Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Classic Picture books, Critical Thinking, Lesson Plans, Living Books, Math, Physics, Science

Using Children’s Literature to Teach Science

Using Children’s Literature to Teach Science by Patricia Bishop McKean (PDF ebook with multiple PDF files)

Patricia Bishop McKean compiled this wonderful ebook that pairs great picture books / young reader books (including such classics as Stellaluna, Follow the Drinking Court, Swimmy, Curious George, Morris’s Disappearing Bag and many more) with hands-on activities that demonstrate basic science concepts to young students. Subjects covered in the activities include earth science, astronomy, math, ecology, physics, chemistry, and process skills. It’s a great approach that makes both the stories AND the science lessons much more memorable.

From her introduction:

Each children’s picture book is linked to a simple, basic science activity. By showing teachers how to “hook” their students by reading a familiar or new story and then doing a related hands-on, minds-on science activity, I have helped teachers feel more comfortable with teaching science.  Sometimes the story comes before the activity, and sometimes it comes after the activity. The activity will stand alone, as will the reading of the story, but if the hook captivates the mind of the student, the memory of the science concept should last in the student’s mind.

About the format:

Each book & accompanying science activity has its own PDF file, so there’s lots of PDFs to download here, making it a little more complicated than just downloading a single PDF file. But it is worth the effort. Check it out and see if you don’t agree. Use the menu on the site to navigate between sections of the collection.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts, Physics, Science

Dragonfly Helicopters & other Science Toys

SCIENCE TOY MAKER: Mysterious, Kinetic, Noisy, Do-It-Yourself Science Projects that Entice Scientific Investigation

We featured this site in years past, but it just keeps getting better and better as they add dozens more way cool science toys,  gadgets and gizmos (both easy & advanced)  that you can make at home to demonstrate all sorts of scientific principles. (We especially like the “dolphin ring” video and project!) Bookmark this site and refer to it whenever you want a hands-on toy building project that has scientific value & your kids will love to play with!

Click here to go to the site!

Lesson Plans, Literature, Math, Nature Studies, Science

Eclectic Homeschooling Unit Studies

The creator of Eclectic Homeschooling has a great page filled with geography, history, Bible, fine arts and English unit studies she has put together over the years while homeschooling her kids. These have lots of book suggestions and tons of hands-on activities that are kid-friendly ways to learn about each subject in-depth.

Here’s what she has to say about these studies:

We love unit studies around here and over the years I have put together lots of different studies for my kids.  I’ve compiled them all into one big list.  Some of them have taken us an entire school year to finish and some have taken 3-4 weeks.  We usually have several going at once.

These studies aren’t intended to incorporate lots of different subjects, but are designed to cover one topic in depth without the limitations that come with needing to cover all of the subjects in one topic.  So if we study a country we explore it in a way that help my kids connect with the subject.  I don’t concern myself with my child needing to show understanding through writing about the topic.  We learn and discover together and discuss as we go.

Lots of great ideas and interesting study topics here!

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Science, Video, Video Lessons

YouTube Science Channels for Kids

YouTube is a great source of educational materials  – especially if you are looking for science and experiments videos. Here are 15+ different YouTube channels specializing in science videos for kids, as collected on the STEM learning site, i-gamemom.com. From geology to outer space, animals, hands-on experiments, and more, there are hundreds of videos on these channels covering just about any science topic you can think of.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

History, Nature Studies, Physics, Science

OLogy!

OLogy! is a science website for kids from the American Museum of Natural History. “OLogy” means “the study of”, and the site has a several extensive collections of resources, games, hands-on activites and videos covering Anthropology, Archaeology, Astronomy, Biodiversity, the Brain, Genetics, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Physics, Zoology and more.

The “OLogy! For Educators” section also provides teacher resources to help you build lesson plans and unit studies around various topics of interest.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Arts & Crafts, Just for Fun, Nature Studies, Physics, Science

Projects, Experiments & Hands-On Fun

TheHappyHousewife.com has a great collection of almost 100 hands-on projects, crafts and experiments especially for homeschoolers, on all sorts of interesting topics, including:

Turkey Feather Science
Testing for Starch
Milk Fireworks
The Physics of the Trapeze
Fun Ways to Improve Writing Skills
Buoyancy Experiments
…and dozens more.

CLICK HERE Take a look and browse through the collection yourself!

Physics, Science

Jefferson Labs’ Science Games & Puzzles

The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, also known as Jefferson Lab, is a world-leading nuclear physics research facility funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. They have put together a great site offering over two dozen online educational games that aren’t full of shoot-em-ups and fancy graphics — but are very well designed… fun… and highly educational.

Included are COOL games about the Periodic Table of Elements… the truly fun and challenging Speed Math game, and other logic and science puzzles that are great additions to your homechool repertoire. Click on over and bookmark this!

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Physics, Science, Video

Random Experiments from The King of Random

“Welcome to a world of garage science and backyard experimenting. This page is all sciencey guy stuff .. but girls can play too!”

Here’s a delightfully geeky Facebook video channel with over 70 fun and interesting videos from, with all sorts of “garage science” experiments, inventions, and science — including making waterproof sand, all sorts of colored smokes, slime, a smoke ring cannon, a David & Goliath sling, a T-shirt cannon, melting marbles with electricity, and lots more.

Most of these are NOT suitable for most homeschoolers to try for themselves, as they involve some hazardous chemicals, fire, etc. and are really meant for older experimenters. However, they are full of fun ideas and plenty of science (which is usually fully explained by the very likeable, good natured hosts), and just may pique your student’s interest in physics, chemistry and science.

(We also didn’t spot anything off-color or objectionable on the videos we watched, but then we did not watch all 71 of the videos. You may want to preview some of the more off-the-wall experiments if they freak you out.)

CLICK HERE to go to their Facebook video channel.