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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Denise Fleming gets my students wondering about winter

My kindergarten students and I are reading Denise Fleming's books. We are exploring her work as both an author and illustrator
Before we read Time to Sleep, the students shared how they know, using their five senses, that winter is coming.  Here is what they said:

It is getting colder.

The leaves are falling.

There is frost on the ground.

There is snow falling.

It is windy.

It is cloudier.

It smells crisp.

There are trees with no leaves.

The days are getting shorter.

My shadow is getting longer.

I asked the students to do two things while we read the book:

Thing One: Listen for how the animals knew winter was coming.

Thing Two: If the book made them think or wonder about something, to please share it.

As each animal mentioned how it knew winter was coming, we made connections with the text and referred back to our list. 

I collected their wondering questions as we read.

What is a den?

How does a bear get into its den when it is so big?

How do snails seal their shells?

What are grubs?

Where does the turtle dig down deep?

How does the turtle dig down deep?

Why doesn't a turtle just sleep in its shell?

Do turtles breathe when they burrow down?

Do woodchucks eat wood?

Do the turtle and woodchuck dig down in the same place?

How does a ladybug not get squished when it slips under a log?

What other animals sleep in the winter?

Do the animals breathe while hibernating?

Do squirrels and chipmunks sleep in winter?

What do fish do in winter?

What do penguins do in winter?

I love this introduction to inquiry and how easily and naturally it occurs for kindergarten students. I fear that we strip this inclination as they get older by assigning research topics and rarely giving them opportunities for passion-driven research. These are fish to fry on another day, for right now, we've got some questions to answer! Stay tuned...

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