A Study in Caretaking, Community Workers and Human Anatomy Through Environmental Transformation


Children in the 4s/5s began a year-long Doctor Inquiry Cycle after one of the students returned to school on a Monday with a broken arm. The room began to buzz with questions. Everyone was talking about bones, organs, doctors and the injury. This provided a wonderful opportunity for teachers to scaffold an investigation.

After some initial conversations where children articulated their prior knowledge of doctors, the teachers transformed an area in the classroom into a doctor’s office. Everything in the space was something the children had referenced in their reflective meetings. As the study evolved, information was gained, and the space reflected these new pieces of knowledge. For instance, as the children learned about the different roles in a doctor’s office, various materials were integrated such as reception desk and check-in clipboard. Children played in the space taking turns being the patient and doctor, taking care of each other’s injuries and illnesses. As we know, play is how a child makes sense of the world around them. Each time a child or group of children played in this space, they integrated knowledge through a meaningful context.

As the year progressed, a child in the class became a big brother after the birth of his younger sister. The space was then transformed into a maternity ward where children organically integrated mathematics and literacy by writing out birth certificates and taking measurements of baby dolls.

The Inquiry Cycle lasted almost the entire year with two important culminating events, a trip to an actual doctor’s office and the designing for their own ideal doctor’s office using the knowledge gained over the study as well as a video created by the children highlighting all the different activities and projects connected to their work.

Please play the video below to hear from the doctor experts of the 4s/5s.