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Showing posts with label experiments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label experiments. Show all posts

Hands-on, cross-curricular (and fun) lesson plans on Covid 19 pandemic and masks

Many schools require students to wear PPE (personal protection equipment) masks and as a survivor of Covid 19 (coronavirus), I heartily applaud this initiative! Unfortunately, some parents object to mandatory mask-wearing and that can make for problems in classrooms. So how do you as the teacher diffuse tensions while still complying with Covid 19 mask mandates? From 30 years of effective parent-teacher interaction, I advise you to avoid confrontation and make it fun with creative, positive activities to encourage students to wear masks. Here are crafts, games, printables and activities to give mask wearing a "facelift" (LOL)! 

Teach preschool and special needs students to overcome fear of masks by putting masks on stuffed animals and puppets. Talk to children through puppets or animal friends. Explain why they are wearing a mask and how easy it is! Take the mask off and show that the friend is no different with or without it. Let children ask questions. You can also use puppets to teach hand washing, social distancing and other disease prevention activities. 

Use free printable Covid 19 lesson plans to explore coronavirus and why we wear masks to protect against it. PBS offers great resources on PPE masks. Make these printables into health science lesson plans. There's a lot of data-based content which is useful in math lesson plans. Students might graph and chart which PPE masks are most effective. Cincinnati Children's has several educational videos to help younger children understand coronavirus. Kids Health has a plethora of free printable Covid 19 activities for health science lesson plans. PBS also has lesson plans on the 1918 influenza outbreak (often referred to wrongly as the Spanish flu)

Read children's literature books on pandemics, epidemics and other outbreak diseases. Here's a list written just for the coronavirus pandemic. The blog Semicolon lists books about plagues, epidemics and outbreaks of diseases like Bubonic plague, "Black Death", 1918 influenza pandemic, cholera, smallpox, polio, measles, typhoid and others. Compare and contrast the 1918 influenza and Covid 19. But focus on the positives, such as all the resources, like PPE, better access to clean water, knowledge of hand-washing, vaccines and clearer understanding of germs that we have now compared to then. 

Dress in a masked superhero costume like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ninja, Power Rangers (include a PPE mask). Ask kids if they find your face mask scary. (They'll most likely say NO!) In fact they probably think your mask is cool. Now explain that wearing a mask to avoid getting sick or making others sick with Covid 19 or other diseases is even cooler. Explain why it's important to stay safe and how to do that.

Have a poster making bee to encourage mask-wearing. Print coloring pages of superheroes, Disney characters, animals, favorite book or cartoon characters wearing masks.  Or have children create their own with catchy, fun slogans. Display in class or along the halls. Leave them up for conferences. 

Use "Glitter germs" science experiments show how germs and diseases are spread and why hand-washing as well as mask wearing is so important. The Indianapolis Children's Museum gives easy science experiments and games with glitter to demonstrate. Here are more science experiments from Mark Rober's Youtube channel to explore germ transmission in classrooms. 

Decorate your own DIY masks: Get a bunch of kid-sized plain white cotton masks or paper hospital style masks. Bust out the bling, sequins, pom-poms, yarn, ribbon, rick-rack, sewing notions, beads and charms. Using large needles and yarn, glue dots or staples, help students decorate their masks. Older students can practice sewing with regular needle and thread. Provide non-washable Crayola type markers (not permanent as they are more toxic) to draw pictures or write messages. Use these free printable coloring pages to print your favorite superhero, animal, Disney or cartoon character and use the printables in mask-making. These make great arts and crafts lesson plans. 

Explore mask-making and wearing among other cultures in social studies lesson plans. Research mask wearing for religious, social and cultural expression. Here are free printable social studies lesson plans on mask-making. Here are more free printable social studies lessons on masks. 

The lesson plans on plagues can be kind of depressing, so don't dwell too long on them. And be sure to end with fun, positive lesson plans. 



