How can a child learn about nature on an asphalt-covered playground? With a few scavenged hand lenses, I created a Science Nature Area in the last corner of uncovered earth on our kindergarten playground. Now we need real science materials so my students can study their world.
My kindergarten students attend the neighborhood public school in one of the poorest sections of our city.
100% of them qualify for free school lunch. They are African American, Yemeni, Cambodian, Moroccan, and Latin American. Many aren't allowed to play outside due to neighborhood violence -- not that there are many outdoor play areas nearby anyway. Still, they are resilient and eager to take advantage of any opportunity. Despite the limitations of their play space, they manage to find spiders, moths, worms, seeds, rocks, and other wondrous objects to investigate and exclaim over. When my students are engaged in observations of nature, they interact positively with each other, sharing observations and theories and creating whole stories about their new findings. They bring their discoveries into the classroom in the form of class "pets,” journal entries, and art.
So far, our Science Nature area is stocked with a few scavenged hand lenses and a couple of broken bug boxes. I wrote and received a grant from the National Weather Association for a weather station so we can study the weather outside. The materials you provide will allow us to investigate the living resources in the nature area. We will use forceps to carefully collect bugs and leaves, which we will observe in the bug boxes. We will collect ladybug larvae to raise in the ladybug habitat. We will observe our resident squirrels, crows, jays, and hawks using binoculars. All of these activities will support implementation of our core science curriculum, FOSS, and will enhance my school's development as a Science Focus School. I will also use the students' science explorations as a springboard for art and writing projects. I have found that students write much more enthusiastically and fluently when they first engage in hands-on science experiences.
In order to maintain their optimism for the future, my students need to see the world beyond their concrete and asphalt neighborhood.
Although trips away from school are mostly out of our reach, I can broaden my students' vistas by opening their eyes to the vast world of nature that surrounds them. When they are focused on that little patch of earth, all the difficulties of their lives fade away. They see themselves as scientists, filled with curiosity and promise.Read More
|LADYBUG LAND NON-RETAIL PKG W/PREPAID LM CARD FROM MFR • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$17.95||1||$17.95|
|BINOCULARS GEOSAFARI • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$8.95||5||$44.75|
|SCIENCE STATION 3-WAY MAGNIFICATION • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$24.25||1||$24.25|
|JUMBO MAGNIFIERS SET OF 6 • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$29.69||1||$29.69|
|MAGNIFIER BOXES SM PKG/30 • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$25.65||1||$25.65|
|BUGNOCULARS GEOSAFARI(R) • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$8.95||2||$17.90|
|VIEWER HOW INSECTS SEE • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$5.35||2||$10.70|
|FORCEPS PKG/15 • Frey Scientific, Inc.||$8.05||1||$8.05|
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