2s SPRING INQUIRY CYCLE
A Garden Recreation
April to May 2018
Spring is a magical season of growth and renewal. It also happens to be the last season in a school year, when children start to recognize their own personal growth and transformation. Children in the 2s explored the seasons throughout the year and were excited to discover the transformations that occur in the spring.
Teachers provided multiple provocations and opportunities for the 2s to experience spring in all its glory. Children participated in spring walks in the neighborhood, hatched butterflies in their classroom, planted large containers of grass and read various texts about this special season.
One day a child suggested they should make their own garden in the classroom! Teachers took this as a perfect opportunity for children to recreate and interpret their understandings of this season.
Recreation is a crucial developmental step for a 2 to 3 year-old. Through recreation children are asked to show what they see and understand, ultimately sharing this knowledge with the community. This is also an act of reflection that asks children to examine and interpret experience to gain new understanding.
The children were asked what should be in their garden: grass, flowers, butterflies, bugs, etc. They generated a list of colors they had seen in their research: pink, green, yellow, purple, red, etc. Then set about using all of their fine-motor skills and knowledge acquired throughout the year to make their own garden. They used scissor skills to fringe paper into grass. They used eye droppers to carefully create flowers. After detailed observations of the butterflies, they used orange and black paint to make symmetrical butterfly paintings and mixed various colors to make interpretive flower paintings.
Children then worked with adults to put all the pieces together. Deciding that the grass should be on the bottom but the butterflies should be flying above. They hung the flowers throughout the garden so the butterflies could get nectar and placed the large grass planters at the base.
As we know, play is how a child experiences the world around them. It is how they process information and interpret knowledge. Over the following weeks, the children played in this garden!
They pretended to be butterflies flying and drinking nectar from the flowers. They used plastic bugs and magnifying glasses as “scientists.” These bugs even played extensive games of tag! The garden had to be cared for as children watered the grass daily. Any visitor to the classroom was invited to the garden and given a tour by the children as they explained what everything was and why it had that particular placement.
The knowledge and understanding poured out of the children both verbally and nonverbally through their actions. It was an incredible culmination to a year’s worth of growth and learning.