Last week, we received a bag of bulbs to plant in our school garden. My class from last year may have remembered what these were from our spring inquiry, but I’m at a new school this year. Rather than tell the children we were going to plant some bulbs, we put them out at the Discovery Table for the children to explore. They had some pretty interesting thoughts. Some children thought they were onions, others thought they were potatoes. Some children said they were “gundaas” and “pyaz” which we think is Punjabi for “onions.” Many children noticed two pointy things and one thought was that they were chicken “pops” because “they all have two legs and they go pop, pop, pop!”
When we gathered for our meeting, we asked the children what we could do with them:
Can we plant them today? It will take a long time, or they will never grow.
It’s nature. We should put them in the garden.
Plant these seeds and grow them, next year, when school is here.
Even though they didn’t know these were bulbs, they knew they wanted to plant them, so we added them to our garden.
To extend their thinking we put out onions, garlic, potatoes and bulbs for the students to explore further. Some children compared them, some sorted them and some drew them. One child decided she would write, measure and draw. The complexity of their “scribbles” always intrigues me. If you take a close look at her representation, you’ll notice scribbles for words, question marks, a small picture of the bulb and lines running down the left side of her picture. This is what she used to measure and compare the onions, garlic and potatoes. We will keep the different bulbs and potatoes out to see if they inspire any other investigations or explorations.