Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our Little Kindergarten Researchers Show "Wonder and Investigation" In Their Iowa Animal Research Project...and with a special little visitor too!

Our kindergarteners did something totally new this year.  They did their first big research project!  

In the blog posts Our Kindergarteners Are Starting Their Iowa Animal Research Projects......The First Steps That We Are Taking This Week and Look Mrs. Miller....We Our Researching Our Iowa Animals In The Library Today! I tell all about the research project and the collaboration that took place between the classroom, library and their homes.  
The big essential question that we wanted the children to wonder about and investigate was...

Why does your Iowa animal live where it lives in Iowa?  

By developing questions, making predictions, finding resources, reading, thinking and learning about their animal they were empowered to follow their own sense of wonder and investigate new things.  

I have loved seeing the kindergarteners and their teachers so excited about this project....And the best part was seeing what they created and learned from all the wonder and investigation that took place.  

When the Iowa Animal Research Reports came back the three kindergarten teachers and I got together in the library to take a look at them.  They did such a wonderful job.  

And just by taking a look one could tell that they have enjoyed being engaged and empowered by this project.  
Nathan, from Miss McClintock's room, researched the blue spotted salamander.  I just LOVE his report!  It is so full of wonderful information and images....we could really tell that he loved learning about this Iowa animal.  
And to make Nathan's learning even more engaging he was able to meet a real live blue spotted salamander from Van Meter.

One morning my daughter called me and told me she saw a salamander by the garage door when she was leaving.  I went outside and sure enough it was a blue spotted salamander.  So I took a big container, put holes in the lid, filled it with grass and a little water, and put the salamander in to take him to school to meet everyone.
 The kids were SOOOOO excited (and the teachers were too).....especially Nathan!
When I left Miss McClintock's room I ran into Mrs. Gadberry and her kindergarteners too.  They just lit up too when I told them what Brianna had found. The best part was hearing them all call out things they have learned about salamanders or things that they were very curious about.

The first question, "Did you find him by water?  I bet you did because they live by water or where it is wet." 
We had him come visit the library too for the afternoon so all the students could see how cool he was.
Along with their reports, the kindergarteners made a model of the animal in their Iowa habitat too.

They put them out it he hallway for everyone to see and learn from them too.

They could create their animal and its habitat any way they wanted.  Some made models, others made posters or displays.  We even had a few make little paper books.
Next it was time for each student to present their Iowa animal research project to the class.  They would be sharing the information in the packet with all of their classmates.

They were super excited and learned so much from one another.  These got the conversations going even more between them and I watched it continue as they visited the library after the presentations wanting to find out more information about someone else's Iowa animal.  I loved that wonder taking place during these times.
Miss McClintock (who you all know is also my cousin) and the other two teachers videotaped their students presenting.  This Thursday we are going to put together a little project using iMovie with the videos and images.

Also, they created an illustration of their animal and why it lives where it lives using TuxPaint.  We will then put them all together and using Camtasia Relay to record their voice when they answer that essential question.

I can't wait to be able to share that so we can all watch the love that went into each of these projects too.


  1. Such an amazing story! I love reading about all the great things you do with your students!

    1. Thank you so much. :)

      It was a very fun and rewarding project for our little ones.