Can I get help making sense of my Science curriculum?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissaG, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 22, 2007

    I am beginning to plan the first Science unit and am a little confused on something. First, here is the goal I am working on:

    Goal 3
    The learner will make observations and use appropriate technology to build an understanding of the earth/moon/sun system.
    Objective 3.01
    Observe that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object and is reflected and/or absorbed.

    Objective 3.02
    Observe that objects in the sky have patterns of movement including:

    * Sun.
    * Moon.
    * Stars.


    Objective 3.03
    Using shadows, follow and record the apparent movement of the sun in the sky during the day.

    Objective 3.04
    Use appropriate tools to make observations of the moon.

    Objective 3.05
    Observe and record the change in the apparent shape of the moon from day to day over several months and describe the pattern of changes.

    Objective 3.06
    Observe that patterns of stars in the sky stay the same, although they appear to move across the sky nightly.


    What throws me off is 3.01...I know that I can meet this on its own in a physical science mini unit, but how can I work this in with the rest of it, so that it is one cohesive unit relating light to everything else while making sure they understand the basics of light? I guess I am just concerned about starting with a small unit on light, then moving into the earth, moon, sun concepts and not linking them correctly.

    I'd love it if I could get ideas and help!! Thank you.
     
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  3. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Simple activity that relates to your solar system mandates: Pair students and give each pair a small mirror and a flashlight. give the students several minutes to experiment with what the mirror does to the light. they could jot down observations. you may need to give them questions to guide their investigation so they come up with the term "reflect" and use it properly. After discussing those observations, hand out soft fabric with the flashlight and note the differences in what happens to the light.
     
  4. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2007

    I did a similar "experiment" with my second graders last year with light. I gave them a flashlight and mirror and asked them to see if they could bend the light. Of course, some thought they could, but, in reality, the light was reflected. Then, for the next lesson, I gave the children wax paper, tissue paper, black construction paper, among other items (I can't remember off the top of my head) to see if they could determine whether or not the items were translucent, transparent, or opaque.
     
  5. cb4pebbles

    cb4pebbles Companion

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    Jul 22, 2007

    I'm from NC and taught 3rd grade for three years. The way to tie the light and space together is by discussing how the moon appears to shine. I always do a demonstration with a flashlight (sun) and a large white styrofoam craft ball (moon). We discuss how black absorbs and how white reflects light. We also spend time looking at other things that reflect light and prisms. This demonstration also helps show how the moon appears to change shape.
     
  6. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2007

    magic school bus has an episode on your 3.01-my son and I just watched it today
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2007

    put a few pieces of white and black paper in the sun outside or in a window. Have the students feel the paper and make observations.
    Links:
    NASA site for k-4 educators
    guided tour of the moon

    For shadows have the kids mark a spot to stand on and have a friend trace the shadow, do this a few times (morning, lunchtime, afternoon) or make a sundial Sundial

    After rereading your post and seeing the end, I wanted to add some ideas. You can relate this by talking about trees and shade and compare it to the way that the sun doesn't shine through the earth when we are facing away from the sun. You could also connect it by talking about eclipses.
     
  8. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    You are lucky you get such a fantastic curriculum to teach! You can use prisms on your overhead and pencils in water to show how light bends and refraction. Look up experiments on light bending on google and you'll get some good ones. I've done a fun solar system using that crayola lightweight air drying clay and if you just dot some colored markers on pieces rolled into a ball and then roll them around again it turns marbled and cool looking. We glued the planets (labeled) onto strips of blue foam core and put the milky way in with glitter and a sun on the edge using paper and glitter. It was way cool, parents loved it. Scholastic also has a mini planetarium you can buy to show star charts on your ceiling. I bought one and haven't tried it out yet but sounds fun.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 24, 2007

    This ties into seasons, too: as Earth revolves around the sun, spinning on its 22-degrees-off-vertical axis, different areas of Earth are exposed to varying amounts of light and heat energy from the Sun - when the Northern Hemisphere is having summer, for example, there's 24 hours of sunlight at the North Pole but it's still the case that not much is growing there because the sun's rays are striking at quite an oblique angle. It should be possible to model this with a basketball, an overhead projector at close range, and a forehead thermometer strip.
     
  10. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007


    This is the angle that I am taking with this so that it all ties together. I will, of course, allow some other experimentation with light as suggested in this thread, but I am going to tie it all into a cohesive unit by addressing the sun's relation to the Earth; including seasons, night and day, etc...

    Thank you to everyone who helped out, I finally got going on the planning of the unit and will use many of the ideas presented here!
     
  11. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Get the usborne Internet Link Science Encyclopedia. It gives some great websites. You can buy it at Barnes and Noble.
     

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