What Are Studies?

Studies are exciting and engaging first hand explorations of topics that are relevant to children's everyday experiences.  The study approach is a method of integrating content learning through children's in-depth investigations of a meaningful topic, and through exploration and discovery they find answers to their questions.  The hands-on experimental nature of studies taps into children's natural curiosity, resulting in a learning environments that is both fun and intentional.

Why Studies?

The advantage of the study approach is that it allows for deep, firsthand exploration of topics that are of interest to children, offering myriad ways to learn about them. Plus, the study approach not only allows children to gain a deeper understanding of the topic but encourages them to develop skills across all domains as they apply the investigative process.

The featured study topics that offer plenty of flexibility for teachers to incorporate many of the typical themes that are used in preschool classrooms all over the country.  Just like themes, studies approach teaching and learning through a topic of interest to preschool children.  Also like themes, studies integrate learning across development and content area and enable teachers to plan primarily hands-on experiences.  Many activities from a teacher's existing themes can be built right in to one of the study topics. 

shapes of



make musical instruments

Investigation 1

What are the characteristics of trees in out community?

trees that lose their leaves

trees that keep their leaves

Investigation 2

Who lives in trees?







need soil, sunlight, water to grow

Investigation 6

What can we do

with parts of a tree?

build houses

make paper

Investigation 5

How do trees change?


Investigation 3

What food comes from trees?

grow from


leaves change color

Investigation 4

Who takes care of trees?

nursery worker


maple syrup

Advantages of Studies
  •  allow children to explore science and social studies topic while developing skills in language and literacy, math, technology, and the arts.

  • let children apply acquired skills in meaningful, real-life contexts

  • encourage higher-level thinking, development of intellectual interests, and positive approaches to learning

  • give children the necessary skills to solve problems and find answers to their questions in a creative way

  • support the development of social-emotional skills such as resolving conflict, sharing responsibilities, and working 

  • encourage family involvement.


Other Studies
  • Buildings

  • Balls

  • Simple Machines

  • Clothing

  • Signs

  • Sand

  • Recycle, Reduce, Reuse