Science Knowledge & Skills

The Science Knowledge & Skills domain describes children’s abilities to observe and gather information about the natural and physical world around them. Children use their natural curiosity to explore and ask questions about their environment, through which they learn about living things and natural processes. The indicators in science also describe ways in which children process information by making connections, predictions, and generalizations based on their observations.

Science Knowledge & Skills

Children may . . .

Children may. . .

Suggested Supports
Adults may . . .

1. Scientific Inquiry:  The skills to observe and collect information and use it to ask questions, predict, explain, and draw conclusions.

  1. Observes and describes observable phenomena (objects, materials, organisms, and events).
  2. Engages in scientific talk.
  3. Compares and categorizes observable phenomena.
  4. Use senses to explore the properties of objects and materials (e.g., solids, liquids).*
  5. Make simple observations, predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on real-life experiences.*
  6. Notice change in matter.*
  7. Observe, describe and discuss properties of materials and transformation of substances.*
  8. Observe and discuss common properties, differences and comparisons among objects.*
  • Use senses to gather information about objects, living things, and Earth materials.
  • Ask and pursue questions through simple investigations and observations of living things.
  • Observe nature and make predictions about natural events (e.g., growing seeds, caring for animals, charting weather).
  • Investigate changes in liquids and solids when substances are heated, cooled, combined etc.
  • Predict outcomes when altering materials (liquids and solids) and record using journals, charts, graphs, technology or drawings.
  • Participate in experiments, ask how and why questions.
  • Draw connections between classroom experiments/investigation and real world experiences (e.g., “The water turned to ice like the lake next to my house because it was cold”).
  • Provide a variety of materials and objects (i.e., solids and liquids) to encourage children to observe, manipulate, sort, and describe physical properties (e.g., size, shape, color, texture, weight) using their five senses as well as simple tools (e.g., magnifiers, balance scales, funnels).
  • Provide opportunities for children to explore changes in matter (e.g., solids and liquids) when adding heat or cold, when mixing ingredients during cooking, when adding items to liquid (e.g., oil, pebbles).
  • Provide each child with materials for experiments.
  • Display child observations, predictions and projects.

2. Reasoning and Problem Solving: Gathering information to make predictions, conduct investigations and experiments, draw conclusions, and analyze and communicate results.

  1. Ask a question, gather information, and make predictions.
  2. Plan and conduct investigations and experiments.
  3. Analyze results, draw conclusions, and communicate results.
  • Identify the common needs such as food, air, and water of familiar living things.
  • Make and record by drawing, acting out, or describing observations of living things and how they change over time.
  • Observe and explore the natural processes of growing, changing, and adapting to the environment.
  • Engage children in exploring natural objects such as collecting small rocks, feathers, leaves, and other objects. 
  • Engage children in observing events, such as wet and dry places and how the sun warms objects it shines on.
  • Engage children to reflect on what they learn, such as why a plant takes days to sprout.
  • Provide a variety of outdoor natural materials (smooth stones, shells, pinecones, acorns) that children can investigate.

3. Life Science– make sense of natural phenomena and solve problems that require understanding how individual organisms are configured and how these structures function to support life, growth, behavior and reproduction.

  1. Observe, describe and discuss living things and natural processes.*
  2. Observe similarities and differences in the needs of living things.*
  3. Observe and describe how natural habitats provide for the basic needs of plants and animals with respect to shelter, food, water, air and light.*
  4. Ask and pursue questions through simple investigations and observations of living things.*
  5. Collect, describe, and record information about living things through discussion, drawings, graphs, technology and charts.*
  6. Identify differences between living and nonliving things.*
  7. Identify the common needs such as food, air and water of familiar living things.*
  8. Predict, explain and infer patterns based on observations and representations of living things, their needs and life cycles.*
  9. Observe and document changes in living things over time using different modalities such as drawing, dramatization, describing or using technology.*
  10. Recognize that plants and animals grow and change.*
  • Match photographs of different habitats to the things that occupy them (i.e., worms live in the ground; fish live in water).
  • Sequence a series of photographs/pictures of a plant’s growth.
  • Sequence a series of photographs/pictures of the life cycle of a butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis/cocoon to butterfly.
  • Document the life cycle of living thing.
  • Recognize that living things require water, air, food.
  • Identify and describe through a variety of modalities the changes in living things overtime (e.g., bears hibernate when it is cold outside).
  • Investigate living things by caring for animals and plants in the classroom.
  • Document the human life cycle – babies grow into children, children grow to adults, adults get older.
  • Provide opportunities for children to engage with live animals and plants along with toy/stuffed animals and plans and photographs/pictures throughout the classroom.
  • Read books about living and nonliving things, inquire about how we know if something is living or not.
  • Display worm farms, bird feeders, caterpillar/butterfly habitat, fish tank for observation.
  • Watching the fish, observe and discuss the movement of the gills, explaining this is how fish breathe under water.
  • Provide opportunities for children to use different materials (technology, journals, drawings, etc.) to observe living things.
  • Provide opportunities for observation and investigation of the characteristics of animals and plants over time.
  • Take nature walks.
  • Encourage children to identify similarities and differences between living things and document what each need to survive.
  • Provide opportunities for children to explore available outdoor habitats.
  • Provide opportunities for children to help feed the classroom pet, water the plants, etc.