This inquiry unit introduces nests and the concept of shelters/homes. Throughout this unit both the teacher and students will; explore, experiment, discuss, theorize, predict, print, draw, construct, brainstorm and in the end create a nest of their own. The teacher will start with students opinions and theories based off of their prior knowledge. Next they will address misconceptions, experiment with new ideas and come to conclusions based off of the ‘hands-on’ learning experience. All strands of the curriculum will be embedded throughout the unit but, most importantly the students will make connections between what a home/shelter is in their own environment and outside of it.

A quick synopsis of what kinds of things the class will take part in is as follows. Building a nest as a class, discussing the idea of a nest/home/shelter, bringing in photographs of their home, comparing a birds nest to a human home (from their environment), experimenting with materials to make a nest, examining a birds nest (materials, uses and more) and then finally constructing their own birds nest based off of what they have learned. The teacher will facilitate lots of child-centered learning opportunities, for example the knowledge building circles start with ‘open’ questions. The children are safe to explore their thoughts and theories. All of this allows the child to make more meaningful connections and therefore the knowledge is remembered more deeply.

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Strand and Topic: Science and Technology  

Inquiry Focus:

  • What is a nest?
  • What is a home? (describe your home)
  • What is a nest made of? (materials)