ERIC Number: EJ1157159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
How Do Plants and Animals Prepare for Winter?
Science and Children, v55 n2 p62-69 Oct 2017
This article describes how a farm-based class in the Great Lakes region investigated how plants and animals prepare for winter. Two groups of children, ranging in ages from three to five years old, had a farm, pasture, gardens, forest, and a pond available for exploration. A low teacher-to-child ratio was maintained, with one teacher to approximately five children, to ensure safety and facilitate the teachers' ability to address the students' needs and interests. The teachers were interested in exploring how and why the plants and animals living in a place might change over time, how they could be connected, and how their coexistence could support their survival. They used guided inquiry to structure the project, in which they posed the essential question: "How do plants and animals prepare for winter?" It was an open-ended question that as educators they were curious about as well. The children's interests and questions and the local resources they encountered created the guiding questions. Throughout their investigation, they supported the children's development of scientific inquiry practices: observing, questioning, predicting, problem-solving, collaborating, and communicating ideas and new understandings.
Descriptors: Science Education, Plants (Botany), Animals, Animal Behavior, Wildlife, Science Activities, Preschool Children, Outdoor Education, Weather, Childhood Interests, Inquiry, Discovery Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A