The Curious Corner explores
It's a tall order to be an explorer
In this experience, children will become explorers, journeying through spaces and actively exploring their surroundings to engage all of their senses.
Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and our role provides an opportunity to actively scaffold their learning and support their questioning minds by stimulating their sense of wonder, investigation, and discovery. In turn, this experience can contribute to a child’s cognitive, social, creative, and language development. Further, as children observe and respond to their environments, they start to identify different sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and sensations.
Exploration; Role play; Observing and responding; Classification, questioning, communicating
Explore; Count; List; Search; Check; Look; think
Toilet rolls, string, cardboard boxes, pre-cut lined paper
Glue, scissors, sticky tape, stapler, hole punch
Step 1: Targeted Group Discussion
What is an explorer?
Begin by telling children that you are an explorer. Play with your verbal and non verbal cues (stance, voice, eye contact, facial expressions) to embody a stereotypical ‘explorer’. Have a pair of hand-made cardboard binoculars around your neck, and a notepad in your hand. Use these as you act out how and what you explore.
Ask the children if they would join you as explorers. Talk about what an explorer does and ask them if they know any famous explorers. Ask them if they will come on an expedition through your environment to explore the curious collection? What will they need to help them explore? Make a list of what they come up with on your notepad.
Step 2: Resources Creation
Making binoculars, notebook, and any other supplies listed.
Guide children through the process of making their binoculars and notebook. Have the activity station set up so that children can easily take 2 cardboard rolls, tape or glue them together, hole punch in each side and tie a string through to make their binoculars. For the notebooks, have a bunch of pre-cut lined paper available for children to staple together to make their own notebook. Ensure there are other craft materials (paper, cardboard, boxes, etc) available if children wish to make something else from their list.
Making Your Binoculars
Making Your Notebook
Step 3: Role Play Planning Discussion
Gather all the children into a small huddle and engage in a discussion about the upcoming expedition.
Examples of discussions you could have:
Are we all ready to go exploring now?
As explorers, we need to decide what we are going to look for today. The last team searched for things that were *blue or started with the letter *s. What do you want to explore?
Before we go exploring, let’s run through a checklist of things we need to remember. Binoculars – check, Notepad – check, Pencil – check,…
Okay, so anything *red or beginning with the letter *d. Just so we’re sure, can you show me something red and something that starts with the letter d. Who can write the letter d on their notebook?
Step 4: Role Play Engagement
Remaining in character, begin the expedition, being lead by the children. Allow them to guide where the exploration happens and encourage their curiosity by asking strategic questions, including questions relevant to the categories they are searching for.
Examples of questions you could include:
Where do you think you might find something for your list?
Should we look over/under/beside/left/right?
What is this used for?
Why does that have writing all over it?
Questions should flow organically from the role play experience and should be guided by the children.
Step 5: Role Play Evaluation
As the exploration comes to an end, invite any children who are interested to play out a feedback session, where everyone ticks off their list of discoveries and offering the chance for shared learning. Encourage them to continue exploring at home, or to seek out different things in the environment.
- In this initial planning phase, you could focus on colours and letters, but may also bring in shapes (something round), textures (something soft), sizes (something giant), etc – this can vary depending upon age/level of children.
- See if you can bring in different literacy/numeracy concepts through this experience and extend the children’s learning through the play.
- It is important to check in before you start to make sure the children actually know the colour/letter/shape… that you are searching for.
Last updated: 16th July 2013
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