Exploring Mini Beasts in the Waratah Room

Throughout the year the children have displayed an ongoing interest in the insect world. They are frequently observed looking for creatures around the playground and whenever they find mini beasts they are always eager to share their discoveries with their peers.

The children’s enthusiasm is infectious and often results in clusters of children gathering together to share their ideas and further their understandings of the natural world. Magnifying glasses are utilised to gain a closer perspective and the children also have the opportunity to depict their findings through drawing and photography.

As the children become accustomed to our exciting and challenging new playground this Term, they are continuing to explore their interest in the natural world.

To further this interest we have provided a selection of models for the children to handle and observe the specific characteristics of different insects and spiders. They are referring to the models and using this knowledge to help create creatures using both collage materials and plasticine.

The interest centre containing insect and spider models is also encouraging the children to share their ideas with each other as they engage in group play.

On another level, a broad selection of stories, rhymes and songs about spiders and insects is helping reinforce the children’s understanding of the many amazing creatures they may encounter.

Mrs Penny Campbell
ELC Teacher – Waratah Room
Spring in the Wattle Room: Welcoming Baby Animals, Spring Florals, Fairies and Nature Spirits

The season has inspired a number of fresh areas of play and learning for the Wattle Room children.

Inspired by dialogue that evolved throughout Morning Meetings, the children have decided to create a Wattle Room Zoo for their dramatic play area in celebration of the season and their mutual interest in animals, particularly Indigenous Australian animals.

New births in the wild and at the Zoo keep animal caretakers busy in the spring time. The Zoo Keepers in the Wattle Room are busy extending upon their emergent literacy skills as they write daily Animal Care Logs; filling out records for the animals that they care for within the scope of their play in the Wattle Room Zoo.

Also, the Wattle Room children continue to express their wonder and curiosity about nature and the changing outdoor environment.

The children are exploring plants, life cycles, varying flowers and blossoms through multiple and varied learning experiences. They will be invited to engage in a visually stunning science experiment, where they can explore the transfer of water through a plant.

The children may take turns to place a white spring flower into jars filled with water and various shades of liquid or gel food colouring. They can then observe how plants transport water up the stem, via the xylem, to reach the leaves and petals and hydrate them. The brightly coloured water changes the bright white flowers.

The scientific steps of prediction and observation of the investigation will be highlighted through open-ended questioning, “What do you think might happen? How?” The children will be invited to draw the flowers as they had looked in the beginning of the investigation and then compare with the end results. Conclusions can then be made by direct observation and experiential learning.

In addition, the springtime has ignited the children’s imaginations by much talk of fairies, garden gnomes and nature spirits within their play, both outdoors in their new playground and also inside as part of the indoor program. This emerging interest will be supported through an inviting imaginative play space featuring fairy tales, toadstools and a fairy door. The children are now choosing to practise their evolving writing skills by composing letters to their very own classroom fairy.

Miss Kristina Schrader
ELC Teacher – Wattle Room