Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Exploring Day and Night - Section 4: Discussion


This lesson had the students engaged in an inquiry-style activity to better understand how we get day and night.  The students were not given any information about day and night prior to the lesson being taught.  They were not even told what the flashlight represented.  Instead, the students needed to draw conclusions of their own with my guidance.

It was fun to observe the students.  None of them really had an idea of what it was that we were going to be learning about.  As the students were engaged in the activity, I suddenly heard a student say, "Oh my gosh.  I think we are making day and night."  The whole table was very excited and one little girl said, "I thought the sun moved."  Another student said, "I guess not...look!"

Of course, I wasn't recording that beautiful conversation, but I did have a chance to observe it and it was an incredible experience to observe my students drawing these conclusions.  A myth (that the sun moves) was instantly dispelled and they were moved to this incredibly deep level of understanding about a complex concept without me uttering one word.  

It is hard to not be the one "delivering the knowledge" at times because their is such a level of uncertainty.  Sometimes the lessons just don't go as planned, but for every inquiry lesson that has faltered, there have been many more that have been extremely successful and I plan to continue to deliver more inquiry style lessons in my curriculum.

  Their "a-ha" Moment
  Student Led Inquiry: Their "a-ha" Moment
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Exploring Day and Night

Unit 10: The Sun and Our Solar System
Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to explain the phenomena of day and night by participating in an inquiry investigation.

Big Idea: Kindergarteners hold many misconceptions about the sun and why we have days and nights. This experiment will allow them to gain an understanding of these concepts.

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