Sometimes the best way to uncover what we know about something is to represent it.
T was part of a group of children creating trees. He knew his tree needed bark, branches, leaves and roots. However once he created his tree it would not stand up on its own.
We brought this problem to our Project Circle so more minds could think of a solution.
C: Baby trees sometimes fall down. The roots are like straws. They can't get water fast, though.
Roman: You can put alot of soil around it.
J: I saw once a tree and it had two long sticks and that is how you make a tree grow.
J. explained that the sticks stand around the tree and are tied to it with wire so it cannot fall down.
N. said his mom tied a baby tree to two tall trees when a hurricane knocked the small tree over.
Mary had seen a tree on the grounds of a medical building near the forest. We went to take a look. J. confirmed that this was what he had been referring to as a way to help a tree that can't stay up on its own.
The children immediately noticed the wires attached to the wooden stakes and the protective rubber tubing around the wire. They felt that this was put there so that the wire wouldn't rub on the bark and peel it off. The rubber was soft and was a cushion so the tree could grow and be strong.
There was another mound of mulch with only a small stump. The children were certain that the tree died and that this was all that was left.
We sat and observed the young tree. We noticed how the wood and wire and rubber was helping the tree.
Sketching is a great way for children to record their thoughts, hypothesis, questions and wonderment. It involves their hands, eyes and brain working together and also slows this process of noticing.
The children's careful observations yielded the following sketches: