Monday, April 26, 2010

Curiosity...

Kids are naturally curious...you know this because you've seen your toddler experiment with gravity from his high chair, your preschooler crouch down in fascination at the long line of ants on the sidewalk, your older kids trying to figure out how all the gadgets work...they are driven to discover the Why.  What kids know (and we often forget) is that once they find the Why, they have also found another question.  Curiosity doesn't stop with one answer...there are an infinite number of questions to be asked.

Sadly, kids fascination with science often comes to a crushing halt with the advent of right & wrong answers and the expectation that they will have the right answer.  The Science Mommy is an advocate of extending their learning and thinking through inquiry...encouraging Kid Scientists to question and to explore.  Kid Scientists can be supported with questions rather than with answers.  Their curiosity can be stretched with questions rather than answers.

Prompt them to count or measure:  How many?  How often?  How long?  What kinds?

Prompt them to compare: How would you organize...?  How is {this} like {that}?  What patterns do you see?

Prompt their observations: What are you noticing?  What do you see?  What do you hear?  How does that smell / taste?

Prompt their questioning: What are you wondering?  What are you thinking?

Prompt their thinking:  How could you test that?  What else do you need to know?  How could you share that?  What would happen if...?

"It is a miracle that CURIOSITY survives formal education" ~ Einstein

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