"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm wondering about...

These kindergarten student are wondering about...
I have been exploring the difference between fiction and nonfiction with my kindergarten students. Like last year we read Pumpkin Circle and reflected on the information we learned in the book.  I had started the lesson with students sharing their wondering questions about pumpkins.  The was only moderately successful because most questions had to do with carving them! (Note to self: maybe choose a different book if teaching this lesson so close to Halloween.)

Today, we continued to explore the difference between fiction and nonfiction with a review of how to identify fiction books in our library (picture books have a yellow sticker, fiction books have a blue sticker, and early readers have a red sticker).  We're also exploring call numbers on the spine labels, but at this point, most of the emphasis is on differentiating fiction from nonfiction.

My nonfiction books are along a wall in the back of my library.  I've labeled it my "wonder wall" and put up "who, what, when, where, why" posters.  I have been emphasizing that nonfiction books are information books that help answer our wondering questions.

"I wonder where Mount Everest is."

"I wonder how high Mount Everest is."

"I wonder who has climbed Mount Everest"

"I wonder when the first person climbed Mount Everest."

"I wonder why people climb Mount Everest." 

(Ha!  Actually that last one can be answered in many ways!)

After our recall of fiction and nonfiction (activating prior knowledge), I explained today's activity.  

I explained that we were going to draw a picture of something each of us was wondering about.

I then showed an example of what I wanted them to produce.

We brainstormed things we were wondering about as a group.

Then we took two minutes to wonder.

After two minutes, when a child had an idea, I gave them a pad and they went off to draw their wondering picture.

Some were specific like, "How does a hot air balloon get off the ground?"

Some were general like, "planets."

Here are their pictures and their wonderings:

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