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Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. 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 deer themed unit lesson plans, coloring pages: Frozen, Bambi, Rudolph story party ideas


Our backyard bird feeder attracts a lot of feathered and furry friends. And last night, I had a new guest, that pretty mama deer in the photo left! This was surprising because we live in a city but also exciting. We often visit our "deer friends" in their habitat by the lake and it was nice that they came to see us in ours! And being a teacher, what's my first thought? To make any cool experience into lesson plans! This summer, I've been writing a series on story party ideas based on favorite kids books. Today I'll share a deer themed book party and lesson planner, in honor of our deer friend (whom I've named Fauna) and our newest grandson Ezra whose spirit animal is a deer. I'll include cross-curricular lesson plans, book party crafts, games, snacks, free printable deer coloring pages, plus famous literary deer such as Bambi, Sven from Frozen and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

Deer-themed story party books and literature-based activities

Stranger in the Woods (Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick) Several inquisitive whitetail deer meet up with a snowman dressed as a bird feeder and happily sample his wares. This book is part of a series of pictures books of animal photography. Here are free printable snowman crafts from the book. Have kids make deer crafts (listed below) and act out the story. 

Bambi, a Life in the Woods and Bambi's Children (Felix Salkin) provided the basis for the Disney cartoon Bambi. Read the books at your story party or view the film (warning: it's quite sad and may  not be suitable for some viewers--raising hand here!) For followup activities, make a woodland animal habitat diorama. See my blog post for habitat diorama crafts and printables. Visit Coloring-Book.info for free printable Disney Bambi coloring pages

Disney Frozen Read the book version or enjoy the Disney Frozen or Frozen 2 movie. It's not exactly reindeer themed but Sven the reindeer certainly plays an important role! Here's an article with free printable Frozen coloring pages. You could make a Frozen diorama, too. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerRead the Little Golden Book version at your deer themed story party. Next, use these free printable Rudolph coloring pages, from the book and also the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas cartoon. Have kids make up their own book of Rudolph adventures. You can do the same with Frozen or Bambi. Or make up a Frozen, Bambi or Rudolph board game. 

Deer themed phonics, vocabulary and reading lessons

Earlier I made the pun about our deer (dear) friend. Use that in phonics lesson plans on word families and homonyms, which include homophones (words with the same pronunciation but different spelling and meaning) and homographs (words with same spelling regardless of pronunciation and meaning). Here are vocabulary/ spelling words from the unit.

deer, bear, woods, snowman, prey, rabbit, bird, feed, Frozen, reindeer

Here are homonyms to explore from our deer unit:

deer/dear
bear/bare
reed/read
here/hear
red/read
rein/reign/rain
wood/would
fawn/fawn/faun (a baby deer, to bow and scrape, a mythological woodland creature)
book/book (something to read, to plan something)
feed/feed (to give food, a live broadcast)
prey/pray (animals that are food for others, to honor a deity) 

Deer and reindeer themed science and math craft snacks for story party

I always like lesson plans that involve hands-on, interactive activities for kids. And craft snacks (aka edible craft projects) make great hands-on lesson plans. Involve kids in counting and measuring for craft snacks, for preschool and elementary math activities and lesson plans. 

Pretzel deer snack craft: Give each child one small braid pretzel, two broken pretzel halves (antlers), one red M&M (nose) one slightly melted Hershey kiss or Rolo and two edible eyes. Child places kiss on pretzel and presses M&M and eyes into kiss for face and pokes broken pretzels in on top. If it won't stick, use a little chocolate frosting. Or you can omit kiss and just use frosting for face. 

Antler Apples (deer feed and bird seed craft snacks): Our deer friend was drawn to our bird feeder, so why not make bird and deer snacks for animals and kids to enjoy together. Have children dip small pretzel sticks in peanut butter and poke into an apple. Stick raisins to peanut butter on tops of sticks. For bird snacks, mix bird seed, peanut butter or suet, oats, apple peels and raisins and mold into balls. Place in recycled plastic mesh orange bags. Or mold into squares and place in suet feeder. Best of all, attach balls to pretzel rod and poke into the ground. For the kid snack version, substitute bird seed and apple peels for mixed nuts and apple cubes. Add coconut, dried cranberries, dates to taste. 

Science lesson plan extenders, keep a nature journal noting and drawing pictures of who visits your feeder! 

Deer themed games

Animal Antics: Discuss food chain and predator prey relationships. Animals, like deer are "prey animals" and they rely on camouflage to stay hidden from predators. Use these free printable animal camouflage worksheets to make matching games. Then have kids discuss how deer protect themselves in the wild. Children might camouflage costumes and play hide and seek outside, at dusk. 







Animal costume patterns for craft projects, dress up, learning centers


Dress up is a crucial part of learning play in preschool classrooms and Montessori learning centers. If you homeschool, dress up should be part of your practical life, dramatic play and even science learning centers. The more hands-on and interactive the lesson plans, the better children learn. 

