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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!