My Store

My Store
My Store

Free Resources

Free Resources
Free Resources
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Cranberry Ideas For Science and STEM Fall Lessons

It's fall and cranberries are being harvested here in Wisconsin! November brings to the stores those amazing tart berries which are perfect for connecting science and STEM. Here are some great connections for you and your students!

STEM Activity #1: Cranberry Towers

Cranberry towers are perfect for reviewing measurement as they try to build the tallest towers. All you need are fresh cranberries and toothpicks. I also use cranberries and toothpicks with kindergartners to review shapes.

STEM Activity #2: Cranberry Bog Boats

One of the NGSS focuses is to make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and into a new object. This is a perfect opportunity to use the cranberries and the toothpicks again. We design and build bog boats...yes bog because that is where the berries grow and are harvested. This is perfect for connecting a bit of cranberry information.

We use the following video to connect our boats and find that not all boats will float. We then make observations and gather evidence as to what floats best. (it also gives some really great information about the plant and we tie it into native american lessons along with pemmican which was eaten by Wisconsin First Nations)

Science Idea #1: Sink or Float for Littles and Bigs

First off, our students eat craisins at breakfast fairly often, so I figured when I showed them a cranberry they might know immediately what I was holding...was I wrong. Here, we live in a state that produces more cranberries than everyone and our students don't know what this native fruit is. I heard grapes and raspberries, but not one said cranberry. We predicted what would happen if we put them in water, then I demonstrated. We then opened them up to see why they floated. They have air pockets! We then tried a variety of different fruits and vegetables to test their buoyancy .  This concept is great for any age! Cranberries can be a perfect fall springboard!

Science Idea #2: Cranberry Juice and Chemical Reactions 

I found this video a few years back and I have been using it every year during our FOSS Mixtures and Solutions Unit every year since. Using Cranberry juice as well as vinegar and lemon juice can create a perfect activity to talk about acids and bases. 

Want to find all of these activities along with sheets, links, record sheets, lesson plans and more engaging cranberry Science and STEM ideas? Find everything you need HERE!
Just in time for that Thanksgiving week lessons...both fun, engaging, and educational!

Those of you with free educator EPIC book subscriptions, the book Cranberry (Watch It Grow) is perfect for your lesson as well! Happy Thanksgiving!
Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

Gobbling Up Thanksgiving Science and STEM Ideas!

It is hard to fit it all in during the school day, and with holidays approaching you might want to even add a bit of fun...why not do both! I have been playing with the idea of every new holiday I can connect Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math within the confines of my lesson and still cover NGSS Standards!

Holiday and Science Connection #1: Buoyancy/Sink and Float

What a great way to teach sink and float while sharing with the students the story of the Mayflower. I like the visuals of this video, but I will be posing a variety of questions as we watch and not listen...for older students it is perfect, but for littles it is too hard to understand. It ties in history, which you can do on your own.

1. What do you see?
2. How is a boat long ago, different and the same as a boat we see now?
3. What else is different in 1620?
4. What problems might have occurred on a ship if you were a Pilgrim?
5. Why does a big boat float?
6. What other things might float?
7. Why would someone want to write on a boat? 
8. When would you travel across the sea? They left in September. Was that a good idea or not?
9. They needed to write down rules. Why was important to have rules?

Find items around your classroom that you can place in a bucket or on a tray. Set out buckets of water. Have students test the items. Have each person draw on a sticky note something on the tray. Each pick a different item. Use an anchor chart to show and display the pictures.

Holiday and Science Connection #2: Living or Non-Living with Scarecrows!

Scarecrows are a perfect connection to living vs. non-living. Scarecrows are used to help farmers ward off birds that might eat the plants in a field. They look real so it scares the crows! 

This can be an easy lesson in what is living: 
You can find pictures in magazines to make posters to share. You can give word cards to each child to see if they can figure it out using the definition of living. Then, how fun to create a scarecrow after reading one of my favorites: The Little Scarecrow Boy.
I give my students construction paper, straws, cups, toilet paper tubes, and popsicle sticks. I give them glue, scissors, and tape...but not too much tape!

Holiday and Science Connections #3: Traditions

My students come from a wide range of ethnicities. That means that not all of my students celebrate holidays or at least the ones that I do. So approaching the Thanksgiving holiday doesn't mean that everyone in our classes will sit down and eat the same meal we do or even celebrate that at all.

