Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Scientific Inquiry in Preschool

Early science exploration is a wonderful opportunity to develop vocabulary in the preschool years. Simple experiments like the one shown above can help children develop their vocabulary and general knowledge in a playful setting.

Let me explain how we got to what you see in the picture above...

At circle time, I created an environment to help children become excited about science and the scientific method (ask question, create hypothesis, test, draw conclusions). First, I put on a pair of goggles to hook the children into the topic.

I wanted to see how well children in the group understood colours. To do this, I froze ice cubes in the primary colours - I think I made about one icecube tray of each colour. Then, I asked children to name the colours. After, I asked if they could guess what would happen if we mix certain colours together. With help from the audience, we had several bags of mixed ice cubes together. Once I collected their guesses (the hypotheses can be graphed!), we put the bags on display for the children to monitor. When the icecubes melted, they became a secondary colour (so cool!)

Once the bags finished melting, we checked on the results and I asked the children to write about what happened using pictures and or words. See what rich vocabulary you can use to describe what happened.

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