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tree inquiry

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by

Iris Zhang

on 2 September 2016

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Transcript of tree inquiry

Expected learning outcomes
Through different activities, children will enrich their knowledge and develop their arts abilities. Being able to express their ideas and thoughts by using the diverse materials that provided or made in the class.

Children are expected to develop their sensory and cognitive of the world around them. Getting close to the nature, explore and appreciate the nature. Be aware of the importance of protecting the nature.

Engaging & Exploring
As children continued to explore, teacher gathered them together, asking the differences in their works. They started wondering...
Initial Engagement
The teacher initiated this inquiry outside, sharing what she saw this morning. Letting children feel the weather changes and notice trees' color turn into red.
tree inquiry
environment and activities create for Year 1 students
Furthermore, through the activities children will develop a sense of respect and gratitude towards the caregivers around them .
Tree is a topic that everyone can relate to. This topic enables children to talk about their experiences, providing chances for them to fully engage in activities. Apart from that, this topic also allows children to interact with concrete materials and give chances for them to play with nature.
activities & environment
Engaging & Exploring
Students drew and painted, using many different materials to complete their works. They were encouraged to draw different trees, instead of just the autumn trees.
Places were set for them to create their work both indoor and outdoor. Indoor, a special corner were designed with fake grass, stump chairs and wood desks.
Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world(DEEWR, 2009, p.7). Drawing is the easiest medium for children to master, and it quickly enables them to explain and express things with precision and detail. Through painting and drawing, children can be in the present, engage with the joys and gradually realize the complexities of our world. Trees offer them a easy pathway to exploring and discovering .
Since this setting is totally new to children, to support a sense of belonging, we first invited children to put all the painting materials into different boxes. Through this interaction, children not only got the chance to know where to go for specific materials to meet their needs, but also developed a sense of ownership( Danko-McGhee & Slutsky, 2009).
Furthermore, the indoor setting which related to the topic also provokes children to learn and explore( Danko-McGhee & Slutsky, 2009).
When the trees will change their color?
Which kind of trees will change color?
And also why they change color?
This time, children worked in groups to find answers and shared their opinions with peers. Books and articles that suit their age were provided in the book shelf. Children were also allowed to use the internet to search for the answers.
Teacher observed and went to different groups to scaffold their learning through asking necessary questions.
(Do you think it is due to the temperature? what else? maybe air humidity? )
In this activity, children engaged in science and literacy. During the exploring, they realized the color of the trees change due to the different latitudes.

The group discussion provided opportunities for children from different background actively participate. A student who used to live in Singapore saying trees are not changing color because they are in low latitudes. It's hot and wet. Another children who born in Canada said trees there are always green but the shape are different because Canada is in high latitude. Through this interaction, students get the chance to know more about each other and learn to do collaborative study.
Let's create
a world tree map !!
Students were asked to stick pictures of different trees to where they are supposed to belong in a world map according to what they have learned in the previous group studies.
Books and computers were also provided. Students also got the chance to draw and paint other trees if they want to. This time, they have to find the drawing materials in the drawing and painting corner( the corner in Activity 1). Completing their activity 1 ( arranging the painting materials) helps them remember where to look for the materials.
The tree map helps children recall their knowledge and facilitate their short-term memory turning into long-term memory and organized into knowledge structures that allow children to work with(McInerney, 2014).
In addition, this activity also helps students to use communication skills, understanding different ways of expressing, asking and sharing information.(ACELA1444 ACELA1446)
Curriculum link: ACAVAM107 ACAVAM108
Curriculum links: ACSSU019 ACSHE021 ACSIS024/25/26/27 ACSIS029
Making bookmarks
Children were going outside collecting leaves, playing with trees. During this time, children got the chances to touching or climbing the trees and enlarged their funds of knowledge.
Through this process, children can learn about color, shape, patterns and textures through collecting, revisiting and playing with collections( McArdle, 2012). They can sort, categorize, arrange, construct and take part.
Apart from that, while playing outside, children's learning is through their engagement with nature. During this time, they can play with materials such as sticks, leaves and trees, engaging with things they can feel, smell and touch. Children explore the environment, learning to take risks through climbing, jumping up and down. The environment teaches them to identify potential danger and taking responsibility for their actions(Constable, 2014).
Furthermore, children are given the opportunity to choose what they want to do. Some girls might decide to quickly collect the leaves, take a good look at it and go back to add more details to their drawings and paintings. Boys might want to stay outside, playing with the trees. Some of them might also take photos, trying to gather more information for their tree maps. At this time, the environment become children's third teacher, offering all the resources and opportunities facilitating their learning process(Danko-McGhee & Slutsky, 2009).
Curriculum Links: ASHE022 ACPMP027 ACPMP032
Drama & Music
One day, teacher gathered all her students, let them sitting in a warm and cozy carpet and told them a story called "The Giving Tree". After this, teacher asked how they feel about the tree and the little boy, also questions like if you are the boy what would you do and could you think of anyone in your life is like this giving tree were included.

