One morning Ana came to school and was finding it tricky to say goodbye to her daddy, so her sensitive key worker supported her to share some books and do some mark making. What ensued was a deep and sustained conversation in which Ana showed how much she knew about elephants and how much she still wanted to find out. As the focus for the three week cycle was using ICT to research projects, Ana's tricky morning kick started a project which other children were very keen to join her in - the creation of our very own Animal Encyclopedia.
Children were supported to use information books and the internet (on iPads and the interactive board) to discover and share facts about animals they like. Small world resources were used for children to explore and play imaginatively with. Children then used our digital cameras to photograph small world animals they were interested in. Children worked alone and in small groups to document their findings in a range of ways: drawings, writing, photography, photocopying and sticking, talking and showing what they knew. They then were supported to ask questions about animals they didn't know the answers to. Ilyaas asked "Why are polar bears white?" Then they were supported to research answers to their questions and add them to the page.
Regularly children shared the book as it took shape at story time. Finally children were supported to number and order the pages, add the contents page, index pages, sign the researcher and photographer pages and bind the books together.
A large group of children engaged in this project over the three week period and the book is almost ready to go into the class library so it can be used by our families and friends everyday!