My most recent post gave ideas for a children's literature book party. One book party activity is for children to dress up as characters from books. Here are ideas to make simple, no-sew DIY animal costumes, using your recycle bin and some basic household scraps. These are perfect for preschool science learning centers, kids plays, story party activities and children's theater. Get more Montessori bang by having children create costumes themselves. Click here for free printable animal costume patterns. 

For basic animal costumes, you will need. 

* blanket sleeper (zippered pajamas with covered feet). Use an old one or pick one up second hand. Choose sleeper color based on the type of animals it will be used for:

--green: frog, dinosaur, gecko, snake, lizard, dragon, caterpillar, parrot

--yellow or tan: baby chick, tiger, leopard, lion

--red: ladybug, bird, fox

--pink: pig, shrimp, flamingo

--black, brown, white or gray: cat, dog, donkey, horse, cow, squirrel, raccoon, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, penguin, spider, groundhog, woodchuck, chipmunk

--orange, blue or purple: bird, fish, butterfly

* knit hat in matching color

* five old socks in matching colors

* recycled cardboard from cereal boxes or packaging

* glue dots or self-stick Vel-cro

* sharp scissors

* assorted fabric scraps, pom-poms, feathers, faux gems, ribbon, sequins (optional)

Now

* Draw design details with permanent marker on sleeper: lines, circles, stripes, spots wings etc.

* Use glue dots or Vel-cro to add embellishments to sleeper: sequins or faux gems are great for fish scales or birds. Glue faux feathers on for bird wings. Glue ribbon on for stripes. Pom-poms can be fish scales or hair on curly-haired puppies.

* On two socks (or old old knit gloves) draw black lines on toe ends simulate paws or claws. Draw circles on the palm to look like paw pads (socks make great improvised mittens).

* Stuff one sock with recycled rags for a tail. Sew it to the back of the sleep or hot glue it on. You can also glue a large pom pom on the back for a fuzzy tail.

* Make ears using the remaining two socks and the knit hat. Stuff the socks halfway full of scrap fabric. Cut two small holes in the hat for ears. Push open ends of socks through holes and tie knots in ends so socks won't slip through hole.

Montessori says lesson plans should allow children maximum creativity in open-ended, hands-on, interactive activities. Encourage them to make up their own designs for animal costumes. You could make these in collage or art learning centers also. Once children have made costumes they might write their own scripts for plays about their characters. They might also act out preschool children's literature selections based on animals. 

Here are free printable animal masks to complete costumes. Engage the youngest learners making masks, to keep them productively involved and make them feel part of the activity. 

Free printable penguin coloring pages and Antarctica lesson plans

Happy belated World Penguin Day on April 25! Here are free printable penguin coloring pages, crafts and lesson plans about penguins and Antarctica! Learn about penguin habitats, global warming, the polar science and more! These penguin printables are a perfect way to round out Earth Month in April! 

This Pinterest board has links for dozens of free printable penguin themed lesson plans. Edupics has free printable coloring pages of penguins. Coloring.ws has penguin printables including coloring pages, puzzles, connect the dot and more. 

First Palette has penguin lesson plans to print free, with cute printable Antarctica habitat diorama activities for earth science crafts
. There are also other polar printables. Super Coloring has cartoon penguin printables that look like the Webkinz penguins, perfect for preschool. 

Enchanted Learning offers a unit of free printable penguin lesson plans. There are polar biome and habitat diorama activities for science lessons, Antarctica map activities for social studies lesson plans. Use these in your Earth Month lessons. 

There puzzles, games, penguin crafts, word search and connect the dot to teach math and reading. I love the printable mini books at the site too, perfect for emergent readers and preschool kids. Use these activities in homeschool too! There's something for even the youngest learners! May your Earth Month be bright! 



Earth Day recycled trash bird feeders: science lesson plans, printables and trash crafts!


Just in time for Earth Day, here are recycled trash crafts for kids, to repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs as homemade bird feeders. These bird feeders are great for National Bird Day (March 14) also. Make bird feeders in your preschool science learning centers or as part of ecology lesson plans. These recycled trash crafts are cheap, easy to make and fun for all ages.

First, if you're doing these lesson plans as part of homeschool, and you've got some little ones who are bit too young to be interested (grandsons Milo, Lucian and Ezra, Omi is smiling at you here!) you'll want activities to keep them involved. So how about assigning them the task of chief bird researcher (be sure to use the word "chief." The youngest ones love to be the boss sometimes!) Here are free printable bird coloring pages to for them to explore. As much as possible, find ways for youngers to be part of lesson plans. 

Next, teach children that reusing recycled milk jugs help the environment in three ways: when you repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs you reduce the number that go into landfills. Homemade bird feeders support wildlife and the ecosystem. Making bird seed recipes from recycled kitchen scraps cuts waste. 

