At the preschool level, almost all of our themed activities are project based. As a teacher, I am working at using the process of revision and critique to take the lessons my preschoolers are curious about to encourage a deeper and more meaningful learning.
We started reading our weather themed book “It Looked Like Spilled Milk,” by Charles Shaw. The kids were really engaged in the story and immediately after, we began talking about what kind of shapes they had observed in the clouds. A few of my students had never done cloud observations before so we all went outside as a group to look for shapes in the clouds. Through this project, I witnessed the kids collaborating on ideas and communicating their thoughts. Many creative ideas were being projected during this process.
This process led us to a deeper question, “why are the clouds changing shapes?” After some discussion, we all agreed that the wind was changing their shapes. The next driving question that came up was,”how are the clouds actually being formed?”
The next day, we did a hands on lesson about the water cycle. The kids were really able to give me some feedback about their understanding of this concept.
The process of taking driving questions for our themes in class, and encouraging students to revise and critique their ideas has not only made me a better teacher, but it has made my lessons more meaningful and FUN. Now almost every time we are outside, I see the children observing and discussing the clouds and the water cycle!