Primary Chalkboard: science
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. 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.

Intermediate Back to School Tips and eBook FREEBIE

Summer is coming to an end and it's time to start setting those alarm clocks again!  Whether you've already headed back to school or are getting ready to in the next few weeks, the members of The Primary Chalkboard have been hard at work compiling helpful Back to School tips and a FREE eBook!  Below is our Intermediate eBook and our K-2 friends have also created a Primary eBook.  Now you have several resources ready to print and use from day one.  Check them out and have a WONDERFUL school year!

Here are some tips!!

I hope you liked our tips and eBook!

- The Intermediate Chalkies

Life Cycles (WARNING: Do not read while eating!)

Hi everyone!  It's Cyndie from Chalk One Up for the Teacher and I am so beyond excited to be joining everyone here at The Primary Chalkboard.

Right now our grade level is studying life cycles and I thought it would be the perfect time to share what we are doing since so many classes will be studying this in the upcoming months.

This is our second year using this kit which used to be just insects, but has now taken away some of the insects (THANK GOODNESS!) and added plants.  Do you use the FOSS kits at your school?

Stock Photo

At our school, the teachers are divided into two groups.  Those that are brave about the insects and those that are not.  HA!  Here is our lineup (and mind you I have only switched to the brave team this year).

 However all bets are off once the insects morph into beetles and other creatures. 

First we started with these Brassica plants.  Apparently Brassica plants are members of the mustard family.  I love the cool PVC light hanging apparatus that comes in the FOSS kit, and I love that the light comes on chains so you can adjust the level of the plants as they get taller.

Ours have flowered and we are waiting for the plants to produce seeds so the life cycle can begin again.

We have been supplementing our learning with materials from my Science Interactive Notebook and Experiments product, as well as some materials that came with the kit.

We are also studying the life cycle of several insects.  Last year we did what seemed like a million different insects...kind of makes you thankful for the four that are arriving this year.

First up were these lovely little guys, the mealworms.
(This is the part where you'll probably want to look away if you are eating.)

Last Friday a few of them morphed into beetles.  I hadn't told my students ahead of time that they would be changing, although several of them had their suspicions.  My once brave students who didn't mind holding the mealworms were not so brave about the beetles.
(Notice you will not see my hand holding any of the insects.)

Next up were the milkweed, which are actually one of my favorites.  Here they are upon arrival and in their habitat.

I love that the students work together to build the habitat and that they are totally self sufficient once they hatch in the habitat.

We've been keeping track of our insects in our science notebooks, too.

Our silkworms have just arrived.  Hard to believe that these little guys will turn into anything...and actually last year mine didn't.  They never made it out of the egg stage.

Last up will be our butterflies, which is almost everyone's favorite.  We are really hoping that by the time they go through their metamorphic states it will be nice weather here in Las Vegas.

So that is how we study life cycles at our school in second grade.  If you haven't studied them with your kiddos, I highly recommend it.  The students are so completely engaged and love observing their changes.  The first thing they want to do every morning is come in and use their magnifying glasses to check out the changes that have occurred overnight. 

If you are looking to learn about life cycles with your kiddos or supplement what you have, check out these fabulous resources from my Chalkie friends.



If you want to make your own creations, check out these adorable clipart sets.

Bubble Science

Friends~It's Monica Schroeder from The Schroeder Page.  I am really excited to be blogging over here at The Primary Chalkboard!  Today I am going to share something super fun and science-ie with you. 
As the end of the school year approaches, this is one of my go to lessons to keep my kiddos engaged and loving learning.  
I start by simply creating a KWL with my students.  This is a great way to tap into prior knowledge and allow students to generate questions about this seemingly familiar topic.

I then break my students into partners and pass out some bubble facts.  This is a perfect way to help them answer their questions and also learn some quick facts. 
We then read this book called POP! A Book About Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  
It is an easy read but it is packed full of tips on how bubbles are formed.  
This is my go to video!  It always sucks them into the magical world of bubbles. 
It is from the Discovery Channel on Soap Bubble Science. 
Give the picture a click to check it out!
We then participate in some super fun bubble science experiments that connect with our solids, liquids, and gases science goal.  
Check out a few experiments below:
Click the video below to see my son experimenting with blowing bubbles on our table at home.  
I was truly not sure this would work but it did and was totally awesome!

My kiddos loved this experiment and it is great for predicting.  I start by asking my students if they blew a bubble through a cookie cutter, would it make a different shape?  
I then present them with several cookie cutters and small trays of my favorite solutions. 
Click the picture above to download a FREE copy of my recording sheet for this experiment. 
This is only the beginning! You can touch on surface tension or even head into creative writing with bubbles. 
Here are some other fun ideas:
*Bubblegum Blowing Contest
*Pass out wedding bubbles as learning souvenirs.
*Use mini compass rings to track the direction of bubbles.
You can check out more of my Bubble Science by clicking below or give my blog button a click to read about how my class raised praying mantises and more!