Kindergarten Science Units of Study
Dear Kindergarten Families;Welcome to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Family Pages. We hope the information you find here assists you in supporting your child while s/he is learning important skills and concepts throughout the kindergarten year.The Ann Arbor Public Schools uses Science Companion as its core elementary science learning resource. Science Companion is an inquiry-based program that engages students in hands-on science and the process skills used by scientists. The units of study are aligned with Michigan Science Standards that include a life science and an earth science module at each grade level. Project Lead the Way - Launch resources are used to provide units of study in physical science as well as engineering.
Key Science Learnings
Class PetChildren’s ongoing interactions with a class pet provide an ideal opportunity for introducing the concept of scientific inquiry. Through living with, caring for, closely observing, and documenting observations of the pet over time, children learn a great deal about the characteristics and needs of a single animal. In addition, activities that extend this learning help children make connections and comparisons with other animals. Safe handling and humane treatment of animals are emphasized.
Children celebrate and document their own growth and development through several rituals which can be conducted on their birthdays, as part of student-of-the-week activities, or at another designated time. They create a timeline of their lives, mark their birth height and weight and subsequent growth, and conduct a “walk around the sun” to symbolize their age.
Children investigate the inner workings of their bodies through multi-sensory observation, experimentation, modeling, and other scientific methods of inquiry. They learn about their brain and five senses, and they make a simple model of their circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and muscular systems inside a life-size body outline.They also focus on growth and development and on healthy habits. Children explore the topics presented in the context of their own bodies, with a focus on concrete activities and experiences.
Collections from Nature
Children build a class collection of a particular group of natural objects and conduct an in-depth investigation of the items. Children weigh and measure objects, closely observe form and texture, and make simple classifications through sorting activities. The children also learn various ways of acquiring information about their collection, including observation, experimentation, research, and communication with an “expert.”
Dirt, Sand, Water
This study builds on the sand and water table activities that are part of many classrooms. As children pack and pour and dig and squirt, they explore the properties of dirt, sand, and water and investigate states of matter. Activities such as “Adding Water,” “Mud Pies,” and “Mixing and Un-mixing” validate and build on children’s urge to cook and concoct, while leading them to discoveries about interactions between materials and the nature of change. A close examination of dirt, sand, and water increases children’s awareness of the complexity of the natural world and the science in their own backyards.
Physical ScienceEngineering and Design
*Unless noted units are Project Lead The Way - Launch resources
Structure and Function: Exploring Design
Students discover the design process and how engineers influence their lives. They explore structure and function by identifying products around them designed by engineers, asking questions engineers might ask as they design products, and determining the structure and function of items. Working in small groups, students design, build, and test a structure from available materials to withstand a force. Students apply newly acquired knowledge and skills as they utilize the design process to design, sketch, build, test, and reflect on a new tool design.
Pushes and Pulls
Students investigate different pushes and pulls on the motion of an object and develop knowledge and skills related to forces of differing strengths and directions. Their explorations include pushes and pulls found in their everyday world such as pushing a friend on a swing or pulling a wagon. Students are challenged to refine a design and successfully solve a problem, and they reflect on the effect of modifying the strength or direction of a force.