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Improving Math & Science Learning:
Discover the World of Machines

Lesson Plan | Web

Purpose of the project:

This curriculum unit is developed for the pre-kindergarten level, supporting English as a Second Language learners. This unit is based on a thematic approach to teaching and learning integrated with multiple discipline areas - reading, writing, math, social studies, science, and technology. This unit utilizes strategies that engage children in meaningful activities;  help to motivate children to acquire concepts, ask questions, and research information; and provide opportunities for children to explore and develop visual-spatial concepts and problem solving skills. Children are given opportunities to explore various machines that we encounter in our every day lives.  They work with the computer using various software programs to draw and build their own machine designs. They are also taught to use the digital camera to capture their activities and creations.

Standards addressed:

Students will:
 *Use scientific inquiry to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions. 
*Access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
 *Understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science. *Apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs. 
*Understand the relationships and common themes that connect science and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning. 
*Apply the knowledge and thinking skills of science and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

Software and materials used:

Kid Pix, Fisher Price Toyland, Sammy's Science House

Computer, Printer, Digital Camera, Tape Recorder


The target student grade level is pre-k. Most of our students are second language learners and heterogeneously grouped. They do not have access to computers at home, and are first-time learners of all technology introduced to them in this unit.

Overall value:

This project incorporates a science topic with reading, writing, social studies and technology. It encourages and stimulate children's imagination, curiosity and creativity. It helps develop children's visual-spatial concepts and motor skills. Very young children are provided with opportunities to explore with the computer, the digital camera, computer software programs, and many ordinary machines in our daily life.

Tips for teachers:

On a continuous basis, make connections between the project study and the environment surrounding us. Stimulate children's imagination and creativity by allowing them to explore and discover on their own.  Be sure to have a large sample of machines in your classroom for use in these activities.

Donna Yung-Chan is an early childhood teacher at P.S.1 in  Manhattan Community School District Two. She has taught Pre-Kindergarten for the past 14 years.  In 1998, Donna received her National Board Certification. She was also awarded the Title 1 Distinguished Teacher Award given by the New York State Education Department and New York City Board of Education in 1999.

E-mail: donna_yung@fc1.nycenet.edu

Estimated Class Periods to Complete: 10 or more

Subject Area: Science, General Elementary, ESL

Beginning Grade Level: Pre-K

Ending Grade Level: K


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