So as we continue to explore the world of oviparous creatures, we watch our eggs and expand our understanding. Our last post mentioned looking for ways to meld Writer’s Workshop with the expanding knowledge that we are finding as we see a growing cornucopia of feasts on our table of learning. No longer are we just looking at the eggs of birds, but of those that are laid by reptiles, fish, amphibians, and insects. As we discussed this abundance of egg-laying life, the children became more and more engaged. Each week we walk to the public library to book shop, and before our most recent walk the children were given a task. They were to decide upon an oviparous creature that they would like to research and use in their writing. The children were bustling with ideas, discussing with their walking partner the creature they would like to research.
We saw these eggs nestled among the strawberry plants when we were gathering berries, and here is the mother killdeer. Suddenly we are seeing eggs everywhere, and are observing the animals who laid the eggs. This mother killdeer was very nervous to see us around her eggs, and was sending out an alarm call. We stood back and just watched as she edged back toward her nest, happy that these rambunctious kindergarteners had given her eggs some space.
When we entered Imaginon, we helped the children as they looked for books that centered on the animal of their choice. We found books about flamingos, about penguins (a favorite, I might add), books about frogs, about ladybugs… All of these books came back to our classroom and were a key element in our Writer’s Workshop time. Each child had their book to use for information as well as a stapled book to use as their own journal. The results have been outstanding, with each child focused on his/her own animal, creating pages that reflect a clear understanding of characteristics of the animal they chose. They have looked at what their egg-layer eats, who are the enemies of this animal, where do they live, how many eggs do they lay, what is the time from laying to hatching… Their questions have been wide ranging and pertinent to the animal.
They are completing their non-fiction books now, and we are looking for new ways to follow the thread. Do we let the thread end here, since only 14 days remain in our school year, or do we stretch this out with writing fiction with their chosen animal as the main character in their story? The days are dwindling down to a precious few, and there is much to fill our time together, but it is hard to release this powerful thread. We still need to take a look at the world of mammals, and we know that it cannot be with the same intensity that we have felt with our egg laying friends. By the way, did I mention that three of our eggs hatched?