Curiosity + Kindergarten = Future Scientistsby: Jenny Sue Flannagan and Liesl Rockenbaugh

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Carefully crafted experiences in the early childhood classroom can create learning opportunities for children that allow one curiosity to lead to another. Learning how to find out answers to fascinating questions is what science is all about. In fact, it can be as simple as learning how an ordinary egg can be changed. For the past year, the authors have worked together to develop science lessons for kindergarten that would allow them to tap into the natural curiosity of children. Using the 5E model of instruction (Bybee et al. 2006), they developed a unit around everyday objects and experiences based on their local and state standards.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (11)
  • on Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:41 PM

The author of this text has shared their 5E lesson plan for their kindergarten class. Each phase of this lesson shows student engagement and student led learning. The author gives example of different questions asked in the class, books they read, and experiments that were conducted. A big idea the author tries to get across is encouraging curiosity. Especially for the littles, they have to be curious in order to ask questions and find answers. The author has lots of good insight that I know I can grow from.

Lauren S  (Cedar Falls, IA)
Lauren S (Cedar Falls, IA)

  • on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:28 PM

This journal article is an excellent resource for teachers especially for those that are beginning their career teaching kindergarteners. Speaking as a second-year teacher in the primary level, it is often challenging to find resources that help me to teach science to little learners that keep them engaged. The article depicts a real classroom experience that was carefully planned and appropriately implemented by the teachers in order to appeal to curious young minds. It showed how something ordinary like an egg can become something extraordinary for kindergarten students to explore. Not only did the teachers make a science concept relevant to students, but teachers were able to have students think, analyze, and collect data like real-life scientists. I appreciated the step- by- step implementation process. It was very detailed and offered a better perspective of the 5E model of instruction. I look forward to trying something similar in my classroom!


  • on Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:06 PM

In this article, the author inspired kindergarten teachers to use the 5E teaching and learning model. The role of teachers are no longer direct instruction or teaching from a mere manual. According to the author, the 5E model leads teachers to the role of facilitator as they pose a question in order for students engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate science phenomenon. The focus of the article by authors Jenny Sue Flannagan and Liesl Rockenbaugh is teaching students how to become inquisitive by asking questions in science. However, the example lesson attached is a wonderful way to demonstrate how this can be achieved in the kindergarten classroom. I would recommend for kindergarten teachers to read this article because it inspires an innovative way for students to gather information and peek their curiosity through exploration.

Avis Williams
Avis Williams

  • on Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:27 AM

This article was wonderful in showing that young children are already inclined to ask questions about their environment and to use that to your advantage. I also love how this article highlights using the 5E model.

Megan W
Megan W

  • on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:58 PM

This is an excellent resource for those learning how to approach constructivist, inquiry-based instruction, particularly in utilizing the 5E lesson model. This resource provides a vibrant example of how one can effectively carry out such a lesson.

Brittney Geelhaar
Brittney Geelhaar

  • on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:06 PM

I think this an excellent article. This article provided a great experiment for young children to get them excited about science by tapping into their curiosity.

Michelle L
Michelle L

  • on Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:59 AM

According to the authors of this article “…tapping into our children’s curiosity before we begin teaching content has made all the difference in how our students have learned to answer their own questions.” In other words, the children explore, observe and record their observations and thoughts first when approaching a new science concept. This article gives concise directions on the exploration of an egg. Children are excited by this method of teaching as it uses their natural curiosity.

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

  • on Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:26 AM

Even the opening paragraph of this article is intriguing! I was very glad to find a resource that not only emphasizes the importance of science in the primary grades but also how to conduct true inquiry with students as young as five years old (although it can be done with children of any age). The egg project detailed is just one fabulous example of how the 5E instructional model can be incorporated in any classroom. I would highly recommend this article.

Kendra Young  (Lake Stevens, WA)
Kendra Young (Lake Stevens, WA)

  • on Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:43 AM

This is a great article to get beginning "scientists" to examine objects with a purpose. It provides questions, examples, and how to use T-charts and Journals in the students investigations. I like the "object" chosen by the author to investigate, an egg, because it is something that the student are already curious about. They will also continue to investigate this object, with modifications to the lesson, to provide more depth and detail as they get older.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

  • on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:19 PM

This article is very interesting. At the least, we can always encourage students to ask questions based on their surroundings. This is how we get children to become curious and excited about science.

Dat Le  (Springfield, VA)
Dat Le (Springfield, VA)

  • on Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:42 AM

The article's subtitle (Teaching inquisitive young children how to ask good questions) might be misleading if you are looking for help in how to encourage higher level questioning from your students. That being said, it was an excellent example of how to take easy-to-find, inexpensive materials to provide engaging investigations for young budding scientists. My grandson is in kindergarten and has gobs of questions - it doesn't seem to matter what the topic of conversation is about. This investigation taps into that natural curiosity. The authors demonstrate the importance of allowing our students to not only question what they observe but to also set up new experiments to help answer the questions that they have.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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