Sunday, 10 March 2013

Hands-on Science Downloads

At the enthusiastic request of "can we do bones next?" from my girls, I have spent some time this weekend researching and putting together some material on the skeletal system. Whilst looking for information, I came across a number of 'unit studies' of the skeletal system, but all were heavily paper based with worksheets and folders to complete and didn't match what I was looking for. I wanted good solid information, and some practical activities to hang it on and bring it alive for the children. I'm not sure if my style of hands-on science is what other people are looking for, but having put in the effort, I'm going to make them more easily available for others to use if they want to.

To do this I'm going to collect them all together on one 'page' of the blog to make them easier to find and choose from. If you look along the top of the page under the big header photograph, you will see the page headings there, click on 'hands-on' science and it will open the page with the science that I have blogged about collected in one place. I've used a picture from each 'unit' and the heading below is linked directly to the post.

As the cardiovascular unit we did seemed to fall naturally into four sessions spread over two weeks, I've deliberately grouped the information into four sections this time, each with one or two practical activities. I have worked out a format for how I like to record the information to make it easy and useful for me, and then added some extra details to make it easy and useful for you, including links, resources and materials needed!! Please note though that the downloads will only be in this format from the skeletal system onwards as I've only just begun to write them this way!  The science units are available as a Google Document that you can download and print.  Can I just say how very pleased I am with myself for working this out???!!!

If you're wondering what age group or year group they are aimed at, I can't give you an exact answer. My girls are currently rising 6 and 8 years old and would be in years 1 and 3 if they were in school, but I haven't related the content to the National Curriculum - I have based it purely on the level I know that they are at. I picked up an idea last week to start with asking what the children know, what they want to know, and how they think they can find out, it is a great way to start a new topic. I refer to the children's ideas all the way through and flex everything to answer their questions and explore their ideas. Encouraging the girls to think through a problem and come up with their own answers by linking together what they already know is a brilliant way for scientific understanding to really sink in and stick with them.

Take a look at the Hands-on Science page and leave me any comments - this is the first time I've made things available and I'm still learning!! Blogger has dictated the order they appear on the page so it may jig around a bit as I add more onto it! I hope you find it useful and enjoyable!

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