N.C. came to school with a big giant paper that had a solar system drawn on it. She wanted us to put it near the light table.
Ms. Babalis: Talk to me about your work.
N.C.: I wanted to bring it to school, because we worked so hard to do it. Me and my mom made the solar system together. I had a solar system book at home from the library and it gave me the idea. I wonder why the planets are up in the solar system in the sky.
Ms. Babalis: Which planet are you most interested in? Why?
N.C.: I am most interested in Mars, because it is hot. I wonder why mars is called the red planet.
Ms. Babalis: What do you know about the solar system?
N.C.: I know that we can make wishes from the shooting stars. I know the Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.
Ms. Babalis, did you know that sometimes C.R.'s mom lets him go outside during the night to see shooting stars? My mom will only let me do that at Spring or Summer time.
I want to know how space and astronauts visit the farthest planet.
Pluto is the farthest planet. It is so cold. I wonder why Pluto is only a half planet.
I wonder why the sun is so hot.
I wonder why Earth is the best planet.
After N.C.'s interview, we visited Google and found some images of the solar system.
Here are the images that Navya was most interested in:
N.C.: I wonder why the planets are around the sun.
Ms. Babalis: What do you think?
N.C.: Because they are supposed to be like that. That is how the solar system is supposed to look like. My mom told me.
Ms. Babalis: What do you see coming out of the sun?
N.C.: I see fire, because it is so hot. The sun has hot fire because it is so hot. If we don’t have a sun it will be dark outside.
I wonder why some of them are big sizes, some of them are medium, and some of them are small.
As an educator, I tried to be responsive to N.C.'s interest in the planets. We are beginning to connect this interest with our inquiry on the night sky. Finally, we are working hard to ensure that we follow her wonders rather than get lost in the theme of the solar system. By digging deeper into what she said (referring to the pedagogical documentation that we gather), we can begin to understand what she is really curious about.