Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Plants and Animals Songs

From a mountain to a river to the ocean to a stream,From a desert to a marsh to almost any place I’ve seen,If it’s wet or if it’s dry, hot or cold, high or low,You’ll find plants and animals wherever you go.
There are plants and animals,There are plants and animals,There are plants and animalsInhabiting the earth.
From the grass to a flower to some moss to a treeMost plants stay rooted and never ever leave.From a rabbit to a dolphin to a kitten to a hound,Most animals you see like to move around.
There are plants and animals,There are plants and animals,There are plants and animalsInhabiting the earth.
Plant roots take minerals and water from the soil. Then they goUp the plant’s stem to help the plant to grow.Green leaves use the sunlight for energy,While animals get energy from the food they eat.
There are plants and animals,There are plants and animals,There are plants and animalsInhabiting the earth.
Sometimes animals help plants, like when birds spread their seeds.A tree might help a bird who builds a nest in its leaves.Animals compete for food while plants compete for sunlight.That’s just how they live; it’s not wrong or right.
There are plants and animals,There are plants and animals,There are plants and animalsInhabiting the earth.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Classification of Animals



Fratercula artica


Experiments With Eggs

Introducing the Scientific Method

Teach the scientific method to ELLs byconducting science experiments in your ESL class. This will introduce your students to the necessary science vocabulary and teach them how to make educated guesses. This is a difficult concept for some ELLs who have been schooled to only give correct responses.

Here are the benefits to teaching science experiments in ESL class:

  • development of science vocabulary
    hands-on learning
    reinforcement of sequencing
    development of higher level thinking skills
    authentic reasons to interact with classmates
    development of co-operative learning strategies
    forming hypotheses
    accessing prior knowledge
    finding a real audience for work
    development of research and computer skills
    development of oral language - managable chunks of learning

Experiment # 1: How to Tell If An Egg is Cooked

1. Materials: hard-boiled eggs, raw eggs

2. Vocabulary: hard-boiled , raw, experiment, hypothesis, materials, procedure, results, conclusion

3. Before this lesson is taught, students need to know the vocabulary “cooked” and “raw.” This is best demonstrated by showing them the inside of a hard-boiled egg and of a raw egg. More advanced students can talk about the way the inside looks, smells, and feels in response to questions such as, “Do the cooked and raw eggs smell the same? Do the whites of cooked and raw eggs look the same? feel the same? How are the yolks different?”

4. Have students examine a cooked egg and a raw egg which have been marked Egg A and Egg B. Can they tell which egg is cooked and which one is raw without breaking the eggs? Do the two eggs feel different? Do they smell different? Do they look different? If shaken, do the eggs sound different ? What we want to find out during the experiment is called “ the question.” Have the students write the “question” in their science notebooks. (Can we tell a cooked egg from a raw egg without breaking it?)

5. Students then look at the eggs and guess which egg is cooked and which is raw. They write their answers in their science notebooks. This part of the experiment is called the “guess” or the “hypothesis.” Students need to know that it does not need to be correct. The next part of the experiment is the “procedure” or the steps of the experiment. This tells what is done first, second, third, etc.

  • Spin the egg on its side very fast.
    Make it stop by pressing on it with your finger.
    Remove your finger quickly.
    The students will see that a raw egg will continue to spin.

6. Explain that this is called the “result” or what happens during the experiment.

7.Students then tell why they think the raw egg continues to spin. Accept a simple explanation such as the contents of the raw egg continues to move because it is liquid. A hard-boiled egg could not start spinning again once it is stopped because its contents are solid. Explain to students that this is the “conclusion,” or what we learned during the experiment.

8. Have each student draw a picture of one of the parts of the scientific method. Ask them to label their drawings. They should then sequence their pictures.

Experiment #2: Why Doesn't A Mother Bird Break Her Eggs?

This experiment helps young children understand that a mother bird can sit on its eggs without breaking them. Students learn to discuss a scientific process and practice new language patterns.

As we do the experiment, we “think aloud” to model the language.

