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A curiousity project
Oh my, January has been… well… cold and dark (figuratively and literally). So here’s an example of a curiousity project that might brighten your days. I (Lizzie) am at home isolating with my son and husband (we’re doing well) and I’ve gotten into nature documentaries for kids, so…how about one about elephants?
You can think of something your class has developed an interest in to start a curiosity project—even if it is just five minutes each day! (Big ideas are bolded to help you create your own project with a different topic.)
Here’s my elephants one:
You could watch bits of: Disney + Elephants (side note: by watching I noticed elephants have eyelashes. Never realized that. Just another way that elephants are like us humans!) and study the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Cam (and this one too) at different times of day.
You might read interesting and fun books like The Truth About Elephants: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III (Author, Illustrator)- by the way, these books are such a cute series. Or If You Were An Elephant by Leslie Staub, Elephants by Steve Bloom (my absolute favorite…and my son’s, too), and Ranger Rick’s I Wish I Was an Elephant.
Don’t forget to learn about people who study elephants like scientists who study fossil elephants and zoologists, and bring a lens of criticality by studying various issues that threaten elephants. If a website or article is written toward an older audience, rather than reading it, you can explain it in a kid friendly way and show images to summarize it (a teeny tiny lecture).
When you read and watch, you can create a class word wall with important vocabulary (and note words which might be very specific to elephants, like tusk, and those that can help us talk about other animals like habitat and diet). Tally words when they appear in multiple texts and use them to talk about elephants (and the world!) As you learn from various sources, you could invite kids to try sketchnoting: keeping track of thinking in pictures and words (it works with K-2, promise!), pausing to collect and understand facts as well as pose questions and grow ideas like….
Elephants are the same as/different from ____ because…
Elephants are amazing/special/interesting/thoughtful because….
Once you learn a bit about elephants, you could create a shared information text as a class, maybe even in the style of/inspired by Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy Airport or the ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez (author) and Lauren Semmer (illustrator) or even publish a collection of related poetry (using a mentor poetry collection you have on hand).
What might you study with your class? (Choose a different topic and follow the “bolds” above to create your own!) Let us know!
Lizzie (and Marie and Katrina)