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Books: Remarkable Rocks (Ranger Rick), What Happens to Rock? (Wright Group), Investigating Rocks (Newbridge), Rocks (Newbridge), Using Rocks (National Geographic)
Materials: a collection of rocks with a variety of sizes, colors, and textures, including fossils, fools’ gold, polished rocks, geodes, etc.; provide field guides on rocks, minerals, and fossils
Encourage children to feel the rocks on their cheeks, to scratch for hardness with nails, to look at them with a magnifier, and to sort and classify them. Children also enjoy having a tub of water to put the rocks in because of the change in color and shine. Add a balance scale and cubes to see how many cubes each rock sample weighs.
Book: Field Guide to Seashells (Golden Book)
Materials: a collection of seashells with a variety of sizes, shapes, color, and texture, and a field guide on seashells
Shells can be laid on a plastic tablecloth for easy sorting, or hidden in the sand trough. Encourage students to sort, classify, listen to the ocean, and find the kind of animal that used to live inside by consulting the field guide.
Book: What Is This Skeleton? (Wright Group)
Materials: Collect bones from a hike in the canyon. Boil them or place them in a bleach solution to kill germs. Ask your local zoo or animal park if they will donate bones, feathers, or even owl pellets. Children love to put bones together to create a new animal, and talk about what part of the body that bone might have come from. Old X-rays can be obtained from your local hospital. Children enjoy comparing animal bones with people bones. Show students pictures of the skeletons of several animals and invite children to guess what animal they came from. Add some black paper and chalk. Students draw what they think the skeleton of a particular animal might look like. Students also enjoy using styrofoam peanuts and toothpicks to create skeletons.
Books: Hot and Cold Weather; Clouds, Rain and Fog; Getting Cold! Getting Hot!; Warming Up Cooling Off (Wright Group); Weather Today (National Geographic), The Weather Report (Rosen); Golden Book Clouds Field Guide
Materials: Paper, colored pencils, rain gauge, ruler, thermometer, wind vane (or stationary wind ribbon mounted outside with directions labeled on post); clouds field guide, weather station chart paper
The student will go outside and make an observation about the day’s weather. He or she should draw a picture of the weather each day and add notes about weather observations. The page will be added to the class weather observation book. A brief note of the weather is also transferred to the class weather calendar or graph.
Books: Look What I Did with a Leaf, Apples and Pumpkins, Pumpkin Pumpkin
Materials: Explore apples, pumpkins, squash, and corn on the cob, etc. Compare actual objects with models or replicas of objects.
Using your hand “waft” the apple to catch its
fragrance. How do the fragrances compare?
Textures? Appearance? How can you tell the
difference between a real apple and a wooden apple without tasting it?
Materials: Observe snowflakes, and icicles using black paper,
magnifiers, microscopes. “Frost” crystals can be made by placing moth
ball crystals in a glass jar with a canning lid in place and placing the
glass in boiling water for just a few minutes until the moth ball crystals
Remove the jar immediately and let cool. As it cools, beautiful frosty patterns will form on the inside of the jar.
Materials: bulbs, branches cut off bushes in bud, baggies, seeds, clipboards