Walter was excited to add his name to the agenda as soon as he arrived at school on Monday. His mum, Jessie, came to give me some background information so that I could support Walter as he explained his idea in English.
At our morning meeting, Walter told us that “fish need friend”. Walter was worried that the fish was lonely. The other children nodded enthusiastically and Nia said she agreed with Walter. Walter gave a great smile, clearly delighted that he had managed to communicate his idea effectively and that the idea had been well received by his peers.
A lively discussion started. Phebe suggested that we could all be the fish’s friends. “But we don’t talk fish language.” said Nikhil.
Rika suggested we make paper fish. “But the paper will melt!” exclaimed Trenton. “And paper don’t talk.” added Daan.
For the next ten minutes the children discussed ideas and shared thoughts. I took a back seat as the children listened to each other, agreeing or disagreeing with and building on other children’s comments. Almost all of the children contributed. I recorded the children’s ideas. Together we read through the ideas to make sure that I had included all the details. I left the chart paper on the whiteboard for the children to come and revisit over the week.
That afternoon, during free inquiry time, several of the children chose to make paper fish. Walter tested his fish in the tank. He experimented with floating his fish on the top and sinking his fish to the bottom. Then he put his fish on a wooden stick so that he could move it round.
When Walter took the paper fish out of the tank, it was a soggy mess. “No good!”, he said. He went and added his name to the agenda for our next meeting.
At our reflection meeting, I told the children I had been documenting their learning story. Olivia suggested that I post it on the blog. I ask the children what the title might be. (We have been talking a lot about titles recently.) Trenton said “A fish friend inquiry”. The other children agreed. I am looking forward to seeing where the children go with this!