Young children are naturally curious and inquisitive, always delighted to explore the world around them. The main role of the science curriculum in kindergarten is to support and encourage this curiosity.
Living things: Children explore the nature of plants and animals -- their growth patterns, their uses, and the care they require. Children learn to describe and care for plants and animals, recording their findings in science journals through pictures, dictation, or kindergarten-style writing.
The five senses: Children make conscious use of tasting, smelling, hearing, touching, and seeing to gain information about the world.
Development of inquiry and thinking skills: Children learn how to observe carefully, to question, and to conduct small experiments (typically with plants and animals).
Health: Kindergarten children engage in physical activities that are related to both gross motor development (running, jumping, climbing) and fine motor development (puzzles, blocks, balancing games). They learn about some aspects of growth and development. Much of the science curriculum is rotated to health, and so are some of the stories in the language arts curriculum.
Basic health habits: Children learn the importance of caring for their bodies: teeth, eyes, physical exercise, rest, and cleanliness. Well-being is emphasized.
Nutrition: Children learn about the food groups and the importance of food choices and good eating habits, the values of different foods, and the eating customs of various cultures.
Safety: Safety training for kindergarten children stresses the importance of being careful around machinery, in the streets, and on the playground. It also covers fire prevention, the use of the 911 number, and awareness of poisons.
Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your Kindergartner -- 1st Grader by Vito Perrone, published by published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.