Monday, June 18, 2012

Learning to Be a Scientist: Week 3, Day 1

Continuing Learning to Be a Scientist: the third concept is "Scientists make comparisons," the first activity is "Comparing Animals."

(The stamps on the hands are from gymnastics class.)

Today was a tiring day, and we didn't start school until later in the afternoon. So I was glad that it was an easy to prepare lesson. This was their first lesson dressed up as scientists in their lab coats. As an introduction to comparing I gave Builder Boy and George two stuffed dogs and had them tell me some things that were the same about the dogs, and then some things that were different. Then I gave Early Bird a stuffed cat, and they compared the three toys. After that I brought out a silky smooth pig and they compared the pig to the other animals. I also made the point that you have to have at least two thing to make a comparison. I showed them I could compare my left hand to my right hand (one had a ring, they have thumbs on different sides) but I couldn't compare my right hand to my...right hand.

Putting the shark in the large group.
Ocean habitat group.

After that I gave them the animal picture cards copied from the book and had them compare the two animals in the pair and then sort them into "Large" and "Small" categories. The kids recognized that they were also doing the second thing that they learned scientists do: sort items and name categories. After they had taken turns sorting the animal pictures into the "Large" and "Small" categories they looked and compared the animal again and sorted them into different categories. Builder Boy found that some of the animals all lived in an ocean habitat. Then George grouped animals that you find at a zoo.

Once that was done all the kids quickly did the worksheet that had them draw a line from the animal to the proper label. Early Bird did not understand/did not want to draw a connecting line, but he colored the large animals red and, when I prompted him, colored the small animals blue. Then the two bigger kids went to the stuffed animal chest and got out a large stuffed animal and a small animal to draw. Early Bird tried to draw the stuffed bear Builder Boy had picked. Builder Boy's focus of his pictures was the things his large and small bears had in common, four legs, two ears, ect. George has more experience with drawing and drew beautiful, colorful pictures.

I thought this would be a short lesson, but it ended up being an engaging time where we talked about different things. It was more fun than I thought it would be. I think I had more energy after the lesson was done than before!

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