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Learning Activities at Home

Activities

Meaningful science learning can happen with everyday phenomena in our own homes or neighborhoods. This elementary learning menu includes options for family-supported science learning for younger learners at home.

PreK - Kindergarten Grades 1-3 Grades 3-5
Observe the weather and draw what you see. Watch videos of baby animals and their parents and describe how they interact. Describe the ways baby animals and parents look alike and different. Discuss ideas about why it might be harder to see at night or in a dark room compared to in daylight or a brightly lit room.
Draw and describe what the weather looks and feels like for several days in a row (e.g., sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy, stormy) Observe the sun, moon and stars over multiple days (in a journal with descriptions and drawings). Describe the differences in their appearance or location from day to day or week to week. Look at different plants growing outside. Discuss parts of the plants that help them grow or survive. If you can, plant some seeds to watch them grow.
Kick a soccer ball and explore ideas about how a harder kick makes the ball go farther. Experiment with letting it roll on different surfaces and seeing what happens when it collides with other objects. Go on nature walks and describe plant and animal parts and how they might help the organisms survive. For example: Roses have sharp thorns that hurt when you touch them. Maybe this keeps people from picking them. When you’re riding in a car, wonder about why the windows on one side of the car facing the sun are warmer than the other car windows. When you get home, draw a model to explain it.
Walk around your neighborhood or a local park and name the animals and plants you see, then talk about why the neighborhood or park is a good place for them to live. Go outside after a windy or rainy day. Describe what changes they see or what is different. Discuss how the wind or water might have caused these changes. Place different objects in a container filled with water. Discuss what happens to the objects. Why do you think some of the objects float and other objects sink?
Sensory scavenger hunts. Find 6 objects that have a similar property: are X color, that are X shape, that have a smell, that are hard, soft, etc. Go on a scavenger hunt in the kitchen together and put all the bowls, utensils, pots and pans in groups based on similarities and differences. Cook a meal together and discuss how sometimes when you mix two substances together, something new forms, or whether you can change something back to its raw form after you have cooked it.
Cut out pictures from magazines to make pattern collages by color, shape, size, etc. Walk around your neighborhood or a park and document the different plants, insects and animals you see. Then go to a different neighborhood or park and find out if the same plants, insects and animals are present. Discuss how the construction of a new house or building might change the ecosystem that was there before the construction began.
Track shadow patterns in a room by making string outlines on the floor. Toss a ball outside, or in an open space inside, and discuss how to make it go shorter and farther distances. Take apart an electronic toy that has a light or makes sound and investigate the circuit inside the toy. Draw a model of the circuit inside the toy. Using evidence from your model/drawing, explain how the circuit works. What effect would an open circuit have on the toy?
Count and record how many stars you can see out a window every night. Draw what the moon looks like every night to identify patterns. Find something that is broken. Take it apart to see if you can find a way to fix it or reuse the parts. Find something that is broken and take it apart to identify all of its pieces. Develop a model to explain how the parts work together and what happens when a piece is broken.
Find an interesting object and observe it carefully. See if you can notice details that someone else can’t. Can you describe it so well that someone can figure out what it is, even if they don’t see it? Measure shadow patterns every hour to see how they change during the day. Can you make a specific kind of shadow puppet (that is a particular size and shape)? How did you do that? Find a rock and observe it carefully. Write a story to describe where the rock came from and what made it look the way it does.
See if you can find an animal either outside or even living in your own home. Watch it carefully. Where does it go? What is it doing? Why is it doing what it is doing--is it looking for food, or water or a safe place? Be an energy sleuth! Document all of the objects in your home that are using electricity. How do you know they are using electricity? Consider whether they are using energy when not in use and could be unplugged to save energy. Be an energy sleuth! Document all of the objects in your home and the evidence you have that they are using electricity. Consider whether they are using energy when not in use and could be unplugged to save energy. Make a family plan to conserve energy.
Work with your family to sort items in the trash and/or recycling containers into categories based upon their properties. Are they made from metal, plastic, wood? Try to figure out how much water you use in a day by using kitchen measuring devices to collect water when you wash your hands and brush your teeth. Try to figure out how much water you use in a day by using kitchen measuring devices to collect water when you wash your hands and brush your teeth. Estimate how much water it takes to flush the toilet, wash clothes, wash dishes. Make a family plan to conserve water.
Watch a seed grow! It can be a garden seed or a dried bean you eat. Place the seed in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel covering one side so you can see what happens as it grows. Make a list of light sources you can find in your house. How are these light sources used? Write about a light source in your house and how it helps you and your family. Make a flip book of roots, shoots, and flowers for plants and heads, bodies, and feet, for birds based on your own observations and/or images from media. Mix and match them and draw the environment that would be required for the organism to survive.

 

Version 1.1. of this work has been developed by members of the Council of State Science Supervisors. View Creative Commons Attribution at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

 

Meaningful science learning can happen with everyday phenomena in our own homes or neighborhoods. This elementary learning menu includes options for family-supported science learning for younger learners at home.

