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Science Month by Month, Grades 3 - 8: Practical Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Homeschoolers

ISBN: 978-0-471-72901-3
368 pages
October 2006, Jossey-Bass
Science Month by Month, Grades 3 - 8: Practical Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Homeschoolers (0471729019) cover image
If you want your students to think scientifically and have fun while they are doing it, Science Month by Month is the book for you. This collection of lessons, activities, calendars of historic science events, vocabulary word lists, and reproducible worksheets will help you develop seasonal science-theme units for your classrooms. The more than 80 activities are designed for flexibility and can be used in any sequence, any time during the school year. The activities are interdisciplinary, cover all areas of the science curriculum, complement other science programs and textbooks, and are easy to implement without special equipment or materials.
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About This Book.

About the Author.

1. September.

Introduce your students to the book and the monthly calendar.
This month will encourage students to think scientifically, using their reasoning and imagination for exciting investigations.

Some September Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

September Activity Sheets.

1.1 What Would the Fall Season Be Like on Mars?

1.2 Celebrate California and the Avocado Tree.

1.3 Patent an Invention.

1.4 What Do You Know About Mosquitoes?

1.5 Averaging Weather Temperatures.

1.6 How Do Insects Communicate?

1.7 Can the Path of Light Be Bent?

1.8 The Story of Chocolate, an Amazing Journey.

1.9 Observing Magnetic Lines of Force.

1.10 Understanding Mold.

1.11 What Makes a Complete Circuit?

September Calendar Sheets.

2. October.

Instead of an Oktoberfest, have a Science Fest and learn about science.
This month includes National Health Day, so several health and nutrition activities are included. Learn about healthy tissue, the basic food groups, and how to use a microscope.

Some October Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

October Activity Sheets.

2.1 National Child Health Day.

2.2 What Does Fire Need to Burn?

2.3 Basic Food Groups.

2.4 Examining Tissue Cells.

2.5 Understanding the Compass.

2.6 Science Poetry.

2.7 Space and Weightlessness.

2.8 Why Migration?

2.9 Milk and Its Nutritional Content.

2.10 The Microscope and the Amoeba.

2.11 Standard Time.

October Calendar Sheets.

3. November.

Go beyond our world into outer space. Since you and your students will find out about space milestones, let this be your month to investigate spacecraft, spacesuits, lunar rocks, and space foods.

Some November Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

November Activity Sheets.

3.1 Investigating Cloud Types.

3.2 Nutrition in Space.

3.3 Exploring Saturn’s Largest Moon.

3.4 Investigating Spacecraft.

3.5 Be a Lunar Rockhound.

3.6 A Weightless Environment.

3.7 Star Match.

3.8 Aerobics in Space?

3.9 Celsius Degrees.

3.10 Tomatoes from Space.

November Calendar Sheets.

4. December.

This is a month to remember others, including famous people who have made a difference in our world. It’s a time to learn about the Nobel Prize winners.

Some December Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

December Activity Sheets.

4.1 Remembering Special People.

4.2 Will this Food Last Forever?

4.3 Winners of the Nobel Prize.

4.4 Be a Stargazer.

4.5 Gas, Propulsion, and the Science of Flight.

4.6 Compare Almanacs.

4.7 Remembering Edison.

December Calendar Sheets.

5. January.

This is a month that “matters.” Learn about molecules, electrons, atoms, electricity, science magic, sound, and rocks and minerals.

Some January Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

January Activity Sheets.

5.1 Can Molecules Move?

5.2 Colossal Comets.

5.3 Did You Hear That? Detecting Differences in Pitch.

5.4 Understanding the Properties of Oil.

5.5 Can Electrons Transfer from One Object to Another?

5.6 Ways to Preserve Foods.

5.7 The World of Minerals.

5.8 Molecular Bon Voyage?

5.9 How Does Sound Travel?

January Calendar Sheets.

6. February.

This is a natural month for learning about animals, including hibernators, cold-blooded animals (the earthworm), burrowers, and more.
Create wildlife notebooks and “invent an invention.”

Some February Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

February Activity Sheets.

6.1 How Long Will It Sleep?

6.2 Making a Wildlife Notebook.

6.3 In Honor of National Inventor’s Day.

6.4 The Earthworm.

6.5 A Who’s Who of Desert Animals.

6.6 Animals of the Grand Canyon.

6.7 Animals and Their Burrows.

6.8 Leap Year.

February Calendar Sheets.

7. March.

There is never a better time to learn about plants, especially with dormant plants starting to bud and the coming of spring. Investigate the daffodil, apples, and clover.

Some March Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

March Activity Sheets.

7.1 Investigating Flowers and Their Parts.

7.2 Trees in Our National Parks and Around the World.

7.3 Salutes to Florida and Vermont.

7.4 What’s in an Apple?

7.5 Can Plants Grow in Outer Space?

7.6 What Is Light Refraction?

7.7 St. Patrick’s Day and the Shamrock.

7.8 An Equinox “Egg-Speriment”.

7.9 Who’s Who in the Food Chain?

7.10 Happy Birthday!

March Calendar Sheets.

8. April.

April is Earth Month, so we learn more about protecting our planet in this chapter. Included are investigations on recycling, clean water, endangered species, wildlife and forest conservation, and activities for Arbor Day.

Some April Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

April Activity Sheets.

8.1 Let’s Save Lots of Watts!

8.2 The Hubble.

8.3 What Can We Recycle?

8.4 How Can We Help Our National Parks?

8.5 How Important Is Clean Air?

8.6 Making Our Water Safe.

8.7 Honor Arbor Day by Planting a Seedling.

8.8 Comparing Environmental Organizations.

8.9 Endangered Species.

April Calendar Sheets.

9. May-June.

Here is a cumulative review of science milestones, including recognition of famous people and plans to help you design a school science project. Also learn about the summer solstice.

Some May and June Dates to Remember and Background Information for the Activities.

May–June Activity Sheets.

9.1 Proposal for a Science Fair Project.

9.2 Writing with Invisible Ink.

9.3 Investigating Caffeine.

9.4 Careers in Science.

9.5 Aviation and Space Milestones.

9.6 Make Your Own Pickles!

9.7 Summer Solstice.

May–June Calendar Sheets.

Appendixes.

Appendix 1: Answer Key.

Appendix 2: Ordering Information for Materials.

Appendix 3: Correlated Science Videos and DVDs.

Appendix 4: Correlated Computer Software.

Appendix 5: Science Trivia Game.

Appendix 6: Reproducible Charts and Forms.

Monthly Student Progress Chart.

Science Certificate.

Letter to Parents.

Science Mini-Report.

Science Report Plaque.

Science Current Events.

Who’s Who in Science.

Biographical Sketch.

Science Vocabulary Words.

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Julia Farish Spencer, Ph.D., has taught science in grades 3 though 8 in Knoxville, Tennessee and West Hartford, Connecticut, public school systems. Spencer is the president of Literary Workshops and Publications, a publisher and certified Connecticut CEU provider of seminars and workshops for educators. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in Hartford.
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