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Capturing Curiosity ~ Making Sense of the Leaf blower in JK

Inquiring Minds is excited to share this wonderful learning moment, as captured first by our Head of School, Mrs. Oliveira, and extended further with Mrs. Black in Junior Kindergarten.  Here is their story.

In the Image of the Child as capable, competent and full of inquiry, curiosity and wonderment….It takes a village……

What a way to begin my day…a true blessing  and one which pulls at an educator’s heart strings and fills it with joy.

At ‘Kiss and Ride’ this morning, W.S. from our JK class arrived in his usual happy fashion, ready to embrace another day at school in his JK classroom.  However, one thing was slightly different this morning as he disembarked from his Mom’s car…..he decided not to enter the school doors and instead began to wander off to the side of the school building, to see the bright orange and white grass blower that lay on the pavement. I followed W.S. as I was ensuring he was safe, but to also allow him to explore his interest and curiosity, about this white and orange device that lay idle on the ground.W.S. had noted that the landscapers were cutting the grass and he associated the ‘device’ to the men cutting the grass. However, I could sense that he was not quite sure what this device was nor how it worked.  He asked me what it was used for and I proceeded to explain that it blew the grass clippings away.  W.S. did not respond, instead he bent down and began to examine the ‘device’ more carefully, noting the straps and the long nozzle.  He associated the straps on the blower to those of a ‘backpack’ and informed me that this was called a wind pack.  “Clever name,” I exclaimed!!  He understood that the blower is strapped to a person’s back, so that they could carry it while blowing the clippings.  Keenly examining the blower, W.S. shared his theory of how he believed the blower worked. He explained that the “wind entered the back of the blower, turned inside and then blew out of the end.” (pointing to the nozzle).  It was clearly evident to me that WS’s theory required further exploration and that he had a deep interest into the mechanics of the blower.

It was time to proceed to class, but I could feel W’s hesitation to enter the school, as his mind was still on the blower and how it worked. Since my curiosity had been ignited by W.’s inquisitiveness, I wanted to better understand where his theory of how the blower worked would unfold.Upon entering the JK classroom I shared W.S.’s  excitement of having discovered the blower with his teachers, Mrs. Black and Ms. Sherry.  I asked W.S. if he would like to take a closer look at the blower, as the school had the same one.  His smile from ear to ear said everything. With the support of the custodian, Mr. Rafael, we retrieved the blower so that W.S. could continue his investigation more closely.We traveled outside to ‘test’ the machine. As W.S. looked closely at it he had several questions, “How does the machine turn on?” and “What is the blower thing called?” W.S. tested the machine and announced that, “It made big wind!” and that, “It is too heavy for my back, for me to carry it!” He could not contain himself, and his face was filled with the joy of a new discovery!

He photographed his experience, asked many more thoughtful questions and brought back the new knowledge, which he shared with his classmates. He told ‘his story’ and the JK had an opportunity to ask him questions, too.M.M. inquired, “Why did you want to know about it?”

S.C. pondered, “How did you work the blower?”

W.S. answered that, “I wanted to know how the blower worked.”

Don’t be surprised JK Moms and Dads if your son or daughter asks to see if you have a “gas or electric” blower or that they ask if your garden shed houses a ‘blower’ machine.

This is STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Mathematics) at its best and a truly authentic experience.

From W.S’s question and his discoveries and his shared experience, he enlightened and brought forth new and STEAM knowledge into our classroom and to his classmates. We will be hearing much more, integrating and investigating STEAM with the children, as we begin 2013-2014 at Richland Academy.


  • Christopher B.

    Soooooooooo cute. Maybe he can be a civil engineer for a school. He will be very smart.

  • Francis M.

    This song for the Spring Concert we are doing has been a great experience for me and I hope that everyone else in my class thinks so to!

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