Inquiry based winter break ideas part two


Strong Start Early Education and Education is a high-quality daycare that provides education that is inquiry based. Our last blog started talking about a project to help your children learn the mechanism of the season through the winter solstice which takes place on December 22.

Teaching astronomy with an inquiry-based curriculum can be a challenge because it is so abstract. Inquiry-based learning often deals with concrete things being observed,  so one way to teach astronomy is through models. You can have a lamp on a table in the middle of the room represent the sun. If you have a globe this is a perfect time to get it out and use it to teach them. If you don’t you can use a balloon with continents drawn on them -it doesn’t have to be exact..just draw an equator and a north and south pole. You can even  draw a little stick figure family on it to represent  you and your family. It’s important that an axis is represented and that the object (the earth) is help at approximately 23 degrees tilt. You can teach them about how the earth rotates every 24 hours and how we go around the sun every 365 days. As the earth goes around the sun through the year the axis stays at the same angle so during the winter part of the earth is farther away from the sun and it is closer during the summer. Very young children might not grasp every part of this but if you do it every year, and talk about how they days are very short this time of year and how they will begin to get longer again after the winter solstice, they’ll eventually put experience and science together to form complete understanding of this astronomical mechanism that makes our seasons.