GWL Kindergarteners Practice STEAM Inquiry through Nursery Rhymes
The Glenwood Landing Kindergarten Nursery Rhyme Celebration took place on Friday, April 20th, focusing on all of the educational disciplines including many facets of the arts and sciences.
Using the study of Nursery Rhymes (as the vehicle), the Glenwood Landing kindergarteners were immersed in this interdisciplinary unit. The young investigators read many; studied rhythmic patterns of the rhymes; wrote interactively using poetic verse; sang them while noticing patterns and creating harmonies in music class; created connected artifacts through art class, dressed as characters while performing vignettes, and, examined them through two unique lenses of inquiry including the scientific method and engineering design process. The district’s Shared Valued Learning Outcomes (SVOs) were embedded into every lesson. In addition, the children all used their imaginations as they were taken into the wonderful world of Nursery Rhymes!
As young readers, the children enjoyed learning to read and recite dozens of rhymes, but the process of scientific inquiry, scientific practices, and investigations had the kindergarteners truly living their lives as young scientists and engineers. Engineers ask questions, brainstorm solutions, are problem-solvers, make design plans, collaborate with one another, they are innovators, create models, test models, improve their designs, and solve problems with their designs. Scientists ask questions, make hypotheses, plan experiments, test their hypotheses, use math, make measurements, explore force and counterforce, share results, test variables, and collect data. The students realized that being an engineer is hard work but fun!
Some examples of how the kindergarteners practiced the scientific method and engineer design process and challenges included:
“Humpty Dumpty” –“How do we keep Humpty Dumpty Safe?What materials will keep Humpty Dumpty Safe? Students participated in a “Humpty Dumpty Parade” where they created boxcars that transported humpty safely through the halls of Glenwood Landing School.
“Rub-A-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub” - Students tested materials to see if they would sink or float. They designed and built tinfoil boats (tubs) that needed to support varying amounts of weight. The tinfoil floated but the clay sank!
“London Bridge” – “How do we build bridges that don’t fall down?” Children worked to co-design blueprints and build bridges with blocks, plastic cups, and a variety of resources. The building processinspired a lot of scientific talk surrounding structure and design.
“Jack and Jill” – Explored rolling and motion to help Jack and Jill. They made comparisons of weight by filling buckets with different materials. It also inspired the exploration and sorting of rolling objects.
“Jack Be Nimble” –Students created jumping strips and collected data on how far they can jump. They were left wondering.... “How can Jack go over the candlestick without jumping or getting burned?” Students made catapults to help Jack over the candlestick!
OnApril 20th, dressed as different characters in their favorite Nursery Rhymes, the children took to the stage to sing a number of songs including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “London Bridge,” “Humpty Dumpty,” “Jack and Jill,” and “The Muffin Man” – just to name few!
Many thanks to Glenwood Landing teachers including Mrs. Cano, Mrs. Stevens, Ms. Matalon, Mrs. Ebert, Mrs. Walsh, Mrs. Burgos, and Mrs. Bierwiler. Special thanks to Ms. Cheung and Mrs. Moran, and all of the parents for their continued support.
Article and photos by Shelly Newman with the assistance of Mrs. Audra Marcantonio
North Shore Schools 112 Franklin Avenue Sea Cliff, NY 11579 District Number 516-277-7800
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