I love doing research with Kindergarten! It’s one of my absolute favorite lessons to teach. Rift with mad chaos and confusion, but oh, the learning that happens!
This week a Kindergarten teacher said to me something like, “we’re doing an activity in class and the kids remembered their research with you. I asked them about it and they said, ‘we ask questions, then write down what we learn about!'”
How nifty awesome is that?! This was from a class that did bear and penguin research in January. In the meantime they’ve done a Cynthia Rylant author study, but another Kinder class had a research unit about Spring. I offered a choice to teachers for their units which was nice variety. I want to do that more in the future instead of automatically teaching the same unit to each class.
Anyway, it was all about spring recently with one Kinder class. This was one of my first units this year when I saw classes for three weeks in a row instead of every three weeks. Making this change has re-energized my teaching this spring. During the first week we asked questions about spring. For each question students asked, I added details to a picture in our Plan space on our Research Guides.
Students wanted to know how the warm sun helped plants grow, about the bees’ job helping flowers, what people do in springtime, about how trees get blossoms and leaves, and about how flowers grow. After we brainstormed our questions and I had the model picture drawn, each student drew their own Plan pictures.
In Weeks 2 and 3 we used books to answer the question about how the sun warms the ground up and starts the plants to grow. PebbleGo is great for answering many questions. We used it for our question about bees and the actions of people.
It’s fast and furious when leading an entire class of Kinders to record what they learn related to their questions; we didn’t answer all of the questions. Students recorded their answers in pictures and sentences (when appropriate for individual students). In this particular group I had some students copy the sentence I wrote with my model and a few students wrote their own sentences. I was very impressed by this!