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Thinking iT Through: TEaching and lEarning in ThE kindErgarTEn claSSroom
ElEmEntary tEachErs’ FEdEration oF ontario
Knowing that the children are familiar
with mixing paint colours, David asks the
children, “How will you make a colour that
is the same as your rock when we only have
these colours available?”
He makes himself available to children
as they experiment with colours, making
comments and asking questions to support
them through the process (Why do you think
it’s not working? What else could you try?).
At sharing time in a small group, David
invites children to show their painting and
their rock and explain what they did (as
appropriate to the child). Depending on
the children and the situation, he asks such
questions as the following:
– What did you try? (to revisit the process
and be able to verbalize it)
– What worked? What didn’t work?( to
recognize that not every idea is successful
the first time and sometimes experiments
don’t work)
– If you wanted to help your friend do this,
what would you tell them? (to synthesize
the learning)
– What do you think about what you’ve
done? (to reflect on the process and give
an emotional response to what they have
accomplished)
Planning for Science and
Technology Throughout the year
Exploring water with young children is not a
theme or activity-based curriculum but rather a
science inquiry that develops over time.7
Understanding why science and technology
is important in the kindergarten classroom
informs educators’ decisions about the learning
environments they create, the classroom
resources they use, and their daily short and
long-term planning. Planning for science and
technology involves more than scheduling a
series of activities, such as planting seeds or
doing a floating and sinking experiment. Instead,
educators must plan for making connections,
showing patterns and revisiting, rethinking, and
reflecting about ideas and experiences.
Thinking it Through
Planning for Science and Technology
Throughout the Year
• What interests children?
• What are children’s theories or
questions?
• What can children explore directly?
• how can science and technology be
integrated into the centres and routines
of the classroom?
• What are the “big” curriculum ideas that
need to be addressed?
• What are the thinking skills that young
children need to develop?
• What is available in the local community
that will connect with science and
technology?

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Science and Technology
As educators plan, they may use the following
questions to guide the planning process.
1. What interests young children?
Educators think about what would be significant
to a young child, and what could provide a science
focus. Educators know that children are generally
interested in naturally occurring events such as:
• rain storms that produce puddles and mud;
• worms on the sidewalks after a rain;
• nuts and leaves falling off the trees; and
• changes in weather, such as snow.
Educators will want to take advantage of the
children’s natural excitement over everyday
occurrences. For example, meaningful discussions
can happen spontaneously if a bird flies in a
window (Why did it come in? How will we keep it
safe? What will it need?), when the wind causes
branches to break off trees (How did it happen?
What else did the wind damage? What does the
wind move?), when a shriveled apple is found in
a backpack (What happened? How does it compare
with a regular apple? Does the same thing happen
with other things? How could we speed up the
process?). Educators plan experiences that will
engage children in wondering, exploring, and
deepening their understanding.
2. What are the children’s theories or
questions?
From a very early age, children develop their own
theories about how the world works. They ask
a myriad of questions. Not all questions can be
answered, nor are all responses within children’s
realm of understanding. However, the child’s
questions motivate exploration. The focus of
the exploration highlights the need for certain
materials and resources.

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Thinking iT Through: TEaching and lEarning in ThE kindErgarTEn claSSroom
ElEmEntary tEachErs’ FEdEration oF ontario
3. What can children explore directly?
Young children are concrete learners who want
to manipulate and explore materials and objects.
It is important to choose topics or inquiries they
can explore directly. When topics are abstract,
information must be gathered from secondary
sources. When the creatures (ants, worms,
birds, ladybugs) live in the child’s ‘real’ world,
information is far more accessible and meaningful.
Children can observe and begin to gather their
own data as they look for changes and patterns in
behaviours. For example, although dinosaurs have
a fascination for some young children, the topic
cannot be explored directly and is not, therefore,
an appropriate focus for science and technology.
centre
Science and Technology link
at the visual arts centre
as children design, construct, and try new ways to fasten things
during snack as children
use their senses to taste a new fruit and talk about its texture and smell
at the take-apart centre
as children explore putting things together and taking things apart, and the
connections between pieces
at the writing centre
as children sketch and draw the spider found in the classroom and add
words or labels to describe it
in the morning message
that asks children to use their background knowledge to generate theories,
such as “When it rains today, what will happen to the leaves that have fallen?”
at the construction
materials
as a gear set is added and children explore this simple machine and how it
works
at the music centre
as children experiment with making sounds using different objects, and
then order them from loudest to softest
at the sand centre
as children observe the differences in the flow of sand with different sizes
of sieves
at the water centre
as children observe blocks of ice melting and feel the changes in the tem-
perature of the water
during outdoor time
as children explore and observe changes in light and colour with large
sheets of coloured acetate
at the carpentry centre
as children use tools to design and construct
4. How can science and technology be
integrated into centres and routines?
When educators plan through a science and
technology lens, scientific inquiry becomes part
of the daily classroom program. Educators look for
opportunities for children to explore, investigate,
and construct in different areas. Educators plan
experiences that encourage children to use the
skills of inquiry.
Incorporate science and technology into the
program through centres such as those listed
below.