In the pedagogical process of the kindergarten, various teaching methods are used (visual, practical, verbal).
Teaching methods are ways of joint activities of the educator and children, during which the formation of knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as attitudes towards the world around them, is carried out.
When familiarizing children with nature, all of these methods are widely used.
Visual methods include observation, viewing pictures, demonstrating models, films, filmstrips, transparencies. Visual methods most fully correspond to the possibilities of cognitive activity of preschool children, allow them to form vivid, concrete ideas about nature.
Practical methods are games, elementary experiments and simulations. The use of these methods in the process of getting acquainted with nature allows the educator to clarify the ideas of children, deepen them by establishing connections and relationships between individual objects and natural phenomena, bring the acquired knowledge into the system, and exercise preschoolers in applying knowledge.
Verbal methods are the stories of the teacher and children, reading works of art about nature, conversations. Verbal methods are used to expand children’s knowledge of nature, systematize and generalize them. Verbal methods help to form in children an emotionally positive attitude towards nature.
In the work on familiarizing children with nature, it is necessary to use different methods in a complex, correctly combine them with each other. The choice of methods and the need for their integrated use are determined by the age capabilities of the children, the nature of the upbringing and educational tasks that the educator solves. The variety of the objects themselves and natural phenomena that the child must learn also requires the use of a variety of methods.
For example, the formation of knowledge about the lifestyle of a rabbit is impossible without observations, children learn about how to care for indoor plants in the process of work, about the properties of snow and ice – when conducting experiments or games. Knowledge about wild animals is formed during the reading or story of the educator
Observation is a method of sensory knowledge of nature. Provides direct contact with nature, living objects, the environment.
Observation is a specially organized by the educator, purposeful, more or less long-term and systematic, active perception of objects and natural phenomena by children.
The purpose of observation may be the assimilation of various knowledge – the establishment of properties and qualities, the structure and external structure of objects, the reasons for the change and development of objects (plants, animals) of seasonal phenomena.
This method is the main way to familiarize preschoolers with nature, because. – this is the main way of forming specific (sensory) ideas about nature in preschoolers, the basis of figurative thinking.
The main stock of knowledge accumulated by the child at preschool age is representations, i.e., images of objects and phenomena perceived by him earlier. The more specific, brighter the presentation, the easier it is for the child to use it in practical and cognitive activities. And this requires frequent direct encounters with nature, observation of its objects.
Observation allows children to show nature in natural conditions in all its diversity, in the simplest, visually represented relationships. Many connections and relations of natural phenomena are accessible to direct observation, are visible.
The systematic use of observation in getting to know nature teaches children to look closely, notice its features and leads to the development of observation , and therefore, the solution of one of the most important tasks of mental education.
To successfully achieve the goal, the educator thinks through and uses special techniques that organize the active perception of children: asks questions, offers to examine, compare objects with each other, establish connections between individual objects and natural phenomena.
Observation must be accompanied by accurate speech of the educator and childrenso that the knowledge gained is assimilated. Since observation requires the concentration of voluntary attention, the teacher must regulate it in time, volume and content.
Observation of nature is an inexhaustible source of aesthetic impressions and emotional impact on children.
The teacher uses different types of observation .
To form in children ideas about the diversity of plants and animals, objects of inanimate nature, to recognize the features of certain objects, their properties, signs, qualities, recognizing observation is used. It ensures the accumulation of vivid, living knowledge about nature in children.
Observation is also used, which contributes to the formation of ideas about the growth and development of plants and animals, seasonal changes in nature.
Often in the process of observation it is necessary to establish a whole phenomenon by its individual features. For example, to determine by color, a ripe or unripe fruit; to find out from the fallen seed which tree it belongs to, from the trail – which animal has passed, etc.
Observation can be carried out both with individual children , with small groups (of 3-6 people), and with the entire group of pupils. It depends on the purpose and content of the observation, as well as the tasks facing the educator. So, in the lesson you can observe animals and plants, the work of adults. Work with children in this case is organized frontally. On the excursion, observation is organized with all children, with small subgroups and with individual pupils. In a corner of nature, it is advisable to conduct observation with individual children or with small subgroups.
Depending on the number of children involved in the observation, it can be individual, group and frontal .
Depending on the object and the age of the children, on the tasks set, observations can be episodic , lasting several minutes, and long , which are carried out for many days, and sometimes weeks, and final (generalizing).
Observations can be made:
– on walks and during excursions;
– in a corner of nature;
– on the land plot of the preschool educational institution;
– in class..
On walks , you can observe the weather, the sky (the movement of clouds, a rainbow, sunset, etc.), seasonal changes in the life of plants and animals (the appearance of leaves and flowers, leaf fall, the arrival and departure of birds). These observations are usually short-term, but are carried out repeatedly for the same object or natural phenomenon. On daily walks and excursions, you need to pay attention to the characteristic seasonal changes in the life of plants and animals.
Because observations on excursions are random and usually very short-term, then observations begun on a walk or excursion continue in a corner of nature . Let’s take an example. On a walk, children watch the caterpillars, consider their appearance and movement. The teacher puts the caterpillars caught in a jar with a fresh branch of the tree from which they were taken, and transfers it to a corner of nature. The children are given the task: “Look tomorrow what will happen to this branch.” The next day, they find that the leaves of the twig are gnawed by caterpillars, and therefore establish the harm they bring.
On the site of the preschool educational institution , you can observe how plants grow, their flowering and fruiting.
Also on the land plot of the preschool educational institution, you can continue observations started on an excursion or a walk. So, for example, you can create a corner of wild plants transferred from the forest and from the meadow, care for them, observe the growth of plants, and then compare these plants with those left, for example, in the park.
Summing up our observations, we can conclude: the plants that were cared for grow faster, become larger, more beautiful.
In classes with natural objects, children are taught to consider and correctly name the parts of plants and animals. In some classes, children watch how animals eat and move.
So, in classes in early age groups, children of the second year of life can observe a kitten, a puppy, a chicken, a bird in a cage, a fish swimming in the pelvis, in the summer – a frog, a beetle.
The main technique of the educator in the classroom is a show with such explanations that bring the object closer to the children (“A fish swam to Nina, and now to Tanya”, etc.). This increases the interest of young children in observations. The transplantation of fish from the aquarium to the basin, and then back to the aquarium, is of the same importance.
To fix , consolidate what children are observing, sketches and modeling of objects, stories about what they saw, games, toys can serve.
According to the “Kindergarten Education Program”, children of the preparatory group for school make observations of the weather and seasonal changes in the life of plants and animals all year round and fix them in drawings on separate sheets (74 or / e sheets), which make up the calendar of nature .