Thursday, March 31, 2011

That's not the Earth!

Everyone rushed over to the new wall map.  Eyes bulging, the oooo-ed and aaah-ed.  'Look!  Russia is close to Alaska!"  and "What are those little islands?" and "Where's New York?" The explorations went on for sometime, then Simonne said "I know what, Mommy! We'll each choose a country we want to learn about and we'll learn about it!"  Sounded good to me.  I quickly abandoned my agenda for the day.

Zachary chose Greenland and Simonne chose the continent of Africa.  After preliminary talks, we decided to flip through the atlas and a few other books to get insight into our location.  Many wonderful things happened, but I was really impacted by my conversation with Zachary.  Here are a few snippets.

F:Where's Greenland?  Here's New York.  Pretend we're standing here.
Z: North North East.
F: (startled look, pause) That's true. (I had just expected 'North'.  We had made our own compass a few weeks before with some postits on the table.)
Z: Why is Greenland so cold?
F: That's a great question.  Let's look at the solar system.  See earth?  Because of how it spins, ....
Z: That's not earth.  This is earth.  And that's the moon.
I look at what he's pointing to and see that he is right.  I quickly switch, feeling slightly embarrassed.
F: Because of how the earth spins...
Z: Because I was wondering, I was wondering why Earth would be behind Uranus, and behind Saturn.  I knew that couldn't be earth.
Z: So why is the ice sheet on Greenland melting?
F: we'll have to find out about that.  I think the air and water are getting a little warmer than it was just a few years ago all over the earth
Z: but so what if it melts?
we both pause
F: we can read more about that...
Z: But what will happen to New York? ..... I know!  Nothing!  Nothing will happen to New York!

Zachary always challenges me about making assumptions.  You can't always tell what he's taking in, but he clearly does absorb so much.  One day, he did a drawing class on lines and curves, and one of the illustrations  was a sail boat.  Zach didn't just do the sailboat.  He drew it a few times, and expanded on it.   Although I couldn't get his attention on anything anything else, he decided his writing practice for the day should be about his picture.  He pestered me to find something about sailboats for him to write.  Several hours later (the writing had to be cut out, glued to the picture, etc.) he started pestering me to give him something to write about lighthouses.  The outcome is better than any lesson I could have come up with!

I love learning alongside my kids.

1 comment:

  1. Faith,
    How totally cool it is when our kids become our teachers.
    There's such a freedom that comes with the willingness to be taught.
    Love, Tef


Read, smile, think and post a message to let us know how this article inspired you...