The changing of the seasons is something that students can't help but notice and that they will be curious about at a young age. Even older students who have a firm grasp on what happens during each season will be interested to know more when the lessons are relevant to their surroundings. You could create an environmental craft project, for example, or list vocabulary words related to the seasons, and go further in depth with scientific projects that examine the earth's natural cycles.
Spring Nature Walks
Spring is a time for new growth, so it is an ideal season for learning about botany at any grade level. Young students can take a nature walk and note the things they see that are growing or have grown since winter. Back in the classroom, have them write a few sentences about what they saw and draw pictures to accompany their descriptions. Older students can attempt to grow their own plants in a small garden and keep a log of what the plants look like each day as well as noting the weather.
As summer approaches, ask students to do a study on the sun's effects. Older students can rate different sunblocks in an experiment using the scientific method. Spread different sunscreens on several cloths, or mark different spots on the same cloth and leave the cloth hanging in the sun every day. Have students keep a log and present their results. Younger students can talk about what happens when things are left in the sun and do quick experiments with Popsicles or ice water.
From the first day of school keep a thermometer outside the class window and record the temperatures throughout the fall. With young children, talk about how to dress each day and use a laminated paper doll with laminated clothes and dress the doll for the changing weather. Discuss what the falling temperatures mean for plants and animals, too. How do they prepare for autumn? Where do animals go when it rains?
Talk about freezing points with older students, but don't give them the exact degree at which water freezes. Let them experiment with water at different temperatures (room temperature, in the fridge and in the freezer) using a thermometer. Have them write down their observations, and check whether they come to a consensus about the freezing point of water. Even if some of them already know the answer, have them prove it by using their observations. Discuss the freezing points of other liquids as well. If your area sees snow in the winter, talk about the weather conditions and temperatures that make it possible.
- Photo Credit seasons image by AnVer from Fotolia.com
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