DIY nature science detective kit for hands-on science exploration


Looking for back to school activities for kids? Here are nature science lesson plans. Make nature detective kits to explore wildlife science concepts. Use this activity to welcome kids back to school. Kids will love playing nature CSI investigators! Homeschooling parents will love this inexpensive, hands-on science lesson because all ages can participate, from toddler to high school! 

You will need one of each of these items per student:

--large gallon size zipper bag or cheap carry-all bag to store supplies

--plastic magnifying glass (available in bulk at Great Party, Party America or Oriental Trading)

--cheap one-subject notebook

--pocket folder ($.05 -$.15 each from Walmart, Staples, Target)

--plastic disposable gloves (choose latex free; give each student one pair)

--tweezers or cotton swabs (both would be useful, but use cotton swabs to save money)

--3 or 4 specimen bags (snack size Zip-Loc)

--3-4 larger specimen bags (sandwich size Zip-loc)

--sheet of label stickers

--pen and pencil

-- roll of invisible Scotch tape

--several pieces of yarn or string

--box of crayons ($.25 at back-to-school sales)

--measuring tape (Printable-Ruler has a free printable measuring tape )

--free printable animal tracks cards (from Exploration America) Extend these nature science activities for kids into craft projects by having students cut and paste their own flash cards. 

--free printable Animal Signs Guide from US Fisheries and Wildlife www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Animal%20Signs%20Guide.pdf You can download directly from here as a PDF. Check here for more animal tracking printables

How to Use Nature Detective Kits:

Make kit assembly part of the lesson. Set out supplies in stations and give students gallon zipper bag and supplies list. This provides experience in counting, sorting and organizing. Using stickers, kids label notebook: Investigator (name)____________ or Detective (name)____________. Label bags: Exhibit A, B, C or Evidence. As evidence is collected, data and date should be added. For example: 'beetle exoskeleton 9-3-2021.

Go on nature investigation hunts around your neighborhood, school playground or camp. Assign students different items to investigate, native to your area. Students should not keep living specimens, but they might bring a bug box to temporarily house and examine a living critter. Look for evidence of living creatures: bug carcasses, exoskeletons, fallen leaves, feathers, owl pellets, seed pods, rocks, fallen nest, bits of animal fur, bark samples, plants, flowers and rocks. Use nitryl gloves to collect specimens. Warn kids not to pick up insect nests or other potentially dangerous items. Rather have them sketch items in situ. 

Have students draw living creatures, homes and habitats: spider's web, bird's nest, wasp's nest, rabbit hole, ant hill, scat (animal droppings). Students should record when and where they observed it. Students shouldn't touch but may observe scat(animal droppings) or dead animal remains.

In class, have children discuss and hypothesize on findings at their level of reasoning. Students might create a natural history museum displaying what they have found. Students can act as young docent guides, explaining discoveries to visitors. This makes a superb activity for parent-teacher conferences, which come early in the year before teachers have had time to collect much student work. It's ideal for summer camp, too. 

#printables #naturescience #animaltracking




Free Printable Hands-On Elementary Science Activities, Worksheets, Experiments


April is Earth Month and lesson plans focus on life science. The best ways to learn about life science are with E2I2-- explore, examine, interact and investigate. These activities require laboratory science experiments and outdoor exploratory science. Teachers, you can make classroom science lesson plans more exploratory by covering walls with posters, charts and diagrams. Placing science charts and diagrams at a student's glance give students quick reference, but also exploratory science experience as they examine the diagrams and digest the information. Here are free printable science charts, diagrams, graphs, posters, graphic organizers, maps to post in your classroom and homeschool. Print science worksheets in black and white and use as science coloring pages. Some free printable life science materials could be used as science worksheets, study guides, puzzles, fill-ins, crosswords, lessons, flashcards and more.

