Why Escape Rooms Are Great For Elementary

You probably already know that escape rooms have become hugely popular in primary grades recently. They’re exciting, unique, engaging, and make your students think! What’s not to love? They’re perfect for any grade in elementary.

If you haven’t heard of this before, you may be wondering what escape rooms are. 

An escape room is an escape game where your students have to work together in real life to discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in order to escape. But how do you do an escape room with 5 and 6 year old kindergarten students? 

It may seem obvious, but you don’t actually  need to have expensive locks, fancy boxes, or big prizes. My escape rooms meet standards, don’t need locks, encourage 100% engagement, and get kids to work together in teams to help each other open any box and escape their room. The activities and puzzles are grade level appropriate so they will be just challenging enough to be fun. 

My escape rooms have 3 to 5 tasks for students to solve in order to get their next clue.  They also have video hooks to build anticipation. You can make it fun by letting them escape the room and go to recess, the library, or really get the excitement up with a cookie party!

Escape rooms make a GREAT Halloween activity, especially. The Halloween theme will add a spooky and fun twist. 

This Halloween Escape Room is for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. It includes step-by-step instructions that will guarantee student engagement while your students work together to find the missing classroom pumpkin that was stolen by the werewolf.

escape rooms

Check out this escape room Halloween Mystery video to hook them in! 

 

Want to see this Halloween Escape Room in action? Check out this fun video from The Magical Teacher to see how she used in her classroom for a thrilling Halloween mystery. 

 

 

Do you use escape rooms in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

escape rooms

Looking for more Halloween activities, check out my post here for Halloween crafts and center ideas! 

Teaching Forms of Energy

Energy is the ability to do work. We know this, and we appreciate the ways we use energy in our everyday lives. For our students however, this is not necessarily something they would think much about. Our kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade students may not even know a lot about the energy they use every day like sunlight, food, and electricity. They also may not think of light, sound, and heat as types of energy. This is a very important topic for students to understand. 

Something that is important is to know your students’ misconceptions. Most likely, they don’t know what energy looks like. They may think that light can’t move through objects. They may have never thought about vibration creating sound. Teaching these concepts can be really fun with a little prep work!  

Here are some tips for teaching energy forms to your students. 

  • Take it slow. It can be a challenging concept for younger students to grasp at first. You don’t want to overwhelm them right from the start. Plan it out ahead of time and take it one step at a time. 
  • Explain what energy is first, and then start offering examples of energy (sound, heat, and light). Breaking it down will make a difference in student comprehension. 
  • Try reading some books about energy forms. Usually, books are a great way to learn more about subjects from a different source, which can be a great thing for the trickier topics. 
  • Do a variety of activities to get lots of practice. You can do fun science experiments if you want, or you can keep it simple and straightforward. Tell your students that they are the scientists and their job is to understand forms of energy. 

This Forms of Energy Activities resource for kindergarten and first grade would be a great addition to your forms of energy lesson plans. It covers sound, heat, and light with a 3 week plan including 3 inquiry lessons, data notebook, rubric, home project, and more. forms of energy

Here’s some more information on what is included in this Forms of Energy resource:

Lesson Plan (What is a Scientist?) WEEK 1

Lesson Plan (Science Tools) WEEK 2

Lesson Plan (Scientific Method) WEEK 3

Act It Out (Teacher calls out the energy word, students act it out)

Draw or List forms of energy

Forms of Energy Writing and Drawing Printable

Forms of Energy – Heat, Light, Sound Interactive Notebook Page

Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram – compare fire and the sun

Ask a Friend – Practice collecting data, predicting and collecting evidence

I SPY Sound Items

Draw what you think sound looks like

Interactive Notebook pages for making a pocket full of things that make sound

Sound Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram compare the soft sound of the beach to the loud sound of the music room at school

Writing Page about Sound Energy

Draw 3 forms of energy in the circle.

Inquiry Lesson Light Experiment with various Items to see if light passes through

Inquiry Student Page to collect

Hear and See Sound Experiment

Hear and See Sound by showing vibration

Melting Ice Teacher Instructions for Inquiry Lesson

Student page to collect data on melting ice experiment

Fun Science Hat/Headband 

What is energy? Poster

Vocabulary Posters (sound, soft, vibrate, loud, heat, light)

Energy Notebook Journal with Rubric

Forms of Energy

 

What activities do you like to do to help your students understand forms of energy? Let me know in the comments below!

forms of energy
For more science activities and lessons, check out my post here! 

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