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Creating Invitations for Learning

by Deb Curtis
May/June 2004
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/creating-invitations-for-learning/5015738/

The birds living in a tree just outside the window of our school generated quite a stir among the three- and five-year-old children in the program where I am a child care teacher. There was much excitement and delight as the children observed the birds build a nest and care for their new babies. To take advantage and extend on this wonder-filled event, I decided to gather some props and materials for our indoor environment and invite the children to more personally explore and represent what they were seeing through the window.

At the local craft store I found some beautiful bird families made from feathers, a set of tiny plastic eggs, and a few bird nests commercially made from twigs and feathers. I also collected feathers, dried leaves, grass, and moss and a variety of small, flat baskets. I carefully arranged these items on the top of a low shelf in the classroom and displayed books about birds and nests nearby. The children eagerly accepted this invitation, imitating the drama they had been observing out the window. They were especially drawn to acting out how the bird parents cared for their babies. The children also designed elaborate nests with the ...

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