My students LOVE science, so when we came back to science after several weeks of social studies they were pumped! We have done several fun and easy science activities with this standard and I wanted to share some of them with you!
We started with learning what classification meant through an easy activity using a deck of cards. I found this idea on Teachers Pay Teacher and adjusted it for my teaching style. Here is Nicole Paul’s original lesson and this is my adjustment.
After understanding what classification means, I use several power points to talk about why scientist classify organisms and how. We also talked about our vocabulary for the standard and began to practice on Quizlet. Here is my vocabulary resource and link too Quizlet practice. We discuss vertebrates and invertebrates and then jump into a fun play dough activity I found by Miss Liko here. My kids loved making vertebrates and invertebrates and seeing how many Jenga pieces they could support.
This activity led to an amazing discussion about why the vertebrates were stronger and what we could infer about animals with vertebrates.
We spent the next class period looking at different kids of vertebrates. You know, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Although I am sure my students would have loved for a small zoo to come to school, we did this exploration through picture sorts and Brain Pop. The first sort I did was found here. It was a simple “Vertebrate and Invertebrate” sort. The second sort I did was much more specific and found here. It included the mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. It also had the groupings for invertebrates, but because my standard does not require students to be able to group the invertebrates I didn’t use those labels.
Next we built spinal cords. This helped answer a bunch of questions about how a snake can have a backbone and move the way it does. We used gummie lifesavers and pasta. I normally use pinwheel pasta, however it became impossible to find and I had to make some adjustments.
I then did a quick assessment to see if they were catching on to vertebrate and invertebrate. It was simply a bunch of pictures with their common name under them. I asked them to write a V for vertebrate and I for invertebrate. I told them after they were finished they could color them if they wanted to.
We started focusing on plants next. This was my weakness and after having taught it I came up with new ideas for activities for next year (go figure).
We started with plants by observing them.
We broke out the hand lens and got up close and personal with seed bearing and non seed bearing plants. Then we went outside on a plant hunt. I asked them to write down plants they observed outside and try to determine whether the plant was seed bearing or non seed bearing. This was fun and led to a great conversation about how many more seed bearing plants we have in Georgia than non seed bearing.
We spent the next day reading about plants, but I wish I had done the following instead:
- a lesson on how pollen spreads using Cheeto Puffs (that orange powder get is a great link to pollen)
- brought in types of pine cones to observe
- bird beak structure verse function activity
How is it that I can always come up with great ideas after I have taught it? Oh well, now I have my ideas recorded here to look at next year (that is the reason I started writing these kinds of post in the first place…to share, reflect, and keep all of my resources linked to one location).