Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Classroom Pet Provocation

We set up a provocation (invitation for learning), containing soil, fish bowl pebbles, shells, and an empty glass bowl.  We displayed a book about different habitats for a variety of creatures, with the hope that students would explore the sensory items and engage their thinking about what they would like as a classroom pet.  They used the post it notes available to record what they saw, thought, and wondered.

Slowly the provocation evolved and the students started to stick their post it notes on the wall to display their ideas for their classmates to see.  Their interest grew, and collectively we decided to write a title on the wall, “What should we get?”, so everyone knew we were starting to explore what to have as a class pet.

Once we had a reasonable number of post it notes on the wall, we decided to tally all the responses.  After we completed our tally of all of the different suggestions, we noticed that worms received the most votes! This seemed like a great idea, but after some discussing, the students recognized that since the ground was frozen and it was getting colder, it would be difficult to dig worms out of the ground.  We decided that the same thing could be said for our second place choice of snails, which tied with hermit crabs.  When our discussion turned to the hermit crabs, at first the students didn’t think we could get any either because some said they lived on the beach. 

 “I saw them at the pet store!” M.P.

After that revelation, the students decided they wanted to try and get hermit crabs as our class pets.  After this decision, the students started discussing things they immediately wondered about hermit crabs.  They were also invited to write down these wonder questions which would help us investigate them further. 

The following day, we brought the hermit crabs to class.  Once the students saw them, they started listing things they would need in their terrarium to give them a happy home.  Reading a book about hermit crabs helped us compile a list of things they needed to have in their terrarium.

Once the terrarium was finished and the hermit crabs were placed in their new home, the students were well on our way observing them!  A.M. decided they needed to have names and started to survey her peers in order to name the three little creatures!  Shelley, Crusty, and Crabby were the names selected. 

Stay tuned for new updates as we venture on our investigation journey into hermit crabs!

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