Practicing STEAM Inquiry Through Nursery Rhymes


Glenwood Landing kindergarteners put their heads and hearts together, allowing nursery rhymes to become the inspiration for weeks and weeks of engaging learning. As young readers, the children enjoyed learning to read and recite dozens of rhymes, but the process of scientific inquiry, scientific practices, and investigations had the kindergarteners truly living their lives as young scientists.

NurseryGWL_051816ASome examples of how the kindergarteners practiced scientific inquiry and engineering challenges included “Humpty Dumpty,” which required students to create a boxcar that transported Humpty safely through their tour of Glenwood Landing School. “Rub-A-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub” challenged students to design and build tinfoil tubs that needed to support varying amounts of weight. Students collected data by tallying the number of dominoes their tubs supported.

“London Bridge” had the children working with their collaboration partners to co-design blueprints and build bridges with a variety of resources. The building process inspired a lot of scientific talk surrounding structure and design.

NurseryGWL_051816B“Jack and Jill” led the way to comparisons of weight by filling buckets with different materials. It also inspired the exploration and sorting of rolling objects. “Little Miss Muffet” had collaborative partners building spider traps to place in our outdoor classroom. The designs were so varied that it was fun looking and celebrating all the possibilities for novel designs.
“The Crooked Man and His Crooked Mouse” had the kindergarteners using sticks, straws and playdough to build crooked houses.

“Jack Be Nimble” put everyone in the jumping mood. Students created jumping strips and collected data on how far they can jump. They were left wondering, do people who are older jump farther? Does jumping distance depend on age or size?

NurseryGWL_051816CTeacher Kelly Bierwiler said, “Bravo to all the kindergarteners for bringing their voices together to treat us to such a lovely culmination. Their singing was inspiring and so was their scientific thinking and their passion for learning.”

—Submitted by North Shore Schools

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