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How one small snail left a huge trail of learning in Kindergarten

“This is the snail table,” 5-year-old Noah explains. “Snails like all kinds of vegetables. And flowers. Snails like the dark.” He takes out a book, leafs through it and points to a photo. “Found it! This is a wolf snail. These are the fastest snails, they can live through the winter. It has a mustache; it’s really special. The wolf snail is the fastest; it’s almost a racing snail. And THIS snail,” he points, “is following THIS track. The wolf snail is following another snail, now it’s following this one. It’s about to eat another snail. And it saw a worm but it doesn’t eat worms.”

He peruses the book, making stops every couple of pages to explain the different types of snails. “This is the biggest snail, it is SO long. And these are the sea snails. That’s under the water,” he adds. “This is a sea snail; it’s really different from these snails. Some sea snails are yellow. The slugs don’t lay many eggs. When it’s about to be winter there are not so many of these,” he points again. “Only these. We didn’t find so many of these. These baby snails are SO cute. I don’t hope some of the first baby snails will be eaten by birds.”

Where did you find the snails?
“Outside on the playground on the other side of the school. And down a little hole like this,” he shows the size of the hole with his hands. “Thousands, thousands! We almost cannot keep up, the bucket is almost full.”

“So all this came from Noah bringing in a snail,” Kindergarten Teacher Rachel says. “The class was so interested in the snail, so we borrowed books from the library. We learnt about what snails need to survive and the children made a home for them, and a summer house.”

Sounds like great inquiry-based learning.
“Yes. At the beginning of the inquiry, the children had so many questions about snails. Through the inquiry, we have been able to answer all these questions.”

In the photo, you can see Aarjav, Jordan and Ysé taking a closer look at the snails on the snail table.