Pre-Primary students at Lowell can pursue an idea that interests them for weeks and even months at a time. When teachers follow the children’s interests and develop connected learning experiences over this amount of time, students come to understand that their teachers value their ideas. This, in turn, deepens children’s engagement and increases the opportunities for learning even further.
In their study of space, our youngest learners began by sharing what they already knew about the sun and the earth and used globes and a flashlight to demonstrate day and night. They observed and interacted with hanging models of our Solar System and added in some hands-on learning by creating their own clay rockets and planets. Students discussed gravity and tried to test its limits, but no matter how high they jumped, they came back down to Earth. The class watched a video of astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor reading the book If I Were An Astronaut all the way from the International Space Station and welcomed Commander Greg Karas from the Challenger Learning Center, who demonstrated rocket launches and shared freeze-dried ice cream. They asked questions that bolstered their critical thinking and led to new areas for investigation and discovery.