At Mount Vernon we believe that students explore to learn. This is prominent throughout the School, especially in Preschool, where discovery is based on curiosity. PK5 students have the added advantage of being able to wonder and wander more intentionally, in Kate Canady’s and Brandi Tuggle’s class.
This year, curiosity led students to wonder about plants during a science unit, where together they have been exploring, predicting, and reflecting. At the start of the project, it was explained that the students would be placing white flowers in food coloring to show how they absorb nutrients. But first, they made predictions about what might happen.
“A prediction is like a hypothesis! I think the flowers will only change a little. The color will be faint.” – Tej Gupta
“I think the white flowers will grow in the colored water. If we put colored flowers in clear water, they will turn white again.” T.J. Mabon
“I think the flowers will change color on Thursday.” – Ellie Tietz
The students visited the Lower Campus science lab where they looked at different plants and reflected on why they think plants are green.
“Chlorophyll makes plants green because it absorbs all the colors but green.” – George Howell
“Because of nature!!” – Tommy Harrell
From these curiosities and observations, they then planted pole bean seeds and watched them sprout and grow, while also watching to see what would happen with their white flowers in the food coloring.
To document their discoveries, the students created their own plant books where they drew their observations as their plants grew and their flowers changed colors.
At the end of their project, the students shared their own reflections.
“I was coloring a flower blue. We put food coloring in the water, cut the flowers, and put them in water. The stem sucked up the water!” – Nolan Yeremian
“I colored blue flowers because my favorite color is blue. We put food dye in the water. It turned the flowers colors.” – Evie Abernethy
“We started with white flowers and put food coloring in the water and waited a few days. They turned different colors. The nutrients went up the stem and turned the flower colors.” – Tommy Harrell
This unit on plants is just one example of how learning and fun are both simultaneously integrated into the day-to-day activities in the Preschool, as MV littles are encouraged to explore their curiosities, every day.