There are so many things in the natural world that can become our playmates if we let them. Today for Nate and his band of kindergarten classmates it was the wind. As parts of this month’s lesson for the Four Winds Nature Program the kids were learning about wind and clouds. Picture thirteen kindergarteners chasing bubbles across the playground! We had rearranged the lesson to make this the last part; because we knew that there would be no getting them back. The wind was fast and the bubbles zipped quickly away from us! The kids excited dashed after with relatively few pileups and collisions.
Four Winds is very interactive and lets kids play with science in a way that is not always possible in a traditional classroom. Today’s lesson was on wind and clouds and the students were ready to learn. We started off with their favorite part, the puppet show which had Henry taking a trip on a cloud to meet various types of clouds so he could predict the weather for his field trip the next day. These puppets are so low tech, just paint stir sticks with colored printed paper puppets, yet the kids connect so well with them. Next they went on to look at cloud cards, make a cotton ball cloud scapes, and weathervanes. They tested their weathervanes with a fan and then brought them outside for more experimentation.
After we’d been home awhile Nate and I blew bubbles some more. He found it interesting that the wind moved them differently depending on where he was standing in our yard, and how fast the wind was moving. He ran inside to get his weathervane, or wind vane as he calls it, to see if that would help determine where his bubbles would go. I am constantly amazed by the depth of the kids understanding and their ability to take their experimentation in new directions. This really is the essence of play - the trying out of different scenarios to see what happens.
It has been so neat to volunteer this way in Nate’s classroom. Kindergarteners are amazing; they have such a capacity for learning. On top of today’s lesson, they’ve played with erosion, sound, air, rocks, and water this year. Next month we'll play with direction and compasses, something that I know will capture their interest in a new way!
|One very scientific weathervane!|