We spent about two weeks investigating both an Infant and a Toddler Car seat. Below are anecdotes from our investigations. We began with the infant car seat where Avery (4.11) shows Madison (3.6) how to put a baby in the car seat and put her seat belt on. She explains to her it is important to put the baby in the car seat so that the baby keeps safe.
Aidan (5.0) sketches a drawing of the car seat. He labels to Mahi who writes the strap, the place for that babies feet, the handle, and the hood of the infant car seat. He then uses the word wall to write the word baby. He identifies each letter as he writes it. He then asks Mahi to add car seat to the word wall.
Lydia (3.9) copies the word Adjuster Strap to label the infant car seat. Madison (3.6) uses scribbles and shapes to document the word strap. The girls help Mahi identify each part of the car seat as they look at a diagram. Drake (3.8) tells Mahi one morning, “This is called a car seat,” he says bring the car seat over. He then puts the car seat in the base. “The base goes in the car. If you want to carry it to the car you have to put the canopy up so sun does not get in the baby’s eyes. Then you need to hold the handle.”
Nolan (4.9) measures and counts the inches on the ruler. Elisabeth (4.10) tells Nolan, “Don’t forget that you need to start at zero to measure.” Alex (5.2) measures the width of the car seat. The children then asked Mahi to write down the measurements on chart paper. Elisabeth (4.10) takes over the documenting as Alex (5.2) shows Elisabeth the number thirty-six.
These activities and thought processes were made possible through our project work. We have writing materials, clay, measurement tools, and the real items from our project available to the children for this investigation to take place. The teachers and staff ask open ended questions and we encourage the children to find the answer instead of giving them the information.