Life science subjects include food chains and food webs, insects, metamorphosis, frog life cycle, leaves, trees, plants, animal classification, habitats and more. Homeschool parents, use these life science activities in lesson plans. Even if your children are not homeschooled, parents, you can use these life science activities as homework helpers. Make science materials available to use as references for their science homework.

EcoKids is an ecology website for kids, students, parents and teachers. This site features online ecology mystery games that students can read and solve. Students must pay close attention and put their knowledge of the ecosystem into practice. Plus, there are free printable biology and life science coloring pages, worksheets, activities and lesson plans for Earth Day and Earth Month!

KidsKonnect has paid and free printable biology and life science worksheets, lesson plans, charts and diagrams. Life science activities are based around environments world wide. Enchanted Learning has a huge collection of free printable life science worksheets, coloring pages, charts and diagrams. There are also general science activities, crafts, mini booklets, puzzles and worksheets.

Ology is a kids' science website from AMNH, the American Museum of Natural History. Get free printable life science coloring pages, worksheets, posters, charts and diagrams galore. There free printable science activities for all earth science, chemistry and physics or physical science. LearningPage has free printable life science coloring pages, cut and paste science crafts, life science worksheets, puzzles, games, charts and diagrams.


TSL Books has free printable life science lesson plans organized by grades. A neat tidy homepage features a left column of links by grade and subject. Each grade page has free printable lesson plans for each subject. This site is free but they do ask that a donation of a few dollars per year will help keep it free.

Free Printable STEM, Engineering, Robotics Lessons, Physics Activities



April is Earth Month and it's also science fair season--time to think science projects and hands-on science fun. Unfortunately, the most interesting sciences--physicsphysical science, technology and robotics--are often taught in boring ways. And that's sad because research continually shows how important STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and math) are for kids. Physics studies how things work and explores motion, energy, machinery (and it might surprise you as to what is considered a machine), lightwaves, sound waves, radio waves, magnetism and more. Physical science is the most enjoyable science to teach because it's easy to demonstrate, can be taught using found stuff around the house, gives students lots of feeling of success and connects well to math, geometry, algebra and other STEM activities. Here are not-dull free printable physical science activities, lesson plans, experiments, worksheets, vocabulary cards, puzzles and games to make physical science the most popular subject in school!
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offers a plethora of free printable physics lesson plans. Some must be ordered but there are many free printable science activities are available online. Concepts include space travel, solar system, robotics education, technology, physics, astronomy and more. There are free printable solar system physics activities featuring Disney Pixar's WALL-E called Mapping the Moon with WALL-E. Click on the links "K-4 Guide" and "5-8 Guide" for printable teacher materials and lesson plans. A popular free robotics education activity is the Mission to Mars Curiosity Rover packet that include games, coloring pages, 3D models to cut and paste, quizzes, worksheets and extensions,
Cornell University Cooperative Extension partners with 4-H to provide 4-H Robotics education program. 4-H Robotics education includes physics simulations, robotics education and physical science games. There are hands-on and virtual online physical science activities. There's a charge for materials but some free activities. These STEM activities could be used for Destination Imagination programs.
The SMILE program (from the Illinois Institute of Technology) is a warehouse of free printable STEM activities, robotics education activities and physics lesson plans, Science lesson plans cover basic physical science concepts like weather, water, states of matter, Periodic Table of the Elements, friction, gravity, mass, inertia, electricity and magnetism. Smithsonian Science and Technology hasfree printable physics lesson plans that correlate with exhibits in the Smithsonian museums. There are many free printable physical science activities on flight, aviation and rocketry.
The Michigan Science Center offers free printable physical science activities to help students extend their experience at the museum or use as stand-alone lessons. Activities are perfect for elementary physics, science and machine technology classes. MIT is the leader in universities of higher education in science. Here are free MIT video lectures, demonstrations and interviews that students could really benefit from in their physical science studies. The Henry Ford has a huge collection of free printable STEM activities and educator resources on science, history and physics, from the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield 

