Category: Science Units

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Spectacular Science (at least that’s what the kids think of this experiment!)

  We were so impressed and inspired by the science festival that the kids begged for science experiments during collection (our group time). Our experiment today was the Fireworks in Water experiment. I saw over on A Bit of This and A Bit of That back a half a year ago or so a twist on the experiment we’ve always done.  We took shaving cream, sprayed it on top of...

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USA Science and Engineering Festival

Beep, Beep! Class, it’s time for another field trip! We went to participate in the largest science celebration in the U.S.A.  The kids got to participate in hundreds of hands-on exhibits! We got up really early and drove down to the 2nd annual USA Science and Engineering Festival last Friday.  It was phenomenal!  The mission of the festival was  “to re-invigorate the interest of our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and...

The Future of Space Exploration as the Space Shuttle Program Ends 2

The Future of Space Exploration as the Space Shuttle Program Ends

We learned some really amazing space missions are in development!  Last week we watched the Space Shuttle Discovery in awe as it flew close by our house towards its final destination. The Space Shuttle Program has truly come to an end. We went to see the space shuttle is in its new home at the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum, but we were surprised to learn just how much...

What Should the Kids Be Learning? 1

What Should the Kids Be Learning?

I think we all worry a lot about what our kids need to know right now. What skills should they have? Can they do what they’re supposed to in fill-in-the-blank subject? We’re currently working on lots of stuff — math, spelling, physics, critical thinking, writing skills, music, but ultimately what is important that they remember and know from *this* day or *this* week? What do I want my kids to learn?...

The Space Shuttle Blasts by our House! 1

The Space Shuttle Blasts by our House!

We were outside this morning on the lookout for the Space Shuttle Discovery.  We were so excited to have it fly by at tree-line! Naturally we had to take a million pictures as it flew by! A little while later we went inside to watch the drama unfold on NASA TV as it landed at Dulles Airport! Pictures courtesy of  NASA TV. We talked a lot about the space shuttle...

What You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 – freebies and more 0

What You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 – freebies and more

The celebration of Earth Day began over 40 years ago. It is a day to celebrate our planet and think about how we can help our environment. Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency was established not long after that first Earth Day in 1970? The Clean Air Act also passed that same year. Now Earth Day is celebrated in more than 175 countries by an estimated 500 million...

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Physics Unit: Gizmos, Gadgets, and Simple Machines

We have been gearing up for these activities for a long time.  Back in January I mentioned the kids read the Physics, Pre-Level 1 (Real Science-4-Kids) book. LD read it on his own while I read it together with DD. I thought it was a wonderful introduction to some basic physics concepts. Then as you’ve seen we did some background activities on Newton himself (the geography of England/Britain/UK; the Black...

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Black Plague Activity

Would you believe this is an activity that I created as an introduction to our physics unit on simple machines, gizmos and gadgets?!! Sometimes inspiration just hits! So here’s how it came to be.  I was doing some background reading on Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist who developed the Laws of Motion among other things. I learned that while he was at Cambridge University an outbreak of the Black Plague...

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Fossil Hunting

We love fossils!   I guess the fire was first lit in Australia.  My scientist friend told us about a creek south of Alice Springs where people have found lots of fossils. (See original post here: Fossils in Australia and the photos below.) We took the kids and made some great finds. Even my friend, Peter, was impressed!  LD was hooked on fossils!   Not too long after that we...

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Whale Unit (and the Arctic) — Icebergs, Blubber experiment, Buoyancy and more

Whales are able to survive in the frigid waters of the Arctic. In this series of activities the kids and I explored how that is possible. First, not directly related to the whales themselves, we talked about icebergs. We took giant cottage cheese cartons and froze big blocks of ice.  One of those blocks had our wooly mammoth plastic creature. I had the kids guess how much of the ice...

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Whale Unit (and the Arctic) – Migration, Echolocation, Baleen vs. Toothed Whales

One of the days we read books, I stopped frequently to explain things and do activities with the kids. Whale Migration: For example, we talked in quite some depth about whale migration from the Arctic down the west coast of North America and back again.  I pulled out an Arctic Pin map I made and the kids placed the various countries that make up the Arctic region. You can download...

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Whale Unit (and the Arctic) – Buoyancy

Have you ever started a unit and then something else unfolds?  Well this is a unit I started to put together on the Arctic.  You might even recall that we covered Antarctica for a couple of days to lead up to this unit. The more we got into it, the more this turned into a full blown study of whales!  We spent more than a week reading, doing experiments and...

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Preschool Geography

NAME THAT CONTINENT: One morning in collection (our group time) I brought out a beach ball globe. We took turns tossing the ball around the circle. Each time someone caught the ball they had to look at where their thumb had landed and had to name that continent. The kids quickly became silly, but we did manage to get a few rounds in for each of them. Another preschool geography...

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Gardening with Kids

It’s that time of year again! Our dining room table and a second table are covered with dirt planters! Last week the kids and I planted some seeds together. The kids are always excited to watch the seedlings start to grow. You can tell the kids helped since there are so many seedlings in that one pot to the right!!       We also weeded and worked on one...