Back to Developing Thinking and Reasoning Skills

Example of How an Pathway May Emerge

Adult Visions of Possible Learning Pathways

Children's Suggestions and Ideas from Talks with Them

"Provocations" Problems to Solve When Keeping Ducks Happy Children's Proposed Solutions Companion Midlevel Mental Abilities that Could Be Added by Teacher
Investigate various kinds of feet (webbed hoofs, claws, toes) and their purposes Find out what ducks do Take ducklings swimming: What can we use for a pool? Dish pan        Galvanized tub

Children's pool   

Dig hole, fill with water


Get out Spring lotto game made of "Easter" stickers of ducks, chickens, etc.

Decide who gets to feed ducks next and who gets to care for them on weekends
Make more adequate housing for ducklings How can ducks get in and out of pool?


Make them a ramp

Build stairs from blocks                    

Lift them ourselves (but we have to catch them first!) 

Grouping     Compare how ducklings and gerbils are the same and how they're different

Caring for ducklings-watching how they grow and comparing growth rate with that of baby gerbils Make the ducks happy:   

find their mothers  

take them swimming            

feed them stuff they really like             

talk duck- talk to them                            

let them play outside                      

make them a shower

Common Relations   

Pair different pictures of feet with animals (ducks and others) they belong to

Field Trips:

to farm to see other ducks

to store for food     

to taxidermist to see stuffed ducks

How can we fill the pool or  tub- hose is too short? Add pipes on to end of hose                   

Use bucket 

Squirt hose very hard                     

Move pool

Temporal Ordering  

Take pictures of ducklings as they grow and gerbils as they grow,arrange in order of development

Do sinking/floating experiments Could we make a shower for them? Hold watering can up and sprinkle ducks

Tie hose to top of slide

Use pipes, screw on flexible dish rinsing hose from kitchen on pipe's end                   

Squirt hose

Graduated (seriated)Ordering  Measure height of ducklings as they grow

Make graph comparing growth rates with growth of gerbils

Source: The Whole Child: Developmental Education for the Early Years Sixth Edition by Joanne Hendrick; Reprinted with permission from Merrill-Prentice Hall.; Form suggested by an example from Reggio Emilia