The following suggested design responds to specific key words: collaboration among children, teacher-children collaboration, critical thinking, community (category I), creativity, inclusion-diversity (category II), craft ship, expressiveness, play, assessment, events (category III).
To identify the characteristics of the forest and recognise it as an ecosystem with a complex and interconnected web of relationships and balances.
To recognise water as an essential element for life, flora, and fauna within the forest.
To formulate and discuss their ideas for the construction of a 3D forest model.
To propose materials and justify their suggestions regarding materials that serve their decisions (i.e., model construction)
To collect information about forest animals, classify their information and construct a concept map.
To choose specific forest animals and decide what they need to investigate to make a presentation to their class.
To create interactive games based on the information they have collected about forest animals.
To choose different ways of expression, recognising the different languages available to them for expressing themselves.
To relate the forest and human activities and to think about possible dangers that threaten the forest, but also ways in which the forest can be protected.
To identify information from an audio-visual text and explain what evidence they relied upon to formulate their conclusions.
To respect their classmates’ opinion and to be equally involved in the process of dialogue with each other and with their kindergarten teacher.
Cooperate within a team to achieve a common goal.
Reading a story that takes place in the forest
Children read with their kindergarten teacher a story that takes place in the forest. They discuss a) the content, b) the plot, c) the scenes, d) the heroes of the story. They discuss the environment where the story takes place. They refer to their personal experiences, prior knowledge and relate their own experiences to the story they read. The kindergarten teacher guides the discussion with the question "How could we transfer the setting and the heroes of the story in our classroom?". The children discuss, propose ideas and after discussion or voting they end up creating a craft with a forest theme. The kindergarten teacher sets a condition to them. Their construction should be 3D. The children end up building a model.
Construction of a 3D model
Plenary discussion about the materials needed for the creation of the model, what it will include, as well as how the groups will work. Collaboration of children and groups for the construction of the model. Children assess their construction and ask themselves, guided by the kindergarten teacher, whether it includes all the necessary features that consist a forest. They decide to investigate and gather information in order to assess whether they need to add anything. I.e., water and its representation, animals.
Forest animals (i.e., squirel and owl)
Children’s investigation leads them to gather information about the animals of the forest. They choose to deal with specific animals that live in the forest located close to their area. They depict this information on cartons. They observe, describe the animals, compare them, find similarities-differences, classify them i.e., mammals, quadrupeds. They make their figures i.e., with plasticine and add them to the model. They make use of the information about the animals by inventing games i.e., pantomime or riddles. They vote for their favourite forest animal and decide to investigate it further.
Viewing of audio-visual material
Finding and watching audio-visual material (i.e., fiction or documentary film) about their favourite classroom animal. The film is the product of investigation. The children, with the help of the kindergarten teacher in the role of the researcher, have discussed and decided the questions that they will attempt to discuss while watching the film. They discuss the plot, the content and their findings. Information gathered is depicted through a concept map of their favourite forest animal.
Forest and human activities
The kindergarten teacher guides the children's inquiries by asking them to think about the relationship between people and the forest. They discuss their views and experiences and highlight aspects of people's interaction with the forest (i.e., recreation, work, oxygen), which are many, varied, sometimes with positive and sometimes with negative impact on the forest. They decide that they need to investigate the matter further and think about implementing a related project in collaboration with the other classroom.
Assessment of the intervention
The assessment of the intervention focuses both on the outcome and the process. It takes place in the form of a plenary debate where the kindergarten teacher and children participate equally. The discussion focuses on the 'what' and the 'how'. Emphasis is placed upon the way decisions are made, the type and content of the activities, the materials used, and cooperation in groups. Materials/outcomes are selected to enrich children's portfolios. To assess the specific intervention, a board game can be constructed by the children based on the model they have already created and forest animal pawns they have already crafted with plasticine. They can transfer the assessment game to a digital environment.