Tower Inquiry

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As part of our Math and Science Investigations (M.S.I) time in Kindergarten, our students explored a tower inquiry (In a previous post I wrote about Math and Science Investigations (M.S.I.) and how it drives a lot of inquiry in our classroom. You can read about it here: https://thecuriouskindergarten.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/math-and-science-investigations-m-s-i/ ). When students first learn about M.S.I., they learn about how to build up with the blocks they have chosen. As a result, many children began to label their initial structures as “towers.” This got us thinking: What is a tower? What kinds of towers are there? How do we build a strong tower? Each week, the students thought about these questions and experimented with different materials, shapes, and designs for their tower structures. We looked at models of towers from around the world, talked about towers in our community and city, and talked about how towers can be useful in structure and design.

As the children shared their learning at school with their families at home, they began to bring in examples of towers they had visited. Part of our M.S.I. time was dedicated to hearing about our students’ personal experiences at towers nearby. This introduced us to a variety of towers that we had never heard of or learned about before. For example, one student brought in pictures from her visit to Dorset Tower and taught us about towers that are built as lookouts. Her story about having to climb up several flights of stairs to reach the top of Dorset Tower also got us thinking about how people can get to the tops of towers. Soon, ‘stairs,’ ‘elevators,’ and ‘helicopter landing pads’ began appearing in the children’s structures. When we began talking about condo towers, many of the children were excited to discover that they actually lived in a tower! You see, most of my students live in a condo complex across the street from our school. Talk about making connections!

Here are some of the anchor charts we co-created with the children:

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The learning that was happening during this inquiry was not limited to our once-a-week M.S.I. time. We created a variety of opportunities for the children to express their learning through the centres in the classroom:

At the Art Studio:

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At the small building centre:

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During Art and Fine Motor Instruction:

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As the inquiry began to wrap up, the children were challenged to build their best tower design. As an additional challenge, the children were asked to sketch their towers when they were complete:

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Here are some pictures of our Tower Inquiry Documentation:

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8 thoughts on “Tower Inquiry

  1. Pingback: Stone Towers | The Curious Kindergarten

  2. Hi Alexis,
    You are doing such amazing work with these kids 🙂
    I am so happy that my boys are part of this wonderful program.

  3. Pingback: Enclosures Inquiry: A House for Snuffles | The Curious Kindergarten

  4. Pingback: Constructivist View: (A beginner’s point of view) | thebiggerpicturebyangeline

  5. HOLA SOY DE ECUADOR, ESTAMOS TRATANDO DE IMPLEMTAR ESTA FILOSOFIA EN NUESTRO CENTRO EDUCATIVO ME PODRIAS AYUDAR CON MAS DOCUMENTACIONES PARA SEGUIR CONSTRUYENDO ESTE APRENDIZAJE .MUCHAS GRACIAS

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