Young Researchers at Play

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“Play gives children a chance to practice learning.” – Mr. Rodgers

Fish, Seashells and The Mollusk Family

“Culture arises and unfolds in – and as – play.”

~ Johan Huizinga, Dutch historian

Our Animals 2×2 unit is taking us around the world through story, research and play. We studied and researched fish, fish fossils and families of fish. We read the book One Leaf Rides the Wind and discovered that goldfish are related to Koi fish. as one student uttered, “they are cousins”. We read the book Seashells and The Mollusk Familywhile exploring coral reefs in the carribean, and discoverd that cowrie shells were used as currency in East Africa and China during the Ming Dynasty. I was able to share this information based on my travels to China and the East African Coast as a Fulbright Scholar. Students were fascinated to learn that shells were used to purchase food, create jewerly and protect mollusks from predators. Students sorted seashells from different countries by their shape, size, color and texture.

Worm Research and The Adventures of Squirmin’ Herman

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“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” – Diane Ackerman

Two weeks ago, we conducted “worm research” and students observed, created science drawings while labeling the parts of a worm and conducted research(through non fiction texts and the internet) to answer their many questions with scientific evidence. Students had many questions, for example, “Do worms have eyes?, What do worms like to eat? and How do worms make other worms? Our research led us to the website “The Adventures ofSquirmin’ Herman The Worm,” a kid friendly website that takes young learners on an adventure of worm facts and resources. Students recorded their discoveries into their science notebooks. They discovered that redworms move faster than earthworms as the worms “escaped” from their habitats acrooss the tables and on to the rug, measued the legths of both worms and laughed hysterically while trying to pronounce the word “clitellum” from my iphone voice activator, learned that worms poop and can identify a young worm vs a grownup worm. As one learner said “having worms in your garden means your the soil is healthy”. The Earthworms are going into our school garden next week.

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Herman the Squirmin’ Worm also provides great additional resources about worms.  You can explore these resources with your child by clicking on the link HERE!

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