Kindergartners practice using their sense of sight to explore nature with "super power eyes". Hand lenses are a tool of science that can be used by anyone, big or small, to notice and explore things they might not otherwise be able to with just their naked eye. Something else that happens when you put a hand lens in the hands of a kindergartner is that they SLOW down. It was amazing to watch them go into the woods and explore, to see where they went, where they stayed, and what they found. Ant hills became complex cities to study and ordinary branches turned into a wonder of color, texture and form.
"Ms. Marin, look at all of the colors on this leaf!"
"Ms. Marin, look, you can see the holes where this plant is breathing!"
"Ms. Marin, see how this leaf is starting to turn to soil! I can see where parts of it have already fallen away!"
And, my favorite question, "Ms. Marin, what is this???"
This activity was a wonderful reminder that just a simple shift in perspective can help us see the world in a whole new light. I've got lots of hand lenses down her in the science lab- come give it a try!