Over the past week, we have been really engaged in dinosuars. It started with observations in books, and then a trip to the Natural Museum of History. I thought students would continue to be interested in dinosaurs, however when we were at the museum, we came across giant turtles and other reptiles. When we returned from the trip we had a discussion in morning meeting about the trip and students continued to ask questions about turtles and other reptiles. We created paper mache eggs, and I thought the students would be interested in eggs and where they come from. Boy was I wrong!
starting their home.
Students took another direction. They asked if we could get a class pet, and I thought why not get the turtles from upstairs. We took the turtles from upstairs, and the exploration and creativity just went into so many directions. Students went from just being observers to creating a plan. They became concerned about the turtles and didn't understand why the one large one kept getting stuck in the side of the tank. They wanted to create a new home for the turtles and came up with an idea, that they would build a new home. I asked the students how they wanted to construct this home, and they responded with "Let's add wood and paper and then water. We can make a swimming pool and a giant house." I sat for a moment and thought about how this would work and then watched as their learning emerged even more. Students have been working on plans and drawings of the turtles and have started to create a home for them.
After the exploration of the turtles, we had a reptile man come and show different reptiles, including snakes and a gecko. From this experience, students still want to continue with building the house for the turtles, but also stem away from dinosaurs and move onto looking and exploring not only turtles but snakes as well. They want to explore the gecko. They will continue with this project and new exploration. It will be interesting to see where they go and where this new wealth of information takes us.