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Investigating the Tallgrass Prairie

Keywords: Early Childhood Education , Project Approach , Documentation , Science Education , Social/Emotional Development

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Abstract:

This article describes an investigation of a tallgrass prairie undertaken by 3- through 7-year-old children in a preschool and a combined kindergarten/first-grade classroom at a Midwestern university. The teaching teams were curious about how these two age groups would explore their questions about the prairie—how their questions would differ by age group, what interested them most, and whether they would come to different levels of understanding. The children's involvement in this investigation is illustrated through photographs, samples of their work, and explanations. The article compares the studies in each classroom, discussing how children addressed similar questions and the effects of collaboration on their social and emotional development.

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