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: 42-48 Months

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

Situations for Observation of Skill

Go to the park or on a nature walk. Conduct experiments in nature.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult can point out something and say, “These two trees are different in some ways and alike in others. How are they alike? How are they different?” This motivates the child to think about and comment on patterns or categories.

Behavior Observed

The child points out similarities and differences and comments on patterns she sees in nature.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Talking about nature teaches children to be interested in science. Early childhood educators and parents can talk about the clouds and weather, look at the moon and stars at night, search for birds and insects in the yard or park, and so on. Encourage parents to take nature walks, visit the zoo or natural history museum, go on a field trip for pumpkins or picking berries, visit a petting zoo, and so on. Talk about similarities and differences, categories of things, why certain events occur, etc.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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