To make homemade bird feeders, wash, rinse and dry recycled milk jugs. Next, draw a window on the front of the milk jug on the opposite side from the handle. The window should be about two and one half inches from the bottom and about four inches on all sides. Using everyday scissors cut out the window. The plastic cuts pretty easily, but can be scratchy. You can assist those with physical limitations. After cutting the window, poke 5 small holes in the bottom to drain and air the birdseed and keep it dry. Decorate Earth Day crafts with permanent markers, stickers or fabric paint. Make festive nature patterns.

Now for the bird feeder fodder: here's a great time to explore bird species, habitats and nutritional requirements in your science lesson plans. To attract a variety of critters, fill the feeder up to about 1 and 1/2 inches with various bird seed recipes. You can buy generic bird seed in bulk inexpensively. This will attract chickadees, cardinals, house finch, dark-eyed juncos, sparrows, starlings, blue jays and lots of hungry squirrels. For special bird seed treats, save citrus rinds, apple peelings, fruit seeds, stale popcorn, bread, crackers and nuts. Blend with peanut butter and bird seed and place homemade bird feeder. If you carve a pumpkin, save the seeds. Squirrels will canvas the back yard at Halloween after pumpkin carving to get prized seeds.

Hang the bird feeder crafts in a tree, from poles or just about anything except utility wires. Hang with bird feeders with bright red yarn or ribbon. Many birds love bright red. You can place the feeder on a porch rail if necessary. Put a nail through the bottom to hold it in place. The youngest can be in charge of monitoring bird feeders and helping to refill them. 

Stay tuned for more Earth Day lesson plans, printables and activities! 


Earth Day Party: Spring themed snacks, crafts, books and printables


Spring is here and what better way to celebrate than with an Earth Day story party? Here are spring and weather themed snacks and snack crafts (snacks that do double duty as crafts that kids make themselves). I've added a list of books to read for literature connections, along with free printable book PDFs where available. 

Spring flower cookies: Use refrigerated cookie dough or better yet, make better-for-you honey cookie dough (unbleached flour, honey, baking soda and light butter). Color pink or purple with grape juice. Have each child make four small balls and arrange in a square. Bake and place M&Ms in center. Read "The Tiny Seed" Eric Carle using this free printable PDF. 

Rain Goblets: Buy inexpensive rain gauges and to serve juice. Kids can practice measurement plus get a cool rain gauge to take home and use in the garden. Read "Peter Spier's Rain"

Rainbow eggs: These are made like dyed Easter eggs. Hard boil eggs (about 15 minutes). Cool and gently crackle shells but don't remove shells. Dip eggs in food coloring or (my preference) different colored juices for dye. Now remove shells to find the pretty patterns in the egg white. Reuse colored shells in a mosaic pattern to be really eco-friendly for Earth Day. Read "The Egg Tree" by Katherine Milhouse and "An Extraordinary Egg" by Leo Lionni. 

Bird's nest cupcakes: Decorate cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle dyed green coconut on top. You can use broken pretzel sticks too. Place jelly beans or Skittles in "nest" for eggs. Use these in spring science lesson plans. Read "Are You My Mother?" (P.D. Eastman). Here's a free printable PDF

Dirt cups: Teach kids about soil layers, gardening and spring planting with these super easy, super yummy snacks kids will love to make. Per kid, you'll need a half cup of pudding, two Oreos, a graham cracker, a handful of M&Ms (spring pastel colors look the prettiest) and some gummy worms. If you can find gummy insects, add those too! Have kids make up chocolate pudding and crush Oreos and graham cracker. In clear plastic cups layer graham cracker (sand), pudding (mud) and cookies (dirt). Then they "plant" their seeds (M&Ms) and arrange their gummy critters on top! Perfect for Earth Day! Read (of course) "Diary of a Worm." (Doreen Cronin). 

Piggies in the mud: This was my youngest son Jake's FAVORITE! It's just chocolate pudding and animal crackers. Kids will love marching their animals through the "mud." Teach them that most animal species have babies in spring. Read "Ox-Cart Man." (Donald Hall). Here's a free printable PDF

Butterfly sandwiches: Let kids make their favorite sandwiches. Cut in triangles. Place pointy side together to make wings. Put a baby carrot or pickle spear in the center. That's the body, that was the caterpillar. Read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." (Eric Carle) Here's a free printable PDF, plus, check out my blog post for more Very Hungry Caterpillar printables. 


Free printable Dr. Seuss Lorax science lesson plans for Earth Day

 


Dr. Seuss’s  book "The Lorax" is the perfect book to read for Earth Day as it explores  corporate waste, pollution and lack of environmentally friendly practices. Here are environmental science activities from The Lorax. Use these literature-based Lorax lesson plans for Earth Day lesson plans and crafts. Start with free printable Lorax activities and Dr. Seuss lesson plans.

