What Just Happened? - a brand new activity type specially for Early Years
Develop your little ones’ curiosity, concentration and observational skills with Explorify’s short videos focusing on changes over time.
The What Just Happened? videos break down scientific changes into small steps making it easier for young children to notice and think about what is happening. They were developed at the suggestion of a group of expert Early Years practitioners and are ideal when you are teaching young children about the life cycles of plants and animals or about how materials change. Challenge your children to identify the differences they are watching and then think about the changes that they noticed. All the videos feature familiar situations which the children may have observed first hand or might have learnt about through stories that have been read to them. For example, what happens after a chicken lays an egg, an ice lolly gets warm, or blossom appears on the tree?
Get a discussion started in your classroom by asking the question What just happened? All the activities can involve either a group of children or the whole class depending on what works best in your setting.
Start the video and as the children watch, focus their attention with questions like: What do you think is going to happen in this video? What can you see in the pond? What do you think is going to happen to the frogspawn? You can pause the video at any point so the children can look carefully at a particular image. For example, so they can look closely at the lolly melting or the fairy cakes rising in the oven.
When the video has finished, pause on the final set of images which include arrows. Can the children say what just happened in the video? Can they say what happened first? What happened next, or at the end?
Ask the children what they know about the topic. With Let It snow, for example, can they tell their partner if they have ever made a snowman? There are some suggested questions to help you, but your children are guaranteed to have lots of questions of their own.
As with all Explorify activities there is information in the Background Science. We know Early Years Teachers do not need a huge amount of information, but it does help you think ahead about how you might explain changes, answer their questions, tackle any misconceptions the children bring, and avoid new ones developing.
Early Years practitioners will have ideas about how they can develop these science activities further in their classrooms but the Take it further has plenty of suggestions for follow-up activities that reflect the different aspects of Early Years settings, with optional questions for the adults involved in supporting the children’s play, as well as storybook ideas.
In Egg, chick, chicken, for instance, there are ideas for building farm fences with pegs and lolly pop sticks, or making nests for chickens. Apple orchard has children examining blossom, comparing apples (by width, height, smell and taste) as well as printing with apples and observing how they decay overtime.
There are tried and tested story recommendations, links to informative animations or video clips and songs for the children to sing - all designed to make Early Years teachers’ planning easier.
Try starting a carpet session, or small group activity, with one of our activities. To find one, select the Early Years category in the Year group box at the top left of the home screen (the exact name varies depending on which curriculum you teach) and then use the search button to find a particular activity. What Just Happened? are currently searchable under animals, changing materials, life cycles, materials, plants and seasons.
Click here for Top Tips on How to run a What Just Happened activity.
After all, it’s never too early to encourage children’s curiosity about our world and develop their love of science.