It Looks like Science!

Activities, with a few suggestions, to add to your resources for teaching light. I presented this information at a workshop at the OSTA state conference. The Evidence Statement for NGSS 1-PS4-2 suggests observations in a dark room, a pinhole box, or a video of a cave explorer. Objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated. I don’t have those resources available so I cut a small hole in one end of a box and asked a child to look through the hole and tell me what is seen in the box. He can’t see anything because there’s so little light in the …

It Sounds like Science!

Here’s a great collection of activities, with explanations and elaborations, that I hope will enrich your resources for teaching sound. I presented this information at a workshop at the OSTA state conference.   One example in the Evidence Statement for NGSS 1-PS4-1 suggests using a tuning fork to show vibration. That’s a fun demonstration and you might add to the demo by showing a slow motion video of a vibrating tuning fork that touches water. Another video you might choose was created by the SloMo Guys. I like their videos but suggest you turn off the sound and discuss what’s seen because …

Balance a Bug and Bug Poetry

You’ll find this inexpensive product at my TpT store – students balance a butterfly. It can be a quick science activity, a take home activity, or an event for a family science night. Maybe you need an activity to add to your sub folder? You’ll need some cardstock, scissors, and pennies with tape or large paperclips. My product includes a PowerPoint™ with copyright-free images of balancing objects. If you just need a pattern, you can find it here. Students could easily extend the activity using a bit of imagination and an index card to create a new object that balances easily. Then they share their …

BTS with Buoyancy!

I just posted a new product Resources for Teaching about Buoyancy. Here’s the link that I included in the product. Check out the condiment diver, it just needs a pop bottle with water and a packet of ketchup. Families love the activity. Floating and sinking paperclips on a sheet of foil* can be a great way to start the year with a simple science activity. You might use this as a team building activity, practice for following directions, or that always fun open house with families as we start our school year. You just needs foil, paperclips, and dishpans of water. …

Quick Science: Bernoulli’s Principle #3

Another fun demonstration to add to a science unit, use for a science night, or show students just for fun. No prep time or materials? Use the videos at the end of this post to prompt a conversation about science! Depending on the age of your students this could be demonstrated by a small team of capable students. All you need is two balloons of the same size, about a meter of string, and a drinking straw. The materials are so common students will be able to repeat the activity at home.  🙂     Inflate two balloons to the same size. Tie …

Check It Out! Paper Helicopters

Cut and fold paper to create a helicopter that spins as it’s dropped to the floor. Create a second helicopter but this time change the size or mass of the helicopter. It can be hard to time a helicopter as it drops so consider dropping the two helicopters to determine if the change affects how the helicopter falls to the floor. For more about this activity, check out these resources: eGFI Dream Up the Future or a FREEBIE created by Bryce Hixson. My students enjoy this activity so much I included it in my Pushes and Pulls product at TpT. Add this activity …

Check It Out! Leaning Tower of Pasta

Here’s another activity to consider that requires less common materials, raw spaghetti and miniature marshmallows. You’ll want to set aside time if your students love this activity like mine do. Suggested grade level is sixth. Younger students might struggle with being patient and handling small materials. If you have younger students you might use tape instead of marshmallows to create towers. After your students complete their structures consider, if space allows, leaving them out on a shelf. As the marshmallows dry the structures remain intact. Kids love seeing their work displayed in the room! You might view this TED talk to find out why kindergarten students are better at this kind of …

Check It Out! Build a Tower

Need a quick activity that requires only newspaper and tape? Maybe an activity for a family science night? www.flickr.com/photos/vinzcha/ / CC BY 2.0 Consider this online resource adapted from PBS that combines science and engineering. It includes a clearly written procedure, vocabulary, background, and suggestions for an assessment. It could be completed by teams of engineer/scientists in your classroom!   My students love this activity. The site suggests 20 minutes but my students always ask for more time to try variations they’ve seen other teams attempt. That’s what scientists do right, build on each other’s work?

Resources for Teaching about Sound

Resources for Teaching about Sound A great way to add to your physics unit. Let me save you time collecting resources! I’ve created activities and worksheets that you can use to easily enrich your sound unit. Here’s what you get for just $2.40! • Two writing prompts in English and Spanish already placed on worksheets • A glossary of common terms with definitions in both English and Spanish • Five key terms and definitions in a LARGE font – just print and post on your wall • Seek-a-Word puzzles can be a fun way to learn new science terms • …

Check It Out: Shadow Illustrations

source: tinyurl.com/shadowillustrations Artist Vincent Bal turns the shadows of everyday objects into ingenious illustrations, Consider adding this resource to your light unit or challenging your students who enjoy drawing to create a few shadow illustrations of their own to share with classmates. This could be an activity for pairs or teams of students. You just need a few common objects and a flashlight!   This suggestion came from Ian Byrd. He sends me an email every Friday with resources for gifted students. Most activities would work with the amazing variety of students we have in our classrooms. You might check out Byrdseed: …