During the outdoor playtime, the children found chunks of ice all over the playground, so one by one, they started gathering them in a pile and placed them in a crate. They asked the educator if they could bring some of the ice inside, and she responded ‘Yes”. The ice was brought inside and placed in the water table along with shovels, funnels, scoops, containers and toy fishes so children could explore.
So What: What can children learn from this experience?
Children were actively engaged in the exploration learning experience, and positive social skills were exercised, such as turn-taking and co-operating with others. Many intentional but open-ended questions were asked to direct their inquiry process. For example: "What do you see? How do you feel when you touch the ice? What do you think will happen if placed in the water table inside?" A variety of vocabularies were used to describe the ice and the changing process from solid to liquid. For example: "I have a big one; My ice is small; The ice is frozen; It's cold and white; and Look, it's melting."
Now What: How can we extend their experience and interest through the program?
The play experience can be enriched with children learning how to make ice cream in a ziplock bag, thus allowing enhancement in understanding simple science. Other ways in which children can expand their knowledge is through reading stories with diverse themes such as winter, ice and snow or building snow forts, ice castles or structures in the block area.
As well, experimenting with coloured ice cubes in regards to learning about solid, liquid and gas forms. Group discussions about how water becomes ice could provide them with the opportunity to generalize their understanding with a few specific vocabularies they learned through the process.
Connection to ELECT Framework
Co-operating: 1. Exchanging ideas and materials during play
Interacting with Adults: 1. Seeing adults as resources in exploration and problem solving
Vocabulary: 1. Asking questions to extend their understanding of words
2. Using new words in the play
Classifying: 1. Comparing objects