Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Life Science Grades 3-6 Curriculum Weeks 1&2

I'm writing a science book for my kids and I thought I would keep track of all that they do.  At least in a short and sweet blog post with photos.

Lesson 1: What is Life Science? 

This was an introduction to life science and what life science is.  The kids read it on the tablet and took a couple of notes.  We also watched BBC Life: Challenges of Life.  That was a great show, we all really enjoyed it.

 Lesson 2:  Tools for Life Science

This involved reading about tools that are used in science and doing an extra worksheet.  We looked at some of the tools that we have and some of the materials we'll be using this year.  The kids also did a hunt around the house looking for abiotic and biotic things.  They made a list that they would check again in Lesson 4.

Lesson 3:  Characteristics of Life

We actually ran out of time to do this lesson on a separate day, so we combined Lesson 3 and 4 together on one day.  That works well.  This was about what characteristics all living things share and what they need to live.  We also watched Magic School Bus: Hops Home.  We did all the Magic School Bus series the previous year and the kids enjoy it, so do I.  So I'm just matching some of them up to what we are studying.  The kids usually watch it while eating breakfast.

Lesson 4: Is it Alive?

This is a pretty easy lesson and fun!  The kids checked their abiotic and biotic lists to see if they needed to make any changes.  Then the fun began with mystery objects!  I had 5 paper bags with something inside.  The kids used their senses (hearing, smell, touch, and then sight) to see if they could guess what was in the bag.  Then they had to decide if it was living.  The fifth bag was a bonus bag and contained chocolate coconut covered almonds that the kids got to eat for a treat!  We also watched the Magic School Bus: Gets Eaten, a show about habitats.

Lesson 5: Microscopes

This was hopefully a good review for my kids.  It covers some of the history of the microscope, the parts of a microscope, how to use a microscope, and how to calculate magnification.

Lesson 6:  Using a Microscope

This was a detailed lesson on how to use a microscope and how it works. 

Lesson 7: Cells

This reading lessons covered the discovery of cells and many of the major parts of animal and plant cells.  The kids each drew a plant and animal cell and labeled the parts.  I tried to give them some hints to remember the cell organelles, though I don't expect them to memorize it.  I'm happy if they can just recognize the words later on and know that the organelle belongs to a cell. 

Lesson 8: Cell Models

This lesson involved making cell models.  Now my kids can tell you that the gummi worms are the smooth ER and the sugary gummi worms are the rough ER.  I'm not sure they can tell you what ER means or what it does, but they know that was the gummi worm parts of their cell!    I think my kids chose to do the edible cell, because candy and jello are a rare thing here.  We try to avoid food coloring, but make exceptions at times.  I made an exception for this.  And to be honest, they each only ate about 1/4 cup of the jello and we threw out the rest.  They did enjoy taste testing all the "cell parts!"  The boy did a plant cell and the girl did an animal cell out of jello.  My girl and I also made cells out of clay.

That's our first two weeks of science!

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