North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Learning to Communicate

Goal: Children ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

Skill Progression: Answers questions

Age: 54-60 Months

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Understands “What happens if...” questions

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child in the science center exploring a phenomenon, such as magnetism.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult can ask, “What do you think will happen if I hold this tennis ball up to the magnet?”

Behavior Observed

The child understands the causal nature of the question and tries to answer it, even if incorrect.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to help the child think about alternative scenarios and outcomes. Adults can ask about personal and event outcomes. For example, the adult may say, “What might happen if you don’t go to bed?” or after reading a story, “What could happen if the people didn’t help each other?” In the classroom the early childhood educator might ask, “What would happen if we add too much liquid to the mixture?”

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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