Pajamas and plush toys were a must-have for young learners in the Early Learning Kindergarten program at Walpole North who were taught the essentials of hibernation. Read more about how these students bundled up to prepare for a warm retreat.
On February 1, 2013 the Walpole North Early Learning Kindergarten (ELK) students participated in a hands-on learning experience in hibernation.
Students came to school wearing their pajamas and brought with them their blankets and plush toys.
In the morning students ate a variety of healthy foods which helped to represent something similar to food the animals would eat to prepare and fatten them up for hibernation. They munched on berries, seeds and vegetables.
In the afternoon students took on animal roles of their choice and reenacted the hibernation process in caves, burrows and pond habitats that had been setup in the classrooms.
The Early Learning Kindergarten team at Walpole feels that it is important for students to be involved in inquiry based projects like hibernation day.
An ELK team member said, “We think that students learn best when they are able to experience situations first hand while at the same time having fun. We try to provide them with the tools and resources that emulate these real life situations. Not only are they having fun, they are also developing a variety of learning skills within the kindergarten curriculum.”
Although Hibernation Day did not last long it was a two month process building up to this big day. The team says that they set up a variety of different learning centres and extended a lot of conversations to not only help develop students understanding of hibernation but to develop students skills within many areas of the ELK program.
“We really feel that what helped us the most was our access to technology in our classrooms” says another team member who noted that both kindergarten classrooms are equipped with Smart boards and IPads.
“We found it wonderful that when students wanted to see a bear hibernating, that we were able to pull up a video on the IPad or Smart board to show the students what this process really looks like.”
Principal Pete Ashe commented about the use of technology in the school.
He said, “Technology plays such a big part in our classroom. It allows us to extend student learning through a variety of ways through the use of things such as videos, applications and websites and sometimes the students extend our learning as they approach the devices with such carefree confidence.”
Walpole North ELK team enjoyed their hibernation day and they look forward to using their technological devices in the future to fuel inquiry based projects to help extend thinking and help make days like Hibernation Day possible.