Emerging Biology in the Early Years : How Young Children Learn About the Living World book cover
1st Edition

Emerging Biology in the Early Years
How Young Children Learn About the Living World

ISBN 9780815377115
Published March 5, 2020 by Routledge
158 Pages

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Book Description

This inspiring text celebrates young children as 'emergent biologists' and explains how their natural inquisitiveness and curiosity can be harnessed to increase early understanding of scientific concepts, and so lay the foundations for future learning about the living world.

Full of practical tips, suggested discussion points and hands-on activities, Emerging Biology in the Early Years is a uniquely child-focussed resource. Chapters provide key information on the physical environment, including weather phenomena and soils, plants, animals and human development, and prioritise the child’s perspective to offer activities which are in line with their natural development, thereby provoking discussion, problem-solving and child-led investigations. From planting seeds, to classifying rocks, flowers and animals, to understanding growth processes and recognising anatomical features, this book takes a holistic approach to science which moves beyond the confines of the curriculum and the classroom and shows how biology can be taught in a fun, engaging and inexpensive way both at home and in the early years setting.

Providing a rich collection of ideas, activities, and downloadable sheets, this will be an invaluable resource for early years practitioners and parents looking to develop young children’s scientific skills and understanding.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Beginning to learn about the living world 

Chapter 2: Learning about ourselves 

Chapter 3: Learning about other animals 

Chapter 4: Learning about plants 

Chapter 5: Observing changes in living things 

Chapter 6: Naming living things 

Chapter 7: Earth science: rocks, soil, weather and habitats 

Chapter 8: Interactions between physical science and living things 


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Sue Dale Tunnicliffe is a Reader in Science Education, a biologist, former teacher and a researcher at the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK.


"This interesting, informative and highly accessible book puts the agency of the child at the heart of becoming an emerging biologist. Written by an expert in the field of early childhood science education – Dr. Sue Dale Tunnicliffe, Reader in Science Education at UCL Institute of Education – this book demonstrates how young children can be scaffolded and supported to become emerging biologists, via a number of age-appropriate activities steeped in good pedagogical practice for science education in the early years." - Amanda McCrory, The Journal of Emergent Science