Monday, August 2, 2010

the shape of wind- a brief look into the children's theories on wind

I brought a kite to school one day for the children to play with outside. The wind was sporadic; gusts would send the kite soaring only to crash a few minutes later. 

At our weekly meeting with the other teachers, we decided to ask the children questions that would flesh out their ideas and theories about wind. 
Teacher: Where does wind come from?
C: from the sun; it pushes the clouds away and then the wind blows
V: wind comes from windy days; from the clouds
L: in the sky
B: the sky makes it move
M: the sky

Teacher: How do clouds make the wind?
V: they make a storm and they make the wind push through
T: it comes from the trees when they shake
I: no it doesn't. Some clouds blow air, some don't. I know all about it.

Teacher: where does the wind go when it stops blowing?
C: it goes away home. It lives in the sky.
V: it goes back to the clouds.
I: on a roof or a plane, at my house or in California
T: it just stops 
L: somewhere else, like when it is long and the door is open, it goes into the classroom.
B: back to the sky
N: in the distance
M: up in the sky

We also asked the children to draw a picture of the wind thinking it would be interesting to see their visual interpretations of a force that mostly be heard or felt.

After the children drew their pictures we offered them wire. They laid the wire over their drawings to help create the shapes of wind. 

This is where the project ended. Revisiting the documentation, I would have explored the children's thoughts on the origins of wind.  I would perhaps go on a walk and search for the wind both indoors and outdoors in particular bringing them past the kitchen where a large fan helps cool the room. 

Where would you go from here?

1 comment:

  1. I love how you've recorded their theories without feeling obliged to offer "the truth."

    Wind chimes might be an interesting way to investigate wind. I think I would be tempted to examine what wind can do by using our own breath to blow things. I can imagine that leaf races would be fun. I've often give kids straws to blow paint across paper -- the pattern it makes gives you and idea of what the wind "looks like." We also once made wind machines by putting pieces of foam rubber into ziploc bags, then sealing them around a straw. When you thrust down on the bag, "wind" shoots from the straw fairly forceably -- you can move a cork with it for instance . . . Thanks for getting me thinking about this! =)


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