Engaging Students In The Five Senses

Teaching your kindergarten or first grade students about the five senses and how they use them to understand the world around them can be such a fun unit! There are so many ways you can get creative and hands-on in the classroom on this one. The best way to really engage your students in learning about the five senses is- you guessed it, letting them use them! Really let them smell, taste, feel, see, and hear during the activities.  

There are an enormous amount of activities out there that you could use to teach this. It can be overwhelming to decide what lesson plans to go with. You want something fun, age appropriate, and engaging, but that is also based on standards. 

With that in mind, I created an awesome, extensive five week long 5 senses activities unit! 

This resource includes 5 full weeks of lessons, a journal (a great way to integrate literacy and writing in your lessons), 5 mini books, posters, inquiry lessons, detailed plans and more! 

  • Week one, your students will explore and learn all about the sense of touch. 
  • Week two explore the sense of sight
  • Week three learn all about smell
  • Week four explore hearing
  • Week five explore taste

Additional Tips For Teaching The Five Senses

  1. Read books about the five senses. This helps give visuals and incorporate vocabulary into your science lessons.
  2. Get hands-on! Students love when they can get their hands dirty and really dive into an activity. Don’t shy away from it. There are so many cool ways to teach the senses. 
  3. Use the scientific method in your lessons. Check out my post on teaching the scientific method here! 

five senses

 

five senses

 

What is your favorite way to teach the five senses? Let me know in the comments.

 

Science Lessons For Kids: What Is A Scientist?

Science is such an important part of elementary curriculum. We set the foundation for our students to understand important science concepts later on. Creating meaningful science lesson plans that students can really learn from is essential. 

A great way for students to begin to really grasp science and have a FUN, positive learning experience is to teach them how to see themselves as scientists. Putting themselves in a scientist’s shoes can really get their minds working and understanding the subject. 

What is a scientist?

I like to start the school year off with the first lessons focusing on what a scientist really is. A scientist is someone who observes, thinks and discovers how things work. A scientist has expert knowledge on a particular subject.

The next step is to move into what tools does a scientist use? Teach about safety equipment including goggles, gloves, and masks. Other tools you can teach include rulers, thermometers, measuring cups, beakers, hand lens, globe, etc. 

Next you’ll want to teach the scientific method. The scientific method is a way for a scientist to study and learn new things. 

Teach your students the steps: 

  1. Ask a question
  2. Gather information and observe
  3. Guess the answer or make a hypothesis
  4. Test your hypothesis
  5. Analyze your test results
  6. Make a conclusion

After covering this with your students, dive into some fun experiments! Plan to do lots of STEM activities to engage your students and make learning about science fun. Interactive notebooks are great for helping students collect data and easily integrate writing into your lessons.

To help make this lesson easy to plan, I created this What Is A Scientist 3 Week Unit! 

It includes 3 full weeks of detailed science lesson plans with interactive notebook pages, posts, and hands on activities that are fun and engaging for your students. Examples include gummy bear science, rainbow milk magic, and mixing primary colors to make observations. This unit is perfect for preK, kindergarten, 1st grade, or homeschool students. 

Science Lessons For Kids

science lessons for kids

Interested in a full year of science lesson plans? Check out my Science Curriculum Yearlong Bundle. For more tips, check out my post here.

What are your best tips for teaching science to younger students? Let me know in the comments!

 

Science lesson

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Activities

This summer you can discover fantastic space-themed events, as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of America’s first steps on the moon. Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took those first steps on the moon as the rest of the world watched and cheered in amazement.

The moon landing marked the day American positioned itself as a global leader in science. Fifty years later, we remember this mission. So how do we get our students to feel the aw of this moment? If you visit NASA’s web site, you will find events all over American to attend celebrating Apollo’s 50th Anniversary.

As a teacher, I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn about the first time man walked on the moon. So I created a 2 week lesson plan that would dive into the event while hitting standards. I wanted parents to be involved, so I added a “HOME CONNECTION” project which included them making a rocket ship. I wanted to make those two weeks Apollo 11 themed in all the subject area, so students wrote about themselves going to the moon, made books, created a STEM Challenge of making a Lunar Lander, studied vocabulary, and made books.

Lunar Lander Apollo 11 STEM Challenge

Young students love pretending, so how much fin is it for them to pretend to be an astronaut who wants a job by filling out an application! Students love making little “space men” finger space holders on craft sticks for them to use during writing activities.

Apollo 11 Activities

Moon phases are easily displayed on and “ipad” printable during science. The best way to really get your students to understand the event if to share videos with them from NASA. It will help them understand the how long ago it was when we visited the moon. You can talk about the importance of teamwork to get to the moon.

