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ELC Inquiry Questions

Q: How do you know you are friends with someone?

The ELC Kindergarten students read "How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids" by Carol McCloud. The story tells us that everyone has an invisible bucket we carry around. We can choose to fill each other’s buckets using kindness or dip from each others buckets. Then the teacher asked students, “Do your friends have buckets? Do your teachers? How about your parents?” After thinking about these questions the students discussed ways they could fill buckets.

After this introduction to kindness, the students focused on the friends in their classroom. Some of the students brought in pictures of their best friends from around the globe. After introducing their friends and talking a bit about them the students then were challenged to think deeper about the friendship. How did you become friends? How do you know you are friends with someone? Do friends ever fight? Why do you like your best friend? All of these questions lead to a bigger question of “What makes someone a friend?”

Over the next few weeks the students continued to explore the concept of friends. One theme appeared over and over again…kindness. The teachers showed the students a video titled, “Kindness through their eyes” where students from various grades describes what kindness means to them. Four kindergarten boys had the idea to remake this movie using students from NIS.

They began by making a list of who they wanted to interview including primary, middle and high school students, teachers and administrators. Once they were satisfied with their list they learned how to use the video camera and tripod. They found the quietest spot they could and began to film. For each filming they asked the subject, “What is kindness.” Throughout this process the boys reviewed their footage and reflected on what was being said.

As the video was coming to completion the boys began to ponder, “Who needs to see this video?” Initially they began with the ELC, then they thought the Primary students. Eventually they settled on the whole world. They felt that it was a message that was important enough for everyone. The boys worked for about six months to interview and edit their movie until they felt it was ready.

As they reflected on their final product they noticed that the biggest message was that kindness is doing things for others. They were left with the question, “Does being kind include yourself?” That question will be left for next school year!