be built on in further investigations. The teacher plans on gauging the children’s interest to see if the investigation will be continued. The children involved in this investigation demonstrated a variety of expectations from Science and Technology and Language as well as building on children’s “sense of wonder and natural curiousity”. The Kindergarten Program, pg. 11.



7 Responses to What Does Inquiry Look Like in Kindergarten?

  • Helen Toulis says:

    Do you have samples of open-ended questions that can be used in a vareity of areas
    e.g., I wonder what would happen if…., Why do you suppose?

  • Laurel Mailloux says:

    I have really enjoyed reading through this blog as well. I can’t wait to see what is coming next. Although I am not currently in an all day everyday k class yet, I will be soon and I would like to be prepared for this inquiry based learning. I am very excited, but have many questions myself. The more examples and postings here the better! Thanks so much for all your hard work. Keep it up!

  • jessi white says:

    I am currently working as a teacher in the new Early learning program. I have a group of students who are fascinated with sand. I am interested in ideas on how to incorporate literacy and other parts of the curriculum into activities involving sand play.
    I enjoyed reading the lesson on water.

  • Irene Katzman says:

    Can anyone recommend some resources on Emergent Learning/Inquiry Based Learning that they feel are ‘must have’ in developing a solid understanding of how to best implement this approach in our Early Learning Programs?

  • Irene Katzman says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Thousand Moments of Learning Blog. Thank you to all of the teachers who have contributed their time, photos, write-ups and comments. This is indeed an extremely valuable teaching and learning tool for us all.
    I’d like to recommend that since Inquiry Based Learning is new to many teachers that this topic be given it’s own heading instead of being placed in the uncategorized section.

  • Irene Katzman says:

    I have enjoyed reading through the entire blog! Since Inquiry Based Learning is new to many teachers, perhaps this topic could have it’s own heading.
    Thanks for all of the hard work of the many individuals that have contributed photos, write-ups and comments. It is a a very valuable teaching/learning valuable tool!

  • sherry ashram says:

    hello , i loved seeing this inguring learning in the kidergarten , do you perhaps have any more i could look at ? I have to teach to the kindergarten team model lessons about topic relating to transportation, community helpers , patterns. patterns are 3 1/2 year olds so i really dont know what i could do for a lessson. please help me .

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