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Children Communicating Care through Curiosity Walks: Using Scientific Practices to Cultivate Knowledge about Climate Justice

Science and Children—March/April 2024 (Volume 61, Issue 2)

By Kathleen Schenkel, Cassie J. Brownell, Jon M. Wargo

Children experience and grapple with the ongoing effects of climate change in their daily lives. While they did not cause climate change nor should they have to solve it, children deserve educational opportunities to understand why and how it occurs as they prepare to address it. In this Methods and Strategies article, we share how children engaged in place-based art, science, and literacy activities designed to support them in further cultivating relationships with their ecological community and to communicate their findings with other children engaging in the same process across the three coastal communities of Boston, Toronto, and San Diego. Specifically, we highlight how crafting representations of their noticings and wonderings from family walks in their ecological communities supported children to analyze the interactions within ecosystems and express concern and care for the natural world as they engaged in the science practice of asking questions. We share how elementary teachers can support children in cultivating relationships with their local community as they make observations and ask questions to understand how climate change impacts their ecological communities.

Pedagogy Science and Engineering Practices Teaching Strategies Pre-K Early Childhood Elementary

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