Immersion Days in Early Childhood at Indian Creek School

 

Immersion Days are multi-sensory, collaborative learning days that invite our Early Childhood students to experience a variety of aspects related to a specific theme. These experiences encourage children to explore, investigate, pursue answers to wonder questions, develop hypothesizes, make connections to previous learning and begin to imagine new possibilities. Each classroom is transformed into a work center that focuses on a unique aspect of the theme.

Groups of students are created across classes so students can enjoy working with friends of different ages and abilities so that they can learn from one another in new ways. Our design of this event includes developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities that encourage deep and lasting understandings of the given topic. We enjoy these Immersion Days with all of Early Childhood five or six times a year. Simplified versions of these experiences are held at numerous other times throughout the year between grade level groups or between two age levels.

Some of our pursuits are developed from students’ own inquiries, some are designed by teachers’ awareness of subjects that might intrigue their students. Immersion Days began with teachers wondering how to best help children experience and understand the feast of Thanksgiving before they actually sit down to the family meal. This event was so successful that we began to imagine how we could provide similar experiences on a variety of themes throughout the year.

 

These are some other themes that have been used in the past several years:

  • Stories that help lead us into a theme such as Owl Moon, by Janet Yolen 
  • S.T.E.A.M. themes such as Gravity
  • Earth Day related themes such as the importance of gardening or recycling, re-using and reducing to help the earth.
  • Social/Emotional themes that help ‘unpack’ things that might be frightening or difficult. This October we had an Immersion Day called “Taking the BOO out of Halloween,” in which students discovered important facts and intriguing characteristics of bats, spiders and owls.
 
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