There are two ways to go about an activity where students make a Thanksgiving table. . You can tie it into the history of the first Thanksgiving and share what was served then vs. what we might eat now. Or not even share what we eat now...or you can say at a holiday you might celebrate what do you eat...or you can plain out ask, those of you that celebrate with families on Thanksgiving what is your favorite food or what do you even serve. My Hmong students typically eat rice and chicken. 

We love making a special table for a meal we can eat with our families. We use toilet paper tubes, tongue depressors, unifix cubes, and cardstock/notecards. I love having the students make their favorite food that can then fit on the table. Here is the free lesson for you to use in your classroom!

Here is the Thanksgiving Table Activity Ready for you as a fun freebie!

Holiday and Science Connections #4: Camouflage

One of the NGSS concepts that I now need to cover with my littles in how animals survive, grow and meet their needs. This is for our first grade friends. What a great way to show how animals are able to survive...Thanksgiving style! Turkeys do a great job camouflaging. Many of the activities out there are for turkey to hide...how does a turkey survive without building a hideout or dress in a costume? This is a prefect way to show what camouflage means, but also do some of those fun activities to make those connections!

How can a turkey survive playing hide and seek for survival? They are shades of brown and it makes them harder to spot. Try taking a coloring sheet of a turkey, have students color it to blend into their classroom as they blend in. Have a predator (school personnel)  come in and see if they can find the hiding turkeys within view  in your room! Give them one minute on the clock to see how many they can hunt and find!

 Want to join the fun with  Holiday Science and STEM? Thanksgiving Science includes connecting social studies, math, science, games, and STEM engineering projects with a sprinkle of tradition all in one spot to make it easier for you to print and go!
This pack focuses on Buoyancy with sink and float activities, Camouflage with the concept of how animals survive and protect themselves, as well as Living and Non-Living as we add some scarecrow activities to the mix! What a perfect way to tie it all together with each concept having games, activity sheets, and a STEM engineering project using simple supplies!

Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

I Am Thankful For STEM!

For the last few years, I have been adding STEM to my FOSS science curriculum as well as teaching STEM classes at the local university and after school and summer school programs. I love watching my K-5th grade students having ah-ha moments, finding ways to problem solve, and using positive growth mindset! This year, we welcomed many new students to our school after boundary changes and as they were introduced to STEM activities my veteran STEM students were able to explain to them what they were about to partake in. Here are the top 5 quotes I am thankful for:
1. "STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering, and math and sometimes Mrs. Heinrich even adds Art to make it STEAM!"

2. "It's okay if it doesn't work right away, you can go to plan B and that might just work!"

3. "That's a good idea, but if you tried having a bigger base it might be sturdier!"

4. "We never did STEM at our school. I love STEM!"

5. "Mrs. Heinrich makes Science fun!"

I teach an after school STEM class and on Halloween I had the pleasure of taking every student that showed up at our after school program (which ended up being 12 students out of over 100). I took four high school helpers to join us as well. I set up three competitive STEM challenges: first a pumpkin transporter only using string and a scissors...second candy carrier cars made from candy and had to carry candy...and third candy corn catapults. The students once again told them what STEM stands for when the high school helpers asked. The high school helpers also shared with the kids how lucky they were to be able to have fun in school because they don't get to do things like that and didn't when they were "young". I shared with them that it isn't just "fun"...but so much more. I asked them to step back and watch what they saw. They observed the way they were helping each other...they just fixed a problem by adding to their structure...they were even  trying to explain how it will work when their partner doesn't get it...and even getting the same supplies each group looks different!

 Since Halloween, the high schoolers have "volunteered" in my STEM class and rotate being able to "help". They had so much fun that they now fight over who gets to be in STEM class!

What does this say? That adding STEM is worth a try! That STEM is hands-on fun, yet can tie in academics, the engineering design process, and an amazing amount of reflection and problem solving. Learners are able to share what they made and be proud of their successes! It isn't just engineering and building, but so much more!  Now, time for you to be thankful for STEM, too!

My friends and I over at STEM Activities For Kids would love to share with you a variety of ways to integrate STEM into your November so that you students can be thankful that you did just that! Here are some STEM ideas that I do with my students in November...you will be thankful you stopped on by!

