Learning About the World

Science


Inquiry

Goal 1: Children make sense of the world around them by actively gathering and interpreting information.

By the end of each age group or grade level, most children will have met prior age group or grade level standards in this domain.

Infants Through Older Toddlers

Infants

(0-12 Months)

  1. Indicate awareness of what is happening in immediate surroundings
  2. Explore objects in a variety of ways

Young Toddlers

(9-18 Months)

  1. Use senses to investigate immediate surroundings

Older Toddlers

(18-36 Months)

  1. Ask “why” and other questions frequently
  2. Seek information through observation, exploration, and investigation.
Younger Preschoolers Through Kindergartners

Younger Preschoolers

(36-48 months)

  1. Ask “why” and other questions to gain information, and attend to responses given

Older Preschoolers

(48-60 months)

  1. Ask questions and participate in simple investigations to form hypotheses, gather observations, draw conclusions, and form generalizations
  2. Collect, describe and record information through discussions, simple drawings, maps and charts
  3. Describe and discuss predictions, explanations and generalizations based on past experience

Kindergartners

  1. Initiate inquiry by developing a question (e.g., I wonder.., Why?)
  2. Identify resources for finding answers to the questions (e.g., books, people, internet)
  3. Design investigation by explaining what their jobs will be during an inquiry
  4. Develop a hypothesis by sharing ideas about possible answers to the questions
  5. Conduct research by asking questions and observing during investigation
  6. Organize and display information found (e.g., table, chart)
  7. Discuss information found and if it answered question
  8. Identify ways they will show they have learned
  9. Record observations with words, symbols or pictures
  10. Develop reasonable explanations that answer the question by analyzing the evidence
  11. Make connections by proposing solutions to problems and asking other questions
  12. Communicate findings from the inquiry by presenting them, using pictures, writing a story, dictating ideas to teacher
First Graders Through Third Graders

First Graders

  1. Initiate inquiry by asking questions based on what they have seen, read, listened to
  2. Develop a hypothesis and use prior knowledge to share ideas of possible solutions
  3. Design an investigation by identifying resources needed
  4. Conduct investigations by observing and asking questions
  5. Provide reasonable answers to the questions posed by organizing and displaying information gathered
  6. Connect back to the question of the inquiry and discuss if the findings answered the research questions and propose solutions
  7. Design inquiry and explain jobs during investigations
  8. Plan how to organize the information that investigation will yield
  9. Record observations through writing, illustrations, charts, etc.
  10. Develop reasonable answers to the investigation question by classifying information gathered, prior knowledge, or experience

Second Graders

  1. Initiate inquiry by asking questions based on what they have seen, read, listened to
  2. Develop a hypothesis and use prior knowledge to share ideas of possible solutions
  3. Design an investigation by identifying resources needed
  4. Conduct investigations by observing and asking questions
  5. Provide reasonable answers to the questions posed by organizing and displaying information gathered
  6. Connect back to the question of the inquiry and discuss if the findings answered the research questions and propose solutions
  7. Design inquiry and explain jobs during investigations
  8. Plan how to organize the information that investigation will yield
  9. Record observations through writing, illustrations, charts, etc.
  10. Develop reasonable answers to the investigation question by classifying information gathered, prior knowledge, or experience

Third Graders

  1. Initiate an inquiry by asking relevant and focusing questions based on what they have seen, what they have read, what they have listened to, and/or what they have researched
  2. Develop a hypothesis, thesis, or research statement by using prior knowledge to predict results
  3. Design research by identifying resources for finding answers
  4. Identify tasks and how they will be completed
  5. Conduct research by following a plan for an inquiry and locating relevant materials
  6. Describe evidence, methods, and sources of information
  7. Develop reasonable explanations that support the research statement
  8. Organize and display information in a manner appropriate to the research statement
  9. Use appropriate methods for interpreting information such as comparing and contrasting.
  10. Make connections to research by explaining findings to the research question
  11. Communicate findings orally, in writing, or a visual presentation

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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