Category Archives: Science and Nature Study

Simple Learning Ideas for April Holidays, Units and Famous Birthdays

Simple Learning Ideas for April Holidays, Units and Famous Birthdays

April is full of fun learning opportunities such as National Poetry Month, Arbor Day, and John James Audubon’s birthday. Here are some simple and creative ideas to use this month!

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is a great time to introduce children to the world of poetry. By starting with engaging poems, there is the greatest chance of lighting an interest in poetry so choose poems carefully.

  • Keep a collection of age-appropriate poetry books for children to read during quiet reading time, indoor recess or when they finish their work early.
  • Highlight a different poet each day by reading aloud a poem. If daily is too much, focus on a different poet each week and read a different poem by him/her each day that week.
  • Have children write their own poems. Depending on their writing level, have them write their own poem or do something simpler like an acrostic poem.

National Lawn and Garden Month

When spring arrives, everyone is ready to be outdoors! Help children understand the importance of gardening and encourage them to consider how gardening can be both fun and beneficial.

  • Grow something! If you need to start simple, plant beans in styrofoam cups or sprout them in a baggie with damp paper towel. Other plants that can be grown include sweet potatoes and grass. Each one will sprout and grow quickly.
  • Focus on flowers! Bring in a bouquet of flowers and discuss the various kinds of flowers, their unique characteristics, and how they are grown.
  • Explore fascinating facts with my Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards. Children love learning these little tidbits!
  • Have students design their own backyard gardens with flowers, vegetables and fruits. Have them draw a diagram of what they would like to grow and where.
  • Use my FREE Plants and Gardening Literacy Sampler Pack for additional ideas!

Arbor Day

While many teachers usually teach about trees in the fall, Arbor Day is a great time to get students thinking about the role trees play in the world.

  • Complete an Arbor Day KWL to get the learning started!
  • Celebrate the importance of trees! Make lapbooks about trees, highlighting their parts, how they grow, and the importance they play in the world.
  • Coordinate with a local nursery for each child to receive a tree to take home and plant. Include a handout that explains how to plant and care for the tree.
  • Create a “Trees are Important” bulletin board. Place a large trunk and branches on the board. Then have students write important tree facts on leaves that they then add to the tree.
  • Use my Tree Fun Fact Cards to explore all different kinds of interesting facts about trees!

Famous April Birthdays

Several important people were born in April. Take the opportunity to consider their contributions to the world.

Hans Christian Andersen (April 2)

  • Select several books with stories and fairy tales by Hans Christen Anderson. Make them available to the students to peruse when they have time.
  • Read aloud a few favorite stories. Have students illustrate their favorite.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13)

  • Introduce students to Jefferson and Monticello. Using a book or the internet, explore the beauties of Jefferson’s home.
  • Research Jefferson’s gravestone and what was engraved on there. Discuss why he wanted certain accomplishments on there and why others were left off.

William Shakespeare (April 23)

  • Discuss plays and why Shakespeare is still so popular after many years.
  • Show students a clip of a Shakespearean play so they can get a feel for the costumes and language.
  • Have older students prepare a short scene from one of Shakespeare’s works and perform it for the younger students.

John James Audubon (April 26)

  • Using a book with Audubon’s illustrations, discuss the importance of his accomplishments.
  • Explore why Audubon was so popular in Europe and was nicknamed “the American woodsman.”
  • Have students create a bird book of their own that features birds prominent in their area.
  • Learn more about birds with my Birds Fun Fact Cards!

Photo credit

Posted in Art, Crafts and Creative, Books, Early Elementary, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Holidays, Poetry, Science and Nature Study, Seasons, Spring, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Arbor Day KWL – Graphic Organizers for Arbor Day Unit

Arbor Day KWL - Graphic Organizers for Arbor Day Unit

It’s time to celebrate Arbor Day! Get your celebration off to a great start with this ready to go KWL! A KWL is a quick and easy way to help your students focus on the topic at hand and makes it easy for you to assess your students’ prior knowledge and determine what they have learned.