Text to Life Dr Seuss lesson plans. The Lorax is a parable or allegory. Characters represent ideas or people. As you read the Lorax ask students to decide who these characters represent: The Once-ler (corporations, society, people), The Boy (children, the future generation), The Lorax (God, Mother Nature, a Supreme Being).

Lorax story maps. After reading The Lorax, students should design environmental science diagrams to show food web and pollution impacts charts. Show in sequence how each species relies on the Trufulla trees. These could be drawn in cartoon format or as flowcharts. Now show backwards, how the Once-ler's factory takes out not only too the Trufulla trees away, but pollutes the air and water and harms the animals and plants. Here are endangered species printables to show what that looks like in real life.

Explore environmental science vocabulary from the Lorax--sustainable, ecology, symbiotic relationship, biodegradable, environment, pollution, interdependence, interconnected, food web, food chain, carbon footprint, carbon cycle, Make 3D graphic organizers by folding paper into 6 parts. for sequenced cartoon strip. Make a sequence book by accordion folding a wide strip of paper. On each page or frame, students write a word or sentence explaining what damage the factory created and how it affects each animal group. Or make a circle chart to show how nature is interconnected, by folding paper circles in six parts. Here are free printable habitat dioramas.

Environmental science experiments. Plant seeds. Here's an excellent text to life connection. Do as the Lorax and Once-ler advised and plant trees. Sprout seeds in simple terrariums by placing dried beans and wet paper towel in Ziploc bags. Or put carrot tops in water. Show how seeds need clean air and sun to grow. Place one seedling in a dark, dusty room such as a broom closet and others in the sun. Water some but not others. Compare results.

Writer's Workshop Dr. Seuss lesson plans. April is National Poetry Month. Write poems for Earth Day, telling what will happen "unless" people stop polluting and start caring for the earth. Or write an Earth Day song about why it is important to keep our world green. Draw shape poems, writing each line or sentence in the shape of the sun, trees, fish, birds, etc. The Lorax says he "speaks for the trees for the trees have no voice." Have children make posters, poems and songs to advocate for the trees.

Environmental science field trips and experiments. Go on a litter hunt. Take before and after pictures of the playground, woods or roadside. Give each student a recycled plastic bag and latex or plastic gloves. Count, weigh and measure how much trash was collected in 15 minutes. Chart and graph different kinds of litter and show what kinds of trash is most commonly thrown out. Start a recycling club. Take a field trip to visit a wildlife refuge, native tribal council, DNR station, nature center, fish hatchery or nature preserve. Wherever you live in this wide wonderful world, there are places to explore the wildlife in your area and folks committed to sharing their love of nature with students.

Environmental science skits. Students should write skits on reducing pollution and litter. Or retell The Lorax story. Explore the internet for new ways to reuse trash. For example, communities in Michigan create green eco-friendly park benches to made entirely from recycled plastic milk jugs.

Design a bird feeder, watering station and bird house. Use recycled materials like milk jugs. Compost food scraps. Or make bird seed cakes. Explore local songbirds in your area. Here are George Washington Carver printables with recycling ideas from the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle King himself!

Free printable ecology lesson plans from George Washington Carver

Earth Day is April 22 and all month long we celebrate earth awareness. I can't think of a better person to introduce children to in honor of Earth Month, than Dr. George Washington Carver. This African American scientist came from humble roots to literally
reinvent agriculture. Use this free printable George Washington Carver science activity booklet to learn more about this famous African American--and Nobel Prize winner--for Black History Month.

In this free printable activity booklet, learn how George Washington Carver was born into slavery and orphaned as an infant. Despite unspeakable poverty and oppression, this courageous young African American got an education and went on lead the nation in agricultural research. Service to mankind was Dr. Carver's mission. Raised in slavery, George Washington Carver learned to be resourceful and creative. Slaves were forced to make do with very little. They learned to improvise. George Washington Carver developed hundreds of new uses for many local products that had heretofore been considered junk. He invented countless uses for the peanut and sweet potato, which up to this point were used only as animal fodder. Dr. Carver referred to his simple laboratory as "God's Little Workshop."

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a free printable activity booklet based on the life and work of Dr. George Washington Carver. This activity booklet has coloring pages, word search, puzzles, science charts and diagrams, science experiments and biology lesson plans to help students explore Dr. George Washington Carver. This activity booklet includes several free printable charts that show the many products that Dr. Carver created based on native plants like the peanut and sweet potato. He developed textiles, building supplies, cosmetics as well as food products.

This hardworking African American is the prefect focus for Black History Month lesson plans bur also for any science unit. Dr. Carver revolutionized antiquated, hurtful farming practices. He taught farmers to practice crop rotation and to plant nitrogen-producing plants which George Washington Carver was instrumental in improving not only agricultural methods, but also the economy of the rural south. By teaching farmers new ways to use native crops, Dr. Carver built up commerce and trade after the Civil War, in impoverished southern states. Explore this famous African American using free printable resources on Earth Day or during Earth Month in April.


