The Wonder of a Seed
In the last few weeks, children in Preschool have discovered, encountered and collected many different types of seeds: within beans pods brought from a child's garden, in dissecting the fruit during lunch, stuck to the legs of our pants after a hike, on a trail below a tree, on the stem of a picked dandelion. . .
The spark the children have about exploring seeds is contagious. They have been looking closely, testing, theorizing and exploring. Through observing them work and talking with them as they explore, we have taken note of the many questions they are asking through investigation:
What do I notice about the outside of a the seed? …Why does it make noise when I shake it?
How many beans inside a pod? What is a pod?
Do beans have belly buttons, too? Are they babies?
Can they fly? Why?
. . . What happpens if i squish it, break it, crush it?
. . .Do they sink or float?
. . .How do they change after they have been in water?
Why are some pokey and some smooth?
Is this protecting it? "I think i need gloves to break open this one."
They are forming and articulating theories and making associations:
"I think it's a seed because it's hard."
"Hey, when I broke this one open I found white inside. . . when I broke this one, it had white inside like the other one."
"This one is like the inside of a tulip."
"What's inside? . . .A tree is inside?"
"It's where the baby plant comes out. . .it's like the belly button of a bean. I'm always looking for science."
"I put it over there and it just moved over to me. It's getting closer to me. I think he likes me."
"I think this one is a little apple."
"There's gonna be 5 peas in this one, too."
"I'm trying to get all the facts about this one. It's orange a little on the top like the other. . .Let's see about this one!"
How can we keep the elements of mystery and magic a part of this project?
How will we frame the questions we ask to foster their disposition for inquiry, discovery, poetry, beauty?
What languages will support children's playful inquiry and meaning-making?
personal connections will they have as they explore? What
metaphors will they make to help them create meaning?
hypotheses and theories will they articulate? How will they test them? How will they reach new understandings?
will the children share what they know and wonder with each other?