The Early Years: What Can Young Children Do as Scientists?by: Peggy Ashbrook

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Children come to our classrooms with varying amounts of experience in exploring the natural world and participating in scientific inquiry. The school year's first meeting for science instruction can be a time to take stock of the breadth and depth of your students' experiences with science.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:52 PM

I enjoyed this article a lot! As an educator in training, (a senior education major in college) this provided me with excellent context on where my second graders are in relation to science. I had to teach a science learning segment recently, and even after reading this article I was surprised at how much these students have absorbed already when it comes to science!

Abigail Desharnais
Abigail Desharnais

  • on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:26 AM

This article describes a lesson on how to explain to young students what a scientist does. The name of the book discussed is "What is a Scientist?" and it shows different scientists at work. The article gives questions that teachers can ask students to guide them through their discovery of what a scientist does.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:18 PM

Using the children’s book titled “What Is a Scientist?” young children were engaged in a dialog about what scientists do as they work. Next magazines were used to provide photos of scientists in their places of work. The classroom conversations continued as students were asked to examine what they were doing during the lesson. What kinds of behaviors mimicked real scientists’ work behaviors? Finally the children were asked to contemplate what kinds of things they might want to do when they grew up. Besides practicing observation and sorting skills, children made connections to real life professions. I think activities like this will positively influence young children by broadening their future job horizons. Future career choices may have their beginnings in lessons such as this.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:40 AM

Young children love story time activities. Reading the book “What Is a Scientist” can start a discussion of what scientists do. Presenting pictures of scientists at work can also help students understand some of the activities that scientists engage in. Children are encouraged to relate what they themselves do and how it might be similar to that of a scientist.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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