These easy-to-use graphic organizers provide a neat and professional presentation in your classroom or make a great addition to your child’s notebooking project.

KWLs are provided in both vertical and horizontal format.

I have many other KWLs available in a variety of topics! Please also check out my popular Tree Fun Fact Cards that children love!

Arbor Day KWL - Two Graphic Organizers
Arbor Day KWL - Two Graphic Organizers
Arbor Day KWL - Two Graphic Organizers
Price: $1.00

Posted in Early Elementary, First Grade, Graphic Organizers, Kindergarten, KWL, My Educational Products, Notebooking, Printables, Science and Nature Study, Second Grade, Spring, Store-All, Store-KWL, Store-Science, Store-Spring, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Trees KWL – Two Graphic Organizers for Tree Unit Study

Trees KWL - Two Graphic Organizers for Tree Unit Study

Get your tree unit off to a great start with this ready to go KWL! A KWL is a quick and easy way to help your students focus on the topic at hand and makes it easy for you to assess your students’ prior knowledge and determine what they have learned.

These easy-to-use graphic organizers provide a neat and professional presentation in your classroom or make a great addition to your child’s notebooking project.

KWLs are provided in both vertical and horizontal format.

I have many other KWLs available in a variety of topics! Please also check out my popular Tree Fun Fact Cards that children love!

Trees KWL - Two Graphic Organizers for Tree Units
Trees KWL - Two Graphic Organizers for Tree Units
Trees KWL - Two Graphic Organizers for Tree Units
Price: $1.00

Posted in Early Elementary, Fall/Autumn, First Grade, Graphic Organizers, Kindergarten, My Educational Products, Notebooking, Printables, Science and Nature Study, Seasons, Second Grade, Spring, Store-All, Store-Fall/Autumn, Store-KWL, Store-Science, Store-Spring, Store-Summer, Summer, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Bake a Cake from Scratch to Teach about Work and Rewards

Three Girls Making Cupcakes In Kitchen

Teaching your children to work hard for their rewards

One of the great opportunities we have as homeschooling parents is showing our children how to balance work and play as well as teaching them to be responsible and industrious. As children grow older, we can begin to help our children understand how they are responsible for their choices in a variety of areas. And part of that is learning how to remain diligent and work for the things they want.

Opportunities abound for learning these lessons and it’s important we are on the lookout for them. We can sneak these activities into anything — even baking a cake. Rather than baking a cake and serving it to our children, we can take the time to include them in the process so they understand the work and time it takes for something as simple as a cake.  Have them see all of the steps that are involved – reading the recipe, assembling the ingredients, measuring carefully, and following the instructions. By going through the process with us, they discover that it takes time to get what we want. There are trade-offs. Instead of playing, they are baking a cake. Cakes don’t magically appear. Someone has to take the time to make them.

If you don’t consider yourself a great baker, the Parenting Edition of eHow.com has a starter’s guide to teaching your children to bake. An important key is starting with a simple, healthy recipe. Angie Browning, winner of the M&S Everyday Chefs baking challenge, came up with a delicious recipe for Lemon and Poppyseed Drizzle loaf cake — a quick and easy cake that you and your kids can work on together, even on busy days.

While baking a cake, you can also incorporate mini-lessons about proper portion control, fractions, and the many health benefits that different ingredients can have. It’s an excellent way to teach them to be mindful of the things they eat, plus they also get a tasty treat once the cake is finished!

Teaching our children to bake is a great way to do school and have fun at the same time. As we go along, our kids might want to start experimenting with recipes, adding their favorite ingredients into well-known dishes, and even searching out new things they’d like to try to make! Imagine all the reading that takes place and opportunities to discuss math while looking through cookbooks or cooking websites! The BBC also suggests that deciding what to cook and shopping for ingredients together can be a great opportunity to talk to your kids about being responsible in their food choices. As you pick out ingredients, you could also tell your child what other dishes can be made with the ingredients, giving them ideas of what food to cook with you next. Learning how to both follow recipes and adapt them to make them their own are great learning opportunities for homeschoolers.