Free printable endangered species coloring pages and lesson plans for Earth Day

 


Earth Day, which replaces the original holiday Arbor Day is celebrated in the United States on April 22. Here's a free printable environmental science booklet, Save our Species, with information, activities and coloring pages exploring endangered species in the US. The purpose of Earth Day is to celebrate the earth, educate people and explore ways to protect natural resources. Protecting our earth include supporting our animals, plants and habitats. Earth Day reminds people that they rely on the earth for sustenance and the earth relies on them for care and safety. Exploring and understanding endangered and threatened species helps us to learn better ways to care for our environment as a whole.

The EPA has developed a free printable 28 page environmental science activity and coloring booklet entitled Save Our Species. This free printable endangered species resource book is perfect for Earth Day. It has been developed for and provided to the public as an educational information guide. On Earth Day, and all Earth Month, students can explore endangered and threatened species in the United States, by coloring the animals, plants and habitats. This free printable environmental science activity book can be used as a field guide or zoo field trip planner. This booklet includes free printable coloring pages of endangered species and threatened species (species whose habitats are being encroached upon and destroyed). It explores 16 species of endangered animals in the United States and five threatened species.

Save our Species is available to download and print online or may be ordered free of charge as a bound booklet. Further environmental science and endangered species lesson plans are available at EPA. This free printable environmental science resources makes an excellent Earth Day tool for classroom, homeschool, scouting, 4H and any organizations dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. The website includes a free printable Save Our Species poster and lesson plans for teachers and homeschoolers. Decorate the school hallway for Earth Day by assigning each student to color a certain number of endangered species images. Place a large map on the wall and arrange endangered and threatened species pictures around the map with arrows pointing out areas to which the endangered species is native.

Free printable spring science crafts, Earth Day recycled trash crafts, weather unit activities

Spring is here, "Weather" or not the temperature agrees (LOL, get it?) How about free printable spring science crafts and weather unit activities to spring into the new season? As always, this Montessori teacher mama--now teacher Omi (grandma)-- shares hands-on, cross-curricular learning activities.  To welcome Earth Day, we'll use recycled trash for weather crafts. The age level for this unit is preschool to first grade. 

First, visit DL-TK for a rainbow of printable weather science craft projects. Make windsocks, windchimes, suncatchers, picture frame crafts and more from recycled trash. Use recycled paper to make free printables. 

To welcome spring, Earth Day, Easter, a new baby, how about making a giant greeting card on front walk? Bust out the sidewalk chalk and get busy decorating! No sidewalks? Use the patio or unfurl a roll of paper outside! Here's an easy, super cheap recipe for sidewalk chalk

Next, make pet baby tornados! Here's a Montessori activity for practical life learning centers. Have children wash glass jars and lids, to teach life skills of dishwashing. Next, children will fill glass jars almost to top with water and add a drop of dish soap. To create the baby tornado, shake jar with swirling motion. A funnel shape or vortex will appear. Use these science activities to demonstrate a vortex, tornado, funnel and even the sink drain works. You could discuss clouds, precipitation, wind.

To extend these hands-on science activities to language arts and creative writing, have kids think up names and make up stories for their pet tornado. Next, extend into math lesson plans making books from cereal box cardboard. Teach geometry, measurement, scissor skills cutting recycled paper to cover books. Next alternate writing and blank paper. Have children write on the lined paper and illustrate on the blank pages. 

Sing weather songs in circle time. Enjoy spring themed snacks (stay tuned for recipes to follow). For quiet time, read weather and spring science books like "The Year at Maple Tree Farm" "The Little House", "Ox-Cart Man", "The Carrot Seed" "The Lorax" "The Tiny Seed" and "Frog and Toad are Friends."          






Free printable boats, ships, maritime, pirates, navy and navigation lesson plans




Ahoy matey! Are you looking for activities to explore boats, ships, maritime lore, navigation, lighthouse history, shipwrecks or pirates? Then look no further. Here are free printable model boats and ships, navigation activities, maritime lesson plans, coloring pages, crafts, games and toys. (There's even a section on pirates because I love Pirates of the Caribbean and Capt. Barbosa. Shhh don't tell Jack Sparrow or Her Majesty's navy) 

Boat-Links is subtitled "The Mother of All Maritime Links," and it's rightly named. The site is a comprehensive collection of hundreds of free printable maritime and lighthouse activities, resources about nautical science, navigation, sailing, maritime history, merchant marine, the U.S. Navy, naval history in other countries, naval warfare, maritime museums around the world, nautical music and boat images.

