We have been exploring our first Unit of Inquiry on Collaboration.
As a provocation we have delved into various books on working together. Two of the books especially sparked the children’s interests. There were many wonderings, questions and requests to reread the stories of The Rainbow Club by Annette Aubrey and Stand in My Shoes by Bob Sornson Ph.D.
Both books covered the concepts of empathy, inclusion and working together. It was evident that children’s interests came from their personal daily experiences and we have decided to explore our feelings further.
We have discovered that if we want to understand how our friends are feeling and be able to respond appropriately, we need to first understand our own emotions and feelings and be able to express them. We inquired into the many different ways we feel and realised that all our feelings are OK. Here is Our Book of Feelings the children created together.
At the end, our young feelings detectives came to a conclusion that the way we deal with our feelings is very important for our class’ community well-being. Going further, we shared the individual strategies we already use daily to handle strong emotions and cool down. We extended those strategies with more ideas from story books. Each student chose a couple new calming down strategies they committed to work on implementing.
As days went by, our inquiry changed it’s direction from inward to outward. We have used our detective eyes and ears to notice our friends’ feelings, studying their facial expressions and body language to understand their emotions.
Through our daily interactions we discovered another point of deep interest: feeling left-out. Children noted that some of their classmates did not yet make friendship connections and felt lonely. We have brainstormed together how feeling left-out looked like in our classroom and playground, how it felt like and how it may have sounded like.
Armed with empathy, we brainstormed ideas on how we can help each other make stronger friendship connections. Some personal commitments to change were made. Within a short time our class became much more inclusive and its beautiful to see new friendships starting to form!
Please stay tuned as we are exploring Collaboration deeper.