Sunday, 12 January 2014

Facts about Tracks

The children seemed to really enjoy the story Big Tracks, Little Tracks  by Millicent E. Selsam. They were able to guess some of the tracks in the snow by looking at the illustrations. To extend the children's learning, I put an invitation out for the children to explore inspired by the story.

I put out a few surfaces with flour on it, magnifying glasses, and a variety of animals. The children quickly started pressing down the animals onto the "snow" to see what their tracks would look like. Every time they made a new track they told me all the characteristics of it; round, big, small, pointy, and even what shapes they saw.

After they filled up their board with prints they wanted to erase them and start with fresh snow. They would rub their hands over the flour, but it would become bumpy and they couldn't see the prints as well. "How can we make it more flat?", they asked. I shrugged my shoulders and asked them what they thought might work. "Something flat." was what they suggested. I told them they should look for something flat and they grabbed pieces of paper from the shelf. When they put the paper on top of the flour they smoothed it with their hands. They lifted up the paper and gasped, "It's really flat!" When somebody new joined the table they made sure to inform them of the new trick they discovered.

We then turned this invitation into a game where someone would close their eyes and try to guess what animal the tracks belonged to. I did my own finger prints and decided to trick them. With a closer look and further investigation, they decided it was somebody's finger prints. One little girl pressed her fingers next to mine and said, "Woah.. those are really big finger prints. Mine are just tiny." After comparing the size they determined the mysterious finger prints were mine!

                                                                                    Later, the children wanted to see what other things they could make prints with. We grabbed a branch from a pine tree and made the most beautiful impression! They explained the needles made lots of bumpy marks in the flour and agreed it was the "awesomest."

Some of the other children began tracing designs and writing letters with their fingers. One child noticed I was writing in my journal and asked me if they could use my pen to write their name. This sparked the interest of some of the other children and asked if they could use my pen too. The children were engaged with this invitation for quite some time, and I've read the story several times. Keep an eye out for a future post of how I extend our track play!

Why This Matters:

Identifying/Classification Objects
Shape/Letter Recognition 
Problem Solving
Exploring Cause & Effect 
Fine Motor Skills 
Language Development (Asking /Answering Questions)
Social Development (Taking turns / Sharing )


                                 - Leslie Dionne 

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