Posts Tagged ‘science’

Teach about Summer–The Season

Summer

Objective: Help children see and experience summer and how it is different to other seasons.

Preparation:

  • Find drawings or pictures from books, magazines or old calendars of summer activities, food, and sun protection items.
  • Print the attached worksheet. Downloadable PDF link: summer vs. winter worksheet
  • A world globe and lamp.
  • Decide on a book to read.  Suggested books: The Wonderful Tree, by Adelaide Holl,  Wake Up, Jeremiah, by Ann Himler,   The Sky Dog, by Brinton Turkle,   Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons

Lesson:

Read a book(s) then discuss while showing pictures:

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do we have summer?  Summer is the time when our part of the earth tilts towards the sun.  This can be demonstrated by holding the lamp next to the globe and explaining how the Earth is tilted on its axis.  Put a sticker on the globe where you live.  Rotate the globe around the lamp showing when their part of the Earth is tilted more toward the Sun it causes the sun to rise higher in the sky it causes longer days.  The rays of the sun hit the earth more directly causing hotter weather.  When their part of the  Earth is tilted away from the Sun it is winter.  The Sun rises low in the sky, and causes shorter days.  The rays of the sun strike the ground indirectly causing colder weather.
  • What is the weather/temperature like in the summer?  It is the warmest season of the year.
  • What are some ways to protect ourselves from heat and sunburn?  Protect yourself by using sunscreen, wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses, drinking a lot of water, etc.
  • What kind of things do we do in the summer?  We play in the water. go on vacations/camping. celebrate the fourth of July, ride bikes, have picnics, play summer sports like baseball and soccer, etc.
  • What kind of foods are fun to eat or drink in the summer?  We eat ice cream, Popsicles, watermelon, etc.
  • How is summer different from winter?  We wear lighter clothes.  It is hot outside.  

Activity: Worksheet 

How do we dress differently in the summer than in the winter?  Have the children do the attached worksheet. Discuss with them what each picture is and to which column it belongs. Ask why each article of clothing would be appropriate for that season.

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Weather: Rain and Snow

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Weather: Rain and Snow      

Objective: Help children learn about the water cycle and how water is a part of our weather.

Preparation:
  • Find drawings or pictures of rain, snow and other storms from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Collect a pan, water, a cookie sheet, and a stove or something to heat the water.
  • Make word cards; evaporation, water cycle, water vapor, and condensation. 
  • Have crayons, pencils or markers.
  • Scraps of construction paper in white, dark blue, green and yellow.
  • Print the water cycle on light blue or white paper. water-cycle-picture   If you do this activity with older children, they can write all the words.  
  • Create a sample water cycle.
Suggested books:
  • Cloudy with a Chance Of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Franklin and the Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois
  • What Makes it Rain? by Keith Brandt
Lesson:
Read a book then discuss water weather:
Discussion questions:
  1. How do you feel when it rains?
  2. Are you afraid of storms, if so why do they scare you?
  3. What activities do you like to do in the rain?
  4. Where do you think rain comes from?
  5. What other weather has water in it?  (snow, hail)

Demonstrate “condensation” and “evaporation” by heating a small pot of water on the stove. Heat the water until you see steam.  Show the “water vapor” and “evaporation” cards.  Say, “The steam is water vapor or evaporation.”  Hold the cookie sheet above the water.  Show how the water condensate on the cookie sheet. Show the word card “condensation. Say, “If we hold this cookie sheet for a long time above the water it will start dropping rain. 

Activity: Help children learn about the water cycle by making a water cycle collage picture.  (Tearing paper is a skill that most children have to be taught.)
  • Give each child a sheet of light blue or white water cycle picture paper.
  • Tear dark blue paper big enough to fill half of the bottom part of the paper to look like the ocean. Have the children glue it on their paper by the word “ocean”.
  • Tear a sun shape of yellow. Have the children glue it by the word “sun” above the ocean. Talk about how the sun heats the water and causes it to evaporate. Help them write “sun” on the sun.
  • Tear a piece of white paper and have the children shade it with gray with the side of a crayon to look like a rain cloud. Have the children glue it on their paper opposite the sun by the words, “rain cloud”. (Explain how the droplets of water vapor come together and cool to make a cloud and when they get too heavy they condensate on bits of dust and begin to fall to the earth as snow or rain depending on how cold they are.)
  • Have the children draw the rain coming from the cloud by the word, “rain” below the cloud. Discuss the ways the rain helps all living things and all the benefits of rain and storms.
  • Tear a piece of green or brown paper to look like a slope of land coming down to meet the ocean. Have the children glue it next to the ocean piece of paper by the word “land”.
  • Tear a strip of blue paper to look like a river. Have the children glue it on the slope of land by the word, “river”. Talk about the collection of rain into rivers, lakes and oceans
  • Read all the words on the picture together.
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Amphibians

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Objective:  Help children learn some of the traits for amphibians and compare to other animals.  (You may want to organize your amphibian theme activities into 2 lessons.)

Preparation:

  • Find drawings or pictures of frogs, toads and salamanders from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Cut sheets of legal size papers in half lengthwise and accordion fold it them into 4 sections. Have crayons, pencils or markers for the children to draw with.
  • Gather materials: Paper plates; Green, red and white construction paper; Watercolor paint and glue.  (Optional second day activity.  Paint the paper plate green on the first day.)
  • Find a book to read about the life cycle of a frog. Some excellent books are:     Tadpole to Frog by Jan Kottke    Fantastic Frogs by Fay Robinson   The Big Wide-mouthed Frogby Ana Martin Larranaga

Lesson:

What is an amphibian?

  1. Amphibians are animals that metamorphose from a water animal to a land animal.
  2. Amphibians include frogs, toads and salamanders. Show pictures and discuss differences
  3. Toads have dry, warty skin, while frogs have smooth, wet skin.
  4. Frogs have tiny teeth on both upper and lower jaws, while toads do not have teeth.
  5. Frogs have longer hind legs than toads. So frogs jump, while toads hop.
  6. Salamanders have a long body and a tail. Frogs and toads are shorter and have no tail.

Define metamorphosis and discuss.  Change of physical form

Discussion questions:

  1. What information about amphibians did you like the most?
  2. What are the main differences between a frog and toad?
  3. What is a tadpole?
  4. What other animals change or go through metamorphosis? Butterflies
  5. Where does a tree frog live? In the trees of the rain forest.
  6. Where does a bull frog live? In freshwater ponds, lakes and marshes.

Read a book and discuss each stage of the life cycle:

  1. Eggs.
  2. Tadpoles have gills, similar to fish, covered and protected by a flap of skin. As they continue to develop, their hind legs form and grow. Then their tail begins to shrink and the front legs appear.
  3. Soon the gills are gone, and the tadpole begins to breathe air at the surface, with his brand new lungs.
  4. Soon after transforming into froglets or toadlets, they begin life out of the water and start eating insects.

Activities:

  • The Frog Life Cycle Book  Accordion fold a half sheet of legal size paper into four pages. Label each page as follows: Eggs; Tadpoles; Tadpoles with legs; Adult or Frog. Write “Frogs” on the front for the title.  Have the child draw a picture to go with each stage.  Have the child write their names on their book.
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  • Frog Puppet  Watercolor a paper plate green and let dry. Fold plate in half and cut out four long legs and glue them in the middle of the plate. Cut a red tongue to place between the legs. For eyes cut two place half circles and two white circles these are glued on for the eyes on the front of the frog. You can make the frog rib-bit by pressing down on the folded plate.

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