Whether you are investigating bugs, watching the weather , or learning all about tools, the Science bookshelf issues are fun and sure to feed any child’s curiosity about the world and everything in it. Take a look.
Creatures All Around
Creatures of all kinds make our world a more interesting place to livebig creatures, small creatures, creatures that live on the land, or those that make their home in the water. Boys and girls are fascinated by these animals and insects and are eager to learn more about them. A study of creatures is certain to engage children but also addresses indicators outlined in the Ohio Early Learning Standards, including learning about life processes of living things and becoming acquainted with features of nonfiction texts. The following books are filled with stories, facts, information, photographs, illustrations, and many novel features that will make children wide-eyed with wonder as they contemplate the world of creatures all around.Early Concepts
Colors, letters, wordsall are early concepts
that lead to later learning. A variety of experiences familiarizes boys and girls with such information and helps them understand how these concepts fit with other ideas and skills.Experiencing the Winter Season
The Ohio Early Learning Standards for Science build on children's natural wonder of what they see around them, including the discovery of the earth's patterns and changes over time. The study of patterns and changes is particularly appropriate when investigating the topics of weather and seasons. Winter is a time to practice observational skillsnoticing changes in temperature, observing ice melting, choosing clothes to wear based on how cold it is outside, and describing the clouds on a snowy day. It is a time to make mashed potato snowmen, hang lacy snowflakes from the window shade, and cover boxes with white roll paper to build a snowman right in the classroom. The following books about winter and snow include some old classics that you may have forgotten about as well as some new titles. So gather the children around you as the white flakes fall and read, read, read.Fun on the Farm
The family farm is vanishing as a way of life in many parts of America today; yet farm animals and farm culture are a favorite topic of study in the preschool curriculum. Some children may not know much about farm animals and may never have visited a farmyard, but they are fascinated by cows and pigs and chickens and feel a special kinship to farm babies. The books shared in this column provide information, pictures, maps, charts, photographs, and stories about life on the farm. Invite your children to join you on the hay wagon as you laugh, learn, and have fun on the farm. E-i-e-i-o!Informational Text
Learning to read informational texts
requires different skills and strategies from those used when reading narratives. As young readers investigate special topics, they must slow down their reading rate so that they can take in and understand information, gather information from a variety of text features and graphic structures, and organize the information they acquire from a variety of sources. Boys and girls both seem to enjoy their first experiences in reading to learn.It's Fall! It’s Back to School!
Autumn arrives with a crisp morning and a flourish of color. It brings a season of harvest and the urge to put on a warm sweater. Falling leaves are raked and piled and enjoyed. And children have recently returned to school. The books in this column celebrate the signs of the season and invite young children to think about and discuss the changes that occur to plants, animals and people during this time of the year. Especially important to boys and girls is the transition back to the classroom, reuniting with friends and enjoying the opportunities to explore and learn. So, put on jackets for an autumn walk, and clear the tables for leaf collections. Fall is here!Picture Books That Support Early Investigations
Informational picture books provide information through more than just the words. For young children and prereaders or nonreaders, the pictures in the books are a primary avenue for learning. So teachers who include books in, for example, a science center or project area know that the children can use the illustrations to reinforce or expand basic knowledge or to find answers to their questions about a topic. Of course, the text is useful when an adult or other reader can share the printed information one-on-one or when the book is read aloud to a group.
When you depend on the illustrations to do the teaching, it is important to find books that present accurate representations of the topic by using interesting photographs or accurate artwork. These days, teachers and families who want to encourage children to engage in independent research are fortunate, because useful books are bountiful.Polar AnimalsPolar Bears, Penguins, and Seals, Oh My! In Celebration of the International Polar Year
The International Polar Year is a worldwide celebration of all things polar, including the animals that inhabit the snowy regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. Organized through the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization, this large scientific program will cover two annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009. Thousands of scientists from 60 nations will participate in over 200 projects, investigating a wide range of topics.
Certainly, young boys and girls enjoy reading and learning about the animals of the polar areas, but they may not realize that polar bears and penguins are inhabitants of opposite ends of the earth. Polar bears live in the Arctic, along with some types of seals, wolves, Arctic hares, and other species. Penguins make their home on the continent of Antarctica, which is colder and less populated than the North Pole. Unfortunately, global warming is affecting both places and changing the lives of the animals that make their homes in these regions.
The books in this column introduce children to the habitats and characteristics of polar animals. Both fiction and nonfiction texts provide information, photographs, graphic features, poems, detailed illustrations, and stories about these intriguing and fascinating creatures. So, gather the children around you and get ready to celebrate the International Polar Year with polar bears, penguins, and seals, oh my!Reading About Real Things: Nonfiction and Informational Books
During preschool years, boys and girls discover that books contain information about the world around them. From baby animals to fire trucks, children can follow any interest through the pages of a text. Nonfiction and informational books are organized differently and those text structures are important teaching points. As you share nonfiction and informational books, ask children to do the following:
- Use pictures and illustrations to aid comprehension and talk about what they see.
- Retell information from the informational text.
- Tell what the book is about after hearing it read aloud.
- Gain information from pictures, photographs, simple charts, and labels.
- Follow simple directions.
Reading about real things is not only appropriate but truly inviting for ever curious young children.Research
Young children are naturally curious. They want to investigate, to know more, and to find out. The topic might be something individual to a particular child, or perhaps a small group of boys and girls choose to follow an interest together. Sometimes, as part of a curriculum or standard, the entire class will learn more about a specific topic or theme. The research process
for preschool children should include asking questions and then searching for answers, using a variety of resources to gather information, documenting the learning in many waysretelling, acting out, playing, creating artwork, dictating thoughts, discussingand sharing the information with others.Spring, a Time to Grow
Spring is a time for change and growth. Plants burst from the earth. Animals reappear after their winter hibernation. Birds warble their best spring songs. Baby animals are welcomed by the strong rays of the sun. Winter is over. The Ohio Early Childhood Standards for Science focus on changes in the environment over time, changes in the weather, the relationship between adult animals and their young, and common needs of living things. Preschool boys and girls enjoy the world around them, especially during this season of new life. So find a spot in the sun, gather your children around you, and share some books about spring.Summer Stories
Summertime sizzles with lazy days, swimming pools, fireworks, ice cream, hot dogs on the grill, colorful flower gardens, family vacations, and trips to the zoo. The Ohio Early Learning Standards in Science remind us that little ones recognize differences in the seasons through clothing, plants, animals, temperatures, weather, and activities. The books listed below are filled with the signs and sounds of summer—seahorses and beaches, butterflies and watermelon, playtime and celebrations. So find a shady tree, and gather children around you to share these summer stories.