For our children going to school next year, we’ve been busy brainstorming with them what types of learning experiences will best prepare them for ‘big school’. We engage the children in these decisions to ensure all the learning is child-led and meets their interests and needs to create the best learning experience.
Using a child-led learning approach we will focus on the children’s social and emotional skills and their self-help, independence skills. Those of our children beginning the transition into to Outback Room, we again use child-lead, interest based projects, to keep them captivated in the learning and strengthen their sense of belonging to the new space.
Our Most recent Child-Led Learning Experience
Over a month ago one of our Preschool children began showing an interest in bones. This is was the beginning of the Preschool’s “Our Body Project”
Not long after one child shows interest in something, do the other children follow on. Within a week we had our whole Preschool Room asking questions about bones and our bodies and all sorts of curiosity!
So our resourceful Educators brought in a model skeleton for the children to begin their exploration. First and foremost this skeleton needed a name! After much consideration and discussion, the children decided to call our Skeleton model Miss Bonnie. Through these discussions early on in the project the Educators would encourage the children to discuss, consider and allow their friends to speak, through these experiences the children were exercising their turn taking skills, decision making skills and high order thinking.
What happened next?
After the children decided on the name for Miss Bonnie, each day a new project has unfolded from the children’s interests and curiosities! We explored the concept of how many bones we have and where they are, engaging our little Preschool Children in mathematical, scientific thinking and discussions. We then began learning what those words looked like in a book and broke that down into the letters that made up those words, now the Educators were incorporating literacy skills.
The Educators have used a variety of different methods to teach and engage the children, right through from models (Miss Bonnie), to books, videos, experiments, arts and craft and so much more. This means that all of our Children with multiple learning styles, have been able to engage in learning that is meaningful to them. Allowing for a deeper understanding and better overall learning experience.
What else did we do?
In the most recent weeks the children have taken turns to get their bodies outlined on large pieces of paper to then collage and label the bones and organs of their own bodies. Being able to identify the different parts of their bodies and their functions, strengthens their ability to take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical well-being which links to Outcome 3 of the Early Years Learning Framework, Children have a strong sense of well-being.
The Respiratory System was another larger point of interest for the Children during their “Our Body Project”, the children learnt about how to locate their lungs and how you can’t see your lungs, but it’s easy to feel them in action! Through breathing exercises, art and craft and experiments, the Educators were able to explain the Respiratory System to our curious Preschool Children. The children even created their own lungs out of balloons and straws to replicate the function of the lungs and how they work inside the body. The Preschool Room will be working through all the different organs in their body to add to their life size outlines!
The importance of Child-Led Learning
Educating young children about these complex topics prepares them for their Primary School years and beyond. Ensuring young children are engaged in meaningful learning will allow for a deeper understanding and more positive experiences, inspiring the to not only have a love of learning but a deep thirst for knowledge.
We are so excited to see where the “Our Body Project” takes the Preschool Children.