This month, our activities include:
                            Football Games in after school STEM class!

Oak Trees that hold acorns...(kindergarten and the parts of a tree)

Run Turkey Run Mazes...love this one because I used this with an older group and younger group and when the younger kids were done, the older kiddos finished what was started! Love that we focused on what was the structure so far... what needed to be done...and who was going to work on finishing it up! You can see the story line throughout the examples!

Scarecrow making...being taught through Balance and Motion and Language Arts!
All of these STEM Fall and Thanksgiving based ideas can be found in my Fall Into Thanksgiving STEM Pack! Get ready to engage your learners this November!


Pilgrim themed activities including boats...pilgrim hats...a shelter...and harvest holders are just around the corner! (fifth grade learning about history and science with after school STEM class connections). Stop over at STEM Activities For Kids to find even more Thanksgiving ideas from my amazingly talented STEM friends to find out ways that they are thankful for STEM, too!

Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

Turkey Time STEM

This next week, we have two days before we see a little break for Thanksgiving.The teachers are in their classrooms  writing about what they are thankful for and getting in their last minute tests so that the students don't lose the information while they are on a bit of a holiday.

What a perfect time for STEM! STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. What is so great about STEM activities is that you can tie in a great picture book along with a hands on problem solving situation. These activities don't have to be complicated, time consuming, or expensive.

Image result for run turkey runTake for example the book, Run Turkey, Run. Have the students use bo ops and Jenga, with a little art to make the scenery or setting of the story and you have a great hands-on way to teach a reading strategy. I use Jenga blocks and gift boxes along with a bit of tape and you are set to go!

Time for CranberriesImage result for a turkey for thanksgivingWith my littles, all they need is a book like A Turkey For Thanksgiving and some math manipulative that you already have in your classroom such as 10's and 100 blocks, Unifix cubes, Legos, or even Jenga blocks again and you have a simple STEM idea in the works by having them make a hideout for the Turkey so he isn't eaten on Thanksgiving.

1. Pick a fun Turkey Trouble story where poor turkey might be dinner...
2. Set out materials for them to get or have them ready at the tables...
3. Let them build their own little turkey hide out to help the turkey not be dinner!
4. Place the paper turkey inside the hideout and then...
5. Let the kids share their ideas and reflect with their sheets.

A little writing...a little reading...a little science and engineering! If you like this freebie...take a look at my STEM stations on TPT.

Download your freebie station HERE.

If it's turkeys that you have had enough of, here in Wisconsin we are never short of some fresh cranberries! This fun new book shares with students how cranberries are harvested from bog to berries on your table.

Grab a bag of fresh berries and boxes of toothpicks at the dollar store and you have an interactive way to tie in math structures and shapes. You could also taste test different cranberry products and vote on your favorites. You can also show your students why cranberries float...they have pockets of hollow space just like pumpkins! From craisins to cranberry juice this graphing activity can help you find ways to make learning right before a break fun for everyone! Follow the link for some  Here is the Teacher Pay Teacher link: Cranberry Fun!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. May you all find something to be thankful for! I am thankful for all of you!

I Am Thankful For...Freebie!

I am so very thankful for my blogging friends...visitors...and anyone else who pops on by my site! I am appreciative that you are here and that you stop by to see what I am doing in my science school yard with my 400 kiddos! To thank you for being here...I have posted a small freebie that my second graders were working on as they finished the acorn trees and mazes. They couldn't get enough of the fun hands on STEM activities. Check out the  pictures of their hideouts! You can have fun with this one this week as we get closer to Thanksgiving.
Can the turkey hide in here???

Maybe a scary sign will deter the hunters...

Bars might keep them out!

Here is what to do...
1. Pick a fun Turkey Trouble story where poor turkey might be dinner...
2. Set out materials for them to get or have them ready at the tables...
3. Let them build their own little turkey hide out to help the turkey not be dinner!
4. Place the paper turkey inside the hideout and then...
5. Let the kids share their ideas and reflect with their sheets.

A little writing...a little reading...a little science and engineering! If you like this freebie...take a look at my STEM stations on TPT.

Download your freebie station HERE.
Thanks for stopping by! I am thankful for you!
Powered by Blogger.