What are you going to do with your students to celebrate The Eagle landing?

Strategies for Teaching Science in Elementary School

If you struggle with figuring out how to teach science to young students when you have little time in the classroom, I have some strategies to help you achieve a positive learning experience for your students.  I know for me, finding time to squeeze in science and social studies in my jam-packed plans was a struggle.  The first thing I do to alleviate the stress is to integrate my reading, writing or math into a science lesson.  By utilizing the other subjects during science lessons, it is a real time-saver.

Integrate Subjects

If having students being engaged in your lessons is a problem, integrating science into a boring math lesson can help to produce 100% engagement with the students.  For example, if you are teaching addition in math and matter in science.  Why not have students collect types of matter, write about the properties of matter and then create addition problems with the matter they collected.  Which brings me to the most important way to teach science.  Kids need to have their hands actually on physical items in order to help retain information, especially after a long morning of learning.  Encourage students to set up experiments or participate in science discussions to help boost their confidence and critical thinking skills.Science, Technology, Education, Research, Digital

Science Notebooks

Providing a Science Data Notebook helps student develop writing skills while exploring science concepts.  Encourage them to collect information and drawings about their observations.  Have students record steps they need to take to create a science experiment.  Have them think of a  burning question they want answered.  Then, develop a safe plan to test something in order to answer the question.  You can pick one out of all of them to actually do with the whole group.  This will help them understand the scientific method.

Investigation Stations

I like to always refer to my students as scientists during science class.  I want them to know that everyone can be a scientist.  On Fridays, I would have Science Investigation Stations.  Students could wear their father’s white button up shirt, and goggles to feel more like a scientist.  Then, they get to explore at different stations.  I incorporate reading and writing in the lessons to ensure I’m hitting all my academic targets.  Each station has posters with vocabulary words that go with the unit we are focusing on that week.  Learning science vocabulary is essential for helping students to think and communicate in future science lessons.

Make It FUN!

Most importantly, be excited for science.  Students feed off of your energy.  Making learning fun is simple when you use science lessons!

Here is a FREE Energy Sample for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, if you are looking for some ideas.

K-1 SCIENCE Made EASY Year-long Lessons

Spring Teaching Ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade

Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year to teach! Flowers bloom, everything is new, sun shining, and engaging resources.  I use lots of spring themed lessons including Easter activities. My all time favorite thing to do, is to step away from the curriculum, just a little and teach poetry! Students really learn to love literature when they see how much fun they can have with words!

Spring also means new plants and flowers are in the process of growing.  Students have a blast learning all about plant parts, dissecting the plants, germinating their own seeds and more in this 3 week Plant Unit.

I also use Spring Worksheets with my kindergarten students that are themed in all subject areas!  This creates a connection across the curriculum areas.  The printables also meet most state standards in reading, writing, math, and science.

Of course celebrating springtime would not be the same without some fun spring and Easter activities in the classroom for our students! Students get creative with art supplies making butterfly glasses, bunny headbands, jellybean math, and life cycle books.  Whatever you do with your students, make sure you are having fun right a long with them! Happy SPRING!

 

Celebrating The Great American Solar Eclipse

I know today is such an exciting day with children! They get to witness The Great American Solar Eclipse! My daughter has texted me three times trying to get me to pick her up early because “No one else is in school Mom!” Don’t worry! If you didn’t get a chance to experience the real thing with your NASA approved glasses, you can still make the eclipse a great “hook” for a lesson! Students can learn about he motion of the earth, and moon as they travel around the sun. Here is a simple and effective way for free to teach them the rotation. Get a ball to represent the moon, a globe, and a flashlight to represent the sun. Turn off the lights. Have the student who is the “SUN” with the flashlight, shine it on the globe. Next, have the ball, “moon” rotate around the sun slowly, blocking the sun from the earth. Ask questions here to generate thinking. “What do you think the moon looks like? Where is the shadow?”  Then, for older kids, have the earth rotate around the sun with the moon still rotating around the earth. They will get a good understanding of the rotation from this activity. You can do this with printable hats as well.

You can spend the whole week learning about shadows, rotation, gravity and more! Use this week unit on the solar eclipse to captivate your students all week. It’s a great opportunity to really hook your students into developing a love for science with this Great American Solar Eclipse, so use it.  After all, it’s been 99 years since the last one! Get the students involved in celebrating their PLACE in SPACE!

Solar Eclipse 2017 Activities WEEK LESSON PLAN with Crafts and Home Connection