Children have a natural curiosity. You can ignite this curiosity by providing your Kindergarten students with hands-on activities that provoke questioning. As a result, your class will develop a deeper understanding of the concept being taught.
Children learn many things by using their five senses to explore the environment. They are aware that the world is made of themselves and the objects/people around them. However, children may not completely understand that things can be grouped into living and non-living. This lesson is part of a series of science lessons for the Kindergarten classroom.
- The student will make observations about their environment.
- The student will sort objects by similarities.
- The student will title or name each group.
- The student will identify the number of objects in a group.
- The students will work cooperatively in groups.
- The students will generate questions based on their observations.
- Teacher-made “Questions We Have" chartn (to write down questions generated from each group during the exploration)
- Student Observation Journals (7-8 pages of white copy paper stapled together)
- Sorting Mats (Included in the Student Journal pages download, below)
- Student Journal Pages (Download Here)
Tell students they’re going to go on a classroom exploration. Ask the students what it means to “explore". Make a real-life connection by linking it to Dora the Explorer. Once students understand the meaning of “explore", then identify the body parts that will assist them in the exploration.
Now, divide the students into groups and let them take action! Give the students about 5 minutes to explore and gather objects. Next, allow the groups to discuss their findings and record their observations (through words or drawings) and questions in their journals (See Download).
Pull the students back together and fill out the “Questions We Have" Chart. These questions should be used to guide future lessons. Finally, students will get back into groups and decide how to sort the objects. The students should name each group and record the number of objects in each group. The teacher should conclude the lesson by discussing the importance of observing our world.
Assessment: Students on-grade level should use the Student Observation Journal to draw an illustration of their sorting method. They should also use invented spelling to give each group a title. Those students who may experience difficulty with organization may use the sorting mats. These students should sort and verbalize a name for each group. A diagram of the sorting mat is included in the Student Journal Page download.
This lesson will set the foundation as students begin to learn about living and non-living things in our environment. As children learn to make observations, they will also begin to identify living vs. non-living things as well as their characteristics. This inquiry-based lesson will excite the children and motivate them to take ownership of their own learning.