Case Demonstration of a “Learning by Doing” Science Education Activity Developed by BNU Kindergarten

Yang Xi
Children: 5 years old

The first question: What does the snail like to eat?

While feeding snails, the children found out that snail eats fruits, vegetables, and grain, but not tree leaves.


In the discussion, one child said that the snail likes sweet food. In order to discover whether snails do prefer sweet food, the children thought they should put both sweet food and not-sweet food equidistant from the snails. They found out that sometimes the snails would eat the sweet food first but sometimes would choose the not-sweet food first.

The second question: Why does the snail have red feces?

One day, a child found that a snail had red feces, and the children puzzled about that. In order to inspire the children, the teacher asked, “Let us think about what the snails ate yesterday.” The children answered in unison: “Strawberries,”, and one child suddenly realized, “Oh, I know. Strawberry is red. After a snail eats strawberry, the feces are red. ” 

Then the teacher provided the children with several dishes of different-colored food. The children were divided into four groups to feed and observe the snails. After two days of observation, the children found that the color of the food the snails ate was the same as the color of its feces. Later, after referring to a book, the children learned that a snail’s intestines and stomach are very simple and cannot completely digest food, so they have feces the same colors as the foods they eat. 


The third question: What are the white bits?

After some days, a lot of “white and round particles” appeared in the sand in the snail’s boxes. Some children asked, “What are the white bits?” Some children knew that these were the snails’ eggs. Then the teacher encouraged the children to continue to observe the eggs until finally they found that a tiny snail had been born. After careful observation, the children discovered the newborn snail, with its transparent and sparkling shell, white body, and four tentacles.


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