How lucky we are to have the freedom to follow the ideas, questions and curiosity of children. During morning meeting Monday one student decided to shake elbows instead of hands with a friend. She gave a very particular reason. She said that her “molecules would get on” her friend.
What an interesting turn in the conversation. (We were planning to discuss the morning message; words that begin with the /h/ sound.)
Stop the presses! Scrap the letter H. We’re off to microbiology!
So of course our next question was, “What is a molecule?” Right away, we had hands up in the air. “Molecules full of dirt that could make a person sick.”
The example we gave them involved a little bit less germs.
If one boy stands up, he is a student. If everyone in the group stands up, they are a class. Are they a class by themselves? No, but when you put a bunch of students together, they are a class.
Now look at the skin on the back of your hand. Your skin is made of millions of skin molecules. They are too small to see when we look with our eyes. If one skin molecule was hanging out on the back of your hand, would it be like the skin you have now? No. It takes many skin molecules to make the skin you see, just like it takes many students to make a class.
Rapt eyes and engaging questions followed the discussion of our skin molecules. We asked what our hair might be made of. “Hair molecules!” Of course! They discovered that everything in our body was made of special molecules that make different parts. Then they noticed Mrs. Forst’s ring. Guess what it is made of….metal molecules! How about the easel? Wood molecules! What about a basketball? (Uh-oh, a bit of confusion here.) “Wood molecules!”
Sounds like we might need to take a closer look at the materials that make up our world.