What is alive?

Side conversations in Pre-K can often illuminate quietly held misconceptions. The other day, three children were talking about whether or not a particular playground item was alive or not. Piquining my interest, I tuned in. The debate brought in neighboring children and it became obvious that each had their own rules for what might prove a thing’s “aliveness.”

Things the children thought might be alive:

Bugs
People
Cats
Rocks
Water
Toy Cars

The next day, we set this as our Morning Message.

How do you know something is alive?

  • You see it moving.
  • It has eyes.
  • It can move.
  • It moves with its whole body.
  • It eats.
  • It is crawling.
  • It’s moving its arms and its legs.
  • It can be alive because it moves and tries to crawl around.
  • They go poop on the potty.
  • If their mouth has a bubble coming out of it with words.

Collating this list, there was some confusion as a few children felt there are things in the world that are alive, but do not fit these rules. Instead of refining our rules, we had many more questions.we asked the children to draw a picture of something that was alive and something that was not alive. The assignment for the day was for the children to find something outside that was either alive or not alive for me to take a picture of.

The next day, we decided to try approaching this topic from another angle. This time, we asked them to draw a picture of something alive on one side of a piece of paper and something that was not alive on the other. This task was much easier for the children. Every single one drew something that is certainly alive on one side and something that is not, on the other. However, we realized that we, the teachers, had made an erroneous assumption. Although we meant “things that can be alive”, that is not what we said. When a quarter of the class identified their non-living things as things that have died, we realized our mistake. The children weren’t wrong, but we’d missed the concept we were trying to help them process.

As we continue to follow the questions, we’ll see if maybe we can agree on a more inclusive list of rules that will inform us if something is alive.

Why do we have bones?

P1260794Finding this bone in the woods has led to much wonder and curiosity.  Whose bone is it?  Why was it in our woods?  This week, we wanted to know why we even have bones.

HuM: Because when you don’t stand up, you don’t have any more bones.

SR: They’re a part of your body.

BW: Because we don’t wanna fall down.

KH: They help us not die and keep us standing.

IP: Help us not be broken.

EH:  If we don’t have bones, it’s going to be tough to move.

MB: We’re humans.  We need bones to be alive and maybe we’ll be a little bit alive.

MH: Bones are just a decoration.

GK: If we don’t have bones, we would not live anymore.  They help us cook our dinner and help us get our lunchbox.

XZ: They help us be strong.

HeM: Not breaking.

MS: Make us feel hard.

AZ: They make us strong.

AH: To be strong and healthy. To grow!

We’ll have to take a closer look to find out more!

Footprints?

P1220904Questions certainly arose when these small, round marks were found in the snow.  Many had the idea that they must be tiny footprints made the night before.  A host of animals were put forth as the culprits.  We’ll have to keep an eye on the phenomenon and see if we can gain more clues.

Drip, drip, drip

Sometimes it is the simplest things that brings joy to our lives. Watching a young child discover the properties of falling water fills me with joy. The wonder and inquiry that is involved is like no other. Somewhere along the way adults lose that wonder, until a child comes along and forces us to see the world through a fresh set of eyes.

{This Moment}

Sometimes you are lucky enough to capture an image that exemplifies your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings.  Inspired by SouleMama, many bloggers across the web are posting their “perfect moments” for all to share.  This is an activity in peace and joy and needs no words to carry the beauty of the moment.

{This Moment}

Sometimes you are lucky enough to capture an image that exemplifies your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings.  Inspired by SouleMama, many bloggers across the web are posting their “perfect moments” for all to share.  This is an activity in peace and joy and needs no words to carry the beauty of the moment.

{This Moment}

 

Sometimes you are lucky enough to capture an image that exemplifies your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings.  Inspired by SouleMama, many bloggers across the web are posting their “perfect moments” for all to share.  This is an activity in peace and joy and needs no words to carry the beauty of the moment.