Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ocean Inquiry

A few weeks back we had one of our students come into our morning meeting wanting to share his experience of visiting Ripley's Aquarium. He described many of the ocean animals he saw and talked about petting the ray fish.

He had so much excitement, that we immediately pulled out some mural paper for him to draw some of the ocean animals he saw. Many others students joined him to draw other ocean animals they knew about too. This mural paper was laid out for many to work on over several days. The children started off using just pencils to draw their images, but soon wanted to add colour so we gave them oil pastels to add the bright colours they would see in these real animals.
Beginning with pencil drawings.
Looking in books to help draw ocean animals.

More kiddos joining and adding to the mural.
An interest started to grow amoung a group of kiddos to draw colourful fish. We pulled out the I-Pads and looked at various pictures of fish. Every time they saw a brightly coloured fish "so beautiful" were many on the comments. A group of three girls began to look closely at photos on the I-Pads and draw what they saw. We helped them to write a sentence about their fish, trying to encourage descriptive words other than pretty and beautiful. Looking at the fish we see "spots", "lines", "hearts". These girls created their own Fish Book.
Looking at pictures in books to help us draw.
Writing sentences to go with the pictures.

We read the story Rainbow Fish to the class several times. I have found through some action research, that rereading a story at least three times, and allowing the students to think about a question and share with a partner prior to the whole class, encourages more purposeful talk. We have been asking questions of the students to see their understanding of the meaning of Friendship. Friendship has many meanings to the kiddos. We sat in small groups and used the Think-Share model to share our ideas and thoughts. This allowed for the students to use purposeful talk to build on each others ideas in a meaningful way. Each child shared a shiny scale with our class friend to show how they can talk about friendship.
Writing our names on in shiny scale to share.
Lots of great ideas about
being a good friend.
I can be a good friend.

During the final read aloud of Rainbow Fish, one of the students commented "Why Rainbow fish not give the Starfish a shiny scale - he don't have any friends too." This lead the students to become interested in Starfish. "Can they walk? How can they find a friend?" "Can Starfish talk?" "What do Starfish eat?" Some other students have been interested in researching various ocean animals. This new venue for the inquiry has lead a few children to want to research Starfish and other ocean animals. They have drawn pictures of what the animals look like, they are using authentic writing to label and describe their pictures.
Looking at Starfish. What do we wonder?

Several kiddos have participated in various art activities to communicate about what the see in these ocean creatures. It is wonderful to see the animals come to life through art.
Adding blue watercolour
to imitate the ocean feel.
Using pastels to show
the beautiful colours of the fish.

Working with different art mediums to create Seahorses.
We will continue to inquire about ocean animals and keep you informed of our process.

What will we research next?
Octopus, Sharks
Shark Labeling.
The Cool Coconut Octopus.

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