Peep and the Big Wide World

Peep and The Big Wide World

Click here to visit the Peep and the Big Wide World website. Check out the teacher resources and blog!

What is Peep and the Big Wide World?peep

Developed by WGBH Boston and funded in part by the National Science Foundation, Peep and the Big Wide World is an Emmy Award science and math series for preschoolers ages three to five years. The Peep series gives wings to the innovative idea of teaching science and math to preschoolers. The series tracks the adventures of Peep, a newly-hatched chicken; Chirp, a smart and sassy robin; and Quack, an irascible endearing duck. Like most preschoolers, Peep and his friends, are always "ready to learn" and eager to explore their "big wide world."

Written by a preschool teacher who specializes in early childhood science, an easy, yet comprehensive science program has been created for teachers and parents. This curriculum offers fun ways for adults and children to learn simple science concepts such as: plants, weather, the way things move, homes and habitats, light and color, sounds, structures, water, animals, simple tools and machines; and so much more.

Workshops for Teachers

Teachers who attend a workshop will receive a free teacher’s guide, DVD, book, and other supplemental resources linked to early childhood standards and the NC Standard Course of study. The guide offers teacher preparation tips, examples of real-world classroom applications, and materials that enhance learning opportunities outside the classroom.

All workshops highlight media literacy and are based on UNC-TV’s educational philosophy called the Learning Triangle. The learning triangle is: Read-View-Do. Workshop participants will practice the learning triangle model. Sample Read, View, and Do activities are included below.

CHC’s will be awarded to early childhood professionals. PreK-12 public school teachers must receive prior approval from their district to receive CEU’s for this workshop.

PEEP and the Big Wide World Grant

UNC-TV received a grant from WGBH Educational Foundation and the National Science Foundation to conduct PEEP and the Big Wide World workshops and community events for bilingual audiences. The activities were conducted from August 2011 - May 5, 2012. Community participants included Wayne County Parents as Teachers (District 7) parent coordinators, preschool classroom teachers, family childcare providers, administrators, museum staff, and much more.  Workshops will be conducted at the North Carolina Licensing Child Care Association Conference in October 2012 and throughout the state of NC through June 30, 2013.

How does PEEP and the Big Wide World support children's science learning?

Karen Worth, a faculty member at Wheelock College in Boston, MA, and a leader in the field of early childhood science education is the science advisor for the Peep and the Big Wide World series. Ms. Worth is also a co-author of The Young Scientist Series, a set of three teacher guides plus trainer manual focused on the study of nature, water, and structures

Each Peep and the Big Wide World episode presents a fun and motivating story about everyday experiences in "the big wide world," where science is naturally explored. After watching the show, children and parents are encouraged to turn off the TV and investigate science in the world around them through exploration, observation, play, and conversation.

Also featured in the Peep and the Big Wide World daily episodes are video clips of real children exploring a related science topic such as shadows, water, or things that roll. These video clips can give adults and kids additional ideas about science explorations they might want to try.

Click here to learn more about the Peep series science advisor.

What is the best way to introduce science to young children?

bubblesFor young children, science is about active, focused exploration of objects, materials, and events around them. Adults introduce children to science by offering an environment where there are interesting materials to explore.

As young children investigate the science of everyday things, it is important that adults support their curiosity and encourage their questions. In other words, adults need to help children see themselves as investigators and explorers of the world around them.

What does research tell us about how young children learn science?

One of the most important things we are learning from the research is that young children are powerful thinkers. In many environments we underestimate what young children can do. Given interesting materials at hand and supportive adults around them who encourage and challenge their work, young children develop their thinking, learn new ways to express themselves and new words to use, and form reasoned theories about how things work and even why. These may not be scientifically accurate but they reflect children's careful thought about their limited experience.

How can parents encourage and support their children's interest in science?bark

Parents can support their children's interest in science by providing simple materials and the time and space to explore them, and by encouraging, supporting, and participating in their children's explorations.

Research suggests that the best way to support children's science learning is to encourage, facilitate, and guide a child's own thinking rather than deliver the facts. Ask questions such as: "I wonder what would happen if...?" or " Why do you think...?" These questions can inspire your child to make predictions, try things out, look closely, and draw thoughtful conclusions. Don’t be afraid if you don’t have all the answers!  Look for the answers together!

Adults can also read to children. Remember, reading together is yet another way to help children connect to the ideas that make the TV series so special.

Below is a sample Read-View-Do activity idea!

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Henry Builds a Cabin by D.B. Johnson

Chirp Builds a Nest

Build a bird’s nest using shredded paper and other recyclable materials.  Mold a bird from playdoh and feathers.  Place the bird in the next.

You can also create edible bird nests using uncooked chow mien noodles, and melted chocolate or butterscotch pieces. Grease your hands with butter and mold the chow mien noodles into the shape of a nest.  You can place jellybeans in the nest to create “eggs in a nest.” Eat and enjoy!

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For More Information:
Pamela W. Orr, PreK-12 Director
10 T. W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, N. C. 27709
(919) 549-7149    
PBS Ready To Learn is supported by a cooperative agreement from the U. S. Department of Education, PR/Award Number R295A00002.