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Teaching Science Concepts Through Pre-Primary Children's Literature
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Teaching Science Concepts Through Pre-Primary Children's Literature

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Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides a pictorial and brief written overview of the many hands-on-minds-on science explorations undertaken by early childhood educators during a workshop she conducted …

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides a pictorial and brief written overview of the many hands-on-minds-on science explorations undertaken by early childhood educators during a workshop she conducted entitled "Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children's Literature."

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  • 1. A Teacher Training Workshop Designed and Conducted by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski http://www.drdianateachertraining.com
    • Teaching Science Through
    • Pre-Primary Children’s Literature
  • 2. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature 35 early childhood teachers and administrators attended a six hour hands-on-minds on teacher training workshop to explore early childhood science concepts through children’s literature. The Nature of Science (Inquiry) Earth and Space Science Physical Science Life Science
  • 3. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Participants were introduced to children’s literature that help to reinforce the science concepts explored during the teacher training session. Approximately 70 children’s books were used during the workshop.
  • 4. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers made bubble blowers to explore the behavior of liquids and gases by observing bubbles. Literature References~ Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy, Bubble Trouble by Joy Hulme, and Pop! A Book About Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker.
  • 5. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored floating, sinking, buoyancy, and density. They made predictions on what objects would sink or float when placed in water, and then tested their predictions. Literature References~ Ducky by Eve Bunting, 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle, and Who Sank The Boat ? by Pamela Allen.
  • 6. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers observed and touched live pill bugs. They also drew pictures of the pill bugs they observed. Literature Reference ~ A Pill Bug’s Life by John Himmelman.
  • 7. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers observed and touched live terrestrial garden snails, and studied their characteristics. Literature References~ What Lives in a Shell ? By Weidner Zoehfeld, Are You A Snail ? by Judy Allen, The Biggest House in the World by Leo Lionni, How Many Snails by Paul Gigant, and A Slug’s Life by John Himmelman
  • 8. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers observed and explored the characteristics of earthworms. Teachers compared the characteristics of Gummy Worms and plastic fishing worms to live earthworms. They measured the worms they observed, and drew pictures of the earthworms they observed. Literature References~ An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman, Diary Of A Worm by Doreen Cronin, Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer, and Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser.
  • 9. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored how sea shells are formed by dissecting dried whelk egg cases, and observing the tiny baby whelks inside. They also observed and touched live Coquina Shells, sorted shells, and weighed shells with a pan scale. Literature References~ What Lives in a Shell? by Weidner Zoehfeld, Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes, Beach Day by Karen Roosa, A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle and others.
  • 10. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored the concepts of weathering and erosion by observing Coquina Rock. The Coquina Rock was placed inside a sealed container and shaken to break down the rock. Teachers discussed the differences between weathering and erosion. Additionally, teachers used beach sand toys as a culminating exploration. Literature References~ Sand by Ellen Prager, Beach Day by Karen Roosa, Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes, What Lives in a shell ? By Weidner Zoefhfeld.
  • 11. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored leaf types by observing leaves with microscopes, comparing leaves, sorting leaves, and they made leaf rubbings. Literature References~ The Reason For A Flower by Ruth Heller, I Can Name 50 Trees Today by Bonnie Worth, Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins, and other titles.
  • 12. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored seeds. They observed and touched different kinds of seeds and sorted seeds. They also discussed how seeds are dispersed (wind, water, animals, fire, etc.). We placed a Coconut in water, and observed that the Coconut can float. It often travels great distances in the oceans currents. Teachers made a bird seed necklace using simple materials. The bird seeds will sprout within a few days. Literature References~ Oh Say Can You Seed by Bonnie Worth, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Apples by Gail Gibbons, How A Seed Grows by Helene Jordan, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin & John Archambault, A Dandelion’s Life by John Himmelman, From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer and other titles.
  • 13. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers explored the concept of seed dispersal by making a helicopter out of paper. When released it rotates through the air, similar to how a pine and maple seed travel. They also made connections to animal flight, airplane wings, and gravity. Teachers compared mammal bones to bird bones. They observed bird feathers with a microscope, and compared the shape of bird feathers to airplane wings. Literature References~ All previously listed seed books, Animal Flight by Robin Page, Fine Feathered Friends by Tish Rabe and other titles.
  • 14. Teaching Science Through Pre-Primary Children’s Literature Teachers further explored the concept of force, motion, and energy by using toy cars and trucks. Teachers made ramps from race car tracks and wood block, they observed how cars moved down the ramps. Literature References~ Move it by Adrienne Mason
  • 15. For a complete listing of all the children’s literature books used during this workshop see Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski’s website at: http://www.drdianateachertraining.com All books used during the teacher training workshop are listed under the book page. The books can be ordered from Amazon.com via http://www.drdianateachertraining.com