Exploring the Properties of Matter in the Preschool

Lorraine Watt Brian Piccolo Elementary School
1040 North Keeler Avenue
Chicago IL 60651


Increase awareness of their immediate physical and natural world through
manipulation, observation, discussion, art, and hands-on experiences.
Increase the ability to observe and describe events and objects.
Increase the ability to compare events and objects.
Increase the ability to notice and describe changes.
Experience activities that clarify a cause and effect relationship.
Practice making inferences based on observations and experiences.
Practice making predictions about changes and causal relationships that can be
verified by further exploration.
Encourage enjoyment, curiosity, exploring, questioning,and using resources.
The emphasis of this curriculum is upon active involvement and questioning about
the world. Therefore, it is not limited to specific science activities, but
rather is an approach to all experience.
The teacher plays an important role in modeling curiosity and exploration and by
posing questions that can lead to further activity and discovery. The teacher
must plan appropriate activities that are not too complex or abstract and must
help the children organize information in such a way as to highlight patterns
and relationships.

Materials Needed:

Sensory/Discovery Table Materials: pulleys, rope, sand, clear plastic 20 ounce
soda pop bottles, cup hooks, lumber, twigs, stones, straw, glue, sand and water
table objects - i.e. funnels, sieves, water/sand wheels, various objects for
sinking and floating experiments, fresh eggs, cream, vinegar, lemon juice,
writing scribes and writing materials, kitchen tools - i.e. potato peeler,
knife, various types of can openers, guest speakers/demonstrators, science
books, ice cubes, sand and water.


At each Learning Center children, are encouraged to interact with each other,
with teachers, and with a variety of materials. Through these interactions,
children can develop a complex set of language, cognitive and social skills.
They can learn how to share feelings, ideas and how to negotiate and solve
problems. In the process they naturally compare and contrast the properties of
matter. Filling the Sensory Table with different materials offers children
varied opportunities for sensory and motor exploration. They can experiment
with different textures as the materials used change. Use a bulletin board or
pictures on the wall next to the table to reinforce the concepts being
experienced by the children.

Demonstrate how tools and machines help make tasks easier to perform - eg. show
how the pulley moving the weight of two heavy sand filled bottles makes work
easier. The physical environment sends messages to children through the
materials selected. The goal is to encourage and support talking, the
environment must be filled with things of high interest and involvement -- so
that children have lots to talk about. It is in a play environment that
children are able to sequence their own learning and move at their own pace.
Play environments are more likely than work environments to permit the
exploration of materials other than paper and pencils. Children playing have
access to the concrete world in all its diversity and to other people with whom
they can test both their ideas and social skills. To work well, it has to offer
children plenty of interesting choices, clearly organized and accessible.

Performance Assessment:

Ask the question, "What will happen if---? "
Explore the possibilities!!!!!

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