Identify science topics and possible ways to explore
Try to identify how environment may invite children to exploration. Be aware of the richness of science topics in nearby learning areas and how this can provide opportunities for children’s play and learning. This concerns identifying the affordances in the environment.
In this task you can train observational skills and skills of identifying situations and environments. This could be the first step of identifying relevant science topics that may be of interest to your target group of children. Secondly, you can try out ways to talk when you want to respond to children’s interests, and practice talking about nature or a science topic together with children indoors or outdoors.
You can start with thinking for yourself for some minutes. Think about how many things there may be to talk about and explore in a park, on a beach, by a bridge over a river, or in a forest area, close to your home or outside your school or kindergarten. Maybe you want to start with looking out of the window in a city kindergarten.
Observe your environment, choose a topic, and write for two minutes. Describe relevant observations in the environment that relate to your topic. Discuss with a fellow student or colleague, if possible.
You can use the pictures in this task, and discuss in your group (or write down for yourself):
- Identify possible science topics (choose a picture).
- With your group of children (school/kindergarten), what could be interesting to explore? (Choose one topic, or a few, and take them one by one).
- Can you suggest a first step to be taken with this topic in an exploratory activity (relate to your target group of children)?
- How can you direct the child’s awareness towards the topic?
- What kind of productive and inviting questionscould be asked?
Discuss exploration activities that you can do with a child, or a group of children based on your work with step 1 and 2.
Watch these videos of science everywhere. What could be topics to explore? Stop the videos anywhere and make a list of possible topics at the chosen time and place.