Building on the interests of your students makes their learning meaningful!
With spring upon us, I was chomping at the bit to start exploring bugs, flowers, gardening – you know – all that springy stuff but my students had a different idea in mind. They wanted to do a Skeleton Day! So smack in the middle of our first week of spring, we stopped to explore the skeletons inside our bodies.
I am quite sure that my students actually wanted to study scary skeletons since several of my students are still talking about Halloween but I took their interest a little different direction instead. After all, it is spring!
Following the Interests of the Children
One of the things I have been trying to do is invest more time and planning in ideas that the children come up with. I have always prepared a classroom environment and ideas that I feel my students would truly be interested in and I have had great success in keeping my students engaged and excited about learning. But still, I want to see if I can do even better so I listened to my students request for a skeleton day, well actually they insisted, and said yes to their request. I spent about a week looking for ways to present skeletons to the children then we planned our skeleton day. The morning started off terrific with a mystery skeleton on the math table, hidden beneath a large sheet of black paper, and my students were already loving it!
Exploring the Human Skeleton
When we removed the paper, the children found the most beautiful skeleton (that Miss Sascha had made out of Model Magic clay) laying on the table. The bones were kind of fragile so the children were going to have to be gentle with them but I wasn’t worried. This skeleton was simply for discussion. Later, the children hid all the bones in the sand table for play.
Discussing Human Anatomy
We talked about the different kinds of bones that were on the table. The children made guesses as to which bones were what and did very well with most of their guesses. The head bone was easy but it was actually the most fragile of all the bones we had out.
Then we went down the body of bones. The head, neck, rib cage, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Of course, our bones weren’t exactly anatomically correct but the children got the idea and loved talking about them. We worked our way down the spine to the hip bone and then, well I am kind of hesitant to say this, the discussion was all about the “penis bone.”
Of course, I corrected the children and told them that this was the tail bone but all my efforts to get them back on track were pretty much over ruled and unheard with all the excitement. At least the children were all comfortable talking in anatomically correct terms.
Making Learning Hands-On
So I simply redirected their attention by inviting them all to pick up a bone of their choice and then pass it along to a neighbor.
The children were quite fascinated with the bones and after the bones made it around to all the children we were ready to take them downstairs for further play.
In my next post, I will share with you another fun and very simple way we explored the skeletons inside of us.
Have a wonderful day and remember to take care of the skeleton inside of you!
Available on Amazon
Links to Grow On
Exploring the inside of our outside by Teach Preschool
We made caterpillars in preschool by Teach Preschool
Tons of Spring Fun on Pinterest