Posted in Home Education/Homeschooling, Math, Science and Nature Study | Leave a comment

Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards – Unit Extension Activity, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time

Flowers-and-Plants-Fact-Cards-PREVIEW-032614

Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards are a quick, flexible, colorful and fun way to expand your unit! Start building interest in your topic each morning with these 30 fascinating fact cards that go beyond the basics.

One teacher shared:
“My kids are addicted to reading these facts cards every morning. If I forget to read one, they are sooo quick to remind me. And the parents are learning too! During conferences, I had many parents tell me how much they had learned from their children when we read the apple and pumpkin cards. Thanks!”

These cards are used multiple ways by teachers in many grades. I love reading about all the different ways teachers use them in their classroom!

Quick Fun Fact – Read the fact card each day and store them in a small basket where the students can look at them again and again. Or keep the set on a ring.

Fact of the Day Bulletin Board – Read a fact each day and display the cards on a special bulletin board or foam board.

Hallway Display – One teacher displayed them on the hallway chalkboard outside her door so many students and adults could read them.

Calendar Pocket Chart – Put a fact behind each number on the calendar and have a different student take it out each day. You can then display on bulletin board.

Geography Extension – Put the cards on a wall map with a string that points to where it ties in.

Go Fish – Create two sets and use for a game of Go Fish.

Memory Game – Create two sets and use for a Memory Game.

Scavenger Hunt – Use the cards to create a Scavenger Hunt.

School Bulletin Board – One kindergarten class had two students take the fact of the day down to the office each morning, “teach” the fact to the office staff, and then display the cards on the office bulletin board for everyone in the school to see.

The cards are 3×3 and there are 6 on a page. I made them small so they easily slide behind your date cards on the calendar pocket chart. They are also a good size for small hands if using them for a game. I also made them smaller to find the balance between making them colorful, but not taking too much ink when you print them.

The cards are unnumbered so they can be used in any month and in any sequence. You can use all the cards in the set or only a portion. This provides maximum flexibility for the teacher’s schedule. Use one set all month or use parts of two sets depending on your needs.

Also included is a hyperlinked list of the relevant websites where the facts were located.

These are just one in a series of fact cards that you can use all year long! Click to see all of the topics currently available with more being added regularly!

Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards
Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards
Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time
Price: $3.00

Posted in Early Elementary, First Grade, Fun Fact Cards, Kindergarten, My Educational Products, Preschoolers, Science and Nature Study, Second Grade, Spring, Store-All, Store-Fun Fact Cards, Store-Spring, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Butterfly Fun Fact Cards – Unit Extension Activity, Bulletin Board, Games

Butterfly Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time

Butterfly Fun Fact Cards are a quick, flexible, colorful and fun way to expand your unit! Start building interest in your topic each morning with these 30 fascinating fact cards that go beyond the basics.

One teacher shared:
“My kids are addicted to reading these facts cards every morning. If I forget to read one, they are sooo quick to remind me. And the parents are learning too! During conferences, I had many parents tell me how much they had learned from their children when we read the apple and pumpkin cards. Thanks!”

These cards are used multiple ways by teachers in many grades. I love reading about all the different ways teachers use them in their classroom!

Quick Fun Fact – Read the fact card each day and store them in a small basket where the students can look at them again and again. Or keep the set on a ring.

Fact of the Day Bulletin Board – Read a fact each day and display the cards on a special bulletin board or foam board.

Hallway Display – One teacher displayed them on the hallway chalkboard outside her door so many students and adults could read them.

Calendar Pocket Chart – Put a fact behind each number on the calendar and have a different student take it out each day. You can then display on bulletin board.

