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2020 Pre-Kindergarten Science Standards and Analyses (redirected from 2020 Pre-Kindergarten Science Standards and Bundle Analyses)

Page history last edited by Heather Johnston 6 months ago

The Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science (OAS-S) are three-dimensional performance expectations representing the things students should know, understand, and be able to do to be proficient in science and engineering. Performance expectations are considered standards and include a science and engineering practice (indicated in blue and represent everyday skills of scientists and engineers), disciplinary core ideas (represented in orange and represent science ideas used by scientists and engineers), and a crosscutting concept (indicated in green and represent ways of thinking like scientists and engineers).


The Pre-Kindergarten standards emphasize one dimension: science and engineering practices. This provides early learners with ample time for exploratory play and background experiences that will inform learning experiences K-12.


Key Words

  • Physical World -  includes things made by man and nonliving systems (e.g., physical sciences, computers, robots)
  • Natural World - includes living things and materials (e.g., plants, animals, the environment)


Download the full 2020 Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science (OAS-S).


Clarification Statement

Student Actions

Teacher Actions

PK.S.1 Engage in play to explore the physical and natural world.

Exploration-based play should include playing inside the classroom (e.g., building towers with blocks, interacting with a balloon, mixing water colors, placing different objects in water) and outside the classroom (e.g., swinging at different speeds, kicking a ball in different ways, rolling round objects down a hill, digging in the dirt). Emphasis is on basic play as a means of exploration.

  • Through play, explore concrete objects from the physical world and natural worlds. 

  • Provide children with a wide variety of concrete objects and materials to explore the physical and natural world.

  • Integrate science in play throughout the day and include it in a wide range of activities that allow for exploration of the physical and natural world.


PK.S.2 Make observations of the physical and natural world.

Observations should focus on what things look, feel, hear, or smell like, how they might operate or function, and similarities and differences among things inside classroom (e.g., pencils, markers, and highlighters make different marks on paper) and outside a classroom (e.g., leaves look different at different times of year, sticks in different areas of the school yard are different shapes and sizes, it is cooler in the morning than at lunch). Explanations for why things inside and outside the classroom look, feel, or smell the way they do are not expected.

  • Use all five senses to gather observations about the physical world and natural worlds.

  • Safely use tools to make observations of the physical world and natural worlds.

  • Model and provide feedback for students as they develop the term “observe” and its associated actions.

  • Create a classroom environment that encourages and supports observation of the physical and natural world.

  • Provide interesting and engaging objects and materials that focus children's attention on the task of observation.

  • When appropriate, provide tools that enhance children's observations of the physical and natural world (i.e., hand lenses).

PK.S.3 Notice and describe similarities and differences among plants, animals and objects.

Similarities and differences might include grouping like plants, animals, or objects based on observations. Descriptions of groupings might be based on how plants, animals, or objects look, feel, or smell.

  • Practice careful observation and comparison of plants, animals, and objects.

  • Use charts, gesturings, drawings, and language to describe similarities and differences among plants, animals and objects.

  • Write and draw in a journal the descriptions of similarities and differences among plants, animals and objects.

  • Help children connect the process of observing to identifying similarities and differences.

  • Discuss children's observations, then create cooperatively generated charts to document student responses to similarities and differences among plants, animals and objects.

  • Model respect for nature when working with plants and animals.

  • Assist children in journaling similarities and differences among plants, animals, and objects.

PK.S.4 Share noticings and wonderings about the physical and natural world.

Sharing could include drawing, writing, building models, or other creative expressions, such as drama or creative movement. Sharing could include retelling, verbal descriptions, or talking with others. Wonderings might include “why,” “how,” and “what if” statements. Respect for the noticings and wondering of others should be emphasized, but explanations for noticings and wonderings are not emphasized or expected.

  • Share ideas and thoughts related to noticings and wonderings about the physical and natural worlds.

  • Interact with peers and adults while cooperatively sharing noticings and wonderings.

  • Take turns respectfully listening to others' noticings and wonderings.

  • Scaffold and assist communication (verbal, gestures, visual clues) of noticings and wonderings.

  • Provide opportunities for children to respectfully share noticings and wonderings in both small and large groups.

  • Provide opportunities for children to use multiple modalities for sharing noticings and wonderings.

  • Create a safe environment that respectfully values student sharing of their noticings and wonderings.

PK.S.5 Ask questions based on curiosity about the physical and natural world.

Questions may arise through observations, play, interests, events in the classroom, text, media, or other experiences of the natural and physical world.

  • Ask questions to make sense of situations while exploring the physical and natural worlds.

  • Engage in constructive tinkering based on curiosity and interest in the physical and natural world.

  • Affirm children's questions by demonstrating interest and valuing the importance of their thinking.

  • Ask children open-ended questions to encourage thought.

  • Create an environment that welcomes and values children's questions rather than providing answers.

  • Nurture children's expressions of curiosity to develop creative questions that can serve as a springboard to problem-solving and critical thinking.

PK.S.6 Engage in investigations based on curiosity and wondering about the physical and natural world.

Opportunities for investigation or further investigation could arise from opportunities to engage in play inside and outside the classroom, curiosities and wonderings of the student from school or out of school experiences. Emphasis is on providing opportunities for investigations to arise from student curiosities, wonderings, or questions.

  • While investigating, ask interest-based questions. 

  • During investigations, make and test predictions about the physical world and natural worlds.

  • Provide opportunities for hands-on investigations that stimulate curiosity and wonderings.

  • Co-construct knowledge with children through explorations and investigations

  • Set up a physical environment that is rich, stimulating, and conducive to investigations about the physical and natural world.

  • Invite children to develop reasoning skills and draw conclusions as they engage in investigations.


Navigation Links

Back to Pre-Kindergarten Science Homepage

3D Science Vertical Learning Progressions

OKScience Frameworks Introduction


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