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Describing observations:
What’s brown and sticky?

Posted on December 9th, 2019 in Quirky curious
Grey clouds in blue sky

“What can you see?” is not the only (or best) starting point for encouraging children to describe things. Try asking more specific questions, such as, “Can you see any patterns?” Narrow questions down, scaffold them rather than using blanket question like, “What’s happening?”

You can also play a game where one person describes something and everybody has to guess what it is. A set of cards with pictures or a basket of objects on them can help with this. Make it extra fun by seating the person who is describing something behind a screen or asking the group guessing the answer to turn their backs on them. Perhaps the children can describe something (animal, vegetable) to you and you can try to draw it?

Activities and provocations also work well where you have to use your imagination, such as cloud watching or looking at soap bubbles, describing images seen in modern art or creating your own scribble pictures. Encourage the children to spot or imagine something no one else has noticed.

Can you think of other starters for prompting children to observe and describe? We’d love to hear them! By the way:

coloured splashes of paint on paper

About the author:
HAYLEY BATES, National Certification Coordinator

Hayley Bates

Hayley has an insatiable thirst for learning – about everything! Her sheer joy of discovery and passion for professional development makes her the perfect person to run the Little Scientist’s House Certification program.

Never happier than seeing what happens to balloons in the freezer or exploring the projects submitted by services for certification, her enthusiasm is complemented by her background in science and maths making her the ideal coordinator for our Little Scientists Houses.

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