Geography Extension – Put the cards on a wall map with a string that points to where it ties in.

Go Fish – Create two sets and use for a game of Go Fish.

Memory Game – Create two sets and use for a Memory Game.

Scavenger Hunt – Use the cards to create a Scavenger Hunt.

School Bulletin Board – One kindergarten class had two students take the fact of the day down to the office each morning, “teach” the fact to the office staff, and then display the cards on the office bulletin board for everyone in the school to see.

The cards are 3×3 and there are 6 on a page. I made them small so they easily slide behind your date cards on the calendar pocket chart. They are also a good size for small hands if using them for a game. I also made them smaller to find the balance between making them colorful, but not taking too much ink when you print them.

The cards are unnumbered so they can be used in any month and in any sequence. You can use all the cards in the set or only a portion. This provides maximum flexibility for the teacher’s schedule. Use one set all month or use parts of two sets depending on your needs.

Also included is a hyperlinked list of the relevant websites where the facts were located.

These are just one in a series of fact cards that you can use all year long! Click to see all of the topics currently available with more being added regularly!

Butterfly Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time
Butterfly Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time
Butterfly Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time
Price: $3.00

Posted in Calendar or Circle Time, Early Elementary, First Grade, Fun Fact Cards, Kindergarten, My Educational Products, Preschoolers, Science and Nature Study, Second Grade, Store-All, Store-Fun Fact Cards, Store-Science, Store-Spring, Store-Summer, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Farm Fun Fact Cards – Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time

Farm Fun Fact Cards Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time

Farm Fact Cards are a quick, flexible, colorful and fun way to expand your unit! Start building interest in your topic each morning with these 30 fascinating fact cards that go beyond the basics.

One teacher shared:
“My kids are addicted to reading these facts cards every morning. If I forget to read one, they are sooo quick to remind me. And the parents are learning too! During conferences, I had many parents tell me how much they had learned from their children when we read the apple and pumpkin cards. Thanks!”

These cards are used multiple ways by teachers in many grades. I love reading about all the different ways teachers use them in their classroom!

Quick Fun Fact – Read the fact card each day and store them in a small basket where the students can look at them again and again. Or keep the set on a ring.

Fact of the Day Bulletin Board – Read a fact each day and display the cards on a special bulletin board or foam board.

Hallway Display – One teacher displayed them on the hallway chalkboard outside her door so many students and adults could read them.

Calendar Pocket Chart – Put a fact behind each number on the calendar and have a different student take it out each day. You can then display on bulletin board.

Geography Extension – Put the cards on a wall map with a string that points to where it ties in.

Go Fish – Create two sets and use for a game of Go Fish.

Memory Game – Create two sets and use for a Memory Game.

Scavenger Hunt – Use the cards to create a Scavenger Hunt.

School Bulletin Board – One kindergarten class had two students take the fact of the day down to the office each morning, “teach” the fact to the office staff, and then display the cards on the office bulletin board for everyone in the school to see.

The cards are 3×3 and there are 6 on a page. I made them small so they easily slide behind your date cards on the calendar pocket chart. They are also a good size for small hands if using them for a game. I also made them smaller to find the balance between making them colorful, but not taking too much ink when you print them.

The cards are unnumbered so they can be used in any month and in any sequence. You can use all the cards in the set or only a portion. This provides maximum flexibility for the teacher’s schedule. Use one set all month or use parts of two sets depending on your needs.

Also included is a hyperlinked list of the relevant websites where the facts were located.

Farm Fun Facts Cards
Farm Fun Facts Cards
Farm Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension Activity, Bulletin Boards, Games, Circle Time
Price: $3.00

Posted in Early Elementary, First Grade, Fun Fact Cards, Kindergarten, My Educational Products, Preschoolers, Printables, Science and Nature Study, Second Grade, Store-All, Store-Fun Fact Cards, Store-Science, Store-Spring | Leave a comment