In this activity, students explore the effect of chemical erosion on statues and monuments. They use chalk to see what happens when limestone is placed in liquids with different pH values. They also learn several things that engineers are doing to reduce the effects of acid rain.
Students conduct a simple experiment to model and explore the harmful effects of acid rain (vinegar) on living (green leaf and eggshell) and non-living (paper clip) objects.
Developed for fifth grade and above. Primary biological content area covered:; Plant growth; Seedling morphology; Hypothesis testing; Experimental design; Line graphing; Introductory statistics.Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project. The teaching ideas on this page have been found, refined, and developed by students in a college-level course on the teaching of biology at the elementary level. Unless otherwise noted, the lesson plans have been tried at least once by students from our partner schools. This wiki has been established to share ideas about teaching biology in elementary schools. The motivation behind the creation of this page is twofold: 1. to provide an outlet for the teaching ideas of a group of college educators participating in a workshop-style course; 2. to provide a space where anyone else interested in this topic can place their ideas.
Students learn about and experiment with the concept of surface tension. How can a paper clip "float" on top of water? How can a paper boat be powered by soap in water? How do water striders "walk" on top of water? Why do engineers care about surface tension? Students answer these questions as they investigate surface tension and surfactants.
Student groups compete to design a process that removes the most iron from fortified cereal. Students experiment with different materials using what they know about iron, magnets and forces to design the best process for removing iron from the cereal samples.
Students analyze international oil consumption and production data. They make several graphs to organize the data and draw conclusions about the overall use of oil in the world.
Students make a simple conductivity tester using a battery and light bulb. They learn the difference between conductors and insulators of electrical energy as they test a variety of materials for their ability to conduct electricity.
In this activity, students squeeze a tennis ball to demonstrate the strength of the human heart. Working in teams, they think of ways to keep the heart beating if the natural mechanism were to fail. The goal of this activity is to get students to understand the strength and resilience of the heart.
In this activity, students will experience echolocation themselves. They actually try echolocation by wearing blindfolds while another student makes snapping noises in front of, behind, or to the side of them.
Through nine lessons, students are introduced to a range of energy types electrical, light, sound and thermal as well as the renewable energy sources of wind, hydro (water) and solar power. Subjects range from understanding that the movement of energy at the electron level creates electricity that powers our world, to recognizing the Sun as our ultimate energy source. Through numerous hands-on activities, students explore a wide range of scientific topics related to the fundamentals of energy: kinetic and potential energy, light waves, reflection, refraction, convection, sound waves, volume, pitch, frequency, radiation, heat capacity, heat transfer, specific heat. These concepts are presented in the context of engineering applications pertinent to our everyday lives. Other aspects of energy are explored, including energy consumption and conservation, batteries, simple circuits, conduction and insulation, polarization, power grid and blackouts. As they delve into details about wind, water and solar power, students learn about thermometers, anemometers, wind and water turbines (windmills and waterwheels), and even direct solar heating and cooking. See the Unit Overview section for topics by lesson.
Students are introduced to the idea that energy use impacts the environment and our wallets. They discuss different types of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, as well as the impacts of energy consumption. Through a series of activities, students understand how they use energy and how it is transformed from one type to another. They learn innovative ways engineers conserve energy and how energy can be conserved in their homes.
Young students are introduced to the complex systems of the Earth through numerous lessons on its natural resources, processes, weather, climate and landforms. Key earth science topics include rocks, soils and minerals, water and natural resources, weather patterns and climatic regions, wind, erosion, landforms, and the harvesting of fossil fuels all presented from an engineering point-of-view. (See the Unit Overview section for a list of topics by lesson.) Through many hands-on activities, students build and test sand castles for construction strength, measure snow melt as a potential water source, use colored ice cubes and salt water to learn about ocean currents, make 3-D water catchment basins, make surface tension/surfactant-powered paper boats, build and use wind vanes, build and test model wind turbines, model and observe five types of erosion, model acid rain using chalk and kitchen supplies, build transportation systems across their own 3-D model landscapes, take core samples from a clay model of the Earth's crust, read and create graphs and charts as they learn about international oil production and consumption, act as engineers by specifying the power plants to build for communities, given scenarios with budgets, energy needs and environmental impacts. They learn the steps of the engineering design process as they hypothesize ways engineers might obtain water for communities facing water crises.
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the importance of rocks, soils and minerals in engineering and how using the right material for the right job is important. The students build three different sand castles and test them for strength and resistance to weathering. Then, they discuss how the buildings are different and what engineers need to think about when using rocks, soils and minerals for construction.
In this activity, students create a "web" to identify and demonstrate the interactions among the living and non-living parts of an environment. This information allows students to better understand what an environment is and to also consider how engineers use teamwork to solve problems.
Students drop water from different heights to demonstrate the conversion of water's potential energy to kinetic energy. They see how varying the height from which water is dropped affects the splash size. They follow good experiment protocol, take measurements, calculate averages and graph results. In seeing how falling water can be used to do work, they also learn how this energy transformation figures into the engineering design and construction of hydroelectric power plants, dams and reservoirs.
This is a 21 day unit on the topic of floods. Students will plan and prepare for what might happen in the event of a flood in our area. We have had floods in the past that have affected the Walterville School, its campus, and the surrounding areas. Using this as a springboard, students will discuss the effects of flooding, do research and interview family members who have experienced flooding, and then discuss possible ways to prevent significant damage on the buildings and surrounding areas. They will then design a barrier that could protect an area from damage for a period of time. Students will need materials to conduct experiments. We have listed these in the lesson plan. We have also included a trip to the Leaburg Dam so that students can learn about dams and their uses. We plan on teaching this unit in the fall.
In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad uses a graph to estimate how much the water level will rise in the Sensible Flats reservoir.
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- Teachers' Domain
- U.S. Department of Education
- Date Added:
Air is one of Earth's most precious resources, and we need to take care of it in order to preserve the environment and protect human health. To this end, students develop their understanding of visible air pollutants with an incomplete combustion demonstration, a "smog in a jar" demonstration, and by building simple particulate matter collectors.