For preschoolers, daily life IS learning. Research indicates that all children can learn about anything and should have the opportunity to become scientifically literate as early as possible. Effective science learning requires hands-on contact with materials, time to investigate and manipulate those materials and time to contemplate the results.
Researchers also note that active, hands-on learning provides the most meaningful and relevant learning experiences for children. It is for this reason that your child was given the opportunity to observe and manipulate the various parts of a tree. To begin with, we read a short book about the various components of a tree.
Your child learned about the trunk (located underground), the vascular tissue (which carries water from the roots to the leaves), the bark (which protects the inside of the tree), and the leaves. Your child then examined a piece of bark with a magnifying glass, using words to describe it.
Some students regarded it as bumpy, scratchy, hard, and rubbery. Following this, your child felt both the bark on a real tree, and the vascular tissue underneath.
Students used words to descibe the vascular tissue as well. Some words they used for this feature was soft, smooth, shiny, and wet.