Free Printable Sid the Science Kid Lesson Plans


"Sid the Science Kid" is a cute preschool show from PBS Kids. Sid the Science Kid helps children explore early childhood science concepts. Here are free printable life science, nature, earth science, chemistry and physics lesson plans for young children. Children color, draw and study everyday science concepts from the classroom, home, playground and kitchen.
The Sid the Science Kid games are great for early childhood activities. Preschool and young elementary school students will enjoy playing:
Balancing Act: block balancing games to learn about building and gravity
Weather wheel
Kitchen magic: to explore chemistry
Sandbox symphony: explores sound and sound waves
I Sense: games to explore five senses
Mix it up: nutrition and health
Science Jar: encourages observation, description and scientific process
Check out the free printable Sid the Science Kid activities. Visit this link for a free printable 18 page booklet featuring drawing activities, coloring pages, lesson extensions, matching, counting and other science lesson plans. This free printable booklet makes an excellent follow-up lesson plans for any preschool science activities. Use free printable Sid the Science Kid lesson plans and preschool science activities to follow up on preschool science experiments of seed planting, nature observation health, nutrition and other basic science concepts. Children will enjoy making a color, cut and paste Weather Cube for nature study games.
Try the Sid the Science Kid collection jar activities to teach children to learn how to look at things in their environment with a scientist's eye. Using chalk, a magnifying glass and a magnet, Sid guides students to explore objects and describe what they see. Visit Sid's homepage for more free preschool science activities on cooking, chemistry, health, nutrition, human body and much more.
Preschool teachers, homeschoolers, parents, day care providers, be sure to check out the dozens offree printable Sid the Science Kid lesson plans, games, worksheets, charts, diagrams and activities. Each lesson is linked to an episode of Sid the Science Kid. Each of the science activities and worksheets gives content connections that will fit with most educational curriculum. Students can watch the show from this site and use the free printable science extensions for lesson plans. Check out the homepage for Sid's Science Fair apps, games and other preschool science activities.

PBS in an industry leader in education, particularly preschool and early childhood. "Sid the Science Kid" is a perfect complement to any preschool science activities. For more free printable activities, visit Free Printable Lesson Plans.

Free Printable Science Projects, Science Experiments, STEM activities


Parents, do you get a little queasy when your child tells you she needs help with her science project? Does the school science fair give you panic attacks? There's always that cool dad who comes up with awesome science projects that leave your little bean plant looking pathetic. Then there's that creative mom who makes other parents look like losers. Well fear not--here's a list of free printable science experiments, science projects and science crafts to knock that science fair out of the universe! Teach your kiddo valuable science lessons with these STEM activities (STEM activities cover science, technology, engineering and math--what was called in the old days science experiments).
Home Education Resources is a really comprehensive website with tons of free printable science projects and STEM activities. lesson plans and learning materials for teachers and homeschoolers. This page has 24 free printable science experiments for third or fourth graders on up. You can use them for younger grades if the instructions are read and explained to the students. There are experiments on color, light, physics, forces and motion and health activities. Use for a basis for science fair projects.
TSL Books has over forty free printable science lesson plans, experiments and STEM activities that could be used as science experiments. Choose from many different concepts: animals, habitats, biomes, plants, seeds, mammals, ocean life, weather, butterflies, five senses, motion, vehicles, fuels, planets, farm animals, whales, savanna life and more. There are cut and paste activities, puzzles, crossword, booklets, matching, coloring pages, mazes and more. Use these materials to assemble a science fair display.
Paper Toys has free printable paper models of vehicles, buildings and artifacts. Print and make these 3D paper crafts to use in science projects for a technology and science fair. This site has even morefree printable paper models to make for engineering science projects. ABC Teach has complete units with free printable science experiments and ideas for science projects. Scholastic has morefree printable science experiments. And Enchanted Learning is always a good source for free printable materials for science projects and STEM activities