Tree Inquiry

Inquiry is a huge focus in FDK and it aligns well with my view that we should learn the student's interests and differentiate instruction to engage the students using their interests.  My teaching partner (ECE) is fantastic at picking up on these interests and she noticed that a lot of students were asking questions about a broken tree in our kindergarten pen.

She also mentioned how some were inquiring about the leaves changing colour so we decided to tie that into our inquiry as well.

First, we started with brainstorming to the question "What might have happend to our tree outside?" and recorded their ideas.

Then we did a K-W-L chart.  We compleated the "know" one day and the "wonder" on the next day.  My teaching partner wrote the knows and wonders on a piece of paper as they shared and I transfered them onto our chart after school.  I loved this idea! This way you could scribble quickly and write the ideas more legibally after school and you can look back and combine similar ideas to save on space!

Then we read some books on trees.
Here are the books we read.

We also had these centres out that tied in with our inquiry.

At this centre students were invited to look at the fall vegetables and tree bark from the tree in our Kindergarten pen and were encouraged to use describing words such as "bumpy", "rough", "smooth" etc.

At this centre students were encouraged to write a fall picture and label it with the fall words.

And at this centre the students used fake leaves and did "leaf rubbings" with crayons.  Then they wrote a sentence to describe their picture.

My ECE worked with some students on the question "What lives in trees?" one day.  They turned out so cute!

We also talked about and recreated trees in different seasons.
For spring they used small foam shape stickers to represent buds.
For summer they used green tissue paper to represent the leaves.
For fall they used red, yellow, orange and green foam shapes to represent the leaves.
For winter they used torn up cotton balls to represent the snow!

And here is our wonder board all filled up with all of the amazing work that we have been doing!

Here it is again a couple days later.. it just keeps growing!

At the end we filled in what we now know about trees.  I have a bunch of smarties! Look at what they came up with!

These are just some of the activities we did.
Have you ever done a tree inquiry before?
Please let me know if you have any fun ideas that you recommend!

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