Celestial Navigation offers free printable vintage maritime activities. Before modern navigation, pirates and sailors relied on the sky to guide voyages. Ancient instruments such as the sextant, astrolabe, cross-staff, quadrant, kamal (latitude hook) and nocturnal were indispensable. This site shows how to make old navigational tools.

US Lighthouse Society has free printable lighthouse lesson plans, crafts, coloring pages, worksheets and educational materials. You must create a user Id to access. Boats, Ships and Subs has dozens of links for free printable paper boat models. There are sailing vessels from all periods in history, including clipper ships, Chinese junks, Roman warships, Coast Guard boats, viking long boats, pirate ships and models of the Titanic and Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki.

Disney Experience has free printable nautical toys and crafts from maritime-themed Disney movies. There's a Spanish galleon, Capt. Nemo's Nautilus, Jack Sparrow's compass, dead man's chest, Cortez's treasure chest, a Mark Twain riverboat and several other models. The Toymaker has a free printable puppet theater in which children can act out the adventures of Florimel the Magnificent. Florimel is a rabbit sailor who has adventures on the high seas in a boat that looks very like Sir Francis Drake's "Golden Hind."

Yes, Coloring has has dozens of realistic free printable coloring pages of boats, ships and submarines for many periods in history. There are also coloring pages of pirate ships.

Free Printable Earth Day lesson plans on ecology, environment, poverty, world hunger


Looking for Earth Day science lesson plans? How about social studies lesson plans to teach students global awareness? Here are activities to show how poverty is rooted in habits that are unfriendly to the environment like pollution, deforestation, destruction of natural resources and rainforest exploitation. . The Hunger Site offers free printable lesson plans to build global awareness. The Hunger Site and partner sites support the rainforest, animals, literacy, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer's and veterans. Clicks and purchases at fair trade stores enable The Hunger Site to donate to those in need around the world.

The Hunger Site and partner sites provide free printable global awareness resources for teachers and homeschoolers. Click the tab "literacy and education." Get free printable ecology and environment lesson plans to teach students about the dangers of global warming, rainforest exploitation, expansionism, imperialism, urban sprawl, pollution, deforestation, water shortage, poverty and hunger. These activities are perfect for Earth Month or Earth Day lesson plans. 

Here are more free printable ecology and environment lesson plans help students explore world hunger, poverty, disease and famine from a social justice perspective. Smithsonian Education offers free printable conservation, ecology and environment activities on pollution, world poverty, famine and disease.  Why Hunger has free activities on natural resources, world hunger, distribution of wealth and poverty.

Feeding Minds helps teachers and students explore world hunger and poverty inside out and provides many free printable educational resources. Rain-tree has free printable rainforest, ecology and environment activities. Students learn about deforestation, wildlife preservation, pollution, depletion of natural resources and more. Eduweb offers students online games and free printable resources to explore the Amazon rainforest and the environment. There are lessons on food webs and natural resources. Teach students about world hunger and poverty in a proactive ways, by building global awareness of natural resources, ecology and environmental science

Free printable make your own reading booklets with coloring pages


Educator Jonathon Holt says children learn best when they are actively involved. So here are free printable mini books, miniature coloring books and preschool activity booklets for children to color. Subjects in mini books include letters, words, seasons, animals, science, Bible, holidays and lots more. These coloring books make excellent preschool lesson plans for classroom and homeschool lessons for ages 4-7 years old. These free printable activity booklets are especially good for special needs children.

To print coloring books, visit DLTK-Teach. This page lists all the themes for free printable mini books and activity booklets. There are 26 alphabet mini books, one for each letter. They are titled "What begins with the Letter (A, B, C, etc.)?" Words are shown in one color and the letter being explored shows as a different color. If you print in black and white, the letter will appear in a different shade of gray. Ask the child to color the letter a different color than the other words to emphasize it. There are also suggested reading activities to teach each letter using the free printable mini books.

Other subjects for free printable coloring books include Bible: Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Creation, Life of Jesus and Men of the Bible. There is a series of free printable activity booklets for preschool lesson plans called "All About Me," in which the child personalizes to book to himself. There are booklets about "My family," too. These mini books work well for preschool lesson plans on social studies and health

There are several science-themed free printable activity booklets, too. Subjects include: birds, farm life, nutrition and vehicles. Use the free printable seasons booklets for science, too. "Fall" explores leaves and trees; "Winter" covers water and ice: "Spring" looks at new life and seeds and "Summer" covers plant growth.

Seasonal topics for free printable coloring books for preschool lesson plans include: Halloween (gentle, non-scary images of pumpkins), Veteran's Day, (patriotic), Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Earth Day. These work well as preschool lesson plans too. Each of the activity booklets weaves in reading skills and some basic counting activities. Activity booklets are 10 pages long. Pages print half-sheet (two pages on each printed page). Each page can be printed in color or black and white. If you print the booklet in black and white, the child can color each page. This extra exposure will help to reinforce the concept begin taught. As she colors, you may ask her to repeat the words printed on the page.

