biology

DaVinci Kindergarten

DaVinci Kindergarten is a pilot project in which we design, develop and try-out inquiry-based activities for children in the age 4-8. We have worked with children age 4-5 at two kindergartens in Norway. The activities focus on concepts from science, and technology and foster mathematical thinking.

We present some of the activities that have been developped. Contact us if you wish a complete description of the activity.

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  1. Show-box– sight lines and mirroring.
  2. How big is the panther? – measuring, human-based measuring units e.g. foot, thumb(=duym/inch), span (=fathom), step.
  3. How do you get the light on? – electricity, battery, light, lightbulb, lamp, electrical wire, curcuit.
  4. What weighs most/least? – experimenting with balance scales and different materials with the same volume and different weight.
  5. Discover more about your toys. What kind of materials are they made of? – Categorise, recognise, examine the different materials and discover their characteristics.
  6. Bee-bot – programming a robot.
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How big is the panther?

Another activity for children age 4-8. This inquiry-based activity involves measuring up a big animal. The children will draw a big animal in its actual size, but the animal is in another room than where the animal must be drawn. Two children are sent to look at the animal and asked to come back and describe the animal. This process is repeated with the question to find out how big the animal is so that it can be drawn on the large sheet of paper.

Concepts
measuring, measuring units, human based measuring units, measuring tools, categorizing, ordering, serializing, relative size, proportionality, counting, member of the ‘cat’ family.

Vocabulary
size, height, width, big-bigger-biggest, large- larger-largest, small- smaller- smallest, thick, order, position, direction, shape, fur, skin, colour, tail, (girth).

Background
The world for young children is primarily three dimensional. Young kids play with three dimensinal toys. A drawing or a picture is a two dimensional representation of objects from the three dimensional world and therefor more difficult to grasp.

Measuring starts with the use of measuring units that are available. People have used measuring units related to their own body to measure length or height over many centuries e.g. foot, fathom/span, thumb/inch.

Interactive Body

Every month DiScoro writes about resources that can be used in schools. Please, see the MENU under Services for workshops, training and other services.

The BBC offers a collection of games or animations on the Anatomy of the Body. Users are asked to move the correct muscle, bone, organ etc. into the correct position in the body.  The Drag&Drop function together with helpful clues and hints make it into a real learning tool.

Interactive Body1

Advantages:

  • Easy navigation
  • Helpful clues and hints
  • The game pays attention to knowledge on location, name, and function of the muscle, bone or organ
  • No advertisements or other non-functional information

Disadvantage:

  • The window cannot be enlarged to full screen size.

Use Inner Body website if you wish to zoom in on detailed parts of the body while instructing in front of the class.

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Advantages:

  • Very precise and detailed pictures
  • Detailed written information on fysiology on the side
  • Excellent zoom (in) function.

Disadvantages:

  • The screen builds up again after an action, which results in a restless screen-image
  • Advertisements appear on the righthand side of the window.

However, if you have an Interactive Board you can use the board’s function to cover the righthand part of the screen.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC, Android tablet
 Requirements  browser,Flash 5