Our first STEM activity with our Lower School Kindergarten and First Grade students focused on beginning to journal about observation and using their five senses. For Kindergarten, we put our students into 5 groups and provided them with paper bags that were stapled shut. Inside the bags were items such as wooden cubes, playing pieces from a game (some larger than others), plastic 3-D shapes: items that could be distinguished from each other by weight.
Duplicates of the items were shown to them outside of the bags. As a group, the students had to determine, simply by examining the bag by holding it or shaking it, which item was inside. This promotes group work, as well as using the Inquiry Process by asking questions about an unknown. When they were allowed to open the bag, the students spoke with each other about the object inside, and they each had to draw a picture of what the object looked like. This leads to journaling later in their science learning career, which is an important part of science literacy. The first grade were required to name the shapes (2-D objects) or figures (3-D objects) once the bags were opened. They did a fabulous job with their vocabulary!
It was exciting for me to watch the curiosity build in the room, as well as the excitement on our students’ faces…and this is just the first week of school!! I anticipate an inspiring school year ahead.