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K-5 Science




This is an important sequence of events in science learning. Students should have an anchoring experience, a phenomena, to be able to have context for the science content. Encourage students to talk about their thinking as they go for sense-making. 


Push + Pull

What it's about: Students explaining how a push or pull affects the motion of an object. More force creates more movement. Consider pulling objects with a string.

Do + talk

- pull toys with different weights

- cause collisions with cars and talk about what changes speed or direction

- play on the swingset and talk about what causes motion

- create a roller coaster with different size spheres

- push different size and weight spheres across the floor, compare how far they go with the same push on different surfaces


And Everyone Shouted: Pull

Oscar and the Cricket

Newton and Me

The Little Snowplow

plants + animals

What it's about: Students explaining what plants and animals need to survive, how are they all connected, how they change to live in their environment, and discuss how humans impact the environment. 

Do + talk

- watch live animal cams

- grow a lima bean in a light and dark environment

- take a nature walk and talk about the plants and animals around you

- design a habitat for a specific type of animal, what other animals could live there? 


Animals should definitely not wear clothing

The Salamander Room


Feathers: Not Just for Flying

The Curious Garden

Wump World

Animal Architects

weather + climate

What it's about: Students explaining the effect of the sun on the Earth's surface (warmer/cooler), weather patterns, and the purpose of weather forecasting.  

Do + talk

- track the weather each day on a calendar 

- have students create a weather forecast with suggestions of what to wear to be prepared

- sensory hunt - go outside and have them feel different earth surfaces to compare them and notice patterns

- share their weather forecasting with family

- design a shelter for animals using different earth materials

- watch the weather on the news, talk about why it is important and how it affects us

- design a kit and fly it, discuss how the winds move clouds and affect the weather


Who Likes the Rain

Like a Windy Day

The Rain Came Down

Freddy the Frogcaster

My Light

Sun Bread

1st Grade


What it's about: Students explaining that vibrating objects creates sound, objects can only be seen when illuminated, blocking the path of light casts a shadow, and that sound and light can travel through space (not referring to outer space)

Do + talk

- write a play and make shadow puppets to act it out

- design an instrument from recycled materials - what is vibrating to cause the sound? Trash-struments

- play various instruments and talk about the vibrations causing sound

- shadow hunt outside, consider tracing shadows in the driveway or sidewalk

- listen for sounds while you play outside

- make a string telephone, how does it work? 


What Makes Different Sounds? 

The Listening Walk

Sound: Loud, Soft, High, and Low



Sun and Moon


What it's about: Students explaining behaviors between parents and offspring, especially communication, similarities between young plants/animals to mature plants/animals, and design products that are inspired by the natural world (i.e. biomimicry) 

Do + talk


Papa's Mechanical Fish

Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature


Animal families, Animal Friends

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

Owl Babies

space systems

What it's about: Students explaining observations of the sun, moon, and stars that move in predictable patterns, and noticings about how the amount of daylight changes throughout the year.

Do + talk

- keep a journal looking at the sky and make observations at specific times (hint: you can see the moon in the daytime)

- make a table of the sunset and sunrise as our days get longer/shorter

- stargazing party - lay out under the stars 

- trace a shadow in the driveway or sidewalk and see how it moves throughout the day

- watch timelapse videos of the night sky or sun/moon


I Took the Moon for a Walk

Kitten's First Full Moon 

The Sun is my Favorite Star

The Shortest Day

The Reason for Seasons

Sunshine Makes the Season

2nd Grade



What it's about: Students explaining specific properties of materials and the strength of different materials, some objects are made up of smaller pieces, and some changes are caused by heating and cooling which may or may not be reversible 

Do + talk

- keep a journal of observed properties of materials around you (consider doing this outside)

- do materials testing with an adult considering hard, soft, flexible/pliable, water proof, etc. 

- design a house from materials that is weather proof (sturdy, water proof, won't blow over, etc.)

- kitchen chemistry - mix together a recipe and see how materials combine, what does heating or cooling do? 

- reverse engineer - take apart a retractable pen, or a simple/broken toy to see the parts and pieces

- blind build - without looking at the other person's structure, see if they can tell you how to put the pieces (legos or found items) together like theirs


Touch It! Materials, Matter, and You

Rosie Revere, Engineer

A Rock is Lively

Matter: See It, Touch, It

If I Built a Car!

Iggy Peck Architect

The Most Magnificent Thing

What is the World Made of?

Melting Matter

What it's about: Students explaining what plants need to grow (water and/or sunlight), explain diversity of life in an ecosystem, how seeds are dispersed and plants are pollinated. 

Do + talk

- start a seed library and notice the differences between them, how would they travel

- grow lima beans and see if they need light or water

- explore google earth to look at different ecosystems, what do you notice?

- art - make a model of plants and animals in an ecosystem

- design a hand pollinator to help pollinate challenging flower types

- scat track - use tracking skills to see what animals have been in your area recently, are they seed eaters? 


The Tiny Seed

The Carrot Seed

One Bean

Who Will Plant a Tree? 