Some of the mini books are available for Spanish speaking children also. You'll like that these preschool lesson plans multitask. As children cut and paste, they learn eye-hand coordination. Coloring helps build fine motor skills. As they make their books, they learn to read and follow directions. Assembling the booklets is good for sequencing and organization. There's lots of learning going on when children make these free printable books.For more free printable reading activities visit Free Printable Lesson Plans.

Winter party planner with snow games, free printable snowflakes and coloring pages

Raise your hand if you’ve had it with winter. Between Covid 19 pandemic and quarantine and winter conditions of Biblical proportions, I'm with you! Parents and teachers must be especially tired of dealing with bored kids stuck inside. So what do we creative homeschooler teachers do when we're bored? Throw a party!

Here’s a winter blues buster snowtastic party. Host your own Winter Olympics and extend the fun with improvised playground game variations. Plus, I've included educational extensions, literature based activities and for grades K-8! Here are safe, easy snow activities requiring no fancy equipment. 

Boot skating:  Sweep off an icy patch of pavement, or hose it down to make an ice rink. Demonstrate how to speed or figure “skate” by sliding in boots. Watch figure skating videos and then try some of the simpler posed. I remember in second grade, teachers letting us “skate” down the halls after we watched a figure skating documentary. I really thought I was Janet Lynn. Bundle kids so if they fall they won’t get hurt. 

Broom Hockey Use boot skating and play with old brooms or shovels. Use any old playground (basketball, 4-square, volley) balls for a puck. Tennis balls work well too! Allow no fighting. No need to imitate pro hockey that closely. 

Shovel Races: See who can shovel snow the fastest or make the neatest, clearest walks. Use snow shovels like shuffle board. Push playground ball toward a goal. Kids get a good workout and you get cleared walks! 

Snow Golf: Use old brooms as in hockey. You can also do a snow frisbee golf. Dig holes in the snow and sweep tennis ball toward holes. Make literature connections to books you are reading in class. For example: for Lord of the Rings, label golf holes with "Shire" and "Mordor." 

Snowball Skeeball: Kids love to make and throw snowballs, but getting hit can really hurt. So have kids aim at a target instead of each other. Paint water color initials on snowballs so kids know whose ball landed where. Mark four concentric rings in the snow, like Skeeball. Have kids aim for the center.  Award more points depending on which ring it lands in nearest target. Or just play for fun. 

Snow Sculpture Walk: Allow kids create 3D snow sculptures along a sidewalk or pathway. Have them design placards with the titles. Allow them to spray with food colored water if desired. Encourage visitors to view the art walk, comment on the pieces. No need for competition. This gives less athletic kids a niche at which to shine.  Do text-to-life literature tie-ins, using Children’s Books as a theme.

Cardboard sleds : Dump the recycle bin in the middle of the room and let kids design sleds from recycled cardboard boxes and goodies. Just add markers, scissors, box cutters and duct tape. Provide paraffin (sealing wax). Show kids how to apply wax to waterproof and make the sled go faster.

Literature Tie-In Have students design sleds after famous vehicles from literature. Wikipedia lists fictional vehicles and sailing vessels with images. Edupics has free printable vehicle coloring pages to use as models. Do a library treasure hunt. List vehicles/vessels and have kids research what book each comes from. Here are examples: Dawn Treader, Trojan Horse, Nautilus, Pequod, HMS Pinafore, Millennium Falcon, Polar Express, TARDIS, African Queen. 

Sled run: Simulate a luge or bobsled run. Pile up snow and make a hill or use an existing tree-free hill.  Rate kids on style, landing, distance, speed. Assign group sledding to help kids learn to work as a team. Or just freestyle. 

Snow-robics: Have children pretend to be different animals. Make butterflies (snow angels), snow snakes, snow alligators, snow fish, snow dolphins.  Have them make footprints trails and “track” each other by identifying individual print. Have them “walk” letters in the snow to write their names. Let the imagination run. This will occupy the youngest children for a long time. 

Make a coloring book of vehicles represented, using these free printable coloring pages. Younger children can be in charge of coloring the booklet. This can be your memory book. You might also link to science making snowflakes. Here are free printable snowflake patterns.  Serve cocoa and snacks at the afterglow party! Read snow stories (stay tuned for a list of winter themed books). 


Free printable Covid 19 Coronavirus lesson plans: health, safety, hygiene activities


The Covid 19 or coronavirus pandemic has made radical changes to our education delivery services. Classroom structure and activities have changed dramatically. How do you, as a teacher, help children understand these impacts? How do you even begin to explain a pandemic for that matter? Here are free printable lesson plans on Covid 19, to explore the science behind it. Lessons cover hygiene, health, disease epidemiology, vaccines, historical and social perspective. Printables are available for all ages preschool to high school and are suitable for homeschool students as well. 

