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
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.