Monday, December 9, 2013

Underwater Tent Worlds

In kindergarten enrichment this week we took a break from our typical exploratory centers to design and create an imaginary underwater tent world.  For the last few weeks we have been talking about oceans and ocean animals, and including ocean choices in our center based approach to learning.  We began our imaginary adventure by creating a group story.  Sitting in a circle, I introduced students to a story beginning in which a kindergarten girl and boy begin an adventure to explore the ocean.  Next, students each took turns adding to the story and our group adventure began!  We had sharks, ships, whales, all kinds of fish, mermaids, underwater sea cities, castles, fairies, and more!  Next each student was asked to make a sign for our underwater world.  Signs included words and pictures.  Next students built our tent world! With ocean creatures in hand (plastic animal figures) students played and explored.

As one student left the room he cried " that was so fun, you can't even imagine"!  It was fun, but the activity was also filled with opportunities for learning!  First, students had to actively listen as we built the story.  They had to focus on comprehending, connecting, and sequencing events that made sense to our story.  When students wrote they sounded out words and worked hard to make sure their signs could be read by others!  The authentic peer audience for their signs made them excited to excel in their writing clarity.  When students built the tents they had to work together, because tents were too big for one student to pop up.  Connecting tents meant students needed to plan and decide how to best build for everyone.  Learning is fun and I love these opportunities to explore with students in a meaningful and engaging way.

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