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Engaging Preschoolers in Conducting Surveys


Niloufar Rezai describes how engaging young children in creating and implementing peer surveys can build children's oral language, writing, early literacy, and numeracy skills. Children are especially interested in talking to their peers when they get to ask a question they created themselves. 

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  • Engaging Preschoolers in Conducting Surveys

    Download a printable transcript.

    Niloufar Rezai, Director, Children and Family Development Resource Center:
    In our classroom children are very interested in doing surveys. I think part of it has to do with walking around with a clipboard and feeling important, and legitimately having questions that they’re genuinely curious about. Some children are able to write the question themselves, however they choose to.

    Child: Yes and no.
    Teacher: You want to write that part?
    Child: Yeah.

    Niloufar Rezai: So they’re becoming familiar with the word “Yes” or “No,” because typically a lot of the types of questions they ask are “Yes” or “No” questions.

    Teacher: Yes, and…
    Child: No. Other word is no. Nnnnno.
    Teacher: No. Okay. Excellent. So should we go ask some friends what they think?
    Child: Yeah.
    Teacher: Okay.

    Niloufar Rezai: It allows an opportunity for them to engage in oral language, because they ask their friends the question, as well as record their responses.

    Teacher: Yes, she says yes.
    Child: Okay.

    Niloufar Rezai: So children are seeing those words over and over, “Yes” “No.” It allows them another opportunity to sign their name, or the person conducting the survey is signing their name or keeping a tally.

    Child: Alright. Three people said no.

    Niloufar Rezai: So now not only are you focused on literacy but you’re also including a numeracy component as well.

    Teacher: So how many people said yes? There’s nine marks under the yes.
    Child: Nine.
    Teacher: So nine people said yes?
    Child: Yeah.
    Teacher: How many people said no?
    Child: Four!

    Niloufar Rezai:
    And it allows children yet another opportunity to speak to each other.

    © 2023 Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University
    May be reprinted for educational purposes.

  • Producer and Scriptwriter: Julia DeLapp
    Videographers: Ken Measimer and Denise Matthews
    Editor: Lauren Christie (student)
    Audio: Kristen Chemerka (student)

    The Center wishes to thank the Child and Family Development Resource Center in Willimantic, Connecticut, for their cooperation in the making of this video.