In Kindergarten science, students are explorers, learning about the nature around us, as well as learning how our earth is a part of the greater community! One day each week focuses on learning about the Zoophonics animals, and the other includes subjects from weather to life cycles to the scientific process. We will explore a variety of environmental cycles and how their every aspect plays an integral part in the web of life. Each month we will study a different unit pertaining to this theme and use art, theater and music to help in our class learning.
Part I: Zoophonics Animals (Thursdays)
We will integrate the Zoophonics reading curriculum into science, by becoming zoologists and researching each of the animals! We will discover information about each animal, their habitats and their appetites and other habits, as well as learn how they affect the environment and food chain around them.
Part II: Units of Study (Fridays)
Unit I: Seasons, Local Flora and the Transition of Autumn
The students will start off their year by exploring right outside their back door! We will take observational walks to witness first hand the transition that flora go through as Summer fades and Fall begins. We will learn plant functions in regard to the photosynthesis process and how plants in turn give back oxygen and food to other fauna and flora. We will collect leaves and other plants in order to learn what grows here locally and use art, theater and music to further understand the how and why the earth goes through this process as flora dies and, eventually, is reborn. We will learn about transitions that will occur in other seasons as well, and what happens to bring about those seasons.
Unit II: Harvest and Farm Life
Following our study of the natural change during Autumn, we will study how humans (and specifically farmers) are affected by this time of year. We will study farm life, and what that means for the animals as well as crop farms. We will also study the effects farms can have on the local and surrounding land and the indigenous animals and plants that once lived there.
Unit III: Ecosystems
After we learn about Farm Life (an artificial ecosystem), we will move on to natural ones, learning how these fully functioning communities work together to survive. We will primarily cover the basics of what an ecosystem is and some land ecosystems.
Unit IV: Water Cycles and Weather
This unit is where we will explore a variety of water ecosystems, oceans, rivers and lakes, as well as observing how water transforms based on temperature (ice, liquid, steam). We will also be making our own weather charts to keep track of the changing weather throughout the winter months.
Unit V: Scientific Method: Density, Mass and Volume
Now that the students have learned about water, we will use it to aid in our learning of the scientific process: of how to ask important questions (what, when, why, who, where and how), make an educated guess, conduct careful investigations/experiments to try and find the understanding or conclusions to our questions. We'll use what we find in nature to observe how objects have different weights, sizes, etc.
Unit VI: Insects and Communities of Animals
We will start our unit on Insects by observing how communities of insects work together to be successful (just as we did more broadly with ecosystems). We will look closely into bee and ant communities in particular.
Unit VII: Animal Life Cycles
As spring approaches we will learn about animal life cycles and what happens with new babies in the spring. We will have first hand experience with tadpoles to frogs and (hopefully) cocoons to butterflies. We will then study various animal behaviors and adaptations such as camouflage and mimicry.
Unit VIII: Spring Time and Plant Life Cycles
Having looked at animal life cycles, we will move on to plant life cycles. We'll study the process plants go through from seed to flowering plant and how the seeds are distributed. We'll study how the plant world grows and changes during spring.
Unit XI: Gardening
For our last unit, we will put our knowledge of flora, fauna and insects into play as we plant and nurture our own garden!