National Geographic Cengage is a perfect place to begin planning your Covid 19 lesson plans. This site offers K-12 interdisciplinary lessons on spread of disease, science, vaccines etc. There are free reading, writing, math and science printables. Use these activities to further understanding on coronavirus prevention. 

Try Engineering offers free Covid 19 teacher resource kits. Pair this with free printable health lesson plans from Kids Health. Click the For Kids link to get free printable health activities, including worksheets, games, puzzles, coloring pages and more. Subjects include: How the Body Works, Puberty & Growing Up, Staying Healthy, Staying Safe, Recipes & Cooking, Health Problems, Feelings, Health Helpers, Healthy Habits and more. Within those categories are science lesson plans on drugs, emotional health, illness, virus, gun safety, feelings and emotions, sexual health, hygiene, nutrition and more. There is also a section for teachers with many free health and safety printables


Free Printable animal kingdoms coloring pages for science lesson plans

Why not kick off the school year with a unit on animals? Special needs and preschool kids will love it and you'll teach valuable science lessons too. Here are free printable animal coloring pages to help. 
Visit Real Life at Home for free printable St. Francis lesson plans in a packet. Print games, coloring pages, activities and worksheets of saints. Learn connections to Pope Francis, who is a Franciscan and has taken his name from Francis of Assisi. Print a liturgical calendar of Catholic saints, including Saint Francis, free from Catholic playground. For free printable animal coloring pages, visit Coloring Book Fun. National Geographic Kids has realistic animal coloring pages from A-Z to print. This link opens on the animals A-I page but click the link at the bottom for coloring pages of animals from J-Z.

For more detailed, educational animal coloring page printables, don't miss Edupics. There are over 1,600 animal coloring pages: some are even suitable for middle school and high school biology and science lessons! Hello Kids has hundreds of free printable animal coloring pages. Some are easier and geared for preschool or special needs students. Some are more challenging. Coloring.ws, from children's learning printables giant DL-TK has free printable coloring pages of animals from A-Z.Print every animal kingdom and phylum: insects, fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Free printable archaeology lessons: Fossils, caves, bats, geology, paleontology

Archaeology is one of the most fascinating branches of science and caves are one of nature's most alluring geological landforms to explore. Caves are a separate biome all their own. They've been used as habitats by animals and people. Bats are cave dwellers and dinosaurs dwelt in caves. Mystics have sought divine enlightenment living as hermits in caves. Ancient people left hieroglyphics on walls of caves, like those at Lascaux, France. Caves yield up a treasure trove of fossils and teach valuable lessons in archaeology and paleontology. Teachers and homeschool families, if you're planning a unit on caves (and you really should) here are free printable lesson plans on cave-related subjects of fossils, bats, archaeology, paleontology, habitats, geology, spelunking and earth science.

The National Parks Service has free printable lessons on the U.S. national park at Carlsbad Cavernsin New Mexico. There's curriculum for elementary school in the free printable booklet About Bats, Caves and Deserts. For middle school students, the NPS Carlsbad Caverns website features free printable archaeology lessons on Caves, Canyons, Cactus and Critters. High school students explore geology, spelunking, Global Positioning Systems and orienteering in the Chihuahuan Desert Lab school. Materials are designed to be used with interpretive visits but some may be used as stand-alone lessons in class. Check out the cool activities on fossils, bats, paleontology and other cave phenomena.
Also from the NPS, are free printable materials on Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. There are free coloring pages, word games, puzzles and lesson plans in the Junior Ranger section. Kids will love the printable Trog Tour booklet (trog is short for super cool fossils called troglodytes) The Making Connections series from Mammoth Cave National Park features books for grades K-3, 4-5 and 6-8. There are 83 pages of free printable paleontology lesson plans for teachers and homeschool parents. And be sure not to let young archaeology students miss the free printable Fossil Identification Guide with coloring pages of fossils to label.
Lascaux Culture has interactive lesson plans on Lascaux cave drawings. Explore paleontology and archaeology with the prehistoric paintings, There are cave maps, images, videos and timelines. The website has interpretive information detailing the images, their purpose and their significance. You can access the site in several languages including English, but the educational "resources" link is available only in French.
Easy Fun School has free cave diorama lesson plan. The diorama is easy to make and uses cheap, household materials.has free printable animal habitat coloring pages. Students can research which animals live or hibernate in caves. This site has other free printable habitats dioramas. Crayola offers a free craft template to show interior cave rock formations.
Cave stalactites grow downward from the ceiling. The word comes from the Greek "to drip" (stalactites resemble icicles). Stalagmites grow up from the cave floor and look like upside down icicles. In Greek, the word means "trickling." Use these activities to demonstrate how stalactites and stalagmites grow. Crystal Cave in Wisconsin offers tours and family activities to explore this famous cave. Here are free printable geology lesson plans on archaeology, paleontology, bats, and fossils.