Flip, Float, Fly! Seeds on the Move

From Bird Poop to Wind

The Busy Tree

Under One Rock

Cactus Hotel

earth systems

What it's about: Students explaining fast and slow changes in the Earth's surface, how humans impact water and wind changing the landscape, shapes and kinds of land and water bodies, and where water is found on Earth (solid and liquid form) *specific attention to Michigan 

Do + talk

- take. a virtual field trip using Google Expeditions to the Grand Canyon

- look for signs of weathering and erosion around your home or school

- use Google Earth to make observations about water around the world

- playing in a sand table, test pouring water at different speeds, heights, and quantity to see what happens

- use ArcGIS with an adult to understand how water flows throughout the state



The Big Rock

Soil Erosion and How to Prevent It

Erosion: Changing Earth's Surface

Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean

A River Runs Through It

All the Water in the World

A Cool Drink of Water

Water: Up, Down, and All Around

3rd Grade


What it's about: Students understanding the motion of an object, balanced and unbalanced forces that may cause movement, non-touching forces like electric and magnets.

Do + talk +Investigate


- collect a variety of balls from around the house (different sizes and made of different materials) Create your own game trying to roll them to a specific target from different distances! Which ones are harder to push? Which ones roll the fastest? How did different amounts of force affect the distance it traveled? Keep track of your measurements and data. How do you think the floor surface affected how the ball rolled? 

Balanced / Unbalanced

- Tug-o-War! As a family, start a game and pick teams. How will you decide fair teams? What affects who wins? What if it was 3 on 1? What if you change the distance between teams, length of the rope, or how close someone gets to stands to the center? 

- Board Games: While playing, discuss strategy as it relates to force and motion/balanced and unbalanced forces:


Pick Up Sticks





- Go on a magnet hunt! What around your house is magnetic? Keep data of what the magnet is attracted to, and non-responsive. Using different fridge magnets do you notice which one has a greater pull? Are there metals magnets do not attract to? 

- Magic Show! Can you create and perform a "magic" show with magnets or static electricity? How can you make objects move without touching them? What about through another object (magnet under paper moving a metal object above)?

- Recycling Frenzy! Did you know that recycling centers use magnets to sort the materials? Can you design something to sort the recycling in your house? Think about different forces you know, how does weight affect the process? Or design another contraption that uses magnets to solve a problem. 


- Create a chain reaction or Rube Goldberg machine (like Mousetrap game) to solve a problem / complete a task. Use what you know about force and motion, different weights, gravity, unbalanced forces, magnets, etc. to design it! Can you create something to turn off the lights? Feed a pet? When you think you are finished, see if you can get it to work 5 times in a row? Can you add on to it? Make it perform another task?

Rube Goldberg Examples


Equal Schmequal

And Everyone Shouted "Pull!"

Move It! Motion, Forces, and You

Forces Make Things Move

Oscar and the Cricket

Magnet Max

What Makes a Magnet


Electric Fields: Crash Course Physics #26

Magnetism: Crash Course Physics #32

27 Magnet Experiments - Can you figure them out? - Don't try without an adult


What it's about: Students realizing the impact that an environment has on the organisms who live there (adaptations and habitats) and why/how some organisms survive while others don't. Students also learn about environmental changes and impact, and learning about fossils and what they tell us about historical living organisms. 

Do + talk +Investigate





What it's about: There are three main parts to this unit; Students understand data and graphs relevant to weather in different seasons, global climates, and reducing the impact of weather related hazards.

Do + talk +Investigate


- Start graphing the weather! Create your own bar graphs, tables, line graph, or charts recording aspects of the weather. Temperature - high? low? Precipitation? Hours of sunlight? Hours of daylight? Humidity? Look at previous weather data, how does this year relate to previous years? How do meteorologists record the data? What do their models look like? Watching weather forecasts or recording your own can help share your observations and data. 


- Look at weather reports from other countries around the world! Take a virtual field trip there - Using Google Earth or Google Expeditions you can compare other climates to our own. What do they wear? What patterns are similar? What patterns are different? With an adult, find a live weather cam in another part of the world and see what their weather is right now. Earth Cam has live feeds around the world - even here in Michigan! (some live feeds have 30 second game ad first)

Reducing Weather Impact

- Design a house that is resistant to at least 2 weather hazards: hail, strong winds, sub zero temperatures, torrential downpour, intense heat, lightning, flooding, or freezing. Consider which would go together, and what materials might withstand that hazard the best. Make sure to test your design with an adult. First, try leaving it outside in Michigan. Then consider using the oven, freezer, shower/faucet, leaf blower, hair dryer, marbles, etc. to text your design. Consider looking at houses around the world before creating your design, or to improve your plan. 


On The Same Day in March

Freddy the Frogcaster

Recess at 20 Below

What Will the Weat


life cycles+traits

What it's about: Students explaining various life cycles and identifying patterns between organisms, understanding inherited traits, and how environment can impact those. 

Do + talk +Investigate




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