Friday, 18 October 2013

Munchkins Mud Canal

             Our morning class project evolved from a small hole in the ground. A child looked at me and said, “I’m going to put my car in there.”  I knew this was more of a question as he wanted my approval for reassurance.  I nodded and said, “Okay however there is a chance it may get stuck”. He eagerly dropped the car into the hole and quickly discovered the car was stuck. I saw the panic come across his face but still didn’t interfere with how to solve his problem. He ran to the other side of the hill and began to dig and sure enough the car was freed from the earth. “AWESOME IT’S A TUNNEL” he replied with lots of excitement.

                Immediately the small hole in the side of the hill grabbed almost everyone’s attention. They were putting sticks and small rocks in and watching them come out. The children soon grabbed a big bin and carried it over to the hose. Once the bin was filled with water it was too heavy for them to lift it. They recruited more friends to help them. “Look Leslie, we’re doing teamwork!” said one girl. They walked very carefully together in order not to spill the water and dumped it into the hole. Water rushed through the tunnel, down the small slope, and pooled into a puddle.  

The children seemed to be disappointed by the outcome they received.  Marci, the other 4 year educator asked them how they thought they could make the water move. The children brainstormed some ideas like adding more water, but realized that would not work. Marci asked, “What if we dig the dirt out from around it?” The children began to dig frantically with their hands, sticks, shovels, and anything they could find within close reach. They also began building canals to change the path of the water. When they were ready for the next load of water they worked together again carrying the bin and
dumping the water into the hole. They observed what they needed to do to make the water flow faster and longer and even patched a wall that was broken so the water wouldn’t escape.

 The children were engaged for most of the morning working on this unplanned project. Team work and problem solving was consistent from start to finish. Listening to these four year olds communicate with each other was truly amazing!  Perhaps we can extend this project by making homemade boats to sail on their next course?


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