Biology in the preschool classroom
“The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction." - Maria Montessori
Young children are eager to find out what their place in the world is. Biology, the scientific study of life and living organisms, is an abstract concept but can come to life in a preschool classroom. Begin by exposing children to what is a living thing versus a non-living thing and about the function and growth of living things.
The study of plants and animals make up a large part of the biology preschool curriculum. Animals, as we all know, are particularly fascinating to children who enjoy reading, interacting and learning about animals.
But what else can the preschool teacher do to enrich their biology studies in the classroom in a practical way? Teachers can have a classroom pet for children to care after they can take their children on nature walks, they can give children the opportunity to care for plants in the classroom and to go on field trips to places like the zoo and the aquarium.
In addition to bringing the living, breathing experiences of biology into and out of the classroom - liven it up even more with easy-to-use, printable preschool, biology lesson plans and thematic units.
Matching and identification cards are a great way to help children delve into the vocabulary of animals and the parts that make them up. The word ‘nomenclature’ consists of the parts that make up a structure. Print out many different kinds of nomenclature cards from a preschool portal designed with materials in every academic area. Naming parts of an animal and classifying animals are activities that children find great joy in doing. The 5 animal kingdoms, of course for a preschooler, is a completely abstract concept, however, it doesn’t mean that it is impenetrable. According to early childhood pioneer, Maria Montessori, “Reality is studied in detail, then the whole is imagined. The detail is able to grow in the imagination, and so total knowledge is imagination, and so total knowledge is attained.”
Any observant teacher will quickly recognize the innate interest that children have in their natural world. Children have a genuine reverence and connection with all living things and that is why the study of biology, the study of living things is such an exciting part of the preschool curriculum.
Within biology, learning about recycling, the care of the earth, the interconnectedness of living things and lessons on protecting the planet should be an important facet to complete the unit. Print out lesson plans and materials for Earth Day and for taking care of the planet as part of the biology curriculum materials.