1. Question: Can six eggs shells hold 3-4 heavy dictionaries?

2. Hypothesis: Students guess “yes” or “no” and their guesses are recorded.

3. Materials: six large eggs, scissors, a cup, 3-4 dictionaries, masking tape. We tell students that the materials are things needed to do the experiment.

4. Procedure:

  • Crack end off of each egg and empty the yolk in a cup.
    Wash shells and let them dry.
    Cut edges with scissors and cover them with masking tape.
    Arrange eggshells in a square and put one dictionary on top.

5. At this point ask students if they would like to change their guess, while showing them that there are still two dictionaries to put on the eggs. Most students will want to change their guess. We explain that this is what an experiment is: to make a guess about something, To try out something new and to change the guess if you need to.

6. Results: The eggshells do not break.

7. Conclusion: The arc-like shape of the egg helps support the weight of the dictionaries. The shape of the egg is the reason it doesn’t break when a bird sits on it.

Experiment # 3: Can you Make An Egg Bounce?

1. Question: Bounce a ball or other round object for students. Try to find an object that has a low bounce. Ask the question, “Can you make an egg bounce?”

2. Hypothesis: (guess) Students should make a guess and write down their conclusions.

3. Materials: hard-boiled eggs, white vinegar, jar or large cup and water.

4. Procedure:
Soak eggs in white vinegar for 48-72 hours until all of the shell is dissolved.

Take the egg from the vinegar and soak it in water overnight.
Have students lightly drop the egg on a table from two or three feet.

5. Result: The egg does not break. It “bounces.” Do not drop the egg from a distance of more than a few feet or it will break. It bounces just a little.

6. Conclusion: The vinegar removes the shell but leaves the membrane or skin. The water stretches the membrane which is thick and can be shown to students. This allows the egg to “bounce.”

7. Assessment
Ask students to draw and label the steps of the experiment on large index cards. Also have them compare a peeled hard-boiled egg with their bouncing egg. Do they look and feel different? Is there a different smell? Where is the membrane on the hard-boiled egg? This helps students understand why the membrane on the “bouncing” egg is strong.

8. Extension
Students present their bouncing egg experiment to their mainstream classes. They pose the question “ Do you think this egg will bounce?” and then demonstrate their experiment. After they have completed an oral presentation, the index cards will be glued to their poster board and the poster boards can be hung in the hallway for other students in the school to see.

Experiment # 4: Egg in a bottle

1. Question: Can you show how air expands when heated and contracts when cooled? Use this "Egg in the Bottle" experiment to demonstrate.

2. Hypothesis: (guess) Students should make a guess and write down their conclusions.

3. Materials: A hard-boiled egg, a glass juice bottle, piece of paper; matches.

4. Procedure:

  • Shell a hard-boiled egg.
    Light a folded piece of paper with a match and drop it into the bottle.
    Put the egg on the opening at the neck of the bottle.

5. Result: When the air contracts the egg is pulled into the bottle.

6. Conclusion: The air expands and the air molecules move apart when the lighted paper is dropped into the bottle. When the air cools, it contracts and the egg is pulled into the bottle.

7. Assessment
Ask students to draw and label the steps of the experiment on large index cards.

8. Extension
1.Students present their "Egg in the Bottle" experiment to their mainstream classes. They pose the question “ Do you think I can fit this egg into the bottle?” and then demonstrate their experiment. After they have completed an oral presentation, the index cards will be glued to their poster board and the poster boards can be hung in the hallway for other students in the school to see.

2. How can students get the egg out of the bottle? Have them wash the burned paper from the inside of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down and blow very hard. As soon as you have blown enough air into the bottle, the egg will fly out. Get ready to move your face quickly.

Experiment - Seperate Isopropyl Alcohol From Water

In the course of chemistry study lately, I saw in the Merck index that isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) can be separated from water by adding salt. I've done some experiments and I think that children would enjoy exploring with this system. Its virtues include that it takes common,nontoxic materials that can be discarded without harming waste water treatment.

