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Learning Provocatives


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Interestingly in my seventeen years experience I've not come across the term before. Do you mean open ended questions/activities?

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It's a term that has been around for about two years (at least, in Plymouth) - I first came across it when our school was part of the CLLD project. Basically, you place something of interest somewhere in the nursery and watch! Last Christmas my husband made a storytelling chair; I painted it gold and added jewels to it - it looks like a throne. I found a large (ex-vacuum cleaner) box, put the chair in it and wrapped it up as a Christmas present.

 

A week before I took it to nursery, the children had been writing their Christmas 'wish list'. I also wrote mine, which I read to the children; I asked for a new chair for our storytelling corner. So, a week later a very large present is found in the main playroom, addressed to the nursery children. There was lots of excitement (and interest from the parents). The children were very curious when opening it and made lots of guesses as to what it might be - "It's big - it might be an elephant!", then a little boy said "Oh! It's a vacuum cleaner!?!" The children were really pleased with the new chair and have been using it ever since to read and tell stories. It also led to the children wrapping up their own presents and asking friends to guess what was inside.

 

My 'learning provocative' however, was a little 'tame' compared to the examples we were given when on a CLLD project training session. A teacher at one group, apparently, saw a road sweeper sweeping up the crisp autumn leaves; she stopped her car and asked the road sweeper to fill her boot with the leaves then took them to school and emptied them into the book corner. Another teacher laid real turf on the plastic floor. Another took in some bales of hay for the children to sit on in the book corner - I like that idea, but not so sure about the turf or the health and safety implications of the leaves!

 

So, I guess a 'learning provocative' is an object, placed somewhere in the nursery which will encourage all children to be inquisitive - an object which is perhaps not normally seen either in the particular area it has been placed or just not normally provided in the nursery environment.

 

Any thoughts or ideas would be very welcome!

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I haven't heard of that term either but we have done similar things in the past such as:

a dinosaur egg (made from papier mache) and a nest outside with burnt pieces of wood,

large footprints stamped across the room

letters from the fairies asking for help as their home tree in the woods had been cut down

Boxes within boxes

Would love to do an old trunk full of bones but haven't got round to this yet, your chair sounds fab, might do something similar as we are going to do a royal wedding theme for a few days.

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I was thinking of adding a similar thread, at a recent conference the abcdoes guy had a good idea of digging a hole in your outdoor area and hiding a box filled with stuff to inspire talk, the box was then convered with soil with only the corner showing, you then waited until the children found the box and then off you went form there! In his example (but im sure you could hide a box anywhere in the setting) was filled with bones and animal skulls! / i think he also had a real chicken once too.

 

I put treasure in my box (money and jewerly) and a treasure map in a bottle in the water tray, the children found the map straight away but it took them ages to work out where the treasure was, they spent ages walking round and round outside, it was a good incite to problem solving ability though.

 

next term i am thinking of putting a fish in the water tray. i was going to use a dead fish but my TA wants to get rid of her goldfish so said i could bring that in as its on its last legs but what if it dies!

 

I was just wondering with all the creative people on FSF what would you put in the box to inspire talk?

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It could be as simple as:

a box full of large pieces of fabric

a large lump of clay

a collection of photographs

a collectin of wood offcuts

a wicker hamper with picnic plates cups etc

a box with packets of seeds

a bag of flour

a collection of vegetables

Gruffalo2

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I was thinking of adding a similar thread, at a recent conference the abcdoes guy had a good idea of digging a hole in your outdoor area and hiding a box filled with stuff to inspire talk, the box was then convered with soil with only the corner showing, you then waited until the children found the box and then off you went form there! In his example (but im sure you could hide a box anywhere in the setting) was filled with bones and animal skulls! / i think he also had a real chicken once too.

 

I put treasure in my box (money and jewerly) and a treasure map in a bottle in the water tray, the children found the map straight away but it took them ages to work out where the treasure was, they spent ages walking round and round outside, it was a good incite to problem solving ability though.

 

next term i am thinking of putting a fish in the water tray. i was going to use a dead fish but my TA wants to get rid of her goldfish so said i could bring that in as its on its last legs but what if it dies!

 

I was just wondering with all the creative people on FSF what would you put in the box to inspire talk?

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