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It's A Big, Big World shows children that science isn't just a bunch of facts; it is a process of discovery. In each episode, viewers accompany characters on an adventure as they learn more about themselves and the big, big world all around them. Through the stories, the characters demonstrate for young viewers how to think through the questions and puzzles they encounter and how they can use the process of scientific inquiry to help them discover new things.
You can help your child understand the following thinking skills by watching the program with them and highlighting the steps of scientific inquiry and exploration after the program is over.
Talk to your child about the puzzle, mystery, or big idea of each segment. Help your child see that there are different types of questions that provide different kinds of information.
Talk about the characters' investigation and how the puzzle or big idea was addressed. How did the characters know which information to use? Did any of this information lead to new questions?
Form New Ideas.
Summarize the main ideas in the story with your child. What were the characters' ideas in the beginning of the episode, and what are the new ideas that they have now? What are some ways that their thinking changed? Help your child to connect the characters' ideas to his own world.
Many children like to learn new words, and are even curious about large scientific words! Talk about new words that your child heard in this episode.
Each episode includes songs that capture big ideas and main themes of the story. Discuss this idea and listen to music from different cultures. Encourage him to get up and sing and dance like the characters.
Life Science and Geography
The series features diverse plants and animals with interesting characteristics. Ask your child about the plants and animals in the episode watched-discuss-research --find some interesting facts-have fun together.
This 2-hour inquiry based learning workshop is available for parents, teachers, and child care providers. The Ready To Learn Read-View-Do Learning Triangle model is followed.
Read: Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins (Scholastic, 1998)
View: It's a Big, Big World (Episode: What a Wonderful Leaf)
Do: Take a walk with your child through your yard, neighborhood, or local park and look at all of different types of leaves you see. Bring a bag for leaf collecting. Point out to your child leaves of different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes, and have him collect a variety of leaves.