Here is the basic system.
rubbing alcohol (either 99% or70%),
paraffin or candle wax (not bee's wax),
a graduated cylinder,
three containers, one of which is tall and narrow (like olive jars),
table salt without "anti-caking agents" such as silicon dioxide (sand - it clouds solutions). I used sea salt with nothing added.
You will also need liquid food coloring.

Here's what you do. Measure the total volume of your tall container and use a total volume that will allow you to stir the liquid without spilling over.Measure out half your total volume in water and half in alcohol (if you are using 99%). If you have 70% alcohol, use 5 parts alcohol and two parts water. To start, put the alcohol and water in separate containers. Drop a small piece of paraffin in each container. This wax should float in water and sink in the alcohol.

Now mix the water and the alcohol, along with their pieces of wax in a third container. The paraffin should float. Add salt and stir. For my 70 ml total volume, it took a couple of heaping spoonfuls of salt. Add the salt a spoonful or so at a time and watch as you stir. Stop stirring occasionally and see if the paraffin is still on top. As you get enough salt in solution,something happens. The solution separates into two phases and the paraffin drops halfway down and floats there.

What has happened? The alcohol initially mixed completely with the water and formed a solution. Alcohol is a slightly polar molecule that interacts with the very polar water and can be mixed with it in any proportions. As the salt dissolves, the sodium and chloride ions increase in concentration and interact strongly with the water. They displace the alcohol from the water molecules and it separates. Since it is less dense, it rises to the top of the container. The paraffin sinks in alcohol, so it drops to the top of the salt water and floats there.

If you want to explore further, add a drop of green food color to your container. It will sink to the top of the salt water and then, if you don't move or shake the container, it will slowly diffuse through the liquids. You can leave sitting (with a plastic wrap cover to keep the alcohol from evaporating) for several days. Then there is this little mystery. I haven't had time to do the experiments to figure it out. After about a week, the green color is still there in the salt water layer, but the alcohol turns turquoise blue. The yellow part of green food color leaves the alcohol by some means. Other mixtures of food color gave different results so I still don't know what happened to the yellow in the alcohol. I hope you and your students enjoy exploring with this activity. It could stimulate thinking about density, diffusion, and molecules of dye.

- Priscilla Spears, Ph. D.

I recommend her books. Especially the Plant Manual!

Other Extensions:

(it will ask you for a password...just keep hitting enter and the page will load)

Experiment - Bubble Suspension

Place some dry ice on the bottom of an empty aquarium tank. Let it siAdd Videot for a while, so that a layer of carbon dioxide forms at the bottom of the tank. Then gently blow soap bubbles over the tank. The bubbles will sink into the tank and then stop, floating in mid- air. (The air in the bubbles is less dense than the purer CO2 at the bottom.) Very cool.

You can see a more complete description at

http:// www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/ . Scroll down until you see "Bubble Suspension".


BTW, many of these Exploratorium Science Snacks make very good Science Fair projects for 9-12 yr olds. "Eddy Currents" is also a favorite with my students. It completely mystifies most adults!

Thank you John!!!!!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hurricane Katrina

A Friend of mine send in some Hurricane Katrina lessons: https://www.rms.com/Publications/KatrinaReport_LessonsandImplications.pdf http://www.teachervision.fen.com/hurricane/resource/34251.htmlhttp://www.newseum.org/

Features today's front pages of 46 newspapers from around the world, as well as archived pages from coverage of Katrina.-Watched the History channel on Hurricane Katrina - we learned about the history of New Orleans – we learned about Tropical Cyclones – we viewed the weather on the internet in different areas – how the government helps in times of crisis – the importance of levees – the impact of Hurricanes – why our gas prices went up – we became familiar with different types of natural disasters -

Hurricane History: http://www.teachervision.fen.com/hurricane/history/34252.html

The White House – Lessons Learned:http://www.whitehouse.gov/reports/katrina-lessons-learned/appendix-b.html

PBS Teacher’s Guide:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/storm/

We did the Gulf Coast Region Scavenger Hunt: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/socialstudies/katrina.html

Correlation to National Standards├č Geography -History -Language Arts -Reading -Listening and Speaking -Working with Others├č We did a lot with this website: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/socialstudies/katrina.html

