ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Teaching with Ticia: beginner's science we all can do

Monday, March 7, 2011

Teaching with Ticia: beginner's science we all can do

Welcome! New to ABC and 123? Please check out our FAQ in the sidebar.

How many of you are daunted by the idea of teaching science?  I know back when I was in college a good half of my fellow teachers-to-be were terrified of the idea.

But, science only has to be as complicated as you make it.  Here's a simple activity that preschoolers can do.

Supplies: plastic animals or pictures of them, stuff to sort them into.

For ours activity we used farm animals because we were studying the farm.  We dumped them out on the foam board, and then set up our sorting area.

For little guys the more hands on you make this the better.  So, while it works with pictures, it's much better with toys, and let's face it if you have little kids you have a lot of little plastic animals.

I think they multiply while we're not looking.

For our sort we set up a pretend farm.  There was a pasture, a barn, a pond, and a "house," which was really more of a gazebo, but it worked.  Then we went through the different animals in our sets and put them where they went.  As you can see according to my kids there are a lot of animals that go in the pasture.

This can be extended into so many different areas all depending on what you're sorting, and how complicated you want to make it.  My boys were 4 when we did this, so it wasn't anymore complicated than where they thought it should go.  For older kids you could start talking about the actual animal classifications and how they are supposed to be.

Extensions for farm animal sorting:

1.  Go to a grocery store, look at the different food in the store and talk about which animals made the different food.  A further extension is to try different cheeses from the different animals.  When we did this, we were all surprised to find out that we liked goat cheese.

2.  Visit a local farm and see how it works.

3.  A great show to watch: "How'd That Get on My Plate," from Food Network, they've got clips online.  It shows how a potato goes from a potato to a potato chip.  Fascinating to watch.

4.  Nursery Rhymes, the number of nursery rhymes that are about farms is amazing.  I love nursery rhymes and wish I could find more time to incorporate them into our studies.


  1. Great post. I love the extension activities too. Ticia has such fun ideas!

  2. Love this activity and the ideas to expand on the topic! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Hands on for boys is very true. Thank you- my kids love animals:)