Exploring Stability and ChangeThroughout the Year
Changes are happening all around us all of the time. Some changes happen quickly while others happen very, very slowly. Then again, many things stay exactly the same, or stable. As a result, the crosscutting concept of stability and change is pretty easy to surface with children.
Nature offers many examples of change...
The ground is dry as children play outside. Suddenly it begins to rain. As it rains, the ground quickly begins to change. The dry dirt changes to muddy puddles. The children then go inside to nap. The hot sun comes out resulting in another change. The muddy puddles have changed back to dry dirt! You plant seeds in some pots of dirt. You place the pots in the sun and water them daily. One day, the children notice a small green sprout! Over the next couple of weeks, the sprout changes. It gets taller and many leaves form. Then finally, a lovely yellow flower blooms.
In many parts of the country, we have very noticeable changes between the seasons. Summers are hot, trees are full of leaves and bunnies are hopping around. As summer changes to fall, the leaves on the trees begin to change colors and fall to the ground. The temperatures change and become cooler. Next, comes winter. The temperatures change even more, becoming quite frigid and the ground may often be coated with white fluffy snow. Finally, spring arrives and we notice change in the temperatures and see plants and trees change from bare and brown to budding with new life. Some things out in nature may not change. You may have found some really cool rocks and set them out by the garden. Throughout the year, the rocks remain stable, not changing in size or shape. Supporting children in noticing stability and change... Always begin with engaging children in the practice of observing and describing. Encourage them to use their senses. They can use their eyes to see changes in color, their fingers for observing texture and temperature, their noses for smells and their ears for noticing sounds of animals. You may also consider supporting children's understanding of stability and change through the practice of documentation. Documentation may take many different forms:
Measuring growth with with non-standard units of measurement
Taking photos and placing them in chronological order in a book or on the wall
Counting the number of flowers still in bloom over the course of the week and writing it on a timeline
Inviting older children to create observational drawings at various time points
Don't miss out on opportunities...