Building Process And Problem-Solving Skills
While it may seem like rocket science at times, exploring science topics with young children is no different than applying the same fundamentals you normally would in developing any topic or class lesson.
The "science story" approach assists you in developing meaningful science content that incorporates convergent levels of thinking using familiar activities, including:
Same, but Different;
Sort and Match;
Compare and Contrast
In addition, content that promotes both critical and creative thinking as well as problem solving skills can be incorporated by positing evaluative and divergent-type questions within your exploration, including:
What do you think...;
What might happen if...;
What if we tried this...
In applying and using the above elements to develop your science story you will, by default, provide your students with deeper insights into a variety of Key Concepts in nature and science, including: diversity, patterns, cause and effect, interactions. change, growth and cycles.
Ask Questions. Who, what, where, when, why, do, how, can, are…
Choose a subject, then ask questions about the subject.
BIRDS What is a bird? What makes a bird a bird? What features define a bird? What do all birds have in common? How many different kinds of birds are there? Are all birds the same? What kind of birds have you seen? Do all birds have feathers? Are all feathers the same? How are feathers different from one another (shape, color and function)? How do birds differ from one another? Do all birds fly? Where do you see birds? Where do birds live? Do all birds build or live in the same kind of nest? How many different kinds of nests are there? Why does a bird build a nest? What do birds eat? Do all birds eat the same kind of food? What can we tell from a bird’s beak or from the kind of legs it has?
A key question to always ask about any subject is: why is “X” important or, what if there weren’t any X’s? There are a dozen more questions you can ask about birds. Derivative questions provide richness and a deeper understanding of the subject. The question asking format helps you define key concepts and distill these into smaller meaningful informational “bites.”
What if Scenarios…
In the course of performing some experiments it may be useful to explore variables in both theory and practice. For example, in exploring how plants grow and what conditions are necessary, you can posit purely theoretical questions or follow up your “what if…” questions with an experiment.
What if there weren’t any plants? What if we didn’t water our plants, what do you think would happen to them? What if we kept our plants in the dark and didn’t give them any sunlight? Do you think they would grow?
For feedback, comments or questions, contact how2team.
how2SCIENCE.com ă 2004-2008 All Rights Reserved