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Kindergarten Integration Guide for Science and Reading

This guide, written by Joan Pickard, a Kindergarten teacher in Pensacola, Florida, combines Reading and Science software into a thematic approach to integrating scientific lessons into reading lessons drawn from classic children's literature. Eight stories from Stories and More 1 are used to introduce mathematics concepts.  The guide includes lessons using the Nature of Science Through the Woods and At the Seashore software, whole group instruction, games, small group activities, and blackline masters for offline activities.  Stories and More 1 and Nature of Science are sold separately.

From the Introduction

Kindergarten students are naturally curious about the world around them and literature has long been a way to bring the world into the classroom. Through the investigative processes of science, students further develop their understanding of the world. Now teachers have away of integrating these two curriculum areas.  

The activities in this book are based on the National Science Education Standards.  In each chapter of this book, you will find activities that focus on five of the National Science Education Standards. The standards of ‘Unifying Concepts and Processes’ and ‘Science as Inquiry’ are naturally imbedded into these activities.  (See the matrix of skills and story titles for exact concepts for each chapter.)  Concepts are first introduced to students through hands-on center activities. These activities allow students to discover more about the world around them. Whole group activities follow up each center activity to further develop the concept, provide minds-on learning, and allow students to share their new discoveries by presenting information as a scientist would to his/her colleagues.  

First came Stories and More, teaching students how to learn from reading. Then came the Kindergarten Integration Guide for Math and Reading, which provides a unit approach with literature and math. The math program provides the classroom teacher with a guide and set of activities to integrate math skills with literature. Now, this new guide extends those same eight units one-step further and allows the integration of science. While this guide integrates with the first two, it can also be used alone. Teachers not using Stories and More will need to obtain a copy of each book used in each chapter. (See the Matrix of Skills and Story Titles for the titles of the eight books.) The software for the computer center allows students to learn from the outside environment and provides them with an informative guide to answer questions and provide assistance. 

The Discovery Approach and the Scientific Process 

The activities in this guide allow students to investigate and discover new information and relationships about common objects and activities. Rather than being read to, watching experiments or hearing explanations, these activities require students to engage their minds as well as their hands. The activities give students an opportunity to present their findings, thus giving them a sense of pride and mastery in their ability to learn new information on their own. As they are challenged to present their ‘new’ information, they must organize and synthesize the data, thus proving more minds-on learning using Bloom’s higher order levels of thinking. As these new scientists share information with their fellow scientists, they are learning to use the scientific process of evaluating and communicating problems, design and solutions.

 When working with students, it is important to ask them not only what happened but also why they think it happened. The requirement to explain ideas causes students to think about how they know information, to use terms related to the new information and allows other students to hear explanations that they may not yet have fully developed. Robert Ballard, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said, “Kids retain five percent of what they hear and ten percent of what they read, but eighty percent of what they do and ninety percent of what they teach.” If the goal is to have students retain the information and begin to transfer information from one subject area to another, they need to engage in activities designed to promote such learning. Each kindergarten student comes to school with different experiences and knowledge base. Through using the literature as the base of the unit, every student has a common reference point to which they can relate the new information. Students who perform well in school are able to relate new information to past experiences. In doing so, they are sorting the information and comparing it to previous knowledge, thus extending concepts they already know or modifying previous misconceptions. By using the literature as the base, all students begin to develop this concept of applying new information to past experiences. They learn to fully develop an idea, providing a more rounded, full-bodied set of concepts. When students see things as fragmented, they do not make the connections needed to apply information to new experiences. Thus the transfer of information, what we call knowledge, is much more difficult for them. The idea of the discovery process and the scientific process provides students with new concepts as well as helping them learn how to learn, to think, and to become independent life long learners. Their world is moving so fast, there is no way we can tell today what they will need to know when they graduate, but we do know that they will have to think, to process data and to communicate with others.

Kindergarten TLC Science Book
Matrix of Skills and Story Titles

Matrix of

Skills and Story Titles

I Need a Lunchbox

The Little Red Hen

The Happy Day

The Carrot Seed

Peter’s Chair

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie

The Gunny Wolf

Physical Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletProperties of Objects and Materials

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

bulletPosition and Motion of Objects

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

bulletLight, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism

X

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

Life Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletCharacteristics of Organisms

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

bulletLife Cycles of Organisms

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

bulletOrganisms and Environments

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Earth and Space Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletProperties of Earth Materials

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

bulletObjects in the Sky

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

bulletChanges in Earth and Sky

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

Science and Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletAbilities of Technological Design

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

bulletUnderstandings About Science and Technology

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

bulletAbilities to Distinguish Between Natural Objects and Objects Made by Humans

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulletPersonal Health

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

bulletCharacteristics and Changes in Populations

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

bulletTypes of Resources

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

bulletChanges in Environments

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

bulletScience and Technology in Local Challenges

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

SAMPLE of chapter eight from Kindergarten Science Manual 
Chapter 8 - The Gunnywolf

 
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Last modified: April 12, 2010

 

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