"Laszlo thought that if he visited the dark in the dark's room, maybe the dark wouldn't come visit him in his room. But one night..." - Lemony Snicket, The Dark
During the Connection and Invitation stages of our 'How the World Works' unit of inquiry, we read a book called The Dark by Lemony Snicket. We have re-read this book multiple times as a class since it was first introduced and some of us even practiced re-telling it using a big wooden house, a little wooden character who looks like the boy in the story, and different light sources that are in the story and we found in our classroom. Here is Axel retelling the story:
- "In my house there is a shadow on the carpet when the sun is coming in." (Aziz)
- "Why does the dark go in the basement in the morning?" (Daniel)
- "How can the dark move without feet?" (Denzil)
- "A shadow is dark." (Denzil & Axel)
- "You can't see anything in the dark." (Axel)
- "Maybe the batteries of his light are dead [when it was all dark]." (Denzil)
- "How can this light go on?" (Daniel) --> "Maybe it has a switch." (Denzil)
- If the thing doesn't move, the dark doesn't move." (Axel)
In K1AC, we use Kathy Short's Authoring Cycle to guide the next steps of some of our inquiries. The Tension stage follows Connection and Invitation. It is defined by:
- children identifying puzzles, issues, and problems that become the basis of deeper investigations
- students asking themselves: What is my confusion? What are the things I really need or want to know?
It seemed that the children had certain experiences with and theories about the dark, but there were some questions about how it functioned. When Axel pointed out that there was dark behind our projection sheet, the other children agreed that the dark can be in many different places. But how does it get there? No one was quite sure.
So Ms. Alison suggested that we go hunting for the dark to try to collect some clues. The children love the idea! After looking around the classroom, we went outside. We found the dark all over the court and playground! But we still were unsure how exactly it got there.
- "A shadow makes you very dark when it's very light and dark." (Lea)
- "I know someone who saw his shadow! It was Peter Pan!" (Emma)
- "Just like when pirates are in their ship and they're sailing and it's dark and light and they can see their shadow in the sea." (Denzil)
- "It's the shadow of the moon! Or maybe the sun!" (Zoe)
- "I look like a ghost!" (Denzil)
In the next few weeks, we'll continue to play with dark, light, and shadows. We will pursue our questions and test our theories as Investigations. Stay tuned!