2021 Maurice Hillman Essay Contest - April 2021

A Head Start on Life Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder

by: William Straits

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Nurture curiosity and even joy in the youngest scientists. The 24 inquiry-based lessons in this lively collection show you how. The activities are organized into sections on animals, plants, and nature walks. Rather than merely presenting science facts to 3- to 7-year-olds, you’ll prompt them to make discoveries of their own. They’ll explore critter camouflage, probe pumpkin insides, make bird feeders, and more.

A Head Start on Life Science is as easy to use as it is inspiring. Each lesson includes lists of learning objectives and required materials, relevant background to help you prepare, plus at-home activities written in English and Spanish. Connections to multiple subjects—including reading, writing, math, dramatic play, and art—let you offer related learning opportunities. Extensions help you relate the science to children’s everyday lives and encourage them to explore with their families.

You can use A Head Start on Life Science in preschools, elementary schools, informal science settings, home schools—anywhere you want to engage children in meaningful, longer-lasting science learning. The book is a follow-up to NSTA’s popular A Head Start on Science. Like that treasury of science activities, this collection is designed to heighten children’s sense of wonder about the natural world.

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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