Looking Closely

A new school year has begun and I have been carefully watching my students in order to determine a direction for our whole  class inquiry. This past August a group of Kindergarten and grade one teachers gathered on Twitter and brainstormed some ideas. Heather McKay @HeatherMMCKay started a  Google Doc and together ideas were generated on some directions we could take with our classes. A series of books by Frank Serafini  titled Looking Closely is the begining provocation for our learning. Heather McKay created at collaborative blog for teachers to share ideas and connect.

I’ve read two of the books with our class and we have gone on a few wonder walks. It was slow getting things sparked but I finally feel we have a spark that will lit a fire in our learners. My colleague Jennifer Greenham covers two of my preps and she is supporting inquiry in the classroom. She read the book A Sleepy Seed by Dianna Hutts Ashton. She facilitated a list of wonderings and we are working from the list to generate some new learnings. Students have been naturally finding seeds and bringing them into our classroom. Our science area is now filled with milkweed seeds, apple seeds, maple keys, burrs and sunflower seeds.

I have been thinking about ways to move from our own class inquiry to a global inquiry. This is where I need your help. It is currently autumn in Ontario and we see many seeds in our fields and gardens. It is also harvest time and it is easy to gather seeds from foods. Soon we will investigate pumpkin seeds, squash seeds and other harvest vegetables. One of the wonderful things about our We Can See Project was connecting with others and learning about their school environments. Students could compare and contrast their school yards and the weather. I’m now wondering if ‘Seeds, seeds, seeds’ could launch a global inquiry in which we share the types of seeds we see in our school yards, neighbourhoods and lunches. The Maple Trees are changing colour in Ontario and maple keys are falling to the grown. Milkweeds are opening and blowing through our schoolyard. What changes do you see? What types of seeds do you encounter in your day?

If you would like to SKYPE with our class or send us a class book/movie/Pic Collage on the types of seeds you encounter that would be much appreciated.

Leave a comment and lets connect. I can also be reached on Twitter @techieang


4 thoughts on “Looking Closely

  1. Spinach seeds! We would love to hear about the process of growing spinach. I hope you are documenting the steps.
    I have an apple tree in my backyard. We looked at the seeds inside the apple last week. Good luck with your seed observations.

  2. Hi Angie,
    Our class has just completed the adoption of a Silver Maple tree just outside our schoolyard. During all our nature walks we have collected acorns, pinecones, maple keys, chestnuts, dandelion “fluff”, and many other plant seeds.
    Our tree inquiry has just begun and could easily take on a sub inquiry into seeds.
    We will be documenting all our learning on our class website kimclarkkindercritters.blogspot.ca
    I have been thinking about putting together a “looking closely” I-Movie about all the things we are collecting.
    Perhaps In a few weeks we could skype – I’m just having trouble with the wifi in my classroom and our I-rover often becoming very slow or loosing connection for no reason.
    Chat soon,

  3. This sounds fabulous! We would love to read your Looking Closely movie/book. Let’s connect at the end of the month. Thanks.

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