Yesterday afternoon each group chose a topic they wanted to explore more and designed an inquiry project to answer a question. This morning, each group worked hard to find ways to communicate their project and findings to the other groups and their parents. The three groups of first-third graders incorporated the scientific method, and used vocabulary words such as question, hypothesis, method, data, conclusion. The children incorporated drawings, charts, bar graphs, and maps into their display. They also worked as a group to decide who would explain what part of the project to the audience, and practiced making the presentation.
That’s a whole lot of learning ~science, vocabulary, visual communication, math, graphing, teamwork, cooperation, making choices, making a presentation . . .
So what did the groups choose to focus on?
Bird song, water quality, insects, beaver habitat! The variety of topics reflects the different aspects of the four-day experience that caught the attention of the different groups. Student-choice, student-led inquiry, teamwork!
Above – a few details from the kindergarten research project.
A few more details!
Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without some time for the kids to do what they do so well – enjoy being kids in nature!
As educators, we saw so much intense growth this week! The children certainly deepened their understanding of eco-systems, the major theme of the four-day outdoor experience, and of processes such as decomposition and the life cycle, and of habitats, and of scientific vocabulary and the scientific method. However, we saw a lot of growth outside of science learning, too! Leaders emerged, friendships deepened, children grew in their resilience and ability to be responsible for all of their belongings for a whole day. The children developed good teamwork, too.
Several of the children were really sad, and some even moved to tears as our experience together came to an end. But as one child said, “I’m really sad, but never mind, there’s always next year to look forward to!
Many thanks to the McCall Outdoor Science School outreach program, and our four, fabulous outdoor educators! Cheers, from all of us at MOSS!