A power point presentation containing everything educators need to know about what to do and what not to do regarding physical and earth science for young children. Plenty or ideas and resources are included in the presentation.
An encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science thatstudy non-living system. A study of the physical world around you.
For the young child to construct knowledge in physical science, he must actively engage with the materials to make it his own. Physical knowledge is gained most thoroughly from the child acting on the object. There are many kinds of physical science but only some allow the child to directly act on objects to experience the results.
Examples of materials children can directly act on: The inclined plane, play dough and other manipulative materials, pulleys and pendulums, building blocks and woodworking construction, and experiences with sand and water. Ongoing opportunities to build and experiment with these materials in the classroom provide the raw materials through which children can see the results of their actions and try changing them to meet their goals. These physical science experiences are the best choices for building young children’s understanding of cause and effect.
There are 4 criteria for activities that promote physical knowledge. 1. Child produces the movement by her actions. 2. Child can vary his actions to affect outcome. 3. Child can observe the action of the object. 4. Child can immediately experience the effect. (Sources: Chaillé & Brittain, 2003, pp. 68, 69; Kamii & DeVries, 1993, pp. 8, 9) Some physical science activities will meet all criteria and some will not. The science experiences that meet all four of the criteria will best support young children’s learning in physical knowledge.
Not limited to materials that children can act on directly. Can go further- there are countless materials to explore where children cannot observe the force on the object. Example: Young children cannot grasp the concepts that explain the intervening force (force of magnetism). Intervening force- a phenomenon that is not caused directly by the child acting on it, usually not observable by the child. While 3 categories of the Physical Knowledge Criteria for Science can be met, children can act on the materials directly (employing the intervening force) and vary the results and observe them. Through this, children can experience the result of the intervening force.
More Good Examples: Density: sink-and-float activity ▪ Experiment with different objects in water Electricity Computers Children cannot understand these but they can make predictions and comments. When simple materials using force or electricity can be explored, children can recognize that there is an intervening force that causes actions.
Bad Examples: Chemical Changes (i.e. Volcano Experiment) ▪ Results are magic to children ▪ Reaction is outside their understanding and control ▪ Actual change is not seen, only end result (fizzing) Chemical reactions are not usually seen in daily lives so it does not lead to further understanding of their world. Wrong information: Volcanoes are not caused by combining baking soda and vinegar. Many activities like this that should be left for junior high science labs. (i.e. growing crystals)
The 4 Physical knowledge criteria are not all met in many biological science activities. In biological science, children observe a change that is beyond their comprehension. Change from caterpillar to butterfly Sprouting of seeds However, by watching these changes over time, children can generalize that these changes take place and they can see the purpose of growth and change, as they sense their own bodies changing.
There are many science materials that meet the criteria for physical knowledge. When choosing these, teachers provide a wide range of constructivist learning tools. Main focus of physical science in preschool and kindergarten. Standards: As a result of the activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of: ▪ Properties of objects and materials ▪ Position and motions of objects ▪ Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism. Content Standard: K-4. National science education standards (1996).
Activities with InclinedPlanes Activity 1 Create inclined plane with cardboard tubes, wrapping paper, clear tubes, long boards, and blocks. Vary height by number of blocks used Roll various sized balls, cylinder blocks, or cars down ramp Vary only one variable at a time Activity 2 Build ramps of different heights Roll ball down ramp to compare which rolls farthest Predict before, measure after, and graph Helps to develop spatial relationships, prediction, observation, graphing, and cooperative learning skills.
Activities with InclinedPlanes Making Predictions
Activities with Inclined ExperimentingPlanes and Measuring
Activities with Inclined Graphing results and comparingPlanes findings with predictions.
Activities withPendulums andPulleys Pendulum = length of string + bob Provide children time to experiment with various uses Provide materials to knock over Ask children to experiment with various lengths of string, weight of bob, and structure types Sand pendulum
Physical Science withBlocks Stacking and knocking over blocks Creation of complex structures allow children to experiment with balance Force used to manipulate various sizes, shapes, and weights of blocks Moving and transporting during clean-up time
Tinkering and Helpingwith Repairs Helps children understand how things work Involves taking things apart Small repairs can be educational Enlist the help of other staff and community members
Woodworking Aesthetically pleasing Provides children with an opportunity to work hands-on and use real tools Close supervision is necessary Helpful to view woodworking in an environment outside of school
Water as a Force Multiple ways to explore water Most children are naturally curious about water How water flows, how to vary that flow, and how to transport water via tubes, pipes, etc.
