Primary Chalkboard: #thesciencepenguin
Showing posts with label #thesciencepenguin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #thesciencepenguin. Show all posts

Picture Book Science Lessons: Over and Under the Snow

Hi!  It's Ari from The Science Penguin.

I've been working on a new blog series, Picture Book Science LessonsEach post contains a favorite picture book for teaching science concepts and activity ideas to accompany the book.  
This post contains affiliate links.

Topic: animals in winter, animal adaptations

Literacy Connections: figurative language, descriptive writing

Focus: First of all, the illustrations in this book are beautiful.  I love how the story shows a boy's observations of life above ground in the winter as well as life under the snow.  Students learn how living in the subnivean zone helps animals survive through winter.

Title: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Discussion Questions
After reading the text aloud to students, have a group discussion or mini-discussions in small groups.
  • What characteristics do the animals seen above the snow have in common?
  • What must shrews, voles, and deer mice do to prepare for winter?

Group students in teams of 2-3.  Assign each group one of the animals from the story to answer the essential question: How does each animal survive winter?  Present new information to the class.   Information about many of the mammals can be found on Hinterlands Who's Who.

Observations Chart
On the first or second read-aloud of the story, students write the information about each animal discussed in the text.
Click the pic to download the chart.

Download the Printable
You can download the free Over and Under the Snow printable here.  Have fun!

More Books
Looking for more picture book with science connections?  Check out my Picture Book Science Lessons blog series. 

The 5E Model: Engage

Hi everyone!  I'm Ari from The Science Penguin.  This is my first post on Primary Chalkboard and I'm excited to share some science ideas I use with elementary students.  
Many teachers use the 5E Model for teaching science.  I've mostly used a variation of that to incorporate stations and notebooking.

What does Engage mean?
The first "E", Engage, is your's fun!  Teachers elicit prior understandings and pique students' interest in the topic.  They ask driving questions and identify misconceptions.  This can be a fairly quick activity (in the teaching real-world) or a longer activity that lasts a whole class period.  I often do this part informally, but it sets the tone for the entire mini-unit.
To decide how you will engage your students, you have to know them.  Every class will be different.  I don't believe there is a one-size-fits-all activity that every teacher should use to engage their students for any particular unit.

Engagement Ideas
So what can you do to engage students in your unit?
1. Use discrepant events.
2. Read a picture book.
3. Do a short activity that exposes students to the concept you will be talking about.  
4. Talk about a relevant, real-world example.
5. Combine video clips and discussion.

When introducing relative density to 4th graders, we made density bottles.  Before I even uttered the word "density", we made our bottles.  Once we had our bottles full of blue water, vegetable oil,  a plastic sea creature, and a bead, we made observations.  What floats?  What sinks?  THEN, we brought in the new vocabulary.  If an item sinks, it's more dense.  If a substance floats, it's less dense.  We practiced using the new vocabulary to describe the substances in the density bottle.  It was the perfect "engage"!

Here are some more ideas for quick and easy science engagement on my blog, The Science Penguin.