Inquiry Cycle and Taking Action in Kindergarten
Taking action may seem like a simple thing to define. It’s just doing something right? Yes, but it is also so much more. Taking action is making the choice to change things within ourselves and the world around us to improve who we are and the planet we share.
By Brandi Brittain, classroom teacher KG Yellow
Taking action is a step in the inquiry cycle. Through the unit of inquiry, students tune in, find out, sort out, go further with their knowledge, make their own conclusion, and then from all that they start to take action. This cycle takes place within every unit of inquiry.
Since the October break, KG Yellow has been inquiring into their unit “Community Helpers” with the central idea that states, “People help within their communities.” The students started the unit by tuning in to what they already knew about communities and their helpers. From there, they started finding and sorting out new information about the concepts. We did this through role-playing, researching, and interviewing many different community helpers and how they help. The students started to go further with this information by applying it to themselves and inquiring into how they could help within their community. They concluded that even kids can be a big help to a community.
Picking up rubbish
The students then started to inquire into how they can help, and Robin had the idea to pick up rubbish we saw laying around. The rest of the class agreed that that was a great way to start helping. We started with the classroom community, but Alexis mentioned that we could also help our school community by picking up the rubbish outside too. So, we did! We went on a rubbish pick up walk around the school and we collected so much.
When we came back inside, I asked the students “How did you feel while helping your community?” Most students said they felt good, great, happy, and excited. When I asked Aditree, she said she felt bad. Everyone was surprised by her answer, so I asked her why she felt bad to which she replied “There is so much rubbish, I feel bad that we have to pick up so much. It’s bad to be on the ground.” This enlightening statement got everyone in KG Yellow thinking, so I asked “What could you do to prevent people to throw their rubbish on the ground?” and their brains went wild with ideas.
Signs, books, videos and pamphlets
The students were so ready to take action. They were ready to change the world! They came up with ideas to write letters, make signs, make books, create videos, hand out pamphlets, tell people they see littering to stop, and to do more rubbish pick-ups to keep things clean as an example. We broke into action groups to create plans. We had two groups that chose to make videos, one to make signs and one to make books.
‘There is so much rubbish’
Each group decided exactly what they wanted to say and to which audience they wanted to give their information. Anvi wanted to share their work “to the news so everyone can see” and that is why this article is being written right now. Student-led action is possible and can be so fruitful when they are given the chance and confidence to inquire, think, and make a change! And with that, I present you with KG Yellow’s plea to throw away your rubbish and not put it on the ground.