PreK - Kindergarten Grades 1-3 Grades 3-5
Observe the weather and draw what you see. Watch videos of baby animals and their parents and describe how they interact. Describe the ways baby animals and parents look alike and different. Discuss ideas about why it might be harder to see at night or in a dark room compared to in daylight or a brightly lit room.
Draw and describe what the weather looks and feels like for several days in a row (e.g., sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy, stormy) Observe the sun, moon and stars over multiple days (in a journal with descriptions and drawings). Describe the differences in their appearance or location from day to day or week to week. Look at different plants growing outside. Discuss parts of the plants that help them grow or survive. If you can, plant some seeds to watch them grow.
Kick a soccer ball and explore ideas about how a harder kick makes the ball go farther. Experiment with letting it roll on different surfaces and seeing what happens when it collides with other objects. Go on nature walks and describe plant and animal parts and how they might help the organisms survive. For example: Roses have sharp thorns that hurt when you touch them. Maybe this keeps people from picking them. When you’re riding in a car, wonder about why the windows on one side of the car facing the sun are warmer than the other car windows. When you get home, draw a model to explain it.
Walk around your neighborhood or a local park and name the animals and plants you see, then talk about why the neighborhood or park is a good place for them to live. Go outside after a windy or rainy day. Describe what changes they see or what is different. Discuss how the wind or water might have caused these changes. Place different objects in a container filled with water. Discuss what happens to the objects. Why do you think some of the objects float and other objects sink?
Sensory scavenger hunts. Find 6 objects that have a similar property: are X color, that are X shape, that have a smell, that are hard, soft, etc. Go on a scavenger hunt in the kitchen together and put all the bowls, utensils, pots and pans in groups based on similarities and differences. Cook a meal together and discuss how sometimes when you mix two substances together, something new forms, or whether you can change something back to its raw form after you have cooked it.
Cut out pictures from magazines to make pattern collages by color, shape, size, etc. Walk around your neighborhood or a park and document the different plants, insects and animals you see. Then go to a different neighborhood or park and find out if the same plants, insects and animals are present. Discuss how the construction of a new house or building might change the ecosystem that was there before the construction began.
Track shadow patterns in a room by making string outlines on the floor. Toss a ball outside, or in an open space inside, and discuss how to make it go shorter and farther distances. Take apart an electronic toy that has a light or makes sound and investigate the circuit inside the toy. Draw a model of the circuit inside the toy. Using evidence from your model/drawing, explain how the circuit works. What effect would an open circuit have on the toy?
Count and record how many stars you can see out a window every night. Draw what the moon looks like every night to identify patterns. Find something that is broken. Take it apart to see if you can find a way to fix it or reuse the parts. Find something that is broken and take it apart to identify all of its pieces. Develop a model to explain how the parts work together and what happens when a piece is broken.
Find an interesting object and observe it carefully. See if you can notice details that someone else can’t. Can you describe it so well that someone can figure out what it is, even if they don’t see it? Measure shadow patterns every hour to see how they change during the day. Can you make a specific kind of shadow puppet (that is a particular size and shape)? How did you do that? Find a rock and observe it carefully. Write a story to describe where the rock came from and what made it look the way it does.
See if you can find an animal either outside or even living in your own home. Watch it carefully. Where does it go? What is it doing? Why is it doing what it is doing--is it looking for food, or water or a safe place? Be an energy sleuth! Document all of the objects in your home that are using electricity. How do you know they are using electricity? Consider whether they are using energy when not in use and could be unplugged to save energy. Be an energy sleuth! Document all of the objects in your home and the evidence you have that they are using electricity. Consider whether they are using energy when not in use and could be unplugged to save energy. Make a family plan to conserve energy.
Work with your family to sort items in the trash and/or recycling containers into categories based upon their properties. Are they made from metal, plastic, wood? Try to figure out how much water you use in a day by using kitchen measuring devices to collect water when you wash your hands and brush your teeth. Try to figure out how much water you use in a day by using kitchen measuring devices to collect water when you wash your hands and brush your teeth. Estimate how much water it takes to flush the toilet, wash clothes, wash dishes. Make a family plan to conserve water.
Watch a seed grow! It can be a garden seed or a dried bean you eat. Place the seed in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel covering one side so you can see what happens as it grows. Make a list of light sources you can find in your house. How are these light sources used? Write about a light source in your house and how it helps you and your family. Make a flip book of roots, shoots, and flowers for plants and heads, bodies, and feet, for birds based on your own observations and/or images from media. Mix and match them and draw the environment that would be required for the organism to survive.

 

Version 1.1. of this work has been developed by members of the Council of State Science Supervisors. View Creative Commons Attribution at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

 

About the Author
Clancy J. Wolf, Ed.D.

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE SPECIALIST, OLYMPIC ESD 114, BREMERTON, WA

Clancy has worked with students, teachers, and researchers from Forks, Washington to Key West, Florida, exploring how technology helps students learn and challenging students to think about their role in the world around them. He is the past President of the Northwest Council for Computer Education, the country’s oldest organization for teachers who use technology in the classroom. Education: B.A. in Mathematics/Physics, Whitman College; M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Education, Bowling Green State University; Ed.D. in Science Education, University of Michigan.