A little taste of science in the preschool classroom

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All throughout the school year, I like to bring in real fruits and veggies for my students to explore. Whenever I can, I always start off our day by introducing the fruit or veggie I brought in and then invite the children to tell me what they already know about the item…

The children almost always begin by telling me what they think the name of the fruit or vegetable is and whether they do or do not like the taste. I try to invite other types of conversation as well by asking questions such as, “How do you think this will feel?” or  “smell?” or “taste?’ and “Where do you think this comes from?”  After a brief discussion, we almost always follow up by giving each child a little taste…

Lemons and limes are particularly interesting to introduce to the children because they invite so many different reactions and words. I usually only give my students just a drop of the juice on a finger to taste (as long as we have no cuts to be wary of) so they won’t over do it on the first try…

Not every child will volunteer to taste some of of the produce I bring in. That is okay by me. I offer and they get to choose. Whether they tasted a lemon or not, they enjoyed the experience of watching their friends make a funny face…

Part of the science experience in preschool is using your senses. We not only taste the lemons and limes, we touch, feel, and smell them too. Oh, and as far as our stuffed animal friends in these photos? I have no idea why every child was holding one that day but there were those days when this seemed to be a very popular idea so our animal friends would join us for circle time too…

After taking a few minutes to talk about and explore our fruits or veggies in circle time, then I like to extend the experience in some way in our classroom centers…

With our lemons and limes, we set them out with yellow and green paint to explore lemon and  lime painting.  The children were able to smell the juice from the lemons and limes as they painted…

Many of the children enjoyed mixing the yellow and green color to see if the two colors would make a new color…

For the most part, we discovered that yellow and green just make more green and that the smell of the lemon and lime was not all that strong after we mixed it with the paint…

There are other fruits and veggies we explored this past year too such as carrots….

And watermelons…

And pumpkins…

And oranges…

Fruits and vegetables create so many wonderful ways to explore science in the preschool classroom that are…

…meaningful, interesting, engaging, and real.

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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