He also picked a focus animal for the week (giraffe, which we posted about here). Next week we'll be studying the orangutan.
Since this week is a bit light on science, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention two great science activity books. We have yet to do any of the experiments from them, but I hope we can soon.
Simple Nature Experiments with Everyday Materials (Sorry for the lack of an image, but you can see a customer image if you click on the link). This is a handy little paperback, with over 80 one-two page experiment descriptions. I was surprised to see it is only $4 on Amazon. Some of the ideas that I like (obviously some of these aren't the most original in the book, but these are ones that caught my eye for a young child in particular):
- "Soak it up" - a simple experiment with soil in a coffee can that shows the presence of water in soil.
- "Ocean motion" - creating an ocean in a bottle.
- "You crack me up!" - wetting sandstone and freezing it to see what happens (cracks from water absorption/expansion).
- "Hey, What's Inside?" - examining lima beans under microscope to spot the embryos.
- "Green Highways" - celery stick in colored water to demonstrate osmosis.
- "Hanging On" - hanging a plant upside down in such a way as to demonstrate how powerfully a plant will struggle to grow toward a lightsource.
- "It's Absolutely Degrading!" - burying things to demonstrate decomposition.
Healthy Foods from Healthy Soils: A Hands-On Resource for Teachers
I felt terrible when I realized recently that I hadn't reviewed this book yet. I received a publisher review copy ages ago, and was instantly impressed by all of the wonderful ideas and the way that the book is organized. I really wanted to do its review justice by doing an experiment before reviewing it, and my son was so young, that it just never happened. And truth be told, the ones that I thought would most suit him at the time involved food, and he was just too picky of an eater to accomodate my requests. Anyway, I am rectifying my faux pas now! This is a large (black and white) paperback book full of approximately 50 lessons. Some of my favorites (some of these start at grade K and some are clearly for older kids):
- What Is Locally Grown? Map the sources of the food you eat.
- Anatomy in Action. Build a model digestive track.
- Read the small print. Practice consumer skills. (re: food nutrition labels)
- What are "Whole Foods?" Differentiate between processed and unprocessed food.
- Pick a Food, Any Food. Classify a "typical" diet using a Venn diagram.
- Guess with Gusto! Play a guessing game to experience the range of senses.
- Taste Buds Rule. Explore the sweet, the sour, the salty, and "umami."
- What's for Lunch? Travel the Internet to learn about lunch around the globe.
- Dollars and Sense. Calculate and compare prices based on nutrients. (Awesome idea!)
- Farm to Table. Calculate the travel costs for foods you consume. (Love this too).
- Recommended Grades (in the K-6 range)
- Key Points
- What You'll Need
- How To Do It
- Classroom Conversations
- Want To Do More?
- Lesson Links (other lessons in the book that tie in nicely)
- Literature Links (recommended reading)
- Resources (many online)
- Benchmarks (where the lesson ties into the Benchmarks for Science Literacy)
I am linking this post up with Science Sunday.
Comment: What science-related fun have you been up to this week? Where do you get your ideas?
Disclosure: If you click on any of the links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. I received a publisher copy of Healthy Foods from Healthy Soils in order to write this review.