North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

Goal: Children observe and describe characteristics of living things and the physical world

Skill Progression: Observe and describe characteristics of living things and the physical world

Age: 48-54 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 48-54 Months.

Demonstrates an understanding of the differences between living and nonliving things

Situations for Observation of Skill

Go to the park or on a nature walk.

Elicitation Strategy

While walking, the adult encourages the child to stop and look at different things in nature. Ask the child “Is this a living thing?” When the child answers ask, “How do you know?”

Behavior Observed

The child may not always be able to distinguish living/nonliving accurately, but he is developing theories beyond “it moves.” He may talk about breathing, having babies, growing, etc.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents need to talk about and describe things they see in nature. Discuss how things are alike or different (alive, not alive, live in a nest, live underground, etc.) Discuss why various animals live in different environments and need different habitats.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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