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 construct bird nests and birdhouses. They research birds of their choosing and then design houses that meet the birds' specific needs. It works well to conduct this activity in conjunction with a grades 9-12 woodshop class by partnering the older students with the younger students (but it is not required to do this in order to conduct the activity).
Students create models of objects of their choice, giving them skills and practice in techniques used by professionals. They make sketches as they build their objects. This activity facilitates a discussion on models and their usefulness.
Students build miniature model cities using sugar, bouillon and gelatin cubes. The cities are put through simulated earthquakes to see which cube structures withstand the shaking movements the best.
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.
This 10-day module builds on Grade 2 concepts about data, graphing, and line plots. The two topics in this module focus on generating and analyzing categorical and measurement data. By the end of the module, students are working with a mixture of scaled picture graphs, bar graphs, and line plots to problem solve using both categorical and measurement data.
This 40-day final module of the year offers students intensive practice with word problems, as well as hands-on investigation experiences with geometry and perimeter. The module begins with solving one- and two-step word problems based on a variety of topics studied throughout the year, using all four operations. Next students explore geometry. Students tessellate to bridge geometry experience with the study of perimeter. Line plots, familiar from Module 6, help students draw conclusions about perimeter and area measurements. Students solve word problems involving area and perimeter using all four operations. The module concludes with a set of engaging lessons that briefly review the fundamental Grade 3 concepts of fractions, multiplication, and division.
In this activity students measure their hand span. A line graph is used to record the data from the glass.
Students learn about the difference between temperature and thermal energy. They build a thermometer using simple materials and develop their own scale for measuring temperature. They compare their thermometer to a commercial thermometer, and get a sense for why engineers need to understand the properties of thermal energy.
Students learn what a pendulum is and how it works in the context of amusement park rides. While exploring the physics of pendulums, they are also introduced to Newton's first law of motion about continuous motion and inertia.
Students are given a variety of materials and asked to identify each material as a solid, liquid or gas. They use their five senses ŰÓ sight, sound, smell, texture and taste ŰÓ to identify the other characteristics of each item.
Students learn about civil engineers and work through each step of the engineering design process in two mini-activities that prepare them for a culminating challenge to design and build the tallest straw tower possible, given limited time and resources. First they examine the profiles of the tallest 20 towers in the world. Then in the first mini-activity (one-straw tall tower), student pairs each design a way to keep one straw upright with the least amount of tape and fewest additional straws. In the second mini-activity (no "fishing pole"), the pairs determine the most number of straws possible to construct a vertical straw tower before it bends at 45 degrees—resembling a fishing pole shape. Students learn that the taller a structure, the more tendency it has to topple over. In the culminating challenge (tallest straw tower), student pairs apply what they have learned and follow the steps of the engineering design process to create the tallest possible model tower within time, material and building constraints, mirroring the real-world engineering experience of designing solutions within constraints. Three worksheets are provided, for each of two levels, grades K-2 and grades 3-5. The activity scales up to school-wide, district or regional competition scale.
Students practice the ability to produce clear, complete, accurate and detailed design drawings through an engineering design challenge. Using only the specified materials, teams are challenged to draw a design for a wind-powered car. Then, they trade engineering drawings with another group and attempt to construct the model cars in order to determine how successfully the original design intentions were communicated through sketches, dimensions and instructions.