Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Science
- clipboards for each child (cardboardwith metal clips or conventional clipboards)
- pencils, fine-tip markers, colored pencils
- chart paper, drawing paper
- child-safe binoculars and magnifying glasses
- language and literacy
- social awareness
- fine motor
Plan a class trip through the school's neighborhood or go to an area park or beach to observe different animals.
Engage children in a discussion to find out what they know about animals in their environment. Explain to children that they will take an outdoor class trip to observe different types of animals.
Ask children to predict what animals they will see, and record their responses on chart paper. Working from their predictions, prepare a "trip sheet" with icons representing birds, insects, fish, lizards, and land mammals common in your area. Distribute to each child.
Remind children to be very quiet as they observe living things. Share the binoculars and magnifying glasses so that children can observe animals or small insects. Have them keep a tally on their trip sheet of each time they observe a different type of animal or insect. If there are animals they can draw, provide children with materials to create observational sketches. Help children use the camera to document their trip.
Bring the group together to record their observations and document their trip. Ask them to compare the animals they observed with their initial predictions. Develop a language-experience chart to record what they saw. Suggest that children tally their trip sheets, and create a summary of the different types of animals or insects they found.
Remember: Children may not be able to remember all the different types of animals or insects they come across. Keep your own list of animals so that you can help them recall details.
Where do they live? Create a Venn diagram to compare where animals live. Draw two large intersecting circles on a large sheet of paper, making each circle a different color. Write the question "Where do they live?" on the top of the paper. In the larger portion of one circle, write the word water, and write land in the other circle. Ask children to name the animals they saw on their trip, and list them in the appropriate areas. Explain that the section where the circles intersect is for animals that can be found on both land and water.
The Birdwatchers by Simon James (Candlewick Press, 2002; $15.99)
Bloomer: The Dog You Can Play With by Gail Gibbons (Orchard, 2001; $9.95)
Squirrels and Chipmunks by Allan Fowler (Children's Press, 1997; $4.95)