My students always LOVE when we dive into Science. They CAN’T get enough of it. We usually start the year off teaching Life Science but this year we pushed it back to the Spring because we were lucky to be invited on a field trip to our local wetlands.
Before we went to the Wetlands, I wanted to prepare my little scientist for the different activities and terminology that they would be encountering on our field trip. We did a lot of Close Reads in our Science text books hands on investigations to make those difficult science topics more tangible.
First off, we went over photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a very abstract concept for my kids. We read through our science book about it, but they needed more than the few paragraphs about it to really get it. I created a Close Read to supplement their learning and enhance their understanding of it. After we did the Close Read we watched a wonderful and free episode of Bill Nye #thanksyoutube, to help drive the concepts we read about home. In addition, I used Studyjams.com too. With the help of their great little video and catchy song about photosynthesis, my kids were singing away about this detailed topic. Please tell me you have heard of Studyjams.com! IF you haven’t used this website yet, go look at their amazing and FREE content- I promise you will find fun and engaging videos and songs to add to your lessons. We even acted out the process of photosynthesis in little groups of 6. They had to create the script and act out photosynthesis in a 3-5 minute skit. It was the PERFECT, on the fly Friday activity. Finally, after all that reading, singing, watching and talking they were ready to show what they know! I had the students write their own little recipe for photosynthesis, using the Close Read I gave them.
They really loved creating their photosynthesis leaf– it made those abstract concepts very concrete. We hung these proudly in our hallway and welcomed any questions about the process from visitors. They certainly felt like little Plant Experts! PLUS it made an amazing bulletin board!
They reviewed the Food Web and engaged in great conversations with our hosts about the different food webs we might see at our site.
They then got to look at 15 different microorganisms and guess what they were.
… and finally, they bird watched like little pros!
After all that fun learning about life science- I decided that they should have an edible final- I passed out all of the ingredients below:
and asked them what they thought they all represented. A few guesses came out- and then one girl shouted out- “OH I GET IT! Producers, decomposers and consumers!”
I had them all explain what each part represented and asked them random questions about things we had been studying before I let them be the consumers. It was really fun, cheap and a great way to wrap up our learning.
Thanks for letting me share our little fancy life science adventurers with you all. I hope you can use some of these with your class. I would love to hear any fancy ideas you use in your classroom to teach life science.
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