A STREAM to PONDer: Interconnected life in South Dakota Habitats
Holler, we decided on a name for our collaborative installation project! I had a second visit to CMSD last week to meet and plan with the museum team and to also facilitate some workshops with K and 2nd graders. Carrie Benson, CMSD Director of Education has been busy leading children ages toddler-12 years through an amazing inquiry process (and totally new to me) Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). VTS was used to gather children's perspectives and interests regarding ponds and streams. Carrie began with an image of a pond, taken from the surface and asked questions like "what's going on in this picture?", "what do you see that makes you say that?" and "what else can you find?". You would not believe the depth of responses received from each and every age group. Narratives begin to form within the group conversation and children respond to each other's ideas. How do I know what the children said? I was a couple hundred miles away in MN during the VTS sessions but each one was recorded, transcribed and child responses coded into categories for our research. Major categories included: GEOGRAPHY, ANIMALS/BUGS, SOUNDS/ACTIONS & AESTHETICS. Each category led to a sub-category and from there we are able to really spot the impactful ideas presented in each VTS session. Workshops I designed for my visit reflected the data collected from each class' VTS session. Next time: WORKSHOP MAGIC.
Carrie Benson and I hanging out with the T-REX (named Mama) who lives in the back yard at CMSD.