During project work, we find it very important to give the children anything real that the children can touch, feel, hold, sketch, and investigating. Although the children can not obviously touch a real fetus the models were the closest models we could explore. In order to find these models, I was able to contact an organization that was willingly to let us borrow the materials. It is important when asking for items to borrow in your classroom to share with the organization the importance of project work, what it actually is, and how the children intend on using it. I typically like to share photos, anecdotes, and representation with these organizations to show them how we used the materials. You do need to be an advocate for your children because often times the organization does not know how confident and capable we believe children ages two, three, four, and five can be! Please share this knowledge with them so that they know how capable they are!
The Leapfrogs were provided with models of four wombs and three fetal models to fit in the wombs with babies the size of babies that are ten, twelve, and fourteen weeks along. Maddie (3.7), Drake (3.10), and Alli (2.11) feel the models of the fetuses. Maddie shares while holding the fourteen week old fetus, “If this baby comes out it will go to the NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit). If that baby comes out (the full term baby) then it will be okay.”
The fetuses and the uteruses were set on the table for investigation. Aidan (5.2) puts the fetuses in order according to size without any prompts. He points to each fetus and identifies them as big, medium and small. Alex (5.4) organizes the wombs from the fetuses according to size. He then shares the sizes of each by starting at the top, “Hugest, biggest, small, and very small.
Alex (5.4) looks at each of the four uteruses and three fetuses. He wonders why the arms, ears, legs, and body are more defined in the last fetus compared to the first one. Mahi offers him a book to look for the answer. Alex looks at each page and shares with Mahi. “These pictures are showing the babies ear and eyes. It looks like it starts small and then big. Is that what that says?”