• science vocabulary
• magnifying glasses (one for each student, if possible)
• small, flowering potted plants
Show your child a magnifying glass. Ask what he knows about magnifying glasses. Why would people use them? Explain that magnifying lenses help us see things that we can’t see with our eyes alone. Discuss how scientists use lenses like telescopes to see faraway planets and stars and how lenses allow us to see details that we would otherwise miss.
Allow your child to explore. Invite him to look at simple objects around your home. What does he notice when he looks at objects with the lens? Invite him to tell you what he notices and discovers.
Invite your child to examine a potted plant with you. He will be able to converse and share what he sees.
Suggest that he look at the plant closely using his eyes. What does he see? Next, invite them to look at the plant with the magnifying glass. What does he see then? Are there any differences?
Offer your child a piece of paper and model how to fold it in half. On one side, invite him to draw the plant as it appears when he looks at it with only his eyes. On the other half of the paper, invite him to sketch what he sees when he uses a magnifying glass. Encourage him to look closely at the plant. Can he see how the petals are attached to a flower? What about the tiny hairs that make a leaf feel fuzzy? Display the observational pictures behind the plant display.
Print Study. Put out a stamp pad and magnifying glasses. Show your child how to make a fingerprint on a piece of paper. Invite him to look at his fingerprint using a magnifying glass. Is it bigger? Does one finger look the same as the others? Invite him to compare his prints with yours. Next, show your child how to make fingerprint pictures by adding details to the prints.
I’m A Seed
by Jean Marzollo
(Scholastic, 1996; $4)
Now & Ben
by Gene Barretta
(Henry Holt and Company, 2006; $17)
Fingerprint Drawing Book
by Ed Emberley
(Little, Brown and Company, 2005; $8)