It might be a little early for the saying “April showers bring May flowers,” but, with all of this warm weather I just couldn’t resist reading books all about spring! In my classroom right now, my Pre-K students are learning about weather in science class. It is also the time of year when many schools are gearing up to have their Science Fair. Many students struggle in science due to its complex topics and difficult concepts so why not make it simple by incorporating reading and a project! Here are some great books and projects you can read with your children at home to get them excited about science.
Ages 4-10 would benefit from the following project:
Start off this project by reading, “The Cloud” by Eric Carle or “The Cloud Book” by Tomie DePoula (both great authors that include excellent illustrations in their books!) When you and your child have finished reading, he/she can create his/her own cloud book! Supplies that you will need to have on hand are: shaving cream, cotton balls, puffy paint, glitter, glue, and construction paper. Use the following link to cut out descriptions of clouds (if using this lesson with younger children) : http://www.4shared.com/document/G5-Vmb_k/Cloud_Book.html or, have older children use the books he/she just read and/or the internet to research the types of clouds, what they look like, and their purpose in the atmosphere! He/she will have a wonderful book to share with family, friends, and teachers!
Ages 4 – 7 would benefit this lesson on rain:
As we enter spring, there could be a lot of rain in our future forecast! For this activity, you and your child can read “Ruby’s Rainy Day” by Rosemary Wells. In this story, all Max wants to do is play baseball, but he can’t since it’s raining. Ruby struggles to help her brother get motivated to get into his rain gear and play outside! Once he does, Max finds out that he can have a lot of fun playing in the rain! When you and your child have finished reading about rain, you can review using the cloud books that you previously created in the above lesson, what types of clouds cause rain and why (here is a helpful website that both you and your child will find informative about rain: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-rain.htm ). Finally, create the following umbrella rain craft using a paper plate, construction paper, yarn, and stamps/stickers/colored markers! Your child will have so much fun hiding out from the rain with this craft!
All ages would benefit from the following lesson on plants:
Finally, one last activity you can do with your child this spring season is to grow plants! A few books that deal with growing plants are: “How a Seed Grows,” by Helene J. Jordan, “The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow,” by John Speirs and Patricia Relf, “The Seed,” by Eric Carle, and a more fictional but fun book about plants would is, “My Garden,” by Kevin Henkes. After you and your child read one or more of these books, you can take him/her to the store to pick out what type of plant they would want to grow. (In my Pre-K classroom, we are currently growing daisies!) You can also get him/her a plain terracotta pot so he/she can paint it and decorate it his/her liking as well as soil and a mini watering can and shovel!
Once he/she has planted his/her plant, he/she should keep a log and write down each day what is happening to the plant such as how much water he/she is adding, how much sunlight the plant is getting, changes that are happing to the plant, etc. A few example questions you can use to prompt your child to start thinking about plant growth would be, “Has the stem started to spout? If not, what could be happening beneath the soil?” He/she can also make predictions about how long he/she thinks it will take the plant to sprout up from the soil or how long it will take for the plant to sprout flowers. When the plant does finally sprout, he/she can measure how much the plant grows each day by using a ruler and describe the differences that he/she sees in the plant from day to day! At the end of a few weeks, your child will have a plant of his/her very own to take care of!
I hope you enjoy all of these science friendly projects as we hop into this spring season! Please feel free to post your own favorite spring books and/or crafts below!