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

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

Studies faces and objects within close visual range

2-4 Months

Distinguishes animate (moving) from inanimate

4-6 Months

Uses shape, size, and color to the tell the difference between objects

Uses body to cause things to happen such as batting at object to make it move

6-8 Months

Examines things upside down to compare perspectives

Anticipates what will happen next in environment

Distinguishes near and far objects

8-10 Months

Aware of vertical space

Experiments with cause-and-effect (e.g., dropping objects)

Recognizes familiar objects by name

Shows interest and curiosity about the natural world by exploring characteristics of items in nature

10-12 Months

Explores materials indoors and outside to compare characteristics

Uses names for objects

12-15 Months

Shows categorization of function (object use)

Places objects in categories (animals, food, plants)

15-18 Months

Explores the characteristics of animals, plants (pets the cat, pulls a flower petal)

Varies behaviors to see what the results will be (splashes in water)

18-21 Months

Locates objects that are alike (rocks, flowers) and makes collections of objects that are alike in some way (leaves, grass, flowers)

21-24 Months

Demonstrates knowledge of basic-level categories (plants, animals, people)

Points to and names many body parts on self and animals

24-27 Months

Observes and reacts to living things in the environment (chases butterflies) and explores surfaces (rolls in grass)

27-30 Months

Makes simple predictions about what will happen (drop rock in water)

Uses tools to explore the environment (shovel in the sand)

30-33 Months

Provides descriptions of observations in nature (e.g., squirrelis climbing the tree)

33-36 Months

Intentionally repeats actions to see if results will differ (rolling objects down a ramp, waiving bubbles)

36-42 Months

Asks questions about nature

Makes observations about creatures and plants in nature

Uses nature vocabulary

Knows weather requires different clothing

42-48 Months

Notices patterns, similarities, and differences in nature (bark on trees, veins in leaves)

Makes simple predictions (how far a stone can be thrown)

48-54 Months

Demonstrates an understanding of the differences between living and nonliving things

Understands the differences between habitats for people and animals

54-60 Months

Describes characteristics of living things

Talks about the similarities and differences among different animals, insects, and plants

Differentiates between manmade and natural materials

Notes the physical properties of different aspects of the environment

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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