Child Development Tracker: Science From Age 5 to 6
Five-year-olds really want to know more about how the world works. Hands-on experiences help them to form theories to explain "how" and "why" things happen. They can use tools like thermometers and scales to gather information and are able to more independently carry out simple investigations. Five-year-olds also use increasingly descriptive language to relay information, ask questions and provide explanations.
- Can find answers to questions by designing and carrying out simple investigations that apply learning from past experiences (e.g., at school, makes a plan to move water up from a bucket on the floor to a water table after a period of exploring water movement with tubes, funnels and cups).
- Understands that one can find out about a group of things by studying just a few of them. Is able to use standardized tools (e.g., thermometers, scale) to gather information.
- Improves ability to independently collect and record information through charts, drawings, graphs, etc.
- Forms theories about "why" and "how" based on direct experience. Compares data from several sources (e.g., a book in which a boat sinks, observations of sinking and floating from experiences in the bath tub at home and at the water table at school) to form reasonable conclusions.
- Uses increasingly descriptive language to relay information, ask questions, and provide explanations.
- Is able to plan, carry out and discuss findings of simple cooperative investigations (e.g., works in a group to figure out which objects will travel down an incline faster, tries out the group's ideas using a stop watch, and records the seconds it takes each object to reach the bottom of the incline).
Knowledge of Physical Sciences
- Knows that some things can be done to materials to change some of their properties (e.g., heating, freezing, mixing, bending), but not all materials respond in the same way.
- Begins to explore the sources and properties of sound and light (e.g., tries to identify the source of a sound in the neighborhood or what illuminates an area of the classroom). Experiments with modifying light by changing the location of its source.
- Increases understanding of water and its properties through personal experiences (e.g., causing variation in water movement, observing the size and shape of drops, recognizing the characteristics of objects that sink and float). Knows that water can change from a liquid to a solid and vice versa.
- Draws on multiple personal experiences to form ideas about position and motion.
Reprinted with the permission of PBS. © PBS 2003 - 2008, all rights reserved.
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