Publication: Fish is Fish | Author: Leo Lionni | Age: 4-6 years
One of the educational pillars of our program is co-construction – where educators and children work together and collaborate to build knowledge. We like to use this book in our Water workshop to talk about how important it is to recognise a child’s developmental stage and prior knowledge to give them the best support in their cognitive development.
In the book, a minnow and a tadpole are friends. The tadpole grows into a frog and leaves the pond to explore the world, returning with stories about creatures the fish has never seen. When the frog talks about birds, the fish imagines them as colourful flying fish with two legs and wings. Just like all the other creatures he hears about, he always thinks of them as different variations of fish.
This wonderful story offers many thought-provoking ideas for educators: Does the frog consider the fish’s prior knowledge when describing the animals? How could frog and fish find out whether what the fish imagines resembles what the frog saw?
Think about how we learn new things: Can we fully grasp something new without having seen or experienced it ourselves? Can you find resemblances between yourself as the educator and the frog, or the children in your service and the fish? Or are there parallels between the animals’ conversations and the way children learn from each other?
With our book recommendations, we want to help you spark a conversation that leads children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Have the courage to go beyond the obvious STEM connections and embrace all questions that may come out of your discussion with the children.