Developed for third grade. In participating in this activity, students will realize that seeds can sprout and grow without being immersed in soil. After looking at the inside of a lima bean and learning about the different parts of the seed, the students will grow their own little garden of mini-mustard plants in any shape they desire, using a sponge as the base. The kids will be able to care for the seeds soon after they sprout. They will be able to "taste" their mustard plants and even use the
Developed for third grade. The students will be given an introduction to tastebuds, focusing on the different types of tastebuds, what they taste, and where they are located on the tongue. They will do this by sampling four different tastes (lemon - sour, sugar - sweet, salt - salty, and tonic water - bitter) and determining which can be tasted the best in what areas of the tongue. Given a diagram that maps out the main regions of the tongue, the students will indicate which area is designated f
The Wonder of Birds
Developed for third grade. This activity will explore the uses of birds beaks in the wild. The activity features 8 stations in which students will hypothesize, test, and record the data they observe. This is a hands-on and interactive experiment that the students are sure to enjoy. Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project. The teaching ideas on this page have been found, refined, and developed by students in a college-level course on the teaching of biology at
To Light or Not to Light
Developed for second grade. In this activity, students will examine how the living environments(light & dark) affect the growth of green beans through photosynthesis. Through using scientific method, students will choose which situation is better for plant growth and then record and analyze their results once the seeds begin to grow. Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project. The teaching ideas on this page have been found, refined, and developed by students in
Developed for second grade. Students will use skills in hypothesizing, making educated guesses, and prior knowledge to access what kind of light will work best when taking pictures underwater. The students will be asked to look at a piece of fabric portraying an ocean scene with water and fish. After looking at the fabric with white light, students will be asked to look at the same fabric using three colored filters (red, green, and blue) and three different colors of light (red, green, and blue
Water Around and Around Again
Developed for third grade. Students will explore the water cycle by creating a miniature environment in a large plastic container. Students will make two different set-ups that will yield similar yet different results. Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project. The teaching ideas on this page have been found, refined, and developed by students in a college-level course on the teaching of biology at the elementary level. Unless otherwise noted, the lesson plans h
Where do they live?
Developed for second grade. Each student group will be assigned one of three habitats: ocean, desert, or forest. They will create their assigned environment inside of a shoebox (for forest and desert) or a 2-liter bottle (for ocean). Sand, grass, leaves, stones, water, and other materials will be provided along with various art supplies for students to create more features that they feel are necessary for their environment. Students will then choose the appropriate animals that live in their hab
Who's Eating Who?
Developed for second grade. First the teacher will explain the 5 trophic levels of a food chain to the students using the hand out with the sample food chain (Figure 1). Then once they have learned about trophic levels, autotrophs, and heterotrophs, each student can begin looking through the magazines and cutting out pictures of animals to create their own food chain. Once each student has completed his or her food chain, you can have them share them with the group. Biology In Elementary School
Developed for third grade. This activity is fairly straightforward and simple. Each student will grow one to three plants from various beans that are placed in a bag. As the plants grow, students will observe how the appearances change daily, and then again over a longer period of time, such as two weeks. Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project. The teaching ideas on this page have been found, refined, and developed by students in a college-level course on the
This USGS site explains what an aquifer is and defines the different types of aquifers based on six principal lithologies; sandstone, carbonate, sandstone-carbonate, igneous and metamorphic, sand and gravel, and other rock types. The site features maps and descriptions of the major aquifers in the United States as well as general information about groundwater occurrence and quality. The site also provides links to additional maps and data about specific aquifers across the nation.
Hands-on Experiments To Test for Acid Mine Drainage
This is an on-line prototype for a book aimed at teaching kids the effects of acid mine drainage on our environment through experimentation and observation. Experiments introduce litmus paper, pH testing, neutralization, identification of aquatic organisms and their use as water quality indicators, acid mine drainage, organisms in acidic environments (including plants, bacteria, and algae), oxidation-reduction reactions, the manganese cycle, the water cycle, and treatments for acid mine drainage
The "1OO-Year Flood"
This site describes how and when 100-year floods occur. It states that flood designations are based on statistical averages, not on the number of years between big floods. It also suggests that it would make more sense to refer to 100-year floods as 1-in-100 chance floods. This resource is a United States Geological Survey (USGS) Fact Sheet. It can be used in teaching quantitative skills.
Western & Central Gulf of Mexico
This website houses a collection of online publications from the Coastal and Marine Geology Program in the United States Geological Survey. The collection topic is coastal and marine geology in the western and central Gulf of Mexico. Publications include maps, research projects, hazard assessments, open file reports, resource assessments, and digital datasets. The collection may be searched by topic and/or content type. Users may also follow links to other regional collections within the Coastal
Twenty-seven Ideas for Teaching With Topographic Maps
Topographic maps represent a fantastic resource for educators. They can be used in a variety of ways in the science, math, geography, and history curriculum, from elementary to college level. The following ideas may be used as an aid in building educational lessons or to spark your own ideas for using them in the curriculum.
The Earthquake Hazards Program
This site offers frequently asked questions about earthquakes, research on earthquakes, and more. Visitors can follow recent seismic activity around the world, view hazard maps, or learn what a geophysicist does.
National Atlas of the United States
This is a primary source of U.S. maps and geographic information. Zoom in on your state and make your own map by selecting features to display: cities and counties, roads and rivers, population and 109th congressional districts, crops and livestock, amphibians and butterflies, air and water quality, ...
This online teacher packet for grades K-3 teaches basic concepts for visualizing objects from different perspectives and how to understand and use maps. The kit includes seven lesson plans, activity sheets, and a printable poster.
Exploring Caves is an interdisciplinary set of materials on caves for grades K-3. Using earth science, hydrology, mapping, biology, and anthropology, the unit provides teachers with detailed lesson plans to explore these rich environments with very young students.
This site lets students display on maps a range of data: population, transportation, political boundaries, oil, water, other natural resources, and more. Students can explore geographic relationships by combining and co-displaying these data on maps of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.
What Do Maps Show?
This online teacher packet for upper elementary and junior high school students has four lessons on reading and using maps. The packet includes a teacher's guide, four printable activity sheets, and three maps in PDF format that can be downloaded and printed on 8.5" x 11" paper.