We learned how the loss of New Orleans impacted the world in regards to what we receive from New Orleans; seafood, coffee, oil, Go here to learn of the different Hurricane skills:

Category 1–5


Katrina: The Practice of Journalism http://www.amlainfo.org/curriculumhttp://www.newseum.org/

Features today's front pages of 46 newspapers from around the world, as well as archived pages from coverage of Katrina. http://www.urban.org/afterkatrina/http://www.classbrain.com/artstate/publish/facts_new_orleans_louisiana.shtml

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Constellation, Stars and Plant Extension Ideas

Here are some shared Teacher ideas:

"Back when I was still teaching, I made some constellations cards for using on a Lite Brite. I drew the pictures of the various gods the constellations were named for in chalk on black paper and laminated them before punching small holes where the stars go. Then the child can put the clear pegs in the proper places, so it is a little more active than just looking at flash cards. Plus, they twinkle like the real thing ;^)" - Anne Marie

"Here is a cute song..that goes to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle called Song for a New Age:
Burn so brightly gaseous Star
How I ponder what you are
Far beyond where planets lie
Gigantic in the darkened sky

Burn so brightly gaseous Star
How I ponder what you are.

Activity for Milky Way....
Glue and sprinkle white substance on black paper
white paint, white pencil, white chalk, spatter paint.

Stars....Make an Origami star, make stars out of clay, use the metal inset to make stars.

For math activities...you can replace the spindles in the spindle box with stars.
How about dot to dot constellatios?
What about star replicas used as sets, or odd/even or place on red and blue rods.

Make a sewing card by drawing the constellation on black paper with white pencil, mount on poster/tag board, laminate card, punch holes where the stars would be and add a shoe lace with a bead tied at the end.

Make 3 part cards of the constellations
Word build with movable alphabet
Geoboard stars or constellations
Using construction toys, like tinketoys, etc. build constellations

Make the Big Dipper or other constellations. Used stick on stars and draw lines to show the shape.
String Art Constellations...little nails in a board and use string or rubber bands to show the shape.

Make up a constellation game, by putting the constellations on cards and hand them out at circle/group time. Have the children pass them around while music is played. When the music stops as which child has ______________ (i.e. Big Dipper).

Read Ottie and the Star by Laura Jean Allen (Harper and Row 1979.

Have the children stand to make a constellation.

Make a constellation box. Take a large shoe box and cut a large rectangle out o one end of the box. Take black paper and cut into the rectangles a little larger than a hole in the end of box. Mark dots on paper in shape of the Big Dipper or other constellation. Punch out holes. Attach black paper over rectangular hole in box. Cut hole in other end of box just large enough for the head of a flashlight. Insert flashlight. darken room, turn on flashlight. See constellation.

Lay out constellation on fabric with cardboard of clay or cardboard stars. Use control card.

Make a rubbing using sandpaper circles or tacks in board and rub with crayon over paper.

Have child create own constellation by taking a felt mat and cut out stars.
Make toothpick constellations

Phases of the Moon..

I make a poster/tag board card out of black measuring 4" x 11. Using white address labels on the right hand side I put a row top to bottom of the 8 phases and write the phases in...on the left hand side next to the label I put one of those almost 1" white adhesive dots and use a black permanent marker to color in the moon dot for each of the phases. This is the control card. The child can make their own." " - Karen (a teacher who has just wonderful ideas!)

"you could take the star maps of your areas (seasonal) and label them for control, then make a set of pin maps of them for the student to do.

take this up a notch and use glow in the dark paint to make the stars glow, child could label them" - Angi

"For Planets we sang "Puff the Magic Dragon" with new words:
Mercry, venus, Earth, (Puff the magic dragon)
Mars, Jupiter (lived by the sea)
Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (get the idea?)
and Pluto way out far!
These are all the planets,revolving around the sun,blah blah blah (sorry! Can't remember this line...make up your own?) and having so much fun!

National Air and Space Museum website. They have a song called "Family of the Sun", sung to the Farmer in the Dell http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/ceps/etp/ss/ss_fots.html