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SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours  
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This lesson provides an opportunity for students to express their ideas through literature. Teachers will read a story on clouds to students, then take students outside to observe actual clouds. Students will create drawings of what they see,... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Emphasis is placed on preparing for severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and blizzards. Following classroom discussion and internet research, students prepare and present a product (brochure, poster, video, etc.) on the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the vertical dimension of the atmosphere and includes four activities. Activity 1 Introduces concepts related to distance, including length and height and units of measurement. Students are asked to make comparisons of... (View More)

Students are introduced to classification through progressive activities. Initially, the teacher models the task by classifying buttons. Students then devise a classification scheme for paper clips. Subsequent activities use objects brought from... (View More)

Keywords: Classification

Navigational tools and methods of early voyagers provide the background and contrast to the satellite images and models used today. Students complete mapping activities based on historical data from Columbus and Blith. Students will also use a... (View More)

Students will be introduced to different species of macroinvertebrates. They will hypothesize why each insect looks the way it does. Then students will make observations of macroinvertebrates in an aquarium in their classroom. For an optional... (View More)

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this learning activity, students create a 3D model of part of their local landscape, then make a series of observations from different directions. Using the bird's eye view, they translate the 3D model into a 2D map with a scale and key, and... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, students conduct bottle experiments to learn about the conditions that best facilitate the decomposition of organic material in soil. In the lab, they observe changes in the decomposition of vegetable scraps by varying the... (View More)

In this simulation exercise, students determine where to place a hosptial using a classified land cover map to make environmentally sound land use decisions. Results are presented in a mock town hall meeting. A student worksheet is included within... (View More)

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