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Posts tagged ‘sketches’

Sketching their learning

Through what we have learned from books, articles, project work, and Lilian Katz, we know that sketching is so important.  As Lilian shared during her training at the Engaging Young Minds Conference, adults take notes when they are learning something new and do not want to forget it.  Children sketch.  They sketch while listening to an expert, they sketch for predictions, they sketch to document data, and they sketch to teach us what they have learned.  Below are sketching during the last two months.  Their work is phenomenal!






Eila (4.1) uses the computer as a resources with a power point depicting each month of pregnancy and what is happening to the baby.  After reading and looking at each picture, Eila creates three sketches based on the first month, third month, and ninth month slides.  She describes the first picture as the “embryo”, the second as “the babies bones are getting stronger.  It’s growing legs!” and the third, “Nine months baby is ready to come out.  The baby is kicking because it does not have much room.

Hayden (2.11) watches Lydia trace the uterus and then tell Mahi her words.  Hayden gathers paper, pencil, and a clipboard and tells Lydia and Mahi, “I want to do it!”  He traces the uterus several times.  “That mommy’s belly.”

Lydia (3.10) traces each of the four uterus in the tenth, twelfth, fourteenth, and sixteenth week of pregnancy.  She sketches each side of the uterus, draws several pictures, and asks Mahi to document her pictures.  She documents several babies in different stages of pregnancy.  She also documents the umbilical cord.





 Brayden (4.4) sketches several circles.  The first two circles represent the tummy, the second the uterus,  and the last image inside is a two-week old fetus.


Eamon (4.10) sketches a six-week old fetus inside a uterus.  “The baby isn’t full term so it doesn’t have all  its body parts.”



The children have started to ask questions about what types of food grow on trees and what types of food grow on bushes.  They began asking questions about olives.  I shared with the children that my parents own olive trees.  A huge discussion began!  The children wanted to know what they looked like and we began to look for pictures on the computer.  We started to talk about the personal experiences the children have had with different types of Olives.

We began with the Kalamata (Greek) Olives.  The children had the opportunity to explore the olives.  They children used rulers to measure the size of each olive.  Kara introduced an Olive Pitter and the children had an opportunity to use it.  They then began to sketch, investigate, and discuss the attributes of the pit and the olives.  Some children wanted to taste them and they had the opportunity.  None of the children liked the taste.

Several children then began to weigh olives that have pits and ones that did not.  Elisabeth (4.6) creates a graph for her information.  Each side is labeled, “heavy” and “not heavy.”  She then begins to weigh the olives.   She tells her friends that the heavy side of the scale is the one that tips and touches the base of the scale.  She then counts the olives in that tray.  She documents that answer until her paper is full of data.

The days following the Greek olive investigation the children investigated green and black olives.  The children created a Venn diagram comparing the two kinds of olives.  The children tried these as well.  Most of the children liked the black olives and only two liked the green olives.

We continue to investigate…Will you?


Coconut Investigation

Kara holds the coconut above the bowl as the coconut juice runs in.

After creating our knowledge and question web, the children shared stories about experiences they had with trees.  During this discussion, several children sketched palm trees.  More than half of the class had been to Florida in the last year and a discussion started to form about the trees they saw when at Disney World or when they were in Florida. 

We decided, based on the children’s interest, that we would begin learning about the Coconut Palm Tree.  The children began by reading books about Coconut Palm Trees and looking at pictures.  Through their investigations, they started to notice certain characteristics about the trees and they started creating representations in the form of sketches.  Our classroom had a coconut on our science shelf and a child noticed it.  They took it off the shelf and began to use their senses to explore it, “It is hard and I do not think anything is in it.”  The child then took it to every child asking them if they thought anything was inside the coconut.  The pictures we took involve children tapping it, shaking it, putting their ear up to it, and spinning it around in a circle.  After the children predicted what was is in it, they then decided to create a list of how they thought they could open the coconut.  Kara sat down with the children and documented their responses.  As she wrote their ideas down, she encouraged the children to offer sounds to the letters she was writing, spell a sight word or a vocabulary word (for example, tree and leaf), or identify letters in her writing.  After the list was created, the children hung it up.  They kept it hung up for an entire day and as children had ideas they were added to the list.

The following day, the children gathered their list, the materials they would need based on their list, and began to experiment.  They followed the list in numerical order until they made it to the one that opened the coconut which was the scissors.  Once inside the coconut from our shelf, the children found nothing inside!  For children who were not part of the investigation, the children who were brought their results to their peers to share.

The next day, Kara brought a store-bought coconut in the classroom.  This coconut was different from other ones we had seen.  It had a white outer shell which the children (and the teachers) predicted was the inside of the coconut.  We had predicted that the store had taken off the outer shell which we had cut into with the other shell.  We spent time measuring it, sketching it, and exploring it.  When the children were ready to open the coconut, they decided they needed to use scissors as that technique had worked for the last coconut.  The children used scissors and passed the coconut around the table.  With little help from Kara, the coconut was

The children are using tools to find out what is under the white covering of the coconut.

open.  “My hand got sticky!” a child exclaimed.  Another shared, “The coconut is dripping.”  A third child shared, “Wait!  I think there is something called coconut juice!’   Kara held the coconut over the bowl and the coconut emptied.  The children each had an opportunity to try it!  Some children did not like it, while others came for seconds!

After the juice emptied out, we discovered something.  The coconut ‘s white covering began to peel off.  We continued to peel off the white coating until we found a hollow brown circle.  We sketched what we had discovered!  We began sharing this knowledge with our families and friends!

Currently, our two different coconuts are sitting on a wood tray for exploration.  We also have  magnifying glasses in the tray so the children can observe, discover, and represent!

Share your investigations!  Anything that amazed you, you were inspired about, or have questions about!  We want to hear! 

Enjoy and keep inspiring!


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