Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Cedar Trees

We play under the cedar trees each day in the garden but today it felt as if we looked at them in a new way. We observed the roots of the cedars diving into the ground and reappearing on the surface at a distance from the tree. 

The tree's gnarly roots emerge spontaneously from the ground. 

Why do our cedars do this? 
What are these roots doing?

TK: The roots drink the water.

C: There are pipes way lower than the roots. The water from the rain goes into the roots and then into the soil.

R: Rain goes into the tree then pipes take it through the tree to the roots.

A: I think there are pipes and a water elevator. 

TK: Maybe the rats carry the water up.

I: The roots go through the tree.

E: Does that mean that the roots grow from the top of the tree down?

A:If you plant a tree you need water. Water is plant food.

N: Roots suck up water. They capture the water.

E: Water helps the tree change colors.

N: The roots bring the water to the cords that are the veins in the tree and that is how it gets water.

We observed and felt the roots of the cedar tree. 
We offered our hypothesis and constructed our knowledge regarding roots. 
Did you notice the questions that emerged?

  • What are the role of the roots?
  • Is water  necessary for a tree and if it is why is it necessary? 
  • How is water is transported throughout the tree?
  • Which way does the water flow through a tree? (from the top of the tree to the bottom of the tree or is it the other way around?)

One of the most powerful ways to work through the process of inquiry is to represent.

As the children represented, new questions were raised regarding our understanding of roots.  What else surrounds the roots of a tree in soil? 

The following are some of the children's ideas:
Water must be in the soil so that the tree can drink. There must be air so the tree can breathe. We know that squirrels bury their nuts in the Fall. Animals and insects live underground near the roots. The children wondered about rock layers. 

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