Books that Inspire

A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box

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Stories read aloud to children often inspire  further exploration.  Not A Box by Antoinette Portis prompts children to allow their imagination to lead them in the creative process.  After reading this story aloud in the classroom, several students visited the Production centre where they initiated an opportunity to assign new meaning to the materials selected.


This is not a paper plate … it is a sunset – K Student

The Gymnastics Alphabet

To provoke an interest in the way in which letters are formed, children are engaged in experiences that allow them to explore building letters using a variety of mediums.  Such provocations aim to inspire young learners to engage with letter formations in hands-on and meaningful ways.

The Gymnastics Alphabet

Alphabet Photography teamed with Gymnastics Canada to create a human alphabet and support them on their journey to the London 2012 Olympic games. Photographer Jennifer Blakeley  met with high profile Canadian gymnasts to shape their bodies into all 26 letters of the alphabet.  This alphabet was used to provoke student interest.

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Gymnastics_Alphabet – Click Here for Resouce

These images were printed and posted on the wall in our Senior Kindergarten classroom, responding to an interest in gymnastics that was observed in the play ground.  The students were eager to re-create a human alphabet featuring all 26 lower case letters.


The Best Part of Me

In kindergarten we continue to investigate aspects of our identity.  To provoke thinking we invite our students to participate in a variety of Identity Studies that aim to have students reflect on particular aspects of themselves, their families and their communities. Most recently each student was asked to think about what part of themselves they were most proud. The girls were excited to share their ideas and document their thinking through photographs. Identity studies are documented and made visible in our classroom envionment.


The best part of me is my eyes. Because I can look for anything I want. – K Student


The best part of my is my hair.  It is long and I can put it in a braid. – K Student


The best part of me is my heart. Because it gets me to love and wonder about stuff like playing and going in the bathtub. The things that make you happy. – K Student


The best part of me is my mouth because it gets me to smile. – K Student


The best part of me is my brain.  It gets me to think all of the stuff in my head. – K Student

Read Aloud

The books listed below are among our favourite read-alouds for early learners.  These 10 book are an amazing addition to any kindergarten library…

Peter Reynolds

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Kathryn Otoshi

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Herve Tullet

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Annika Dunklee

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Drew Daywalt

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Amy Krouse Rosethal, Scott Magoon

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Jesse Klaumeier

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Let the Kids Learn Through Play

The stakes in this debate are considerable. As the skeptics of teacher-led early learning see it, that kind of education will fail to produce people who can discover and innovate, and will merely produce people who are likely to be passive consumers of information, followers rather than inventors. Which kind of citizen do we want for the 21st century? – DAVID KOHN

Pedagogical Documentation Blog

We’d like to thank Ellen Brown for featuring us in her amazing blog,

Her inspiring blog thoughtfully features educators in a Canadian context, sharing best practices in the early years and bringing educators together to learn from one another.

Thank You Ellen!

The Details of Grass

Each girl in our Kindergarten class is given a “Wonder Book” at the beginning of the year. This acts as a sketchbook, or a special place for our students to draw or write about the things they are wondering about.

One beautiful morning, we brought our students outside and asked them to simply sketch the grass. Concentrating and observing from above, they stood in a long line and sketched the grass. Most of them drew straight lines and stereotypical drawings of grass without really examining the details of each blade. When they were finished, we asked everyone to lie down in the grass, turn the page, and begin to sketch the grass again, lying on their stomachs. We wondered, “Would their sketches change? Would their detail be greater?” What we noticed was in fact closer attention to detail, more thoughtful observations, and students taking longer looks at the grass.


Afterwards, photographs of the grass were printed and placed at our Production Centre, where students used a range of utensils to create illustrations that reflected these  observations.


The grass is so pointy it could pop balloons… – JK student


 This opportunity reinforced with us the importance of asking children to look closely, and providing meaningful opportunities for them to refine and develop their skills in observation and communicating their thoughts and ideas.

“Most children are naturally curious about their surroundings. They have an interest in exploring and investigating to see how things work and why things happen. Children have an innate sense of wonder and awe and a natural desire for inquiry. The Full-Day Early Learning–Kindergarten program capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and their desire to make sense of their environment. However, curiosity on its own is not enough. The guidance of a thoughtful Early Learning–Kindergarten team is essential to enable children to learn through inquiry. The team should use inquiry-based learning to build on children’s spontaneous desire for exploration and to gradually guide them to become more focused and systematic in their observations and investigations.” Ontario Ministry of Education, FDK Document