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Ideas for Planning A Water Inquiry for Kindergarten

Sensory bin filled with water and various measuring tools (measuring cup, funnel).

Planning a water inquiry for kindergarten students is some of the most fun I have had. My students had so much fun engaging in hands-on learning through provocations and activities.

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Water Inquiry For Kindergarten

Teaching about the water cycle in kindergarten can be a big topic to undertake. We began by learning about the importance of water in our lives and why we need it. We co-created a chart with all the ways that we had to use water in our lives.

This made our students really think about how they use water, and how important it is for their day-to-day activities.

Water Cycle

Next, we moved on to talking about the water cycle. We used a slideshow to help illustrate the different stages that water goes through. They were so interested in the fact that the water that is currently on Earth has always been here and we won’t get any more water.

This helped them understand why we need to care for the water and we came up with different ways that we can preserve the water we use.

Exploration through Provocations

There were also a few different provocations set up for students to explore. These were all a hit, and even though we had to clean up a few spills – the learning made it all worth it!

Sensory bin filled with water. Students using funnels and measuring cups.

Sensory Bin

Our students love a good sensory bin! We set up a water one so that students could explore the water with different tools (sieve, funnel, measuring cups, etc.)

This was so easy to set up and provided hours of fun for the classroom.

Green bin filled with water and square pieces of aluminum foil to make boats.

Build a Boat

Students had a piece of tinfoil that they had to make into a boat. Once they built it, they could add gems to it to see if it would float.

Student using an eyedropper to place water in the letters K and A.

Fill the Letter

Students used pipettes to fill in letters with water. They could see how the water could be transferred and filled the space. This worked on their fine motor skills as well as getting them excited to compare letters.

green bin filled with water. various items to test whether they sink or float (rocks, crayons, dice, scissors, pencils, etc.)

Sink or Float

Of course, no water exploration would be complete without a sink or float experiment. First, I explained the vocabulary to my students: What does sink and float mean? What does it look like?

Then, students explored a variety of objects and sorted them by whether or not they sunk or floated.

Indigenous Lens

Ledge with two books in it: We Are Water Protectors and On the Trapline.

No water exploration would be complete without discussing the connection between water and Indigenous Peoples. Right now, in Canada, there are Indigenous communities that still do not have safe drinking water.

We embedded conversations around the important issue when we were discussing the importance of water. It is imperative that our students learn about what is happening in Indigenous communities so that they can be part of the solution.

There are also important conversations happening around pipelines and Indigenous lands. We used the book We Are Water Protectors to help us develop an understanding of this topic.

Have you explored water with your students? What did they enjoy learning and exploring the most? Let me know in the comments!

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