What is Static Electricity? • Produced by friction • Caused by an imbalance of positive and negative chargesStatic Electricity (like magnets) causes oppositely charged objects toattract each other and like charged objects to repel each other. Flow of electronsWhat are some everyday experiences of it? • Lightning • Receiving shocks after shuffling across a carpet • Taking clothes that cling to each other out of the dryer • Combing hair in the wintertimeWhat are some terms you can use to describe static electricity? • repel, attract, static charge, electron transfer
There are many things you can use to electrically charge a PVC pipe, balloon, etc.: wool ￭ faux fur hair ￭ variety of fabrics clothes ￭ arms Examples of objects that may be attracted or repelled: Rice Krispies ￭ water salt ￭ pepper small pieces of paper ￭ hair walls ￭ gelatin feathers ￭ small pieces of fabric coffee grounds
The study of nonliving elements or inanimate matter on the planet andelements that affect the planet.
Earth ScienceEffects of WeatherGeologyLight & ShadowEcologySource of Water
Four Kinds of ScienceIntertwined The study of the four types ofscience areas are oftenintertwined.When studying the earth, we Earthlearn that soil is formed by Sciencedecaying plant and animal life.This process makes the earth richfor plants to be sustained andgrow and to support animal life.Children can study small areas ofearth as ECOSYSTEMS by digging Physical Life Science:up a section of earth and Science Plantsdiscovering elements of bothplant and animal life.Children can see a miniatureECOSYSTEM by creating aterrarium. Life Science:A playground can be seen as an Animalsecosystem with different placesfor play, plants, animals &children.
ECOLOGY: The study “ Teachers have a responsibility to expose children to the delightsof conserving earth and and mysteries of the great outdoors. Before children learn how humans impact the environment in harmful ways, they needliving systems opportunities to learn to care about it.” --Kupetz and Twist, 2000•Humans effect on theenvironment showsnegative influences.•Children usually do notexperience this impact.•In small observableways, children canpicture the changeshumans can make tokeep our spaces onearth for the people,animals, and plants andto preserve resourcesfor the future.
Focus on what children can see around them in their own environment Examine a water puddle after a rain: step over it or jump in it Feel the force of the wind blowing a paper streamer Observe that water changes to ice and back again; compare the melted ice to other ice Clouds are too distant to interact with but children can make observations about their shape, their beauty can be enjoyed and notations can be made about them when the weather changes. Young children cannot grasp the steps of the water cycle because it cannot be seen.
Can be done indoors and outdoors. WATER Multisensory: sounds, textures, changes of state, soothing feelings of wetness Fascinating, excites, relaxes Valuable for play with SAND and DIRT
Easy to move & mold. Can be dug, sifted, sculpted, poured, and drawn upon. Indoors at a sand/water table; outdoors in a large sand area Use small toys (trucks, animals), live vegetation, kitchenware, tableware, shovels, molds, containers
Soap can be added to water to make bubbles. • Give children a straw to blow into to make a bubble mountain • Make a bubble machine by inserting a straw into the side of a Styrofoam cup. • Experiment with berry baskets, shapes made from chenille stems, plastic rings from 6-packs of water bottles
• Indoors: put soil from outside or purchased soil in tubs and allow children to explore it with water• Outdoors: in a digging area, place shovels, buckets, tablespoons and cups
• Use small pumps, water wheels, funnels and containers of all shapes and sizes.• Materials can be organized for varied water play experiences: pouring and filling, sieves and containers with holes, pumps and wheels, sponges, and materials for washing.• When weather changes, children can decide to create changes with water, snow, and ice
Rocks Sorting, seriating, measuring Experiment with volume: how many rocks does it take to overflow a large jar of water Build forms, make paths Draw with stones, sand them down Change in characteristics can be observed in water Some can be cracked open When light is shown on some rocks, different consistencies are shown Combine stones and sand to explore different ways of creating Sand & Gravel Sort with a sieve Compare wet and dry; mold and shape, poured and piled Rub on hard surfaces and soft surfaces Use a magnifying glass to show size of granules Soil Dig it up Compare it to sand Used wet, damp or dry Mix with sand, small rocks and crumbling leaves, grass, bark and flowers
• Using small trowels, spoons and table knives, collect about a cup of earth from each area• Label each cup with the source of the earth, such as sandbox, garden, under the tree.• Bring the samples indoors and provide a tray for each sample.• Provide tea strainers, colanders, pencils, spoons, bug catchers, magnifying glasses,and/or microscopes to examine each cup of earth.• Children may draw the results they find.
The bending of light Light travels at different speeds through various materials When light changes speed, it bends in a new direction
What did we think was going to happen? What actually happened? Why did this happen?