Teacher offered opportunities for children, encouraging them act it out to better engaging with the content. Also music was an integral part of making sense of the story, asking children sing the giving tree songs also helped them understand the meaning behind this story.
According to Eisner(2002), through arts experiences children can develop their senses and their imaginations. In many societies today, electronic media such as TV, video, DVD and CD-ROM form a central part of the lives of many young children. This means that children experience stories through a range of symbol systems, such as language, visual images, music and sound, simultaneously. Their preferred ways of learning might be through verbal, non-verbal, bodily-kinaesthetic, emotional or spiritual ways of knowing( McArdle, 2012 ). Learning through drama and music helps children with diverse learning styles to gain a better knowledge of the book. In addition, if literature and music are presented together, children can be inspired to respond in many different ways: chanting, singing, moving, dramatizing, exploring musical instruments. Through these responses children will be both making and creating meaning( Niland, 2005).
Moreover, drama is both about exploring——discovering and creating-- and about performing. Through this process, children gain more chances to experiencing the content of the story and reflecting on their own behavior.
Therefore, children gradually understand the metaphor of a mother and a child in this book. And learning to appreciate the love.
Curriculum links: ACADRM027 ACADRM028 ACAMUM080 ACAMUM082
Assessment procedures
According to the Curriculum, the arts takes place at different levels and for different purposes, including:
ongoing formative assessment within classroom for the purposes of monitoring learning and providing feedback to teachers to inform their teaching, and for students to inform their learning.
summative assessment for the purposes of twice-yearly reporting by schools to parents and carers on the progress and achievement of students.
During this inquiry, lots of ongoing assessments were made. Teacher assessed and scaffolded students through interactions such as asking questions and modeling. Besides, letting the environment to be the third teachers to help children's learning invisibly.

instance ?
for
FOR INSTANCE...
When teacher see a child draw a picture like this, several questions can be asked to further facilitate this child's drawing skills and the knowledge of this world. Such as..
Why this tree have two different colors?
How can we blend this two different color together better?
What is the red point? Is it apple?
Could you think a way to make it more like a real apple?
Do you think all the apple will mature at the same time?
Or this tree will still have unripe apples?
what color may represent unripe apples?
Through this scaffolding process, teacher not only assesses this child's learning but also moves the child from the level of unassisted to the level of assisted learning within the child's zone of proximal development(Hill, 2012). With the help of teacher, the child may now begin to use accurate representational colors to draw a tree.
for diversity...
In this inquiry, children do not need to buy any materials and equipments. This grantee children from different socioeconomic states can be fully engaged in the activities.
During the group study, children from diverse backgrounds are given lots of opportunities to talk about their or their parents' country, sharing their opinions about the color and shape of the trees. For instance, in activity 2, students from Singapore and Canada got the chance to talk about the trees in their country, sharing and express about the reason that cause the diversity.
Both inside and outside activities offer many different options for children to choose. Gender preference is also considered. In activity 4, students were given options. Boys may wants to climb trees while girls may just wants to touch and collect leaves. They are allow to be flow in the classroom and yard freely. Through the activity that children interested in, fully engagements occur and effective learning is achieved.
Furthermore, multimedia are used to offer children more necessary helps regarding vocabulary, background knowledge and comprehension of the content. Always express instruction through more than two ways( CAST, 2015).
Given the reason that equal is not the same, extra helps are also provided for children whose first language is not English to facilitate their learning process.
A thanks card
After writing down the name that they wanted to express their thankful and love to, students began making their own "thank you card" .
The names are not limited to students' parents, they are also encouraged to write to their friends, teachers, grandparents, whoever care and love them.
Despite the art skills, children's literacy can also be facilitated in this activity. Through writing, children learn more about the sign principle, the flexibility principle, the linear principle and spaces between words.

Compare with the drama and music activity, children understand that there are differences between the language they speak and the language they write down( Hill, 2012).

Furthermore, during this process, students learn to appreciate the love they received and to express their love through the words.
Curriculum links: general capabilities- literacy
create a clay tree
A special designed aboriginal art corner were set for students engaging in this activity. Aboriginal carpet, rock painting and rainbow serpent painting were there to inspire children's creativity.

After all the children seated, the teacher played an aboriginal song as background music, preparing them to start. Teacher told children where to find the clay and asked them to get it so next time they know where to look for. After emphasizing the safety rules, she started teaching children how to make the tree trunk and how to put the leaves, strive and other parts of the tree in the clay trunk. Meanwhile, children followed the teacher's instruction and created their own tree. During their creating time teacher finished her modeling and began walking around, gently guiding the children's sculpting. She taught children strategies of artistic techniques, scaffolding them to learn more about aboriginal art.
Curriculum links:
cross-curriculum priorities-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Document & Display
In every activity teacher took photographs of both the children's process and their products. Documenting in this way shows the children and their parents that this work is valued. In addition, if children understand that they don't have to keep every step and finish their work, they may feel more inclined to experiment, with less regard for always making an end product( McArdle, 2012).
Student were also encouraged to take photos of both their own works and their classmates' works. In this way, they got the chance to review their works in a different position. Furthermore, during the photographing, they might also offer advices to peers. Sometimes, it is more effective than letting teacher tell them what to do.( Marsh, Clarke, & Pittaway).
With the help of students, teacher displayed students' products in different ways. For painting and drawing, teacher made a big tree and add everyone's work at the end of the branches. For clay, a special designed shelf was used for display children's products.
This tree inquiry integrate arts with other curriculum areas.
During the activity which students wondering and seeking answers of why tree changes color, their English and science knowledge also enriched through engaging in the reading materials.
The world tree map allows students to learn more about geography.
While making their clay trees, students explore more about Aboriginal arts and learn to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Moreover, when students engage with drama and making cards, they also get a chance to learn and practice their literacy ( oral language, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing).
Children's
Creations
Activity 3
steps
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 4
Activity 5
Materials:
1. Print world map



2. Pictures of different trees



(3. Painting materials from activity 1--Painting and drawing corner)

4. Glue stick and scissors (scissors are only for children's paintings.)
Activity 6
Time for
Activity 7
Materials:
1. brown paper
2.construction paper
3. color lead
4. water-based marker
5. scissors
6. glue stick
students' creations.
Despite the pictures with children and the aboriginal arts picture, all the other pictures are made by the author.
Full transcript